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WWE.com Rank the Best Intercontinental Champions in History

The WWE Intercontinental championship is just days away from turning 35 (and I will have an extensive blog on that next week) and WWE.com is looking back at the greats that held the title. WWE.com has ranked the top 25 champs of all-time and while they got many right, they got many wrong.

The intercontinental title means different things for fans of different WWE eras. For fans like me that started watching wrestling in 1982, the I-C title is the “worker’s championship”, a reward for the hardest workers in the company. For today’s fans, it is a title generally served to the low-mid carders with absolutely no prestige or value.

The WWE has started celebrating the 35th anniversary of the title early. WWE.com put together a controversial list of the top 25 Intercontinental title champions of all-time. Of course you have to take these lists with a grain of salt and understand that objectivity sometimes gives way for political agendas. Regardless, the list provides some interesting insight into a title that was arguably the best match on the card at times throughout WWE history.

Now I also did a list on my own a few years ago right here on the Camel Clutch Blog. I updated the list this past February, but the list was originally published in June of 2011. Let’s take a look at their list from WWE.com first.

25. Shelton Benjamin
24. Cody Rhodes
23. Stone Cold Steve Austin
22. Jeff Hardy
21. Goldust
20. Jeff Jarrett
19. The Rock
18. Edge
17. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
16. Triple H
15. Rob Van Dam
14. Don Muraco
13. Shawn Michaels
12. Pat Patterson
11. Rick Rude
10. Tito Santana
9. Randy Orton
8. Pedro Morales
7. Bret Hart
6. Razor Ramon
5. The Honky Tonk Man
4. Mr. Perfect
3. Ultimate Warrior
2. Chris Jericho
1. Randy Savage

Compare that to my list from the CCB

1. Magnificent Muraco
2. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
3. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig
4. The Honkytonk Man
5. Pedro Morales
6. Shawn Michaels
7. Tito Santana
8. The Ultimate Warrior
9. Greg Valentine
10. “Razor Ramon” Scott Hall
Honorable mention – Chris Jericho, Jeff Jarrett, Bret Hart, and The Rock

Our top ten features very similar names, and our top five actually looks very much alike. Curt Hennig, Honkytonk Man, and Randy Savage all land in my top five. However, we could not be further apart on our choice for the greatest champion of all-time. In my mind there was nobody better than Magnificent Muraco. The man held the title for a combined 541 days between two title reigns. Savage was great and he did land at number two on my list after all. Yet putting Muraco whose feuds outshined the WWE championship feuds at the time landed outside of their top 10 is just downright criminal!

I am downright shocked that Shawn Michaels was pushed out of the top ten on the WWE.com list. If the criteria is legacy, well he probably doesn’t have as much of a legacy as I-C champion as some of the others. That said, his place in the history of the title is greatly devalued. He resurrected that title in the 1990s and routinely blew away the WWE championship matches at the time. His intercontinental title match with Razor Ramon at WM X is one of the greatest WrestleMania matches ever. I am shocked that guys like Pat Patterson, Rick Rude, the Ultimate Warrior, and Tito Santana were ahead of HBK.

Greg Valentine at 17 is another head-scratcher. Valentine’s place on the cards as intercontinental champion was very important during the WWE 1980s boom. Hulk Hogan gave you a show and Valentine gave you excellent championship matches. I think he deserved better. Jeff Jarrett had six I-C title reigns, second only to Chris Jericho’s nine. He deserved a lot better than 20.

Steve Austin is another interesting name. Austin wound up at 20 on the list. Austin didn’t have long reigns as champion and he probably deserved the 20 slot. I am just surprised they put him there. Randy Orton at number nine has to be a political move because while he deserved to be on the list, I wouldn’t put him anywhere near my top 15.

Again these lists are all subjective and fun to talk about. Regardless of the arguments, it is just nice to see the intercontinental title get a little respect on their website. Check back here Monday for a special blog celebrating 35 years of the I-C title.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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