Advice for WWE Creative: Saving R-Truth and the 24/7 ChampionshipMay 31, 2021
Advice for WWE Creative: Saving R-Truth and the 24/7 Championship
Just in case WWE Creative still has nothing in mind to fix some of the problems going on in the company today, we're back with another round of advice to prove there are still ways to save the roster if you sit down and think through the problems.
Previously, the subject was Jeff Hardy's struggles. This time, the focus is on both R-Truth and his baby, the 24/7 Championship.
Both have been through the wringer this past year or so and could use a refresh, if not an outright saving.
Let's see whether we can come up with some solutions that can turn things around.
Addressing the Problems
As always, the first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging its existence and figuring out what issues need to be corrected.
The last time we saw these two, it wasn't a pretty sight.
After Kevin Patrick pointed out that R-Truth hadn't been around in a while, the 24/7 champion got confused about Bobby Lashley's open challenge. He was then ambushed by Akira Tozawa, who pinned him to win the title and ran off. R-Truth shouted that the tables had been turned and then declared, "I'm tired!"
Tired is a great way to explain the way things have been going lately. The title just had its two-year anniversary, yet it feels like it's been around for five.
In many ways, it ran its course long ago. Many fans probably would have been fine with the title going away almost immediately after it was unveiled, but even its supporters would admit the past year has been a rough ride.
The gimmick is stale, as R-Truth's quest to keep the title has gone on for the majority of its existence and the same elements keep popping up with little variety. If nothing changes, why should anyone care to track this story?
R-Truth Needs New Adversaries
As great as The Joker is, it's nice to see Batman fight The Riddler, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul and other villains once in a while.
The same applies to professional wrestling. The stories are even less complicated in this business, so variety is key to making sure the repetitive overall concepts don't feel as much like a never-ending cycle.
For nearly a year, the only true rivals R-Truth has had are Tozawa and Drew Gulak. The latter has moved on to a new storyline with Angel Garza, but the former continues to be a cloud above R-Truth.
If the entire gimmick behind the 24/7 Championship is that everyone is eligible to win it at any time, why is only one individual interested in capturing the belt? Shouldn't every Superstar, referee, backstage hand and average person on the street jump at the opportunity to score a pinfall?
This championship is most fun when people like Peter Rosenberg win it out of nowhere. It's not newsworthy if Tozawa wins the title and R-Truth wins it back because that's happened dozens of times. But if someone new and out of the ordinary gets it, that creates buzz.
Fresh dance partners would mean R-Truth—who, we can assume at this point, will always be somewhere in the title hunt—has fresh creative voices coming up with ideas of how to keep things interesting.
Venture Outward to Other Rosters
In the search for new Superstars to interact with R-Truth, WWE isn't limited to only the lower-card wrestlers on Monday Night Raw. This title is cross-branded, so every roster is technically eligible to contend for it.
SmackDown stars are at the same location as Raw wrestlers during pay-per-views, but no one on the blue brand is interested in becoming champion. Why is that?
Wouldn't it be interesting, at least for a few weeks, if R-Truth tried to dodge his 24/7 Championship obligations by hanging out at the Capitol Wrestling Center? He could think it's home base and that it's a safe zone like he's playing tag.
Then he could see the error of his ways when NXT Superstars try to win his title. And these men and women are younger and hungrier to achieve success than their main-roster counterparts, so they are even harder to evade.
For that matter, put R-Truth on 205 Live and NXT UK. Those shows never get as much love and attention as they should, and while R-Truth's appearance wouldn't skyrocket the ratings, it wouldn't hurt to get a main-roster talent popping up to keep fans on their toes.
R-Truth has fun with dressing up and playing characters. Let's see what he can do trying to pass off as a Brit while hanging around in NXT UK. Turn 205 Live into 24/7 Live and make a whole episode revolve around the cruiserweights passing that title back and forth.
What's the worst that could happen? A bad segment? Don't we already have those?
Experiment with the Gimmick Itself
Going through the same actions often yields the same results. If WWE never deviates from this formula of R-Truth and Tozawa rolling up each other backstage, it's become as predictably baked into the show as the commentary team saying "Will Wrestler X be able to fight back? Find out as SmackDown rolls on" before a commercial break, so fans tune it out.
The 24/7 Championship hasn't had much value from its inception, so it isn't in danger of losing prestige if WWE experiments with the gimmick and tries to find something new to spice things up.
Again, it's important to acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic obviously affected the more quirky side of the title always being on the line, but it still needs to be said that this was far more fun when someone could win it while sleeping on an airplane and not just backstage during the television tapings.
Why aren't people winning it on UpUpDownDown live streams? How did an entire episode of Saturday Night Live go by with Bad Bunny as the musical guest and current champion without at least one segment on that show involving the cast wanting to win the title?
Where's the person like Braun Strowman who wins the belt and welcomes the challenge, inviting people to attack them all the time and swatting them away like flies?
Does anyone have the guts to win the title from CEO Vince McMahon if he were to capture it? They would risk their jobs, but they would be a champion.
Employ left-field thinking. An interesting writer's trick is to put your character in a situation from which they can't escape and then try to figure out how they would get out. Let's put R-Truth and others in unwinnable scenarios and wacky situations and brainstorm where that goes.
Assuming WWE doesn't want to entertain any of these ideas, it's time to face the facts and end this. After all, what's the point in keeping something around if little to zero effort will be put into it and it will yield next to no positives?
At a certain point, a few minutes spent dedicated toward R-Truth and Tozawa chasing each other could have been spent giving another Superstar a promo that may have been their Austin 3:16 moment or it could have at least been more time added to a match.
If it's R-Truth that's the problem, take him out of the 24/7 Championship hunt and let him do something else. Allow him the opportunity to change his character and adapt like he's done in the past. Put the title on another wrestler and see what ideas they can come up with.
If the problem is the 24/7 Championship, it should be retired. Obviously, R-Truth should go out as the final champion before the belt can be moved to the "former championships" section of the archives.
Those are your options. Find some new people to freshen things up, try to think outside the box to avoid the monotony, actually put some care into it or give up.
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.