In Episode 13 of PlayByPlay with Aatif Nawaz & Armaan Kirmani they discuss The Self destruction of the Intercontinental Title.
A once prestigious title that main-evented Major PPV’s it has now been relegated to exchanging hands frequently on weekly episodes of Raw and Smackdown. However it is not just title changing hands but more importantly the booking of the matches involving the Intercontinental Champion.
So what are the factors that contribute to the denigration of this once prestigious Championship?
– The Intercontinental fighting in too many non-title matches and jobbing to other mid carders. The most recent example being Bad News Barrett who has suffered non-title losses to Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler and Sin Cara.
– The back and forth design changes made to the belt itself. A legendary belt such as the NWA World Hevyweight Championship had a constant design and that added to its legacy. Over the years the Intercontinental Championship has gone through colour and design changes.
– The addition of different titles that have been given more importance since the brand extension in 2002. Having two world titles and the addition of The US Championship has taken the emphasis off of The Intercontinental Championship.
Perhaps the most important proof that the belt no longer holds value is that it is very difficult for even regular fans to track back lineage of the Intercontinental belt Wrestler by Wrestler due to the fact that it has changed hands so many times in such regular frequency. Having witnessed New Japan’s Wrestlekingdom 9 earlier this year – they demonstrated just how prestigious the Intercontinental title can still be by putting it in the Semi-Main Event slot and even in the Main Event at WrestleKingdom 8.
As a final note, they note how the iconic Intercontinental Champions all used their abilities, talent and hard work to ‘make the belt’ and did not rely on the belt to ‘make them’. This was noted in Shawn Michael’s autobiography ‘My Journey’.
What are your thoughts about the Intercontinental Championship and how it is currently used on WWE Programming? Who are some of your favourite Intercontinental Champions? What are your favourite Intercontinental Championship Memories?
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