It is becoming a trend for professional sports teams to parade a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) title belt after capturing the championship in their respective sports. In 2004, Rasheed Wallace arranged for his Detroit Pistons teammates to receive a customized belt during their ring ceremony, and LeBron James followed suit when the Miami Heat won a title in 2013.
Now hockey's Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks -- who prevailed in six games over the Tampa Bay Lightning -- have received a WWE belt, getting it from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The part-time wrestler turned promoter sent the team an authentic WWE World Heavyweight Championship title belt, which was paraded by the team in its Twitter account.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 17, 2015
Speculation was ripe that McMahon's gesture was intended to tick off WWE former talent CM Punk, who is an avid Blackhawks fan. The two wrestling personalities had a falling out last year with Punk taking his talents to the UFC -- and McMahon all but shutting the door on a potential return. Nevertheless, no confirmation has been made on this issue by McMahon or the WWE.
This is not the first time that the wrestling promoter has attached the company with a major sports champion, as it also sent the New England Patriots title belts after the football team annexed its fourth Vince Lombardi Trophy. Other personalities also took the time to own their personalized championship belts, with Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers sporting one in 2010 after his team won the Super Bowl. David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox also got one in 2013 after his team snatched the World Series title.
McMahon and company wrapped up their latest pay-per-view event, “Money in the Bank,” last weekend and are gearing up for this year’s edition of “Summerslam.” The company is finding renewed interest from its fan base with the launch of the WWE Network.