Champions' days numbered 20?

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August 30, 2008

At Unforgiven, the WWE Universe will be introduced to an all-new, innovative concept contrived by the offspring of sports-entertainment's greatest wonder, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon. In collusion with Raw General Manager Mike Adamle, Stephanie and Shane McMahon developed the Championship Scramble, a radical twist for the WWE, World Heavyweight and ECW Champions.

By the end of the night, there is a higher likelihood than ever before that Raw, SmackDown and ECW will have brand-new champions. And it can all happen within 20 minutes.

With this key digit, 20, having such a considerable effect on all three brands at Unforgiven, WWE.com has isolated the number 20's previous significance in sports-entertainment. No, we are not calculating conspiracy theorists like Jim Carrey in that flick that flopped last year. But the numbers tell an interesting tale.

20…

  • The number of entrants in the first-ever Royal Rumble Match to hit pay-per-view in 1988.
  • The length in minutes of WWE Champion Triple H's third title match of the night against Randy Orton at No Mercy 2007.
  • The amount of times the defunct Hardcore Championship changed hands in the month of June alone in 2002. In fact, a few of those reigns were JBL's -- one of the Superstars involved in the World Heavyweight Championship Scramble Match.
  • In the days of WWWF, the duration of the referee's count when competitors battled on the outside of the ring. A count-out was the rendered decision at 20, rather than today's count of 10.
  • The length in years of Shawn Michaels' celebrated WWE career.
  • The total number of championships Triple H has held in WWE -- including the WWE Title (7), World Heavyweight Title (5), Intercontinental Title (5), World Tag Team Title (1) and European Title (2).
  • The 1-2-3 Kid's ripe age in 1993 when he made his WWE debut and eventually scored an upset victory against Razor Ramon on Raw to become WWE's first true underdog that won big.
  • The brief number of days that Mankind (a.k.a. Mick Foley) held the WWE Championship in 1999. After winning the coveted gold from The Rock on Jan. 4, the People's Champion recaptured the title at the Royal Rumble in one of the ugliest "I Quit" Matches in history.
  • The number of months John "Bradshaw" Layfield kept away from competition during his ring retirement until the Royal Rumble this past January.
  • The total number of World and WWE Tag Team Championships between the five competitors in the World Heavyweight Title Scramble -- Kane (9), Batista (4), Rey Mysterio (4) and JBL (3).
  • The percentage that WWE Champion Triple H, World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk and ECW Champion Mark Henry have in retaining the title in their respective Scramble Matches at Unforgiven. With 1:5 odds and 20 different possible winner outcomes in each match (16 resulting in a new champion), the chances are slim for sports-entertainment's gold bearers. More on the odds...

Are the champions' days numbered 20? Which Superstars will emerge with their brands' richest prizes strapped around their triumphant waists? Catch Unforgiven live, only on pay-per-view. Order now...

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