Legends gather for blessing of belts

An Oahu professional wrestling federation, Hawaii Championship Wrestling, will have three custom-crafted championship belts blessed in a ceremony conducted this weekend.

The dedication of the Kamehameha Heritage and Kekaulike Tag Team title belts will take place on Saturday in Kohala on the Big Island.

The highest ranking alii (chiefs) and kahuna (priest) from the Royal Order of Kamehameha I will bless the belts in a traditional blessing ceremony.

Founded by Kamehameha V in 1865, the Royal Order preserves the rituals and memory of Hawaii’s monarchy.

HCW, co-founded by legendary professional Don “The Rock” Muraco, is a Honolulu promotion of wrestlers from diverse cultural backgrounds, very much like Hawaii itself.

A two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion and 11-year veteran of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), Muraco retired to his native Oahu after a successful pro wrestling career.

With Linda Bade, a seasoned local television producer, Muraco founded HCW in February of this year.

As its most significant early project, HCW contracted famed craftsman Reggie Parks, creator of title belts for many of the world’s top pro wrestling and boxing promotions, to produce three unique, culturally relevant belts for future Hawaii champions.

Parks will travel to Kohala for the private dedication, as will several other celebrities from the world of the “squared circle” including Masahiro Chono, a legendary Japanese wrestler, famed promoter Ed Chuman and Bill Apter, eminent professional wrestling historian, journalist, and photographer, who is currently Senior Editor of Total Wrestling magazine.

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