JUSTIN Deming knows all too well the burden of carrying championship gold.
While most wrestling fans are happy to just own a replica title belt it just wan't good enough for the Saint Louis, Missouri resident.
The 31-year-old father of one can lay claim to the right of being the ultimate wrestling fan after tattooing a championship belt onto his waist.
His tattoo is a replica of the famed WWF 'Winged Eagle' Championship belt - brought in during the WWE's most successful and popular time period between 1998 and 2002 known as the 'Attitude Era'.
That particular title had been held by names including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho and The Rock.
"I had always loved wrestling, and to me, nothing was more iconic to 'my era' of wrestling than the 'Winged Eagle' version of the WWF Championship.
"I also wanted a large scale tattoo project before I filled up my body with one-session bangers.
"The idea gestated and gestated before I finally decided to make the jump and invest in myself. If I hadn't when I did, life would have gotten in the way and it would still just be a neat idea."
The bar manager's tattoo began in November 2009 and took two and a half years to compete.
"The first few months, it was getting work every other week. After that, I had a monthly session," Mr Deming said.
"The longest session was the first, a little over five hours. The sessions were usually around three hours, depending on where we were on the piece."
He didn't rush into things either - a lot of prep-work went into the tattoo before the ink began to flow.
He had a contact at Dave Millican Belts, the company behind championship belts for WWE and the UFC, who helped him out with the artwork.
"Reggie Parks had made the original WWF Championship known as the 'Winged Eagle,' and Dave Millican is his protege that now makes the belts and protects the trademark," Mr Deming said.
"I had to pass a very colorful phone interview with the late Ed Chuman, who wanted to verify that I was crazy enough to go through with this, and then they sent me the artwork, on the condition that I didn't share the art or attempt to make a belt with it.
He said his tattoo was a nice 'Rorschach' test for family and friends.
"Some people think it's neat, some people think it's funny, some people say it's the dumbest thing they've ever seen,"he said.
"I think my mother would be happiest if I didn't have any tattoos, but generally, the family isn't all that shocked.
He's even found some fans in the professional wrestlers he idolises.
"Some really pop for it, because deep down they are wrestling fans from the same era," he said.
"Some seem a little unnerved by it, like maybe I'm too much of a fanatic and they should be a little weary."
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