5 Ideas to Keep WWE 24/7 Championship from Becoming a Boring Gimmick
WWE's latest effort to fix the current ratings slump is the introduction of the 24/7 Championship, which will function much like the Attitude Era's Hardcore Championship in that the belt can be won by anyone at any time.
It's an interesting concept, yet when Mick Foley unveiled the title on Monday Night Raw, the crowd's response was lukewarm at best.
The audience booed to express their frustration and disappointment, if not downright bewilderment that this is the next in a line of schemes supposed to fix WWE.
It won't be the solution to all the company's problems, while the belt is hideous and there is a high risk of massive failure with the execution of this title, but there is still a chance it can be a success.
With the right strategies in mind, the 24/7 Championship can be more than a gimmick.
Let's take a look at how WWE can best tap into this title's potential and make the most of the 24/7 Championship.
Make Use of Having a Large Roster
It's already clear this title will largely be passed around between Superstars who aren't in more prominent spots on the roster.
There's no way the belt will reach the prestige of the top-tier titles, but it doesn't have to if it's used to shine a spotlight on the members of the roster who aren't in contention for the major prizes.
Much like Crash Holly made the Hardcore Championship his cherished title, why not take a guy like Lio Rush and make this his baby?
This belt can be given to the more comedic Superstars who are very talented but can't be taken seriously as title contenders for the other championships to provide an alternative type of fun to the true competition.
When Bo Dallas was first on the main roster with his Bo-lieve gimmick, he would have been a perfect pick to hover around this title. Any time someone is catching on but there's no room for them at the top of the roster, this can give them a featured role of a different kind.
This applies to bigger names too, with the trick being that everyone on the roster should be utilized.
Big Show should win this with one punch. If AJ Styles has nothing better to do, give him the belt for a bit.
WWE could get a lot of mileage out of using this as the baton to pass to anyone who deserves a moment in the lights without disrupting plans for the bigger picture, and it should be truly open to anyone.
Focus on Creativity, Experimental Fun and Excitement
Easily the biggest pitfall WWE will undoubtedly fall into is using this as a crutch with minimal effort, which will produce minimal results.
Like a violin shriek jump scare in a horror film, cheap and lazy momentary thrills of title changes will have diminishing returns the longer this belt is around.
When something is treated as unexpected all the time, it becomes meaningless.
The key is creativity, and the writing team should already be brainstorming as many ideas as possible for how to keep things interesting, particularly to those who weren't watching during the Hardcore Championship era.
The women's division should be eligible to win this, while someone like Corey Graves could also win the title without really doing anything physical.
Pre-record backstage skits that can be more cinematic and make use of hidden crash pads to simulate wild scenarios—but make sure it still feels real rather than cartoony.
No Way Jose must lose the title to someone in his conga line. Tag teams must temporarily turn on each other. Referee John Cone should win the belt.
Complacency will kill this title's fun, and while title changes are interesting, they are not a "get out of jail free" card for writers.
If everyone simply attacks the champion backstage with a weapon or rolls them up, nobody will care about this within a month.
Make It Legitimately Competitive
WWE must beware the dangers of excessive title changes, even in a championship that encourages them.
Just because there is a possibility a new champion can be crowned at any moment, it doesn't mean it should happen on a constant basis to create a revolving door of meaningless changes.
If everyone who challenges for the belt manages to win, it will be predictable that once a fight starts, the champion will lose the title.
Eventually, it will be cool to see someone like Braun Strowman manage to keep the title for a long while. The story would be that he is a big enough monster that he can take on all challengers at all times and come out on top.
The Monster Among Men already has the whole backstage fighting gimmick locked down as it is, so this would be straight up his alley.
Ricochet could be so quick and agile that it's hard to even catch him to begin with, so his title reign could be more about the struggle of getting to the champion in the first place.
There's no way the 24/7 Championship will become a credible title, but WWE should take precautions to make sure it isn't traded around so much that fans start calling it the Hot Potato Championship instead.
Don't Ignore 205 Live, NXT and NXT UK
When the Women's Tag Team Championships were introduced, WWE made it a point to define it as cross-branded between all shows, including NXT, yet only Raw and SmackDown have had any interaction with it after all these months.
There should be an effort to avoid that mistake this time, though. 205 Live comes on right after SmackDown Live, so there absolutely should be instances where someone from the cruiserweight division manages to beat a SmackDown star who holds the title and was still hanging around in the arena.
A Superstar like Oney Lorcan, who goes between 205 Live and NXT, would be a great carrier to transition the belt from Tuesday nights into NXT, which could open the doors for NXT UK with someone like Fabian Aichner or Kassius Ohno.
The WWE Performance Center, which has crossover between all five rosters, could always be used as a means to give another group of men and women access to the 24/7 Championship.
If the belt stays on Raw an overwhelming majority of the time, the same few people will keep winning it, which will become boring.
WWE must take full advantage of the Wild Card Rule to keep fans on their toes that truly anybody can become champion, no matter what roster they call home.
Don't Snooze on Social Media
The television ratings may be tanking, but WWE's social media avenues are still going strong.
In 2019, entertainment isn't as simple as putting a show on the screen until the next program comes along, as fans want to keep the experience going beyond that.
To keep the WWE Universe engaged, the 24/7 Championship should change hands once in a while outside of air time.
House show audiences would love the pop of having a new champion crowned, which could make waves on social media alongside footage of the title changing hands.
WWE Now can easily fill people in on random title changes, which should even happen during backstage interviews that air on YouTube.
This will make the title really feel as though it adheres to the 24/7 rule, rather than just conveniently only having title changes happening during broadcast hours.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.