June 20 is American Eagle Day. The eagle, of course, has been the iconic symbol for our country. The majestic bird has played a role in the world of professional wrestling too.
In 1988 when Hulk Hogan lost the WWF Championship to Andre the Giant on The Main Event, he came to the ring with the 'Winged Eagle' belt. It was the first time fans got a look at the championship. You may remember Andre surrendered the belt to Ted DiBiase who was promptly stripped of the title and Randy Savage won it at the WrestleMania IV tournament. The winged eagle was a staple for about a decade, being replaced by the "Big Eagle" championship. That was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's belt until the "Broken Skull" custom belt became a thing. I actually had a chance to wear a replica winged eagle belt prior to the Raw after WrestleMania 32 in Dallas.
I don't know for sure if the eagle design is the inspiration for the Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Title, but that's the current look for the belt. This second incarnation of the title is an upgrade from the original belt design. Jay Spade we the first Stride eagle belt holder. He has traded the title a couple of times.
The Soaring Eagle was also a part of WWE when Jack Swagger showed up with the 'All-American American' for a few months in 2010. The stint didn't last long and the Eagle's last appearance on WWE TV was a pinfall loss to Hornswoggle. And Sam The Eagle from the Muppet Show also appeared on Raw the night the Muppets served as special guest hosts.
|Soaring Eagle and Jack Swagger|
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