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Reggie Parks, creator of the Winged Eagle & other iconic title belts, has died

Sad news about a man whose name you may not have known, but whose work you’ve admired.

Reggie Parks, a journeyman pro wrestler and belt-maker, died yesterday (Oct. 7). He was 87.

Like so many from Western Canada, Parks got his start in Stampede Wrestling working for Stu Hart.

Over a career that spanned from the 1950s to the 1980s, he wrestled on the undercard across the territories using gimmicks like Mr. High and The Avenger. His lasting legacy will be as the creator of titles like winged eagle WWF World championship worn by names like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & Steve Austin in the 80s and 90s.

Parks got his start designing titles when his tag partner Doug Gilbert (Mr. Low to his Mr. High) suggested they make on to replace the trophy used by an independent promoter in Nebraska. In a 2001 profile for Slam Wrestling, Parks told the story:

“The trophy was about six feet tall, and anybody who touched it, it would fall apart [laughs]... From there, word got out. I made for the WWF for 10 years, WCW, independent groups. Just about everybody you could think of.”

While Parks didn’t know how many titles he’d made - not just for wrestling, but for other sports, athletes and franchises - he estimated he did more than 100 per year in the 90s. And he made them all by hand.

Our thoughts are with Mr. Parks’ family, and everyone who is missing him today.

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