One of, if not the, most famous belt makers of all time, has passed away. Reggie Parks was a wrestler from 1955 to 1986, but is probably best known for making championship belts.
We'll get to his belts, but I wanted to take a moment to touch on his career. Although he was best known for his time in the AWA, Parks was trained by Stu Hart, who spoke very highly of him.
In addition to making belts, Parks was quite good at winning them, becoming a two time NWA World Tag Champion, a one time NWA Western States Tag Team Champion, one time NWA International Heavyweight Champion and NWA Central States Heavyweight Champion, and a whopping eight time AWA Midwest Tag Team Champion. With the Midwest wrestling scene beginning to flourish again, it's a great time to pay tribute to Reggie Parks's contribution to that area's wrestling, especially tag wrestling.
Of course though, the reason many of us know Reggie Parks is his later work as a belt maker. Basically every maker working today credits Parks as not inventing the wrestling belt, but creating every process used today. Parks designed such notable titles as the Winged Eagle WWF Championship, the 80's Tag Titles and the Intercontinental Championship names like Honky Tonk Man and Randy Savage wore proudly. Growing up, whenever I would boot up a WWE game, I would always notice on the copyright screen "Reggie Parks Belts." That was the first time it clicked to me that someone had to be behind the scenes. Parks was the first person I knew who was making it all work. Without him and people like him, there is no show.
He forever changed the wrestling world as we know it with his designs, and he entertained hundreds of thousands over a three decades long in-ring career. Rest in Peace Reggie, you will be missed.