WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley appeared on Monday Night Raw this week and, as promised, unveiled WWE's brand new championship — the 24/7 Championship. Foley added that every wrestler from Raw, SmackDown, 205 Live, NXT and NXT UK is allowed to contend for the championship. He then stated the first man to grab the title from the middle of the ring would be the new champion. After a long scrap between midcard wrestlers, Titus O'Neil became the first champion by getting his hands on the title. But before he could celebrate, Robert Roode rolled him up for a three count to cause the first title change.
The title will operate under the same 24/7 rules as the Hardcore Championship, a staple of WWE's Attitude Era television program from 1998-2002. The title, a beaten-up version of the WWF Championship, was awarded to Foley under his Mankind persona. The title was originally defended only in matches with Hardcore stipulations, meaning no disqualifications, no count outs and falls count anywhere. Unfortunately for Foley his lone reign with the title would last just 28 days as he was betrayed by McMahon and The Corporation weeks later leading into his WWF Championship feud with The Rock.
The title would be treated as a legitimate midcard championship at first, being defended at multiple WrestleManias and pay-per-views. But when Crash Holly won the title in February 2000 a new stipulation was added in. Dubbed the "24/7 rule," the title could now change hands at any time in any place as long as a referee counted a wrestler's shoulders down for a three count.
The tite would then go on to change hands a whopping 225 times from February 2000-August 2000, leading to numerous comedic moments where the title would change hands many times in just one night. Steve Blackman had the longest combined days with the championship at 172 days across six reigns, while Raven had the record for most reigns as champion at 27. Thirteen wrestlers, including big names like Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Christian were in an infamous group that held the title just one time for less than one day. Shawn Stasiak had the worst luck as champion, holding it a whopping 15 times even though the combined reigns still didn't break 24 hours.
The title was unified with the Intercontinental Championship in August 2002 when the IC champ at the time Rob Van Dam defeated then-Hardcore Champion Tommy Dreamer.
The comedic Japanese wrestling promotion DDT Pro-Wrestling copied the idea of having a 24/7 championship in 2000 with the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship. As of this writing the title has changed hands more than 1350 times with everyone from animals to inanimate objects to groups of people. Joey Ryan holds the record for most reigns with the title by an American wrestler at 43.
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