Thursday, May 19, 2022
HomeWWE | Pro WrestlingWhen the WWE Intercontinental Championship Meant Something

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.

[adinserter block=”1″]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.

[adinserter block=”2″]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

How to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat, Get Flat Abs the Right Way.

Order the WWE – The History of the Intercontinental Championship

WWE – The Best of Intercontinental Championship

Check out WWE – Edge: A Decade of Decadence

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  1. The problem is that there are two world champions, and instead of strapping up and comers with the IC belt, they throw 'em on Smackdown and give 'em a reign at the top.

    The IC belt then became what the TV/European title was, so… no need to strap anyone with it if they wanna push 'em to the main belt. Why waste time seeing them enact the same mid-card/low card feuds with a title on the line when they can see if they can hang in the main event scene over the world belt.

    Make one global world champion and have Raw/Smackdown's "titles" be the IC/US championships, and you'd see their importance resurrected.

    Of course, that won't happen, cause apparently people pay more for two world titles than they would for one.

  2. I have a feelin', and according to my sources, I would bet money on Jack Swagger defeating the Big Show this Sunday at Over the Limit to retain the World Heavyweight Championship, if I were a bettin' man. I think Swagger needs victories, and clean ones to that matter, to be built up as a legit main event player and to be built up as a legit World Heavyweight Champion. That's my opinion on the matter, in regards to the World Heavyweight Championship match at WWE Over the Limit.

  3. i think that jack swagger will lose his title at the ppv against the big show. jack never went against anybody that size before or that powerfull. so just let jack lose the belt and give him the chance to win anyone to let the new generation win belts. jack's been in wwe for a couple years so he should let other people get thje chance. anyways the big show is getting to old to wrestle so let him win a belt before he quits wwe for his age.

  4. PigDog: Could keeping the two brands split and only mixing them up at the Rumble, 'Mania, and Bragging Rights (looking at the ppv's now), could that help the I-C and U.S. title? I feel if Vince and Creative would actually keep the two rosters split and have very little interaction among the two would strengthen the championship belts on both brands. That's my story, that's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

    Cynbitch: I wouldn't consider the Miz a part of the "Old Generation" myself, but I do see your point. I do agree with you that stars such as Cena should start moving to the side to let the new stars have a chance with the championships. I'm happy Jack Swagger is currently the World Heavyweight Champion on Smackdown, but he isn't being booked the best to make him a "main event player" in the eyes of most fans, at least to me.

  5. i think since the brand split they are given the lets just say the new generation a chance at the titles but not at the lets just say the old generation title shots but right now jack swagger is gotten a chance for the belt and as gotten it. the new generations include that has gotten the belts is the hart dynasty,eve, drew mcintyre but he had to not have the belt anymore and been released from wwe cause he decided to attack matt hardy so they had to let him go. but like john cena, the miz,maryse, beth, michelle and other more have been right now the most old generation cause they've been in the wwe for a long time and they are starting to want to be in the spotlight for a whilecause i guess they want more money. it proves that right now the new generation of superstars and divas are going to rule wwe for a while, they are starting to be a strong and starting to show that they are the best in wrestling to date. i think that they shouldle the old generation superstars and divas a chance at the belts more often to porve that they are the best.

  6. I disagree that a lack of talent today is the issue; the WWE has simply had too many singles titles since the brand split in 2002. They two World championships, the U.S. and I-C titles and the ECW Championship. I think by dropping the ECW Championship, they have successfully given a boost to the I-C and US Titles. Personally I think they should go one step further and drop the US Title, thus making the I-C Title the only mid-card championship. That would really give it a boost.


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