WWE | Pro Wrestling

When the WWE Intercontinental Championship Meant Something

Shawn MichaelsOn a rainy evening, I looked at my phone and saw the wallpaper, which is a 1995 “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, wearing the classic WWF Intercontinental Championship belt. Seeing that got me thinking some: why doesn’t the WWE Intercontinental Championship mean anything anymore, like it used to back in the mid-‘90’s?

After some thought, I don’t think WWE has the talent depth that they once had, especially in the late ‘80’s and ‘90’s, in my personal opinion. Let’s look at some of the guys who were Intercontinental Champion then. In the 1980’s: “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat, Greg “the Hammer” Valentine, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, the Ultimate Warrior, the Honky Tonk Man, etc. In the early to mid-1990’s: Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the British Bulldog, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Diesel, Jeff Jarrett, etc.

Looking at that list, some greats held the Intercontinental Championship “back in the day.” Besides some awesome nicknames those gentlemen had, most of the men I listed would become main event players, if not WWE Champion (or WWE World Heavyweight Champion), World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, or National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Champion.

What’s the difference with the men nowadays to the men then? The Intercontinental Championship strap was taken serious back then more than it is these days. The I-C Strap was used as a stepping stool for launching the champions and challengers into the main event scène and be the next generation of WWF Champion. Now days, it doesn’t feel like the I-C Strap is taken that way. I feel, as I’m sure and hoping others feel that there’s a major gap between the mid-carders and the main event players. There’s a major problem.

If Vinnie Mac, the Creative Team, and the Double-Double-E, in my eyes, help close the gap between the main event players and the mid-carders, the I-C Strap would start to mean something once again. Heck, last summer, summer of 2009, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho were feuding for the rights to be the Intercontinental Champion on Smackdown. Mysterio defeated John “Bradshaw” Layfield for it at WrestleMania XXV. Even in 2001 Triple H won the title and had a quick feud with Jeff Hardy. It didn’t turn out then, but it was a rub that helped Hardy in the future.

My opinion, again, take it with a grain of salt, if Vinnie Mac tells the World’s Greatest Creative Team (really? No, I don’t believe that to be true, but let’s go with it) to start moving some main event players to feud with the mid-carders for both the Intercontinental Strap and the United States Strap, I feel after a few years, those two titles would start to gain the respect that they once had, with the I-C title had in the WWE/WWF days and the US title did in WCW/NWA (not so much the latter WCW, I feel). But again, that’s my opinion. Would it work? I feel if booked right, it could; but with how things are booked these days, I can’t see it working.

I love going back and watching old tapes of late ‘80’s and early to mid ‘90’s, both WCW and WWF, and watch the mid carders fight for the US Championship and the I-C Championship, respectfully. I say that because those men, well, most of them, would go on and be the next WCW World Heavyweight Champion and WWF Champion (now WWE Champion), if not, most likely, be remembered. I watched the King of the Ring 1993, where Bret Hart won the King of the Ring tournament, Yokozuna won his second WWF Championship, beating Hulk Hogan ‘cause he was on his way out, and Shawn Michaels defended his newly won Intercontinental Championship against Crush. I loved HBK’s promo for it and his match. Granted Crush never became a World Champ at either promotion, but most (again, my opinion) remember Crush.

The Philosophical Final Thoughts: Back in the day when I thought pro wrestling was real, the Intercontinental Championship meant something. The superstars back then latter and became main events within several years after feuding for the I-C Strap. There wasn’t much of a gap of the mid-carders and the main event players, unlike today. If Vinnie Mac and Creative want the I-C Strap (or even the US Strap) mean something, let’s move some of the main event players down and feud with the mid-carders, making the I-C Strap mean something, and help build up new main event players. This is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, until next time.

Check out more of Eric’s blogs at http://jericholic2009.blogspot.com.

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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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