List of WCW Hardcore Champions
The WCW Hardcore Championship was a professional wrestling Hardcore Championship contested for in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). During late 1999, WCW promoted various hardcore matches, bouts where there were no disqualifications or countouts, that mainly involved Norman Smiley and Brian Knobs. The developing rivalry between the two wrestlers led WCW to announce the creation of the WCW Hardcore Championship in November 1999. In January 2001, the champion Meng signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) after his WCW contract expired. Shortly afterwards, the promotion filed for bankruptcy and the WWF purchased all assets of WCW, and as a result, all WCW Championship copyrights were also property of the WWF. After the purchase, the WWF used the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, WCW Cruiserweight Championship, and WCW World Tag Team Championship in The Invasion storyline, in which former WCW wrestlers feuded with original WWF wrestlers before WCW's purchase, however, other WCW titles, including the WCW Hardcore Title, were not used.
Title reigns were determined by professional wrestling hardcore match types with wrestlers involved in pre-existing scripts feuds, plots and storylines or were awarded the title due to scripted circumstances. Wrestlers were portrayed as either villains or fan favorites as they followed a series of tension-building events, which culminated in a hardcore wrestling type match or series of matches for the championship. The inaugural champion was Norman Smiley, who defeated Brian Knobs at Mayhem. Before the promotion's purchase, the title was vacant, though, Meng was the final wrestler to hold the championship. The title was won in Canadian municipalities and in American states. Smiley held the title the longest at 51 days, and at less than one day, Carl Oullete has the shortest title reign. Brian Knobs has won the title on three occasions, the most in the championship's history; this also ties with the number of times the title was vacated. Overall, there were 18 reigns.
|No.||Overall reign number|
|Reign||Reign number for the specific champion|
|Days||Number of days held|
|No.||Champion||Championship change||Reign statistics||Notes||Ref.|
|1||Norman Smiley||November 21, 1999||Mayhem||Toronto||1||51||Defeated Brian Knobs in the finals of a tournament to crown the first champion.|
|2||Brian Knobs||January 12, 2000||Thunder||Erie, Pennsylvania||1||27||This title change aired on tape delay|
|3||Bam Bam Bigelow||February 7, 2000||Nitro||Tulsa, Oklahoma||1||13|
|4||Brian Knobs||February 20, 2000||SuperBrawl 2000||San Fransicso, California||2||8|
|5||Shane Helms, Evan Karagias, and Shannon Moore||February 28, 2000||Nitro||Minneapolis, Minnesota||1||20||Helms, Karagias, and Moore, known as the 3 Count stable, defeated Knobs simultaneously in a match, and as a result, WCW allowed the Freebird Rule in which all three wrestlers were able to defend the title.|
|6||Brian Knobs||March 19, 2000||Uncensored||Miami, Florida||3||22|
|—||Vacated||April 10, 2000||Nitro||Denver, Colorado||—||—||WCW Presidents Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff vacated every WCW championship during WCW's reboot.|
|7||Terry Funk||April 16, 2000||Spring Stampede||Chicago, Illinois||1||36||Defeated Norman Smiley to win the vacant title.|
|8||Shane Douglas||May 22, 2000||Nitro||Grand Rapids, Michigan||1||1|
|9||Terry Funk||May 23, 2000||Thunder||Saginaw, Michigan||2||13|
|10||Eric Bischoff||June 5, 2000||Nitro||Atlanta, Georgia||1||1|
|11||Big Vito and Johnny the Bull||June 6, 2000||Thunder||Knoxville, Tennessee||1||13||WCW President Eric Bischoff awarded Vito and Johnny the title, and he announced that the Freebird Rule was in effect for this title reign, allowing both wrestlers to defend the title. This title reign aired on tape delay.|
|12||Big Vito||June 19, 2000||Nitro||Billings, Montana||2||35||Defeated Johnny The Bull to be named the sole champion.|
|13||Lance Storm||July 24, 2000||Nitro||Cleveland, Ohio||1||21||Storm renames championship "Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title" shortly after winning it.|
|14||Carl Ouellet||August 14, 2000||Nitro||Kelowna, British Columbia||1||<1||Storm awarded Ouellet the title.|
|15||Norman Smiley||August 14, 2000||Nitro||Kelowna, British Columbia||2||42|
|—||Vacated||September 25, 2000||Nitro||Uniondale, New York||—||—||The title was vacated by WCW Commissioner Mike Sanders.|
|16||Reno||October 2, 2000||Nitro||San Francisco, California||1||37||Sgt. AWOL originally defeated Reno to win the title in a tournament final. However, Mike Sanders reversed the decision and awarded Reno the title.|
|17||Crowbar||November 8, 2000||Thunder||Chicago, Illinois||1||39||This title change aired on tape delay|
|18||Terry Funk||December 17, 2000||Starrcade||Washington, D.C.||3||28|
|19||Meng||January 14, 2001||Sin||Indianapolis, Indiana||1||7||This was a triple threat hardcore match also involving Crowbar.|
|—||Deactivated||January 21, 2001||—||—||—||—||Meng left WCW for WWF a week after winning the title to compete as Haku in the 2001 Royal Rumble and the title was abandoned.|
List of combined reignsEdit
|Rank||Wrestler||No. of reigns||Combined days|
|11||Bam Bam Bigelow||1||13|
|Johnny the Bull||1||13|
- "WCW Hardcore Championship History". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan and Gary Will. Solie.org.
- "Saskatchewan* Hardcore International Title History". WCW.com. Archived from the original on 2000-08-17.
- "WCW Hardcore Championship History". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan and Gary Will. Solie.org. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
- Powell, John. "Surprises dominate Rumble 2001". SLAM! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
- "WWE Entertainment, Inc. acquires WCW from Turner Broadcasting". World Wrestling Entertainment Corporate. 2001-03-23. Archived from the original on 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks. Archived from the original on 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2008-12-02.