Welcome to the first edition of WWE Devil’s Advocate (or AEW Devil’s Advocate, if need be)! The idea behind this is that I’ll be tasked with trying to argue a point of view that most people would agree is wrong. Whether I feel that way or completely disagree, it is up to me to take on the perspective of making the case for that controversial viewpoint.
My goal is to convince you that this absurd opinion actually holds weight to it, as difficult as that might be. The harder the challenge, the more rewarding if I can succeed.
Ideally, I’d like to receive suggestions for topics in the comments that I can use for future articles, but since this is the first of these, I’ve picked this myself.
The topic at hand for this first post is: The 24/7 Championship is not only not bad and the most utterly useless belt in the company, it’s actually a fantastic title.
This is going to be tough. Here we go.
The biggest advantage of the 24/7 title is that you never know when or how it will go to someone else.
Something people complain about constantly in pro wrestling is if the show is predictable. You can often look at the lineup of matches at the start of the show and guess everything that will happen beat by beat. Hell, I can be in the other room cooking dinner and barely able to hear my television and just by the amount of time that’s gone by and the slight change in energy in a commentator’s voice, I know the pinfall is coming and who is about to win.
But with the 24/7 Championship, it can come out of nowhere.
Once this title was created, every single moment of the show—even the backstage interviews—had a chance to see something go down.
The segment doesn’t even need to involve the champion. In the middle of someone else’s “gearing up in the locker room, ready for a match” footage, a commotion could happen and the 24/7 champion could be in danger.
The 24/7 title has changed hands in the middle of other people’s matches, or even during the Royal Rumble.
It keeps you on your toes.
Title Changes on House Shows and Other Events
Title changes are among the most exciting aspects of pro wrestling. Fans will often be hugely disappointed in an amazing match if the last three seconds of it aren’t the champion losing the title. Vice versa, many times, people will speak fondly of a bad match just because a new champion was crowned.
Entire pay-per-views have been written off as good or bad based on ONE title change. Imagine how much more that translates to the generic house shows.
People don’t go to non-televised live events expecting SummerSlam or WrestleMania. They go because it might be the only opportunity they have to see this up close (if Raw or something else doesn’t come to their market).
But they often have nothing to show for it. House shows are non-canon, in a sense. Things go down there that aren’t referenced in the slightest bit and have zero impact on the narrative. People test out new characters, team with other stars they’d never be seen with on camera, and goof off.
It can largely feel like a waste—as if you paid to see a training session or practice game, essentially, rather than a real show. You know that the United States Championship isn’t changing hands 99.999% of the time, but when the 24/7 title changes hands, suddenly, you feel like something on this show mattered.
Back in the day, they used to do this for other events, too. The title is on the line even when Raw, SmackDown and so on aren’t in production, so the pre-show is fair game. R-Truth pinned Jinder Mahal on the airplane flying to Saudi Arabia. Drake Maverick lost his title during his wedding. That makes it really feel like a true WWE Universe.
Opportunities for Crossover Content & Media Exposure
WWE is a company, first and foremost, rather than just the product consumed by the fans for entertainment. They need to think of ways to get more eyes on their programming and to get the name out there.
One of the best ways to do that is to get attention from other parts of pop culture to try to seed WWE into the public consciousness and make it more mainstream. WWE is far from the only example of this. Why do you think the Super Bowl has a big star perform music during halftime? It’s not because NFL fans are clamoring for it. That’s for everyone else to buzz about. It’s why commercials get celebrities to endorse their products or why television shows have guest stars with stunt casting.
WWE was able to put the 24/7 Championship in a spotlight for Old Spice and make that advertiser feel special. Look it up. Rick Boogs has a title reign as Joseph Average.
Rob Gronkowski, Doug Flutie, Enes Kanter, Kyle Busch and other athletes have won the title as a means to get fans of those sports to potentially check out Raw. Not into sports, but you’re into music? Bad Bunny and Marshmello won the title. More into politics? Put the belt on Mayor Glenn Jacobs and that could get mentioned on something like Meet the Press or whatever, potentially.
For all you know, all it take is that one little nugget of “Really? That happened? I’ll go tune into WWE to see what this is all about” before that person gets hooked on wrestling forever and starts to get their friends and family interested by proxy. There are plenty stories of people explaining how they first got into it because of something arbitrary and random.
You can’t get that with any other title. The best you can hope for is for a Superstar to pop up as a guest on a late night talk show once in a blue moon. But that’s more the opposite way around, wherein Jimmy Fallon’s show is looking to draw in the WWE audience, rather than funneling new people into WWE.
Spotlight on Lesser Superstars
Seemingly 57 people have won the 24/7 Championship. Most of them haven’t won any other titles and probably never will. The ones who have won other titles are largely just the Cruiserweight Championship.
Outside of a few names (mostly in the women’s division, like Carmella, Nikki A.S.H. and Alexa Bliss) and Jinder Mahal (former WWE champion), these 24/7 champions have largely been midcard to jobber acts.