The WWE Hardcore Championship was a professional wrestling championship contested for in the United States–based World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion, formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) before May 2002. The title was only contestable in matches under hardcore regulations, and could be won only by individual wrestlers. As a professional wrestling championship, it was introduced by the WWF on its television program Raw Is War on November 2, 1998, in which WWF chairman Mr. McMahon awarded Mankind the title. In 2000, the WWF instated the "24/7 rule", a regulation stating that the title could be defended anywhere at any time as long as a referee was present, which led to numerous title changes in shorter time periods; the rule was discontinued in 2002. On the August 26, 2002 episode of Raw, Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam defeated Hardcore Champion Tommy Dreamer to unify both titles; the Hardcore Championship was retired shortly thereafter. The title was reactivated on two occasions afterwards, although they are not considered official reigns by WWE according to their official title history. On the June 23, 2003 episode of Raw, Mick Foley (who was the first champion as "Mankind") was awarded the Hardcore Championship belt by the Raw brand authority figure Stone Cold Steve Austin for his contributions in hardcore wrestling. Edge and Foley then introduced themselves as co-holders of the championship in 2006, due to a storyline with alumni of the hardcore wrestling-based Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion.
Overall, there were 240 reigns shared among 52 wrestlers, all of whom won in Canada, England, Germany, Scotland, and the United States. Raven has the most reigns as champion, with 27. Big Boss Man's fourth reign was the longest in the title's history, at 97 days. Steve Blackman ranks first in combined reigns by length, at 172 days in six reigns. Due to the "24/7 rule" numerous wrestlers held the title less than one day, and because the exact times at which each wrestler held the title is unknown, it is impossible to determine who had the shortest reign. Each reign was won at WWF/E-promoted events: pay-per-view events, house shows, and on televised events.
|Name||Time of use|
|WWF Hardcore Championship||November 2, 1998 – May 7, 2002|
|WWE Hardcore Championship||May 7, 2002 – August 26, 2002|
|No.||Overall reign number|
|Reign||Reign number for the specific champion|
|Days||Number of days held|
List of combined reigns
|<1||Indicates that the reign lasted less than one day.|
|¤||The exact length of one title reign is uncertain, so the shortest possible length is used.|
|2||Big Boss Man||4||154|
|3||Rob Van Dam||4||134|
|Bubba Ray Dudley||10||28|
|27||The British Bulldog||2||3|
- Due to inconsistent reports from WWE, these reigns are considered unofficial as they are not featured in their online history for the title, but are listed in the title's history in the "WWE Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to World Wrestling Entertainment" published in 2009.
- WCW Hardcore Championship: a hardcore championship that was contested for in World Championship Wrestling (WCW)
- List of former championships in WWE
- "History of the Hardcore Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- Oliver, Earl; Westcott, Brian; Zadarnowski, Andrew; Solo, John; Dean, Joe. "WWF/WWE Hardcore Title History". Solie.org. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- Note: Used only to determine which programs title changes occurred on and when they aired
- Baines, Tim (August 25, 2002). "Brock is set to rock and roll". SLAM! Sports: Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
The hardcore division's 24/7 rule has been abolished, with Tommy Dreamer keeping the title in a free-for-all with several other former hardcore title holders on RAW
- Milner, John M.; Kapur, Bob; Kamchen, Richard (April 7, 2006). "Bio: Tommy Dreamer". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
Dreamer lost a Hardcore vs. Intercontinental title unification match vs. Rob Van Dam.
- Guttman, James (June 23, 2003). "6/23 Raw review: Guttman's "alt perspective" review". PWTorch.com. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
Stone Cold then presented Foley with the Hardcore title and congratulated him
- Keller, Wade (May 22, 2006). "Keller's WWE Raw report 5/22: Ongoing "virtual time" analysis of live show". PWTorch.com. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
Foley presented Edge with the old Hardcore Title belt....He whispered something to Lilian. She announced they are the new co-holders of the WWE Hardcore Championship. Edge, Foley, and Lita held the belt up together.
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to World Wrestling Entertainment. DK. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Nemer, Paul (January 22, 2001). "WWF RAW Is WAR results (January 22nd, 2001)". WrestleView.com. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
- Nemer, Paul (May 28, 2001). "WWF RAW Is WAR results (May 28, 2001)". WrestleView.com. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
Winner: New Hardcore Champion, Chris Jericho....Jericho was walking back on the entrance ramp and Rhyno comes out of nowhere and spears him and gets the pin and Rhyno wins the hardcore title. Winner: New Hardcore Champion, Rhyno
- Nemer, Paul (June 25, 2001). "WWF RAW Is WAR results (June 25, 2001)". WrestleView.com. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
Winner: New Hardcore Champion, Mike Awesome
- Nemer, Paul (August 13, 2001). "WWF RAW Is WAR results (August 13, 2001)". WrestleView.com. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
Winner: New Hardcore champion, Jeff Hardy
- Nemer, Paul (March 11, 2002). "WWF RAW results (March 11, 2002)". WrestleView.com. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
Winner: New WWF Hardcore champion, Al Snow