The chaotic chronicles of the Hardcore Championship

Page 2 of 4
November 01, 2012

Some might have said that by carrying a scale to the ring and insisting on being introduced as weighing more than 400 pounds, Crash Holly – Hardcore’s much smaller cousin — had an inflated sense of self. Some might have said that he was merely confident. But there is no question that he changed the course of the Hardcore Title forever. After reigning as champion for only one week, Crash vowed to defend the title 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And off to the races we were. (WATCH)

Perhaps the crew-cutted blond was a little too cocky, thinking he could defend all comers at all hours of the day, but not even Crash could have predicted the bedlam that would immediately begin. The Mean Street Posse were the first to take up the offer. The very night the younger Holly made his vow, he was attacked in the arena’s parking lot by the khaki-clad crew. Crash managed to escape with title intact, but just more than a week later, Pete Gas scored a three-count at Newark International Airport. (WATCH) This became the first of hundreds of title changes under the infamous 24/7 rule, and with Gas as champion, the title never again carried the same legitimacy. Over the following months, Crash fended off foes not only at baggage claims, but also at indoor carnivals (WATCH), circus parking lots (WATCH) and even in his own hotel room (WATCH) — not to mention being pinned by one of The Godfather’s female associates for the title.

In one of the championship’s most notable moments, it was defended in a 13-man Hardcore Battle Royal at WrestleMania 2000 where it changed hands a total of 10 times. There is no doubt that while all things at The Show of Shows are bigger and better than anywhere else, this unprecedented occurrence did significant damage to the title’s lineage, as it would to any championship that bounced around that many times in only 15 minutes. True, the title was held by genuine hardcore staples like Tazz and the aforementioned Bob Holly, but it was also held individually by each member of The Mean Street Posse during the bout. It was just the first of many missteps for the once admired Hardcore Championship. Then came Patterson and Brisco.

Once heralded as two of the ring’s finest competitors, WWE Hall of Famers Pat Patterson, the first Intercontinental Champion, and Gerald Brisco became known as nothing more than Mr. McMahon’s bumbling lackeys in the despised Corporation in the early days of the Attitude Era. In the spring and early summer of 2000, the two “stooges” became obsessed with winning the Hardcore Title, and Brisco managed to do so by pinning Crash as the champion was taking a nap. Patterson and Brisco traded the title back and forth before settling their rivalry at that year’s King of the Ring event with, for some reason, an Evening Gown Match. Thankfully, Crash put the Boston crowd out of their misery by winning back the championship during the bizarre bout. (WATCH)

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