On this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, Mick Foley introduced a brand new title in the form of the WWE 24/7 Championship. As reported by The Inquisitr, the new belt had two title-holders within the first 10 minutes of being revealed — and a third before the night was out. While some speculation has been given as to why the title was created in the first place, it appears the real reason is a bit more complex.
The new championship is very reminiscent of the old-school WWF/WWE Hardcore Title. That title could be defended anywhere, anytime, and was up for grabs at all times. This new belt can be won in any location — as falls count anywhere — and all a superstar needs to do to secure victory is pin the current champion for a three-count in full view of a referee.
Some believed that the belt was simply another way to expand on the “Wild Card Rule,” one which allows superstars to jump shows without officially ending the brand extension. Others thought that it gave a number of mid-card superstars more to do on weekly television shows, given that they would now have a new title to go after.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, by way of Wrestling Inc., the real reason the title was created is because of USA Network officials. It seems as if they have not been thrilled with the ratings for Monday Night Raw, and the 24/7 belt may have been an idea pitched by a non-wrestling executive.
Ratings for both Raw and SmackDown Live have dropped drastically over the course of the last year, but the red brand has seen specific issues. The third hour of Raw has seen the biggest drops in viewership — and USA Network appears to be pushing Vince McMahon to fix the problems.
After things took a turn for the worse as concerns the third-hour ratings of Raw in recent weeks, officials from USA seemingly decided to do something. They’ve been sending ideas of all kinds of ideas to WWE, and most of them have been “terrible,” as one source has revealed.
One of the best ideas appeared to be the WWE 24/7 Championship, and Vince reportedly believed that he had to take one of these ideas in order to make the brass at USA Network happy. Knowing that the new title actually works really well with his “Wild Card Rule,” the creation of this new championship wasn’t totally out of left field — and kind of fits into storylines.
The issues that WWE has been having with the third hour of Monday Night Raw may be what keep the company from adding a third hour to SmackDown Live when the blue brand moves to FOX this fall. The USA Network knows that WWE is a huge name — and likely want to keep Raw going strong — but would certainly prefer that the ratings improve.