Mick Foley introduced WWE's new 24/7 championship on this week's Monday Night Raw. He said that the new title would be defended "anytime, anyplace, anywhere." Most importantly, Foley said "every superstar" could win it, whether that wrestler be on Raw, SmackDown, 205 Live, NXT, NXT UK or even be a WWE legend.
The 24/7 championship brings unpredictability at a time when storylines seemingly get stale a bit too quickly. From the ring to backstage to parking lots and more, this new championship essentially creates must-see moments on demand.
Foley dropped the title in the ring and a host of WWE's midcard talent came out to try to grab it. There was Cedric Alexander and Mojo Rawley. Eric Young and The Good Brothers. After a scrum, Titus O'Neil became the first champion by picking up the vacant title in the ring before Robert Roode pinned him on the ramp as he celebrated. Roode ran away, but before Raw went off the air, R-Truth ended up holding the 24/7 title after throwing Roode into a car in the parking lot.
- WWE (@WWE) May 21, 2019
What do all those names have in common? They're all men.
Foley said "every superstar" could vie for the title. So where were all the members of the women's division?
The 24/7 championship, inspired by the old WWF Hardcore title that had a 24/7 stipulation, could be a fresh addition to WWE programming, but women should be able to win it as four did during the tenure of the Hardcore title. There is plenty of female talent on WWE's roster and not everyone is involved in a current storyline, so why not add them to the chaos that is the lifeblood of this title?
Imagine if Tuesday night on SmackDown, when Carmella was helping disguise 24/7 champ R-Truth, her true motive was to double-cross Truth and win the title for herself? That's compelling stuff. And perhaps that is the eventual payoff, which would be fantastic. Hopefully WWE sticks to the "every superstar" description.
WWE teased doing an intergender match earlier this year after Nia Jax entered the men's Royal Rumble, but never followed through on it. This could be a way to do intergender wrestling without any actual wrestling -- just funny skits backstage. That might not placate the fans calling for full intergender matches -- which have been successful on the indies -- but it's a decent first step that could potentially lead to more.
The 24/7 idea itself is a novel concept, and it makes more sense now than the 24/7 Hardcore title did in the late 1990s and early aughts.
This is a social media era, and more storytelling is done in WWE away from a television screen than ever before. This might as well be called the Social Media title, because there will likely be title changes on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Heck, even SnapChat. The WWE's engagement editors better invest in some comfortable shoes and perhaps a referee shirt. No longer do fans need to wait for Raw or SmackDown to see the title change hands, because in 2019, there's always a camera ready to stream live on some platform.
The 24/7 championship is a comedy title, and WWE should absolutely exploit that for as much as it's worth. Japan's DDT promotion has the Ironman Heavymetalweight championship, which ironically is a spoof of the old WWF Hardcore title. The Ironman Heavymetalweight title can be won by anyone or anything -- and has been. Past winners have been a cat, a blow-up doll and Vince McMahon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But also big names like Asuka and Kota Ibushi. It's completely zany and something WWE can take inspiration from.
Really, the key here is clever storytelling, and that is no easy task week after week, let alone when you open up various social media channels. There has to be some thought behind these ministories and it can't get too out of hand like the old Hardcore title did.
Stretching from 1998 to 2002, there were 231 reigns of the Hardcore championship, per ESPN Stats & Information. Of those 231, 127 (59 percent) were less than a day long. Another 190 were seven days or less (82 percent). Almost all -- 220, or 95 percent -- were 30 days or less. The average reign was seven days, so basically there was a new champ every week or so.
It could get mundane really quickly. The trick is making people care about it by telling different kinds of stories on television and social media. And not the serious kinds reserved for the Universal title, the WWE championship and their ilk.
The WWE 24/7 championship should be light, fresh and spontaneous. Which is why adding women to the mix as contenders would be a positive wrinkle. It would be unlike anything WWE has done in a while.