The 24/7 Championship is a massive success for WWE.
WWE have witnessed several viewership metrics decline and dwindle in recent years, and pivoted their most important metric to one they hope the public can't measure -- "minutes watched." However, we are able more than ever to see particular segments that fans globally are going out of their way to see, and based on that, the 24/7 Title is a smash hit.
The title itself couldn't have been rolled out in a more horrible fashion. The rules were vaguely explained by a returning Mick Foley, who touted a new third hour Raw experience that was quickly abandoned anyway. Between that, the rules, and an odd brand split situation that has deteriorated weekly, it didn't look like things could get more confusing.
The 24/7 Championship is a callback to the WWF Hardcore Championship's brightest days, when Crash Holly defended the title anywhere, any time. It caused unpredictability and a ton of fun. Unfortunately, he left us over 15 years ago, and couldn't be around to see those moments revived in the form of a title.
The championship itself looked rushed and hideous. Factor in the aforementioned explanation -- or lack thereof -- of the title, and it didn't look like it could go downhill any further. You can never underestimate pro wrestling, however. The winner just had to grab the title from the middle of the ring. Yep. That's it. And the only time that it's worked like that too. Oh well, it's been aces ever since.
By the end of the first night, R-Truth was champion, and the company found their Crash Holly for the 24/7 title. Beloved and often detached from reality, Truth's comedic timing and experience gave the championship what it needed from the jump -- someone to root for, and someone who could execute.
When the title itself was launched, Fightful Select reported that the idea was to help gain screen time for wrestlers who didn't get any. The championship has certainly done that, giving EC3 his first extended speaking lines on the show, and given Titus O'Neil and Drake Maverick their first singles titles in WWE. The title isn't without its discrepancies. There's no explanation why everyone so badly wants to be champion, so they can be hunted down. Is there financial compensation or incentive? Who knows. Why don't the likes of Baron Corbin or Sami Zayn give chase as well? Is the championship "below them?" None should be, as cooky as they may be.
Let's get to the point. The WWE 24/7 Championship is a monster hit digitally. I'm not even peeking in to the Twitter and Facebook numbers. Let me give you a taste of how everything is performing.
- R-Truth pins a sleeping Jinder Mahal on an airplane to win the 24/7 Title (8.6M)
- R-Truth loses then regains the 24/7 Title against Jinder Mahal (6.2M)
- R-Truth gets trapped in an elevator with 24/7 Title challengers (3M)
- R-Truth loses the 24/7 Title on the airport tarmac (2.9M)
- 24/7 Champion R-Truth gets trapped in a case (2.8M)
- R-Truth evades 24/7 Title challengers (2.5M)
- Robert Roode vs. R-Truth – 24/7 Championship Match (2.4M)
- R-Truth crashes Drake Maverick’s wedding to become 24/7 Champion (2.4M)
- Mick Foley debuts the 24/7 Championship (2.3M)
- R-Truth vs. Elias – 24/7 Title Lumberjack Match (2M)
- 24/7 Champion R-Truth is chased into the night (1.8M)
- Drake Maverick wins the 24/7 Title from R-Truth (1.5M)
- Elias becomes 24/7 Champion (1.3M)
- Matt Hardy sends an official to find R-Truth (1.3M)
- R-Truth defends the 24/7 Title at The Usos’ BBQ (1.2M)
- R-Truth and Elias battle under the ring (1.2M)
- R-Truth and Carmella try out some new disguises (1.2M)
- How does R-Truth feel after regaining the 24/7 Championship? (1.2M)
- Carmella vs. Mandy Rose Interrupted by 24/7 Rule (1.1M)
As of press time, almost 20 segments on Youtube in less than a full month cracking over a million views. The one million mark is more of an aesthetic achievement than anything, but a pretty good benchmark for segments to hit. You can count on the likes of Roman Reigns, The Undertaker, John Cena and the like regularly hitting that these days. But R-Truth? He's there now. The fabled one million mark is hardly the final say as it pertains to success, but with the 24/7 Title landing there about four times per week at this point, it can hardly be denied. This isn't an outlier, this is a hit.
It's not just R-Truth as the beneficiary. There are segments involving Matt Hardy that weren't even on the show that hit the seven figure mark. WWE is often lucky if those even hit six figures, and there are plenty that I've not listed that fell within the 400-700k range, still strong for content that actually aired on the show, much less backstage bonus content.
Wrestlers in WWE I've spoken to attribute a lot of the success to the idea that creative minds in WWE are permitted to be creative with the title. Wrestlers are asked for input and rewarded accordingly. Triple H told me outright on the record that Drake Maverick's recent push was a result of him just having good, creative ideas.
"'I'd use the example of the 24/7 Title and Drake Maverick making the wanted posters. He did something funny on his own and made these wanted posters and started to stick them up backstage and we thought it was great. We put it into the show and made it part of that because of his creativity on that side," said Triple H.
The title has been compared to the DDT Ironman Heavywmetalweight Championship, but isn't quite as cheeky, and the DDT title was created as somewhat of a parody of WWF's Hardcore title, anyway. The irony for yours truly is that when Fightful owner Jimmy Van had the Fightful Championship created months before the 24/7 Title, the idea was to have it defended in a manner similar to the Heavymetalweight Championship and the 24/7 Title. That will continue, and the beauty of it is there's no limit to the creative, outside the box content that can be created for such a title. It's the variety on a program that needs it.
One month into the title we've seen it contested in actual matches, underneath the ring, on a plane, on a tarmac, at a wedding, and stuck in an elevator, and there's no signs of slowing down. It's not traditional wrestling, and it's not for everyone, and certainly isn't without its faults. What it is, however, is obnoxious fun, and a runaway success for WWE.