The WWE is not the WWE product I grew up with. I was a very little girl when the Attitude Era sprung up but there was something about that period of professional wrestling that seemed so enticing to me. I may have not understood all of the nuances and blatant, in-your-face sophomoric humor the Attitude Era has become synonymous with but I just loved how bombastic it was. The company has since tried to clean up their act in the current PG-Era. While I believe the WWE should “grow out” of the PG-Era, I don’t think it’s going to end anytime soon.
Their weekly shows, RAW and Smackdown, have gotten very predictable, which was something that the Attitude Era never was. There was always something outlandish happening. The WWE has generally tried to distance themselves from that time period, even though they still dip into the well with one of those “reunion” shows where they round up Superstars from the past so longtime fans such as myself can point to the screen and say, “I remember him!”
Even while the WWE gives us a nostalgic look at the past, they do try to seem more realistic and true-to-life nowadays. We have Brock Lesnar being “slain” by Seth Rollins. Kofi Kingston overcoming odds as the Heavyweight Champion. Honestly, that’s not exactly why I still tune in to RAW and Smackdown recently. I don’t mind segments where Becky Lynch trash talks Natalya or Randy Orton laying waste to Kofi Kingston with an RKO out of nowhere. They’re fine but they’re not why I actively watch WWE programming anymore.
No, I’m more interested in seeing what’s going to happen with the WWE 24/7 Title!
No, I’m not kidding. I firmly believe that the WWE 24/7 Championship segments are the most entertaining thing on RAW and Smackdown lately. I don’t really care about Seth Rollins getting engaged to Becky Lynch (I actually hate that the WWE is even attempting to make this real life event into a storyline). I’m mildly interested in the Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon feud. The real reason I go watch RAW and Smackdown is to see those weird little comedy skits involving the 24/7 Championship!
To the uninitiated, the 24/7 Championship is basically the modern take of the Hardcore Championship, wherein the current champion can lose the title all hours of the day, meaning it’s defended 24-hours, 7-days a week, hence the name. This may seem like an exact copy of an Attitude Era gimmick but the 24/7 Championship takes it to a different level.
Most of the time, the Hardcore Championship was won and lost during a RAW and Smackdown show. Not so with the 24/7 Title! When they say it’s defended at all times, they really mean it this time! It has been defended at things like Comic-Con, a flying airplane, the middle of another match, an OB-GYN appointment and even an actual wedding! All of these taped segments are, for a lack of a better word, canon as the WWE recognizes the title changing hands at those times! The title has officially changed hands a total of 39 times since it was made on May!
A lot of what has made the entire 24/7 Championship runs so entertaining has to deal with the main players, namely R-Truth, Carmela and Drake Maverick. The title itself has been played for laughs and the three of them have done a great job at making the audience members laugh at their antics. I have a feeling that they were given a lot of free reign to do whatever they wanted and think up the most outlandish things they can do to keep things light and fun.
You have R-Truth talking to Carmela in an incoherent manner, calling the title something like the 7-11 European Television Championship or some nonsense like that. You have Drake Maverick losing the belt at his actual wedding as well as losing the title once again in an attempt to consummate the marriage. Of course, I’m not trying to downplay the work of the other Superstars who are a part of the 24/7 title chase but the stars for this thing are definitely the trio I mentioned.
I also love the fact that anyone can become 24/7 Champion and can win it by any means. We have had various WWE Legends take the belt during the entire RAW Reunion show, including the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase buying the 24/7 belt from Alundra Blayze. Speaking of which, there have already been several women who have won this very same championship, making this the most “gender neutral” championship in WWE history! Heck, we had a pregnant woman with Maria Kanellis taking it home for a week! Imagine that! Oh, and it’s not only WWE Superstars who can become 24/7 Champion! There was this Fox Sports host who became the champ, albeit for just a couple of minutes!
It’s easy to dismiss the 24/7 Championship as a totally valueless belt. It’s changed hands so many times it’s hard to keep track how many times R-Truth has won it. It is associated with insane comedy and randomness, which is so unlike the current serious, rough-and-tumble tone the WWE has been producing with RAW and Smackdown. All of that is true but that is exactly why the 24/7 segments are so entertaining! It’s lighthearted fun and childish and, most importantly, just fun.
There are a lot of fans who think that the Attitude Era was defined by blood and violence but that’s just a part of what made that period of the WWE the best era in the minds of a lot of pro wrestling fans. The Attitude Era did have a lot of violence and T&A but it was also known for its comedy segments. Mankind wanting to be best friends with The Rock with the Rock and Sock Connection. Stone Cold Steve Austin coming to the ring in a truck and spraying the McMahons with a beer hose. Mae Young giving birth to a hand. It was weird but it was funny and memorable!
The WWE tends to forget that these moments are some of the favorite segments they have produced. They do kind of remember that once in a while, like The Great Khali becoming a ladies man or Santino’s whole Cobra phase or his feud with Sheamus. I would even say that Santino was best thing on RAW, despite him being “just a comedy performer.”
Most of the time, however, the WWE tends to focus on the more serious part of wrestling. That’s fine and all but they forget that professional wrestling is supposed to be entertaining. Action in the ring may be the primary reason why a lot of us love watching wrestlers take exorbitant risks to their body for our enjoyment but there is still something to be said about getting us to laugh also.
The reason why the “comedic” 24/7 segments have superseded the more “prestigious” championships like the Universal and Heavyweight Championships is because of the personalities involved. R-Truth and Drake Maverick have shown a lot of character and innovative passion for the 24/7 belt. Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston have just become generic “tough guys” and have lost their old personas. Seth Rollins isn’t the conniving tactician anymore but just a guy who likes to fight. Kofi Kingston isn’t the goofball who throws pancakes to the crowd because he’s now a guy who fights for his family’s honor. This is something we’ve all seen before with previous champions and it’s gotten really stale. It’s not something I haven’t seen before.
I can’t say the same thing for the WWE 24/7 Championship segments. There’s always a feeling that something can happen and, as I’ve discussed above, anything does happen when this championship is involved. This makes things feel fresh and the idea that someone can come out of the woodwork and become the next 24/7 title holder is always exciting. Combine that with some funny skits and Superstars like R-Truth, Carmela and Drake Maverick giving it their all to entertain the crowd, you got some must watch television right there.
What do you think of the 24/7 Championship? Let me know in the comments section below!