At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, an announcement aired that an 11th championship would be unveiled the following night on Monday Night Raw. Rumors ran rapid about what the new title would be. WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley introduced the 24/7 Championship, a title that can be defended at any time and anywhere so long as a WWE official is present to make the pinfall. With the right booking and creativity, the 24/7 Championship could actually mean something other than offering a few laughs.
This past Monday’s Raw, R-Truth – the four-time champion – was found lying on a table under the ring, Cesaro was in the middle of a post-match beatdown on Ricochet and the gravity of the attack quickly dissipated because of the humor. Immediately a flood of superstars rushed down to the ring to gain the advantage and topple Truth. The 24/7 Championship shenanigans completely took away the serious, competitive tone set by another great match between Cesaro and Ricochet.
The first change that must be made is adding intrigue to the championship itself. Imagine ‘The Monster Among Men’ Braun Strowman holding the title. Excitement and buzz would quickly surround the 24/7 championship scene, the chaos and carnage he created in 2017 would be a welcome return as part of this unpredictable division. What if Strowman defended the 24/7 Championship against Drew McIntyre in an ambulance or stretcher match at the upcoming WWE Stomping Grounds pay-per-view? Surely that would make for a huge draw for fans of hoss wrestling.
Strowman currently has no creative direction; adding the 24/7 Championship to his already impressive big-man contests may help build ‘The Monster Among Men’ back up. Perhaps if both Strowman and ‘The Freak’ Lars Sullivan continue to be booked as unstoppable brutes, we could witness a ‘Clash of Titans’ for the 24/7 Championship at SummerSlam or next year’s WrestleMania. Given the right level of physicality and length of a match, the possibilities are endless.
If ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy or Bray Wyatt won the championship, they could battle opponents at The Hardy Compound or the Firefly Funhouse. Remember The Ultimate Deletion? Include Jeff Hardy in the mix and things could get even crazier. They could include some of their insane TLC innovations, including death-defying leg drops and Jeff’s Swanton Bomb from twenty-feet high. The WWE Universe would be given something fresh and exciting to watch and in return, television ratings might increase sporadically if booked correctly.
The biggest complaint right now is the 24/7 Championship doesn’t mean anything. When you play hot-potato with a title, it loses its prestige and credibility. Adding in directionless enhancement talent such as EC3, The Good Brothers and Jinder Mahal isn’t going to give the WWE Universe much of a reason to care about who the next champion might be. They will be more concerned about what the next in-ring contest will be after the hijinks are over.
The main focus of the 24/7 Championship should be introducing new talent, wrestlers such as Eric Young, Cedric Alexander, and Buddy Murphy who have amazing in-ring talent do not need to be chasing ‘champions’ around the arena in the middle of other matches. They need to be showcasing their skills to the WWE Universe.
Picture a cocky and arrogant EC3, sporting a million dollar suit and sunglasses, with the 24/7 Championship draped over his shoulder. EC3 could easily become an entertaining part of Monday Night Raw and give the title a decent run, and in return, the championship may become slightly more prestigious.
A vicious Drew Gulak, who just returned to 205 Live attacking Noam Dar, could stake his claim for something outside of the Cruiserweight division. Gulak has dominated 205 Live and recently traveled to NXT for a hard-hitting affair with Matt Riddle. I can easily see Oney Lorcan, Roderick Strong, and SmackDown Live newcomer Ali giving Gulak the fight of his life for the championship across various different brands. With his new hostility and demeanor, Gulak carrying the 24/7 Championship it could attract fresh competition on 205 Live, bringing in talent from all across WWE.
It’s not 1998 anymore, and the 24/7 Championship is not the Hardcore title we all loved in the Attitude Era. But with some creative ideas, the 24/7 title could actually mean something more than just being a prop. This may help increase viewership, in a year that television ratings are crucial for SmackDown Live’s move to Fox in the fall. It all starts with giving someone the ball and letting them run with it.
What are your thoughts on the 24/7 Championship, and how it could become more prestigious as time goes on? Let us know in the comments below.