WWE 24/7 Championship
|WWE 24/7 Championship|
The WWE 24/7 Championship belt
|Date established||May 20, 2019|
|Date won||December 2, 2019|
The WWE 24/7 Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE. It is a tertiary championship open to anyone—regardless of gender or WWE employment status—and carries the special rule that it can be defended "24/7", as in any time, anywhere, as long as a WWE referee is present. Because of this rule, the championship is defended across all of WWE's brands—Raw, SmackDown, 205 Live, NXT, and NXT UK—as well as outside of regular shows, often with videos posted on the promotion's website and social media accounts. The current champion is R-Truth, who is in his record 24th reign.
The title was unveiled by Mick Foley on the May 20, 2019 episode of Monday Night Raw, where Titus O'Neil from Raw became the inaugural champion. It is similar to the previous WWE Hardcore Championship, which also had a 24/7 rule. This rule can be temporarily suspended by an authority figure, usually done during a scheduled match for the title or matches that involve the champion.
During the 2019 Money in the Bank pay-per-view on May 19, WWE announced that a new championship would be introduced on the following night's episode of Raw, where hardcore legend and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley unveiled the WWE 24/7 Championship. Like the former WWE Hardcore Championship and its "24/7 rule", the 24/7 Championship can be defended anytime, anywhere, as long as a WWE referee is present, hence its name. Due to this, Foley said the title can be defended on Raw, SmackDown, 205 Live, NXT, and NXT UK. He also said that WWE legends could return and challenge for the title. After the unveiling, Foley laid the title belt in the ring and said that whoever secured the championship first in a scramble would become the inaugural champion. Raw's Titus O'Neil became the inaugural champion by doing so, defeating Cedric Alexander, Drake Maverick, EC3, Eric Young, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Mojo Rawley, and No Way Jose to claim the championship. It was later confirmed that the title was not gender-exclusive and could also be won by non-WWE personnel after the respective wins of former female wrestler Kelly Kelly and Fox sportscaster Rob Stone.
Although a stipulation of the championship, the 24/7 rule can be temporarily suspended by an authority figure. This usually occurs when the champion is involved in a non-title match. For example, after Elias won the title from R-Truth on the May 28, 2019 episode of SmackDown Live, Shane McMahon suspended the rule until after the scheduled tag team match later that same night, in which both Elias and Truth were involved. The rule can also be suspended during an actual scheduled match for the title to prevent other wrestlers from getting involved. For example, when R-Truth unsuccessfully defended the title against Elias in a lumberjack match on the June 4 episode of SmackDown. Another example is when reigning champion R-Truth was a guest on The Miz's "Miz TV" and during a subsequent scheduled match against Drake Maverick, both on the June 24 episode of Raw.
According to professional wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, the idea for the title was proposed by the USA Network, where Raw and SmackDown had both aired (until SmackDown's move to FOX in October 2019), in an attempt to increase the ratings during Raw's third hour. The viewership of both shows had been declining; the April 29 and 30, 2019, episodes of Raw and SmackDown, respectively, both reached a record low for non-holiday broadcasts outside of football season, with viewership dropping off the most during Raw's third hour.
The championship belt design features three plates on a green leather strap. The circular center plate prominently states "24/7" at the center ("24" and "7" written in green). The WWE logo is affixed at the top while the word "CHAMPION" is written along the edge of the bottom half of the center plate. The two side plates, one on either side of the center plate, are rectangular. Unlike most of WWE's other championship belts, the side plates are not customizable. They are mostly blank but with a simple ornate design on the bottom inner corner and top outer corner of each. As the belt lacks customizable side plates, Drake Maverick placed stickers that said "Maverick 24:7" in the blank space of the side plates during his second reign, while during Samir Singh's reign, stickers that spelled "Bollywood" were placed around the center plate.
The championship's reveal received a negative reaction from the live crowd, who booed it during the unveiling. Foley said that the bad reception was probably due to the fans wanting to see the Hardcore Championship return as opposed to this new title. Foley was hopeful that it would bring back the fun and excitement that the Hardcore title had with its 24/7 rule, but without the same danger. Fellow WWE Hall of Famer and retired wrestler Edge also said the concept was fun but the title "[was] the ugliest championship ever created". PWInsider's Mike Johnson liked the concept, but the introduction was "silly", since fans "believed, just for a second, this belt was going to be something that was unveiled that brought a gritty, edge back".
The title's popularity with the fans would subsequently improve: within weeks, the 24/7 Championship would get the highest viewed segments of both Raw and SmackDown on YouTube, garnering millions of views each per video. Multi-time 24/7 Champion R-Truth was voted by WWE fans as their favorite champion in June 2019.
As of December 4, 2019, there have been 66 reigns between 30 different people. R-Truth has the most reigns at 24 and longest combined reign at 112+ days (102+ days as recognized by WWE). Samir Singh has the longest singular reign at 18 days. Only five other wrestlers have held the title for longer than a day: Carmella, Drake Maverick, Elias, Maria Kanellis, and Sunil Singh. Jinder Mahal has the shortest reign for his first reign, which lasted only 11 seconds. WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson is the oldest champion, winning the title at 78 years old (also making him the oldest title holder in WWE history), while Enes Kanter of the National Basketball Association (NBA) is the youngest, winning the title at 27. Former WWE wrestler Kelly Kelly was the first of six women to have won the title. WWE Hall of Famer "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase is the only title holder to become champion without winning the title; he purchased it from fellow Hall of Famer Alundra Blayze, who was about to drop the belt into a trash can (reenacting the infamous incident of what she had done to the then-WWF Women's Championship when she joined World Championship Wrestling in 1995). The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) are the only tag team to win the title, being recognized as co-champions. Non-wrestlers to have held the title include Fox sportscaster Rob Stone, NBA player Enes Kanter, electronic music producer/disc jockey Marshmello, WWE Senior Account Manager Michael Giaccio, and NASCAR driver Kyle Busch.
The current champion is R-Truth, who is in his record 24th reign. He won the title by pinning NASCAR driver Kyle Busch backstage after the December 2, 2019 episode of Monday Night Raw in Nashville, Tennessee; shown on WWE's website and social medias.
- Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship – a title with a similar 24/7 rule
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- Drake Maverick [@WWEMaverick] (July 2, 2019). "Side plates" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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- WWE [@WWE] (November 18, 2019). "Ladies and gentlemen, your NEW 24/7 Champion... R-Truth! Watch how it all went down backstage! This night went from bad to worse for The Singh Brothers on RAW!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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