WWE 24/7 Championship
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. The current champion is R-Truth, who is in his forty-fifth reign.
|WWE 24/7 Championship|
The WWE 24/7 Championship belt
|Date established||May 20, 2019|
|Current champion(s)||R Truth|
|Date won||November 22, 2020|
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 title defense or non-title 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 across all of WWE's brand divisions: 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.
In October 2019, Meltzer reported that following the 2019 WWE Draft, the title would only appear on Raw as SmackDown was moving to FOX and the title was USA Network's idea. Although the title was established under the rule that it could be defended on any brand, it has primarily only appeared on Raw since that draft, with only a few exceptions.
The championship belt design features three gold 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 cannot be customized with the current champion's logos. 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, while Samir Singh placed stickers that spelled "Bollywood" around the center plate.
As of November 24, 2020, there have been 113 recognized reigns between 42 different people. R-Truth has the most reigns at 45 and the longest combined reign at 267 days (260 days as recognized by WWE). Rob Gronkowski's sole reign is the longest singular reign at 67 or 68 days (the exact date of when he won the title is not known, but WWE recognizes his reign as lasting 57 days due to tape delay, which is still the longest). Only ten other people have held the title for longer than a day: Akira Tozawa, Carmella, Drake Maverick, Elias, Maria Kanellis, Mojo Rawley, Riddick Moss, Shelton Benjamin, both Singh Brothers, Samir and Sunil, Drew Gulak. Tucker Knight has the shortest reign, which lasted approximately 4 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, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, Raw announcer Mike Rome, and National Football League player Rob Gronkowski.
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 Edge said the concept was fun but the belt "[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.
During the first months of 2020, the 24/7 Championship's reception returned to be negative, with criticisms that highlighted the lack of creativity in the segments and in the matches where the title was involved. On the first anniversary of the title in May 2020, Bleacher Report published an article about how WWE could "revive" the 24/7 Championship's gimmick, saying that "WWE potentially has something special on its hands with the 24/7 Championship gimmick. Potentially.", but that "at times", the title "merely feels like an afterthought."
- Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship – a title with a similar 24/7 rule
- Powell, Jason (May 19, 2019). "WWE Money in the Bank results: Powell's live review of Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Universal Championship, Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE Championship, Becky Lynch defends the Raw and Smackdown Women's Titles, two Money in the Bank ladder matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- Couden, Matt (May 21, 2019). "WWE 24/7 Championship Belt Debuts on Raw, Now Available in WWE 2K19 Downloads". VGR. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
- Johnson, Mike (May 20, 2019). "WWE'S NEWEST CHAMPIONSHIP IS..." PWInsider. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- Satin, Ryan (May 20, 2019). "WATCH: Mick Foley Unveils New WWE 24/7 Title, First Champion Crowned". Pro Wrestling Sheet. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- Keller, Wade (May 20, 2019). "5/20 WWE Raw Results: Keller's report on Money in the Bank fallout, will Brock Lesnar announce his intensions [sic], Mick Foley reveals new WWE Title". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
- Barnett, Jake (July 22, 2019). "7/22 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review Raw Reunion featuring Steve Austin, Ric Flair, DX, Hulk Hogan, and many more, Alexa Bliss talkshow with Becky Lynch, the build to SummerSlam continues". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Tedesco, Mike (August 24, 2019). "WWE 24/7 Championship changes hands multiple times at FOX Founders Day event". WrestleView. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
- Barnett, Jake (May 28, 2019). "5/28 WWE Smackdown Live Results: Barnett's review of Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens in a non-title match, Bayley vs. Lacey Evans in a non-title match, Dolph Ziggler on the Kevin Owens Show". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
- Barnett, Jake (June 4, 2019). "6/4 WWE Smackdown Live Results: Barnett's review of Goldberg's appearance, final hype for WWE Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia, Bayley on A Moment of Bliss". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Powell, Jason (June 24, 2019). "6/24 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of U.S. Champion Ricochet vs. AJ Styles in a non-title match, Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre in a handicap match, WWE Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Sami Zayn in a non-title match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
- "USA Network ideó el Campeonato 24/7 de WWE" [USA Network devised the WWE 24/7 Championship]. SoloWrestling (in Spanish). May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Konuwa, Alfred (May 3, 2019). "WWE's Viewership Is Tanking Fast With No Signs Of Slowing Down". Forbes. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- Tedesco, Mike (April 30, 2019). "WWE RAW Ratings: Viewers down again April 29, Third hour drop sets a record low". WrestleView. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- Wilding, Josh (October 15, 2019). "Backstage News On The 24/7 Championship Being On RAW And WWE Keeping Couples Together In The Draft". theringreport.com. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
- Drake Maverick [@WWEMaverick] (July 2, 2019). "Side plates" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- The Singh Brothers [@SinghBrosWWE] (November 15, 2019). "Longest reigning 24/7 Champion in WWE history!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- 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.
- "WWE: The Longest-Reigning 24/7 Champion Rob Gronkowski has a message for Ron Killings". Twitter. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
- "24/7 Championship". WWE. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- "Mick Foley cree que su promo en Raw estropeó el anuncio del Campeonato 24/7" [Mick Foley believes that his promo on Raw harmed the announcement of the 24/7 Championship]. SoloWrestling (in Spanish). May 21, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
- "Mick Foley on the unpredictability of the 24/7 Title: WWE.com Exclusive, May 20, 2019". WWE.com. May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
- Duarte, Jon (May 27, 2019). "Edge: "El Campeonato 24/7 es el título más feo jamás creado"" [Edge: "The 24/7 Championship is the ugliest title ever created"]. Súper Luchas (in Spanish). Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- Johnson, Mike. "IS THE 24/7 TITLE A WASTE OF TIME?, WHY THERE WAS COMMENTARY ON HART VS. MAGEE, WILLIE GILZENBERG & MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
- Staff, PWMania com. "24/7 Title Segments Drawing Big Numbers For WWE".
- Harris, Jeffrey (June 23, 2019). "WWE News: R-Truth Voted Favorite Champion by Fans, Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss Tale of the Tape, New WWE 365 Bonus Clip for Alexa Bliss". 411mania. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
- Roling, Chris (May 27, 2020). "How WWE Can Revive 24/7 Championship Gimmick 1 Year After Debut". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 25, 2020.