Rob Van Dam + Hardcore Title= ECW TV Title deja vue?
By Dilk Bathoon

Anyone who has talked to me about wrestling has more then likely heard my opinion of the current state of the WWF Hardcore title. I think of all the WWF titles (minus the woman's title), until recently the one that has been lacking the most credibility has been the hardcore championshit, er championship.

As a matter of fact, the WWF Hardcore title has had a pretty sorry run since it's incarnation. While Mick Foley may have been the first champion, lets not forget that he was handed the title by Vince, which I've always thought was a little weak for someone who was THE hardcore icon of the 90's. Foley may have had some of the greatest hardcore bumps of all time, but unfortuanatly non of them occured while defending the Hardcore strap. Then you have such famous hardcore wrestlers such as The Big Bossman and Test, who most of the time seemed about as 'Hardcore' as a slice of wonderbread. Ones that stand out for me have been Al Snow, The Road Dogg Jesse James, and recently Raven.

The major downfall for the Hardcore championship definatly starts with the 24/7 rule. Crash Holly took the strap to new hights with what was at the time an ingenius concept, but very quickly ran itself dry. At Wrestlemania 2000, the belt changed about 15 times in a single match, with champions such as Viscera and each member of the Mean Street Posse, and eventually included two old men in dresses and one of the Godfathers "Ho's". My point being; getting rid of the 24/7 rule would be a great start to making the title worth something.

Now what was my topic again? Ah yes, Rob Van Dam. When Jeff Hardy beat Mike Awesome for the Hardcore strap a week prior to Invasion, most fans where somewhat cunfuffled. What it was however, was the perfect setup to introduce the WWF crowd to 'The Whole F'n Show'. And if you missed Van Dam and Hardy at Invasion, you owe it to yourself to check it out because those two put on a show, and hands down the best match of Invasion. RVD won clean, walked away with the strap, and the crowd eating out of his 'Whole F'n' palm.

The next night on RAW we saw another solid Hardcore match against Matt Hardy, and then an excellent bout against one of the hottest prospects in the WWF; Tajiri. RVD won both bouts, but more importantly he won them clean with no sign of the 24/7 rule in site.

We all know about Rob Van Dam's dominating run with the ECW Television Title which lasted 23 months, setting him argueably as the greatest ECW TV champ ever. This sort of dominating run is something the WWF Hardcore Championship needs desperatly, and is the perfect vehicle for Van Dam to openly display his ever crowd-pleasing talent. It's been almost a month since the Invasion Pay Per View, and until recently it seemed as if it was impossible for anyone to hold that belt for more then a week. With Paul Heyman having a hand in the booking, another dominating Rob Van Dam title run could be in the works, and for that belts sake, I sure as hell hope so. .