WWE Hall Of Famer Rob Van Dam's Take On Why Promotion Got Rid Of The Hardcore Title

WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam has explained the possible reason why WWE scrapped the Hardcore Championship.

The WWE Hardcore Championship was introduced in November 1998, riding the wave of rising interest in hardcore wrestling popularized by ECW. Hardcore Championship match rules included no disqualification or countout stipulations, and also debuted the 24/7 rule, allowing the title to be defended anytime, anywhere, often resulting in comedy segments and matches.


RVD, who wrestled in WWE's hardcore division and the main event picture, believes that WWE didn't treat the Hardcore Championship with much respect.

"It was a joke to them before I got it. That meant someone was getting a swirly in the bathroom, or the taco stand was gonna get tipped over, ketchup in someone's eye," said RVD on a recent episode of his podcast, "1 Of A Kind." He feels that WWE never intended for the title to reach main-event status. "So, I think that's why they got rid of it." 

After winning and unifying the title with the Intercontinental Championship in a champion-versus-champion match against then-Hardcore Champion Tommy Dreamer in August 2002, Van Dam retired the title. While at the top of the card, he continued performing in the hardcore style he always felt more comfortable with.


"I was able to do it my way and be seen the way I wanted to be seen as the hardcore wrestler RVD, and that was, in my mind, what has gotten me to the main event," said Van Dam. 

A four-time WWE Hardcore Champion between 2001 and 2002, he feels his reigns elevated the championship's status, citing numerous main event title defenses at various house shows. RVD believes a title like it could still work in modern-day wrestling, acknowledging that the now-retired WWE 24/7 Championship had similar rules.