Last week, Mick Foley was given the task of introducing WWE’s newest title (yes, there is ANOTHER championship). After a series of backstage segments where prospective superstars were told to pretend to be impressed with what mysterious title Foley was carrying in his case, we finally got to see what all the commotion was all about. Mick showcased something that looked like an accessory in a McDonald’s Happy Meal and introduced the 24/7 championship.
You have to feel for Mick Foley. He was there when WWE introduced the Universal Championship, which looked like a slab of meat or the WWE Championship with a bad red paint job. Three years later, he was tasked with trying to build up hype for a faux Hardcore Championship without using the word “hardcore”. There were so many things that were running through my mind when I heard the news that WWE was announcing yet another championship as if there weren’t enough titles to keep track of already.
At first, I thought it was going to be some sort of Legends’ championship for the Undertaker/Goldberg match at Super Showdown. There were also rumors that it would be a trio tag team title, so then I thought Lucha House Party was going to get something. Then, we got the ugly abomination that we all saw. Not only was Mick’s delivery on the championship sub-par, but he then said something truly astonishing. He said that the first superstar to hold the championship would be declared the winner.
First of all, it is no secret that this is just a lazy version of the Hardcore Championship. The Hardcore Title could be defended at any given time, and we frequently had title changes in backstage segments. That is the precedent that we have here. For the sake of perspective of how ridiculous the title got, Raven is the all-time leader for individual reigns with 27. The craziest thing is that even with 27 reigns, he is only 5th all-time in the number of combined days holding the championship. What does this tell you? The title is not meant to be taken seriously, and it is not meant to be a title that is defended in a prestigious context.
However, if there was one thing the Hardcore Title did have going for it, it’s that it could showcase the strengths of many superstars if the right person was holding it. I wasn’t a fan of the title, but I was a fan of Rob Van Dam. In his prime, he made Hardcore matches entertaining, and I remember him engaging in battles with the likes of Chris Jericho and Jeff Hardy. The matches were fun, and, well, hardcore. There was nothing hardcore about rolling someone up when they’re conducting an interview.
Enter the dumbed down version of the Hardcore Title, the 24/7 title. First of all, the first ever champion was Titus O’Neil. That is your first sign that this championship is a joke. However, Titus did not even have to compete in an actual match to win. That’s right. All he had to do was be the first guy to run down to the ring from the back and physically hold the title with both hands. I think there was something symbolic about the curtain jerking portion of the WWE roster running down the ramp like kids at recess and fighting to hold a championship that holds no meaningful value.
Many people have said that the 24/7 title could be something good because it gives the major portion of the roster that was previously doing nothing something to do. I initially agreed with that sentiment, but here is the problem. The premise of the 24/7 title sucks. Right now, the current champion is R-Truth. Since he won the title, he has spent his time hiding from the other competitors. It makes you question why Truth would bother pulling up to any arena to begin with so that the others don’t find him.
When those people say “give them something to do”, what exactly do they mean? Do they mean we get to see them run mindlessly backstage for a couple of seconds while R-Truth plays hide and seek? Why would anyone want to hold a championship where the ultimate goal is to not get pinned and you are always running from the competition? Although I suppose they technically get TV time, so I cannot argue that point.
If this title was supposed to be fan service for those who petitioned for WWE to bring back the Hardcore title, or any variation of it, it failed to the utmost degree. I suppose the worst thing about this title is that WWE does not even understand how its own title is supposed to work.
This is called the 24/7 championship, with the implication being that the title is supposed to be up for grabs every day of the week on every hour. However, we are only seeing the title being defended (or Truth just running around with it) across two shows. That’s it. So instead of 24/7, it’s actually just the 5/2 championship. WWE has social media. Why don’t you film a title change taking place at a promotional interview or at someone’s home?
Yeah, it’s still kind of stupid, but at least it is making sense based on what you are telling us. What is the point in telling us it is a 24/7 title if you are only going to show title changes happening two days out of the week? Mick also said this is eligible for anyone, including the 205 Live and NXT rosters. Where is the title on those shows (although admittedly I want that title as far away from NXT as possible)?
The biggest thing is that the 24/7Championship is a massive waste of time. All you’re doing is putting a novelty toy on people who are just going to spend their time running. You don’t need an extra title to give people not currently in any programs something to do. Jinder Mahal was WWE Champion two years ago and won the US Title at WrestleMania last year. Now he finds himself scratching for the title. Mojo Rawley was giving himself motivational speeches in front of a broken mirror for months on end, and he eventually settled for playing fetch. Hell, even R-Truth was US Champion just a few months ago and putting on quality matches on Smackdown. Now he’s dressing up as Carmella as a means to avoid defending a championship.