Some random belt news in case anyone cares
Haven't heard any updates on the new IC, U.S. or updates to the tags. From what I am told, they are putting the majority of the work on 1 beltmaker who is already overloaded with work. He went as far as to reach out to a competitor to hire him and help. This offer was declined. The reason the old NXT belts are being used on house shows is because the 2nd set of new style belts are still not finished. I was told they were due "shortly".
It could be the other new belts will be made if they haven't been already, or those talks never got past the artwork phase.
Eva Marie is gone from WWE. They had side plates made for her when they first ordered the Women's belt over a year ago (with several others). They are plain, red background with EVA in big black letters, and MARIE in smaller letters enclosed within a black box. Maybe we will see them some day. This lends credibility to the Meltzer rumor that they wanted to put the belt on her last year before the Wellness violation.
The last rumor I was told was they wanted to do the side plate gimmick on the tag belts. Don't know how far they got on this.
There were new belts at the Slammiversary PPV. I was told they were cheaply made, rush ordered and were very poor quality. One of the designs was apparently very similar to a WWE belt which would have caused them legal problems should it have been used.
As Meltzer reported, new belts were rush ordered (From Top Rope Belts so I'm told) to be ready next week and debut then at the earliest. These are fresh designs.
A Woman of Honor belt exists and they have just been waiting for the right time to debut it.
In regards to the pending lawsuit involving Figures Toy Company and existing beltmaker, Parks/Millican/Mann .LLC over the alleged illegal reproduction and sale of replica belts, this case has been ongoing for nearly a year. I have done some in-depth write ups on it on my belt site that will bore the shit out of you. Based on all the documents presented, etc, this case looks to be nearing either a settlement or will go to a jury trial. Of the 7 claims the beltmakers have presented against co-defendants ROH and Fig Inc, there is strong grounds for at least 4 of them. 2 of them have/will be thrown out due to not having proper copyright filings.
Basis of the case is beltmakers sent Fig Inc/ROH artwork for the belts in good faith with the understanding of getting the replica merchandise made/sold quickly and licensing numbers would be worked out in the meantime. Figures Toy Company removed the embedded copyright markings on the belts themselves, and ROH sold the merchandise. Basically, they got the art, made the belts, sold them and never paid the beltmakers their cut as what was understood. Defendants have tried numerous times to have case thrown out for various things. Some of their counter arguments have been very weak, but the valid argument presented so far by the defense that because the specific ROH belt designs were not federally filed for copyright, there is a limit to damages that can be claimed is why those 2 charges will be dropped.
The ROH belts are all reworked belts based on classic Reggie Parks made belts. Tags are the old WCW TV title, Television is the old WCW 6 Man Tag with NWA 6 Man Tag elements, 6 Man Tag is NWA Mid-Atlantic HW with some World Class Texas flair, and the heavyweight a mix of the WEC and Lou Thesz NWA HW belts among others. With exception of the Thesz belt, Reggie Parks (claimant) is the original maker/owner of belts/designs, thus a valid argument of prior use and ownership among others.
For those wondering why the ROH replica belts have dried up and are going for 2-3x retail on eBay and 2nd hand sites, this is why. A source in China has told me that there is another production run of replica belts sitting in the factory. The outcome of the lawsuit should determine what happens to those belts.
Regarding the damaged and "new" Intercontinental belt:
The "original" Dave Millican made belt which was destroyed was glued back together and the strap re-sprayed white. None of the work was done by anyone with a clue about belts. The next day the belt was already breaking again, strap cracking and peeling again.
New Japan had a new belt made....a bootleg. Dave Millican owns the artwork rights to the belt. New Japan owns their logo rights. Dave can make copies of the belt without the logo. New Japan cannot have the belt replicated without permission or agreement from Dave. According to Dave, this new belt was not made with permission from him.
New Japan had this new IC belt made by a lower end beltmaker in Pakistan in which the details of the belt are nowhere close to the original. It's literally one of the bad bootlegs you can get on eBay.
While I do make belts, I have no involvement in anything discussed, just "inside" information based on various contacts within the business.
Edit: thank you to the anonymous person for giving me gold. If you ever need a belt....I'm your hook up.