Reggie Parks, a veteran professional wrestler and referee who designed the WWE Championship belts, died last week. He was 87 years old. Parks died at his home in Tuscon, Arizona following a battle with COVID-19. He was known by many in the industry as "The King of Belts," as mentioned by Wrestling Inc.
"Parks spent nearly three decades in the ring as a sports-entertainer working for promoters like WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart and competing for championships in both the NWA and AWA," WWE said in a statement. "He even enjoyed a brief stint competing in a WWE ring before transitioning into the second phase of his career: creating championship titles. Parks would go on to handcraft some of the most famous titles in WWE history, including the "winged eagle" WWE Championship used in the 1980s and '90s, as well as the classic Intercontinental Championship of the same era."
The world lost a true icon today.— Conrad the Mortgage Guy (@HeyHeyItsConrad) October 8, 2021
If you grew up loving wrestling in the 80s or 90s, you grew up loving his work.
RIP Reggie Parks pic.twitter.com/belIXYYOGe
WWE Hall of Famer Brett Hart sent a message to Parks on Instagram. "'Reg, if ya wanted to try me, why didn't ya try me?!?' – My dad falling for one of Owen's ribs. Reg always loved that story. I knew Reg my whole life, and he was one of the kindest men I've ever known. I'll always miss him. R.I.P," Hart wrote.
When the news was announced, many fans paid tribute to Parks on his Facebook page. "Rest In peace Reggie Parks," one fan wrote. "I remember my first time holding a Winged Eagle by Reggie (it was Yokozuna's) it was the first time I became OBSESSED with belts and started learning more about them. Rest In Peace Reggie and thank you for sharing your art with literally the WORLD."
"I'm very sorry to hear of Reggie's passing," another fan wrote. "The man was an absolute legend in the business who deserved more credit for his contributions than he received. Thank you Reggie. You'll be missed." According to Wrestling Observer, Parks made most of the championships belts in the 70s, 80s and 90s for almost every promotion. He also made belts for UFC and boxing in his career. He recently made an appearance at the Cauliflower Alley convention in Last Vegas where he met up with friends. In Arizona, Parks ran a carpet cleaning business as well as producing belts.