Abandoned: The History of the WWE Hardcore Championship

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJanuary 15, 2012

Abandoned: The History of the WWE Hardcore Championship

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    Throughout history, professional wrestling has seen many championships.

    In WWE, there are six major titles. Not many know that the company has had a total of at least 19 different titles, 13 of which have been abandoned for one reason or another.

    The other two major companies owned by WWE are WCW and ECW, which have at least 15 abandoned and forgotten titles between them.

    For as long as it takes, I will be concentrating on those forgotten titles.

    Each slide will feature the champion, who they defeated, where and when they won it, the length of their title reign, any special circumstances that happened during their reign and a bit of commentary.

    Belts with a lengthy history will get their own articles and may be broken up into two depending on the length.

    For this edition of Abandoned I present the WWE Hardcore Championship.

    The title was established in 1998 and was contested in hardcore-style matches.

    The belt itself was an old “Winged Eagle” WWF Championship belt broken up and pieced back together.

    When Crash Holly won the title for the first time February 2000 he said that he would defend the title 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    It didn’t matter where the match took place, as long as the challenger had a referee with him, the title would be defended.

    The title was defended everywhere from backstage to an amusement park.

    When the roster was split into two brands, the Hardcore Championship ended up on Monday Night Raw, which is where it stayed until it was abandoned.

    In 2002 the title was unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship and was scrapped.

    Throughout its short four year history, the title has seen over 200 champions.

    Due to the amount of champions I will be doing this edition a bit differently.

    The same format as the others will be used but where the 24/7 rule applies; it will all be on one slide.

    The wrestler who ended up with the title by the end of the night will be the featured champion.

    Any other title changes that occurred before they ended up with the belt will be mentioned, though.

    Example: At WrestleMania 2000, the title changed hands 10 times. Hardcore Holly was the champion at the end of the night so he will be the wrestler featured in that particular slide. The other nine champions will be mentioned as winning the title as well, but they will not get their own slides.

    It’s because of this format I was able to get all 200-plus champions into one slideshow! So let’s get started!

Mankind

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    Defeated: Awarded

    Where: Houston, TX

    When: Nov. 2, 1998

    Title Reign: 28 days

    Other Champions: None

    Mankind was awarded the title by Vince McMahon due to his achievements in hardcore wrestling.

    This makes him the first World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Champion.

    Mankind has had a long career competing for ECW, WCW, WWF/E and TNA Wrestling.

    He has won the World Championship in both WWE and TNA as well as other titles in all four companies.

    Foley has recently returned to WWE and can be seen once in a while on television.

Big Boss Man

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    Defeated: Mankind

    Where: Baltimore, MD

    When: Nov. 30, 1998

    Title Reign: 15 days

    Other Champions: None

    Big Boss Man defeated Mankind in a ladder match to win the title.

    Boss Man spent most of his career in the WWF under this character.

    He would win this title four times and tag-team gold once with Ken Shamrock.

Road Dogg

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    Defeated: Big Boss Man

    Where: Spokane, WA

    When: Dec. 15, 1998

    Title Reign: 55 days

    Other Champions: None

    The title was declared vacant on February 8, 1999 due to Road Dogg sustaining an injury.

    Road Dogg would spend most of his career in WWF but wouldn’t hit it big until he and Billy Gunn became the New Age Outlaws.

    He’s a former Intercontinental and tag-team champion on top of winning this title.

    After being released in 2001, he found himself in TNA for eight years where he won tag-team gold before they let him go.

    After spending some time in the independents, Road Dogg is now back with WWE a road agent and producer.

Hardcore Holly

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    Defeated: Al Snow

    Where: Memphis, TN

    When: Feb. 14, 1999

    Title Reign: 29 days

    Other Champions: None

    Hardcore Holly defeated Al Snow for the vacant title.

    Holly would spend 15 years with WWF/E winning this title on multiple occasions as well as tag-team gold three times with the 1-2-3 Kid, Crash Holly and Cody Rhodes.

    He would also capture the Intercontinental Championship once.

Billy Gunn

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    Defeated: Hardcore Holly

    Where: San Jose, CA

    When: March 15, 1999

    Title Reign: 13 days

    Other Champions: None

    Billy Gunn has spent the majority of his career in the WWF/E.

    During his time there he has also won the Intercontinental Championship once and the Tag Team Championship 10 times with three different partners.

    He would also be crowned the 1999 King of the Ring.

    After leaving WWE he found his way to TNA under the name Kip James. After feuding and teaming with B.G. James (Road Dogg), TNA cut him loose.

    You can now see him in the independents.

Hardcore Holly

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    Defeated: Billy Gunn and Al Snow

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: March 28, 1999

    Title Reign: 28 days

    Other Champions: None

    This was a triple threat match.

    Holly was released from WWE in 2009 and can now be seen on the independent circuit.

Al Snow

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    Defeated: Hardcore Holly

    Where: Providence, RI

    When: April 25, 1999

    Title Reign: 91 days

    Other Champions: None

    During his reign, Al Snow would claim that Head and Pierre, a moose head, were really the champions since they were the ones that got the pin in the match.

    After spending some time in ECW, Snow would be hired by WWF and he’d stay there for 10 years.

Big Boss Man

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    Defeated: Al Snow

    Where: Buffalo, NY

    When: July 25, 1999

    Title Reign: 28 days

    Other Champions: None

    During his time with WCW, he would go by the name Big Bubba Rogers or under his real name Ray Traylor.

    While there he would become a member of the nWo but would also feud with the group.

Al Snow

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    Defeated: Big Boss Man

    Where: Minneapolis, MN

    When: Aug. 22, 1999

    Title Reign: two days

    Other Champions: None

    While with WWF, he would also win tag-team gold with Mankind as well as the European Championship.

    He later became the head trainer for Tough Enough.

    When he returned to wrestling, he was used as a jobber until his release in 2008.

Big Boss Man

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    Defeated: Al Snow

    Where: Kansas City, MO

    When: Aug. 24, 1999

    Title Reign: 14 days

    Other Champions: None

    Boss Man would soon return to the WWF and in 2002 became a trainer at OVW.

    He was released and spent the rest of his career in the independents.

Davey Boy Smith

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    Defeated: Big Boss Man

    Where: Albany, NY

    When: Sept. 7, 1999

    Title Reign: ~one minute

    Other Champions: None

    Smith is best known as the British Bulldog and has wrestled all over the world for WWF, WCW, Stampede Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling.

    He would win gold everywhere he went including the Intercontinental, European and tag-team titles in WWF.

    Davey Boy Smith would pass away on May 18, 2002.

Al Snow

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    Defeated: Awarded

    Where: Albany, NY

    When: Sept, 7, 1999

    Title Reign: 35 days

    Other Champions: None

    After Al Snow, dressed as Leif Cassidy, came out and shoved a piece of paper in Big Boss Man’s mouth, Davey Boy Smith just handed the title to him.

    Al Snow can now be seen in TNA Wrestling as a road agent, in OVW as a trainer and occasionally in a match on the independent circuit.


Big Boss Man

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    Defeated: Al Snow and the Big Show

    Where: Birmingham, AL

    When: Oct. 12, 1999

    Title Reign: 97 days

    Other Champions: None

    This was a triple threat match.

    Big Boss Man would pass away on September 22, 2004.

Test

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    Defeated: Big Boss Man

    Where: New Haven, CT

    When: Jan. 19, 2000

    Title Reign: 36 days

    Other Champions: None

    Test would spend most of his career in WWF winning tag-team, European and Intercontinental gold.

    He would be released in 2007 and ended up in TNA for a short time before retiring in 2008.

    Test would then pass away March 13, 2009.

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Test

    Where: Nashville, TN

    When: Feb. 22, 2000

    Title Reign: 20 days

    Other Champions: None

    When Crash Holly won the title, he declared that he would defend the title 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    A 24/7 rule was then instituted and the title could be defend anytime, anywhere as long as the challenger had a referee.

    Holly has spent time in ECW before making the move to WWF. While with the company he would capture this title 22 times as well as the European, light heavyweight and tag-team titles.

    He would leave in 2003 and pop in TNA before he passed away on November 6, 2003.

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Pete Gas

    Where: Newark, NJ

    When: March 13, 2000

    Title Reign: 20 days

    Other Champions: Pete Gas

    As Holly was arriving at the Newark airport, Pete Gas attacked him and won the title.

    Holly quickly recovered and defeated Gas to get his title back.

Hardcore Holly

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: Anaheim, CA

    When: April 2, 2000

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Tazz (twice), Viscera, Funaki, Rodney, Joey Abs, Thrasher, Pete Gas, Crash Holly

    This was a 13-man battle royal at WrestleMania 2000.

    The match saw 10 title changes and when Hardcore Holly was the champion at the end of the time limit, he was declared the new champion.

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Hardcore Holly

    Where: Los Angeles, CA

    When: April 3, 2000

    Title Reign: eight days

    Other Champions: None

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Tazz

    Where: Tampa, FL

    When: April 11, 2000

    Title Reign: 13 days

    Other Champions: Perry Saturn and Tazz         

    On an episode of SmackDown, Saturn attacked Holly and pinned him to win the title.

    His celebration didn’t last long as he was blindsided by Tazz who then picked up the victory and the title.

    Being the Houdini of Hardcore, Holly was able to defeat Tazz to get his title back.

Matt Hardy

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: Raleigh, CA

    When: April 24, 2000

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: None

    Hardy got his big break when he and his brother Jeff were hired by WWF. The two of them would win tag-team gold together seven times.

    Matt would also capture four singles titles throughout his tenure there.

    After being released in 2010, he spent a few months in TNA the following year.

    TNA would fire Hardy due to a DWI arrest and he would announce his retirement on September 1st.

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Matt Hardy

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: April 25, 2000

    Title Reign: 11 days

    Other Champions: None

    As Matt Hardy was defending the title against his brother Jeff, Holly snuck in and pinned Matt to win the title.

    He then proceeded to run away to ensure he kept it.

Davey Boy Smith

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: London, England

    When: May 6, 2000

    Title Reign: three days

    Other Champions: None

    This would be the last time Smith would capture this title.

    This time he would hold onto it, though not for long.

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Davey Boy Smith

    Where: New Haven, CT

    When: May 9, 2000

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: None

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Bobcat

    Where: Cleveland, OH

    When: May 15, 2000

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Bobcat

    As Holly was defending his title against the Godfather, one of the Godfather’s Ho’s snuck in and pinned Holly to win the title.

    She would become the first woman to win the title but her reign didn’t last long as Holly rolled her up to regain the title.

Gerald Brisco

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: Detroit, MI

    When: May 16, 2000

    Title Reign: 27 days

    Other Champions: None

    Gerald Brisco won the title when he pinned a sleeping Crash Holly.

    Brisco wrestled throughout the United States in the NWA as well in Puerto Rico’s WWC.

    He has won many titles including multiple tag-team titles with his brother Jack.

    Jack and Gerald Brisco would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008 and Gerald still works for WWE in a backstage role.

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Gerald Brisco

    Where: Saint Louis, MO

    When: June 12, 2000

    Title Reign: seven days

    Other Champions: None

Pat Patterson

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    Defeated: Gerald Brisco

    Where: Nashville, TN

    When: June 19, 2000

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: Gerald Brisco

    As Crash was defending the title against his cousin Hardcore Holly, Brisco snuck in and pinned Crash to win the title.

    Later on backstage, Pat Patterson would surprise Brisco when he rolled him up to win the title.

    Patterson wrestled throughout Canada and the NWA before being hired by WWF. He is known as the very first Intercontinental champion and has also won the North American Heavyweight Championship on one occasion.

    Pat Patterson now works as a consultant to WWE.

Crash Holly

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    Defeated: Pat Patterson

    Where: Boston, MA

    When: June 25, 2000

    Title Reign: two days

    Other Champions: None

    As Patterson was defending the title against Gerald Brisco in a hardcore evening gown match, Holly snuck in and pinned Patterson to win the title.

Steve Blackman

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: Hartford, CT

    When: June 27, 2000

    Title Reign: five days

    Other Champions: None

    Steve Blackman won the title when he pinned Holly during a title defense against Al Snow.

    Blackman got his start in Stampede Wrestling before making the move to WWF. This would be the only title he would win in the company during his five year stay.

    Blackman can now be seen on the independent circuit.

Steve Blackman

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: Tampa, FL

    When: July 2, 2000

    Title Reign: 50 days

    Other Champions: Crash Holly

    During a house show, Holly defeated Blackman in a match.

    As he was celebrating his win, Blackman was able to take out Holly and regain the title.

Shane McMahon

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    Defeated: Steve Blackman

    Where: Lafayette, LA

    When: Aug. 21, 2000

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: None

    As Blackman was defending his title against Test, McMahon slide in and pinned him to win the title.

    Commissioner Mick Foley then temporarily suspended the 24/7 rule until McMahon’s scheduled title defense against Blackman at SummerSlam.

    McMahon would win one other title while as an active wrestler, that being the European Championship.

    He would make the occasional appearance on television before he resigned from his position in the company in 2010.

    Shane McMahon is now the chairmen of China Broadband Inc.

Steve Blackman

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    Defeated: Shane McMahon

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: Aug. 27, 2000

    Title Reign: 28 days

    Other Champions: None

Steve Blackman

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    Defeated: Perry Saturn

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: Sept, 24, 2000

    Title Reign: 89 days

    Other Champions: Crash Holly and Perry Saturn

    This was a six-man battle royal that saw Crash Holly pin Blackman to win the title,  but then get pinned himself by Saturn.

    Blackman regained the gold after he defeated Saturn.

Raven

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    Defeated: Steve Blackman

    Where: Chattanooga, TN

    When:  Dec. 22, 2000

    Title Reign: 31 days

    Other Champions: None

    Blackman had just retained his title in a triple threat match that featured Raven and Hardcore Holly.

    After the match, Raven attacked Blackman and won the title.

    Raven got his big start in ECW where he became a star winning world and tag-team gold.

    While with WCW he would capture the United States and Tag-Team Championships.

    Before both ECW and WCW went under, Raven found his way to WWF winning this title 26 times.

    After leaving he went to TNA where he won the NWA World Championship.

    After leaving and coming back to TNA multiple times, you can now see Raven on the independent circuit.

Raven

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    Defeated: Al Snow

    Where: Lafayette, LA

    When: Jan. 22, 2001

    Title Reign: 12 days

    Other Champions: Al Snow

    On Raw is War, Al Snow would defeat Raven for the title only to lose it back to him moments later.

Raven

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: Feb. 3, 2001

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: K-Kwik and Crash Holly

    At a house show, K-Kwik would pin Raven to win the title but would lose it quickly to Crash Holly.

    Holly himself then lost just as quick to Raven.

    The same exact situation happened the next day at a house show in Columbia, South Carolina.

    Raven would hold the title for two more days.

Raven

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    Defeated: Hardcore Holly

    Where: North Charleston, SC

    When: Feb. 6, 2001

    Title Reign: four days

    Other Champions: Hardcore Holly

    On an episode of SmackDown, Hardcore Holly would defeat Raven for the title.

    Raven would then regain the title quite quickly.

    The same exact situation happened four days later at a house show in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

    Raven would hold the title for only a day.

Raven

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    Defeated: Al Snow

    Where: Boston, MA

    When: Feb. 11, 2001

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: Hardcore Holly and Al Snow

    At a house show, Hardcore Holly would win a triple threat match that would also feature Steve Blackman to capture the title.

    Al Snow would soon slide in and take down Holly long enough to win the title.

    Unfortunately his celebration was cut short when Raven beat him moments later.

Raven

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    Defeated: Steve Blackman

    Where: Cedar Rapids, IA

    When: Feb. 17, 2001

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Steve Blackman

    At a house show, Steve Blackman defeated Raven for the title only to be taken down by Raven moments later.

    The same exact situation would happen a day later in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

    Raven would hold the belt for another seven days.

The Big Show

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    Defeated: Raven

    Where: Las Vegas, NV

    When: Feb. 25, 2001

    Title Reign: 22 days

    Other Champions: Billy Gunn and Raven

    As Raven was defending his title against the Big Show, Billy Gunn snuck in and pinned Raven to win the title.

    Raven would regain the title moments later but he forgot about the Big Show, who took him out to win the title.

    Big Show got his big start in WCW where he won the World Championship. He would soon find his way to WWF/E where he became a huge star.

    He has won 16 titles including the World and WWE Championships.

    Big Show is currently still with WWE on the SmackDown brand.

Raven

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    Defeated: The Big Show

    Where: Albany, NY

    When: March 19, 2001

    Title Reign: 13 days

    Other Champions: None

    During an episode of Raw is War, Raven surprised the Big Show backstage and took the title away from the giant.

Kane

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    Defeated: Raven and the Big Show

    Where: Houston, TX

    When: April 1, 2001

    Title Reign: 16 days

    Other Champions: None

    This was a triple threat match at WrestleMania X-Seven.

    Kane went through many ridiculous gimmicks before he was given the mask of Kane.

    Kane has won 17 titles in WWE as well as the 2010 Money in the Bank briefcase. He is also a Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion.

    Kane is still with WWE on the Raw brand.

Rhyno

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    Defeated: Kane

    Where: Nashville, TN

    When: April 17, 2001

    Title Reign: 34 days

    Other Champions: None

    Rhyno got his big start in ECW becoming the final wrestler to hold both the ECW Television and World Heavyweight Championships before the company was shut down.

    During his time with WWF/E, he has won this title three times as well as the WCW US Championship when it was defended on WWF television.

    He left WWE in 2005 and made his way to TNA where he became the NWA world champion. He stayed with TNA until 2010.

    Rhyno was last seen in Ring of Honor Wrestling last year.

The Big Show

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    Defeated: Rhyno

    Where: San Jose, CA

    When: May 21, 2001

    Title Reign: seven days

    Other Champions: None

Rhyno

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    Defeated: Chris Jericho

    Where: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    When: May 28, 2001

    Title Reign: 15 days

    Other Champions: Chris Jericho

    Chris Jericho got the better of the Big Show when he took down the giant to win the title.

    Moments later Jericho was surprised by Rhyno when he gored him to win the belt.

Test

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    Defeated: Rhyno

    Where: Baltimore, MD

    When: June 12, 2001

    Title Reign: 13 days

    Other Champions: None

Mike Awesome

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    Defeated: Rhyno

    Where: New York, NY

    When: June 25, 2001

    Title Reign: 15 days

    Other Champions: Rhyno

    Rhyno would defeat Test in a one-on-one match but would lose the title backstage to Mike Awesome.

    Awesome got his big break in ECW where he won the World Championship. He then betrayed the fans by signing with WCW while still being champion.

    While in WCW he was given horrible gimmicks until making it to WWF in 2001.

    He would only win this title before heading to the independents.

    At the 2005 ECW One Night Stand, Awesome redeemed himself to the extreme fans when he and Masato Tanaka had an intense battle that was considered match of the night.

    He would retire in February 2006 and pass away a year later on February 17th.

Jeff Hardy

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    Defeated: Mike Awesome

    Where: Birmingham, AL

    When: July 10, 2001

    Title Reign: 12 days

    Other Champions: None

    Jeff Hardy is probably one of the most recognizable stars in professional wrestling.

    He has won every title there was to win during his time with WWF/E making him a Grand Slam Champion.

    You can now see Hardy in TNA Wrestling where he is a former world heavyweight champion.

Rob Van Dam

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    Defeated: Jeff Hardy

    Where: Cleveland, OH

    When: July 22, 2001

    Title Reign: 22 days

    Other Champions: None

    Rob Van Dam is without a doubt the biggest star to come out of ECW. He is known as the greatest ECW television champion in the history of the company and has also held the tag-team titles with Sabu.

    Upon making it to WWF/E, he would soon win every title he was able to win becoming a Grand Slam Champion in the process.

    He left WWE in 2007 and wrestled sparingly in the independents.

    He debuted with TNA in 2010 and almost immediately won the World Championship.

    There have been rumors of RVD returning to WWE and with him being taken off of TNA television at Genesis last Sunday with a storyline injury, the rumors have only gotten stronger.

Jeff Hardy

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    Defeated: Rob Van Dam

    Where: Chicago, IL

    When: Aug. 13, 2001

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: None

    Jeff Hardy was able to win the title when he pinned Rob Van Dam during a title defense against Kurt Angle.

Rob Van Dam

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    Defeated: Jeff Hardy

    Where: San Jose, CA

    When: Aug. 19, 2001

    Title Reign: 22 days

    Other Champions: None

    Rob Van Dam regained the title from Hardy during a fantastic ladder match at SummerSlam.

Rob Van Dam

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    Defeated: Kurt Angle

    Where: San Antonio, TX

    When: Sept. 10, 2001

    Title Reign: 90 days

    Other Champions: Kurt Angle

    Kurt Angle defeated Rob Van Dam in a match during Raw is War but RVD would be able to recapture the title during Angle’s celebration.

The Undertaker

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    Defeated: Rob Van Dam

    Where: San Diego, CA

    When: Dec. 9, 2001

    Title Reign: 58 days

    Other Champions: None

    The Undertaker is one of the most decorated superstars to grace a WWE ring.

    He is a seven-time world champion and is 19-0 at WrestleMania.

    The Undertaker is still with WWE but hasn’t been seen since WrestleMania XXVII last year.

Maven

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    Defeated: The Undertaker

    Where: Los Angeles, CA

    When: Feb. 5, 2002

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Other Champions: None

    Maven was the first co-winner of Tough Enough in 2001. He spent four years in WWE winning only this title.

    He can now be seen on the independent circuit as well as the Home Shopping Network.

Goldust

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    Defeated: Maven

    Where: Boston, MA

    When: Feb. 26, 2002

    Title Reign: 13 days

    Other Champions: None

    Goldust has wrestled everywhere from WCW and WWF/E to TNA Wrestling and Japan. He has won many titles throughout his career but has never been able to win the big one.

    Goldust is still with WWE as a producer.

    He has recently been showing up on SmackDown and could be entering into a feud with his brother Cody Rhodes over the Intercontinental Championship soon.

Al Snow

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    Defeated: Goldust

    Where: Detroit, MI

    When: March 11, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: None

Maven

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    Defeated: Al Snow

    Where: Cleveland, OH

    When: March 12, 2002

    Title Reign: five days

    Other Champions: None

Maven

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    Defeated: Christian

    Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    When: March 17, 2002

    Title Reign: nine days

    Other Champions: Spike Dudley, The Hurricane, Mighty Molly and Christian

    At WrestleMania X8, Maven was defending the title against Goldust when Spike Dudley slide in and pinned Maven for the title.

    In the backstage area, Hurricane pinned Dudley only to be betrayed by his sidekick Mighty Molly.

    Molly then lost the title to Christian, who lost the title to Maven.

Raven

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    Defeated: Maven

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: March 26, 2002

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: None

    When the first ever WWE draft was held Raven was drafted to Monday Night Raw.

    The WWF Hardcore Championship then became exclusive to the Raw brand.

Bubba Ray Dudley

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    Defeated: Raven

    Where: Albany, NY

    When: April 1, 2002

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: None

    Bubba Ray Dudley got his big start in ECW as a member of the Dudley Family. Along with his “half-brother” D-Von, they would win the tag titles eight times.

    Upon arriving in WWF/E, they would win tag-team gold 10 more times, one of which was the WCW Tag Team Championship.

    As a singles wrestler Bubba Ray would only win this title.

    When the Dudley’s went to TNA, they won the tag belts three times as well as Japan’s tag-team titles twice.

    Together they are 23-time tag-team champions.

    The team is no longer together and Bubba Ray is now Bully Ray and he has become one of the best heels in the business.

Bubba Ray Dudley

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    Defeated: Raven

    Where: Salt Lake City, UT

    When: April 6, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: William Regal, Goldust and Raven

    At a house show, William Regal managed to defeat Dudley to win the title. His celebration was short lived, though, as he was defeated by Goldust, who was then beat by Raven.

    Bubba Ray ended up with the title at the end of the night when he took out Raven.

    The same exact situation took place in Denver, Colorado a day later.

    Bubba Ray Dudley would hold the title for seven more days.

Bubba Ray Dudley

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    Defeated: Goldust

    Where: Amarillo, TX

    When: April 12, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: William Regal, Spike Dudley and Goldust

    At a house show, Regal took down Dudley to win the title.

    Spike Dudley then appeared to defeat Regal, but he was defeated by Goldust. Moments later, Bubba Ray reclaimed the title.

    The same exact situation would happen two more times in Odessa, Texas on the 13th and Abilene, Texas on the 14th.

    Bubba Ray Dudley would hold the title for just one more day.

Bubba Ray Dudley

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    Defeated: Stevie Richards

    Where: College Station, TX

    When: April 15, 2002

    Title Reign: four days

    Other Champions: Raven, Tommy Dreamer and Stevie Richards

    On Monday Night Raw, Raven would defeat Dudley only to see Tommy Dreamer and Stevie Richards run in and both win the title.

    Dudley would then defeat Richards to regain the title.

Bubba Ray Dudley

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    Defeated: Raven

    Where: Uniondale, NY

    When: April 19, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Goldust and Raven

    At a house show, Goldust defeated Dudley to win the title, but he himself was beat by Raven. Moments later, Dudley would regain the title.

    The same exact situation would happen in Des Moines, Iowa a day later.

    Bubba Ray Dudley would hold the title for nine more days.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Bubba Ray Dudley

    Where: Buffalo, NY

    When: April 29, 2002

    Title Reign: two days

    Other Champions: None

    As Bubba Ray Dudley was defending his title against Jazz, Stevie Richards snuck in to pin Dudley and win the title.

    Stevie Richards has been wrestling for 20 years but he wouldn’t find much success outside the independent circuit.

    He is a former two-time ECW tag champion with Raven and a 21-time WWE hardcore champion, but most of his title wins would take place in independent promotions.

    After spending some time in TNA from 2009-2011, Richards can be seen back on the independent circuit.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Goldust

    Where: Cologne, Germany

    When: May 1, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Tommy Dreamer and Goldust

    During a tour of Europe, Richards would lose the title to Tommy Dreamer.

    He would then lose it to Goldust but moments later Richards regained the title.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Shawn Stasiak

    Where: Glasgow, Scotland

    When: May 2, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Shawn Stasiak (twice), Justin Credible, Crash Holly and Stevie Richards

    Stasiak won the title in a triple threat match featuring Richards and Crash Holly.

    Justin Credible then appeared out of nowhere to take out Stasiak and win the title.

    The Houdini of Hardcore won the title from Credible, but he lost it to Richards.

    Richards wasn’t too lucky as he immediately lost the title to Stasiak.

    Stevie Richards would be able to defeat Shawn Stasiak to end the night as champion.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Crash Holly

    Where: Birmingham, England

    When: May 3, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Crash Holly

    Crash Holly won the title in a fatal four way match that featured Richards, Justin Credible and Shawn Stasiak.

    Moments later, Richards regained the title from Holly and ran off before anyone else could get the chance to attack.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Booker T

    Where: London, England

    When: May 4, 2002

    Title Reign: two days

    Other Champions: Booker T (twice) and Crash Holly

    At the Insurrextion pay-per-view, Booker T would defeat Richards for the title.

    As he was celebrating, Crash Holly attacked Booker to win the title.

    The five-time WCW champion got his revenge as he won the title back but he quickly lost the belt to Richards.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Trish Stratus

    Where: Hartford, CT

    When: May 6, 2002

    Title Reign: 19 days

    Other Champions: Bubba Ray Dudley, Raven, Justin Credible, Crash Holly and Trish Stratus

    Due to the World Wildlife Fund suing WWF over the initials, the WWF became World Wrestling Entertainment. This was the first show under the WWE banner and the title was renamed as such.

    As the first WWE show rolled on, the title would change hands six times, ending with Stevie Richards regaining the title.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Raven

    Where: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    When: May 25, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Tommy Dreamer and Raven

    At a house show in Canada, Tommy Dreamer defeated Richards for the title only to be defeated himself by Raven.

    Richards then took down Raven to regain the title.

    The same exact situation happened in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada the next day.

    Richards would hold the title for only a day.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Terri Runnels

    Where: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    When: May 27, 2002

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: Terri Runnels

    While being interviewed by Terri Runnels backstage during Raw, Terri was able to surprise Richards with a victory.

    Her reign ended moments later when Richards rolled her up.

Stevie Richards

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    Defeated: Raven

    Where: New Orleans, LA

    When: June 2, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Tommy Dreamer and Raven

    The same exact situation that happened seven days earlier in Canada happened here when Dreamer beat Richards, Raven beat Dreamer then Richards beat Raven.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Stevie Richards

    Where: Dallas, TX

    When: June 3, 2002

    Title Reign: 19 days

    Other Champions: None

    Bradshaw got his big start in WWF in 1996 as a member of the New Blackjacks but it wasn’t until 1998 as a member of the Acolytes/APA where he would become a star.

    While the APA would only win tag-team gold three times, everyone feared them.

    If you weren’t getting beat up by them you were hiring them to not beat you up.

    As a singles star, Bradshaw would capture this title 17 times along with European, United States and Intercontinental gold.

    He is also a former WWE champion making him a Grand Slam Champion.

    Bradshaw retired in 2009.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Shawn Stasiak

    Where: Cincinnati, OH

    When: June 22, 2002

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: Raven, Spike Dudley and Shawn Stasiak

    At a house show, Raven was able to defeat Bradshaw to win the title once again.

    His 21st reign as champion didn’t last long as he was taken down by Spike Dudley, who was then beat by Shawn Stasiak.

    One Clothesline from Hell later and Bradshaw regained the title.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Stevie Richards

    Where: Washington, D.C.

    When: June 28, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Shawn Stasiak, Spike Dudley and Stevie Richards

    At a house show, Stasiak surprised everyone when he beat Bradshaw for the title. Unsurprisingly he lost the title quickly to Dudley, who then lost it to Richards.

    With a Clothesline from Hell, Bradshaw took out Richards to take the title back.

    The same exact situation happened in New York City the next day.

    Bradshaw would hold the title for only one more day.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Stevie Richards

    Where: Uncasville, CT

    When: June 30, 2002

    Title Reign: six days

    Other Champions: Raven, Crash Holly and Stevie Richards

    At a house show Raven, Holly and Richards managed to win the title once each before a Clothesline from Hell from Bradshaw to Richards got the title back to the Texas superstar.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Christopher Nowinski

    Where: Frederick, MD

    When: July 6, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Stevie Richards, Crash Holly and Christopher Nowinski

    At a house show, Richards defeated Bradshaw for the title. The belt then went to Holly and Nowinski before Bradshaw regained the title.

    The same exact situation happened in Wildwood, New Jersey the next day.

    Bradshaw would hold the title for six more days.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: The Big Show

    Where: Lakeland, FL

    When: July 12, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Justin Credible, Spike Dudley and the Big Show

    While at a house show in Florida, Credible surprised Bradshaw with a victory.

    Moments later Spike Dudley defeated Credible, but then Dudley was squashed by the Big Show.

    By the end of the match, Bradshaw would defeat Big Show to win the title.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Shawn Stasiak

    Where: Daytona Beach, FL

    When: July 13, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Justin Credible and Shawn Stasiak

    Credible would surprise Bradshaw again the next day but Shawn Stasiak would surprise Credible with a win of his own.

    Bradshaw then hit the Clothesline from Hell to win back the title.

    The same exact situation happened in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania the next day.

    Bradshaw would hold the title for only one more day.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Johnny Stamboli

    Where: East Rutherford, NJ

    When: July 15, 2002

    Title Reign: six day

    Other Champions: Johnny Stamboli

    As Bradshaw was defending the title on Raw against Christopher Nowinski, Johnny Stamboli snuck in and pinned Bradshaw to win the title.

    He would run away but Bradshaw caught him backstage and won the title back.

    Bradshaw would then rename the title the WWE Texas Hardcore Championship.

    The same situation happened six days later in Grand Rapids, Michigan, only Bradshaw beat Stamboli in the ring instead of backstage.

    Bradshaw would hold the title for five more days.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Shawn Stasiak

    Where: Houston, TX

    When: July 26, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Raven, Justin Credible and Shawn Stasiak

    At a house show, Raven defeated Bradshaw for the title. His reign didn’t last long as he was quickly beat by Justin Credible.

    Credible was then beat by Shawn Stasiak, who was taken out Bradshaw.

    The same exact situation happened in San Antonio, Texas the next day.

    Bradshaw would hold the belt for only one more day.

Bradshaw

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    Defeated: Shawn Stasiak

    Where: Columbia, SC

    When: July 28, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Raven, Justin Credible (twice), Stevie Richards and Shawn Stasiak

    This is the final time you’ll see Bradshaw, I promise.

    At a house show the title would change hands six times, including Bradshaw winning the title back.

Tommy Dreamer

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    Defeated: Johnny Stamboli

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: July 29, 2002

    Title Reign: five days

    Other Champions: Jeff Hardy and Johnny Stamboli

    On Monday Night Raw, a new champion was finally crowned that wasn’t Bradshaw.

    Jeff Hardy pinned the Texan but he himself was taken out by Johnny Stamboli. Tommy Dreamer then arrived to defeat Stamboli and he ran out before anyone had the chance to take the title away from him.

    Tommy Dreamer got his big start in ECW where he literally worked his way to the top. He won the World Championship but would only hold it for a few minutes.

    He is also a three-time tag-team champion with Johnny Gunn, Raven and Masato Tanaka.

    In WWF/E, he was mostly used as a comedy character while also winning this title 14 times.

    After winning the ECW Championship one more time under the WWE banner, he left WWE and debuted in TNA in 2010.

    He only lasted a year there and can now be seen in the independents.

Tommy Dreamer

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    Defeated: Bradshaw

    Where: Miami, FL

    When: Aug. 3, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Bradshaw

    At a house show, Bradshaw got his rematch and defeated Dreamer for the title. The Innovator of Violence would then defeat him to regain the title.

    The same exact situation would happen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the next day.

    Dreamer would hold the title for five more days.

Tommy Dreamer

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    Defeated: Stevie Richards

    Where: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

    When: Aug. 9, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Shawn Stasiak and Stevie Richards

    While touring Canada, Stasiak would beat Dreamer but then he would be defeated by Stevie Richards.

    By the end of the match, Dreamer beat Richards to win the title back.

    The same exact situation would happen for the next two days in Kamloops on the 10th and in Vancouver on the 11th.

    Dreamer would keep the title for another six days after this.

Tommy Dreamer

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    Defeated: Shawn Stasiak

    Where: Terre Haute, IN

    When: Aug. 17, 2002

    Title Reign: one day

    Other Champions: Raven and Shawn Stasiak

    At a house show, Raven defeated Dreamer but then he was beat by Shawn Stasiak.

    By the end of the match, Dreamer held the title up high.

Tommy Dreamer

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    Defeated: Stevie Richards

    Where: Evansville, IN

    When: Aug. 18, 2002

    Title Reign: eight days

    Other Champions: Shawn Stasiak and Stevie Richards

    This was a battle royal on Raw that saw Shawn Stasiak pin Dreamer, Stevie Richards pin Stasiak then Dreamer pin Richards.

    Dreamer was beat down pretty bad but was able to outlast the time limit and keep the title.

    Before the match began, general manager Eric Bischoff officially ended the 24/7 rule of the title.

Rob Van Dam

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    Defeated: Tommy Dreamer

    Where: New York, NY

    When: Aug. 26, 2002

    Title Reign: a few minutes

    Other Champions: None

    The following week on Raw, general manager Eric Bischoff decided to unify the Hardcore and Intercontinental Championships.

    When Rob Van Dam defeated Tommy Dreamer he retained the Intercontinental Championship and won the Hardcore Championship.

    The titles were immediately unified and the Hardcore Championship was abandoned.

    The title would resurface a year later when a group of ECW originals and co-general manager of Raw Steve Austin present Mick Foley the title in a trophy case.

    It would disappear right after that but pop up again in 2006 when Foley declared himself and Edge as co-champions after the two had a hardcore match at WrestleMania 22.

    After a feud with ECW originals, the belt once again disappeared and hasn’t been seen since.

Statistics and Final Thoughts

90 of 90

    Most Reigns: Raven (26)

    Longest Single Reign: Big Boss Man (97 days)

    Longest Combined Reign: Steve Blackman (172 days)

    Shortest Reign: There have been 129 champions who have held the belt anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. It’s hard to tell exactly who had the shortest reign.

    The WWE Hardcore Championship was a very entertaining belt to have around.

    It created some great moments in its history and is one of the most memorable abandoned titles out there.

    While I think WWE went a little over board with the 24/7 rule, as seen with 10 Bradshaw slides in a row, it was the 24/7 rule that made the title so memorable.

    It was a shame to see it scrapped.

    When they got rid of the 24/7 rule I was kind of glad because the insane repetitiveness at house shows would end. Unfortunately the title would be unified with another belt and gotten rid of for good.

    Recently a WWE.com article suggested that with the return of Mick Foley, the hardcore title should make a comeback as well.

    While that would be very cool to see, in this PG-era of WWE, a hardcore title just wouldn’t fit in.

    The WWE Hardcore Championship is gone, but hopefully never forgotten.

    Thanks for reading!

    There are two titles left in the series. Those titles are: the WCW Tag Team Championship (149 champions) and WWE’s World Tag Team Championship (221 champions).

    Both will be split up into parts and will take some time to do.

    The next edition may not be up until next Sunday, but I will try my hardest to get it up on the usual day of Wednesday.

    Previous Installments 

    WWE Women’sWWE EuropeanECW TelevisionWCW HardcoreWCW US Tag TeamWWF Martial ArtsWWF InternationalWCW Women’sECW WorldWWE CruiserweightWWF Light WeightECW Tag TeamFTW WorldWCW 6-Man Tag TeamMillion DollarWWF JuniorWWF Women’s Tag TeamWCW International│ WCW TV pt.1WCW TV pt. 2

    Sources 

    http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwf-hc.html 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WWE_Hardcore_Champions 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Traylor 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davey_Boy_Smith 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Martin 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Lockwood 

    Photos: onlineworldofwrestling.com unless noted otherwise