WWE Intercontinental Championship

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WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Championship belt introduced on August 18, 2014.png
The current WWE Intercontinental Championship belt
Details
Current champion(s) Dolph Ziggler
Date won August 17, 2014
Date established September 1, 1979
Promotion WWE
Other name(s)
  • WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship (1979-1992)[1]
  • WWF Intercontinental Championship (1992-2002)

The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE, currently held by Dolph Ziggler. Along with the WWE United States Championship, it is one of WWE's secondary titles. Although generally contested on the midcard at WWE shows, matches for the title have, on occasion, headlined pay-per-view events.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The term "intercontinental" refers to spanning multiple continents, in this case originally two, North and South America.

In 1985, the belt design changed, the centerplate now centered on the Atlantic Ocean, in a map including western Africa and Europe.

On April 10, 1989, the championship was first defended outside of North America, by Rick Rude against The Ultimate Warrior in Milan, Italy.[4] On March 30, 1991, Mr. Perfect made the first Asian defense against The Texas Tornado at a WWF copromotion with Super World of Sports in Tokyo, Japan.[5] It first came to Africa on April 6, 1997, when champion Rocky Maivia pinned Savio Vega in Durban, South Africa.[6] Shelton Benjamin made the first Australian defense on April 7, 2005, pinning Gene Snitsky in Brisbane.[7]

History[edit]

Inaugural champion and WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson.
The Honky Tonk Man, whose year long-plus (454 day) reign as champion is longest in history.

WWF North American Heavyweight Champion Pat Patterson became the inaugural champion on September 1, 1979. It was said he had unified his title with a South American Heavyweight Championship, in a tournament in Rio de Janeiro,[8] though this tournament was never actually held.[9][10]

On October 17, 1999, Chyna became the only woman to hold the Intercontinental Championship by defeating Jeff Jarrett at No Mercy.[11][12] Following the World Wrestling Federation's purchase of World Championship Wrestling in March 2001,[13] the title was unified with the WCW United States Championship at Survivor Series 2001, causing the United States Championship to become inactive. The United States Champion, Edge, defeated the Intercontinental Champion, Test.[14]

Following the WWF/WWE name change in 2002, the championship was further unified with the European Championship in a ladder match on July 22, and the Hardcore Championship on August 26. The Intercontinental Champion, Rob Van Dam, defeated the European Champion, Jeff Hardy, and the Hardcore Champion, Tommy Dreamer respectively.[15][16] As a result, Rob Van Dam was named the last European and Hardcore Champion.[17][18][19] Then at No Mercy 2002, it was unified with the World Heavyweight Championship. The World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H, defeated the Intercontinental Champion, Kane, causing the Intercontinental Championship to become inactive.[20] However, in May 2003, the title was reactivated by Raw co-General Manager, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and was recommissioned to be a secondary championship to the Raw brand. Shortly after, the WCW United States Championship was reactivated as the WWE United States Championship by the SmackDown brand, making the title its counterpart. During the 2009 WWE Draft on April 13, 2009, reigning champion Rey Mysterio was drafted to SmackDown, making the Intercontinental Championship exclusive to that brand.[21] On October 2, 2011, at Hell in a Cell, Cody Rhodes introduced a modified version of the classic belt design with the white strap, with an added modern WWE "scratch logo" and other embellishments.[22] Since August 29, 2011, when all WWE programming became "Supershows" featuring wrestlers from the full roster, the title has been defended on both Raw and SmackDown. On August 18th, 2014, the Intercontinental Championship belt design (along with all of the other championships in WWE) was updated with the new logo in place of the long-standing scratch logo.

Reigns[edit]

Record nine-time champion Chris Jericho.

The inaugural champion was Pat Patterson who, as the WWF North American Champion, in September 1979 also was declared "South American Heavyweight Champion" after "winning" a fictitious tournament in Rio de Janeiro. Patterson unified the two Championship into the Intercontinental Championship.

There have been 72 different champions. Chris Jericho had the most reigns with nine. Pedro Morales held the championship for a record total of 619 days and The Honky Tonk Man had the longest uninterrupted reign at 454 days, from June 2, 1987 until August 29, 1988. Dean Douglas had the shortest reign at 13 minutes 52 seconds. Chyna is the only woman to win the title. The youngest champion was Jeff Hardy, who won the championship at 23 years old, while the oldest champion was Ric Flair, who won the championship at Unforgiven 2005 at the age of 56. There have been nine vacancies throughout the title's history.

The current champion is Dolph Ziggler, who is in his second reign. He defeated The Miz at SummerSlam on August 17, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.

References[edit]

  1. ^ WWE WrestleMania I (DVD). WWE. 1985-03-31. 
  2. ^ Dean Douglas' Reign
  3. ^ See: WrestleMania VI, SummerSlam (1992), In Your House 3 and In Your House 8: Beware of Dog.
  4. ^ 1989 WWF events, from TheHistoryOfWWE.com
  5. ^ The 4,181 Intercontinental title matches, from WrestlingData.com
  6. ^ 1997 WWF events, from TheHistoryOfWWE.com
  7. ^ 2005 WWF events, from TheHistoryOfWWE.com
  8. ^ "Pat Patterson's first reign". 
  9. ^ "Intercontinental Title Tournament Finally Uncovered", April Fool's joke from WWE.com
  10. ^ Intercontinental title history, from TheHistoryofWWE.com
  11. ^ Lilsboy (May 2005). "The truth about Chyna". The Sun. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  12. ^ Laurer, Joanie. If They Only Knew, 299.
  13. ^ "WWE Entertainment, Inc. Acquires WCW from Turner Broadcasting". WWE Corporate. 2001-03-23. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  14. ^ "Survivor Series 2001 results". WWE. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  15. ^ "WWE Raw - June 22, 2002 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  16. ^ "WWE Raw - August 26, 2002 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  17. ^ "Rob Van Dam's first reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  18. ^ "WWE European Championship history". WWE. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  19. ^ "WWE Hardcore Championship history". WWE.com. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  20. ^ "No Mercy 2002 results". WWE. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  21. ^ Plummer, Dale (2009-04-14). "RAW: Drafting a fresh start for the WWE". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  22. ^ Buridck, Michael (2011-10-02). "WWE "Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes def. John Morrison"". Retrieved 2011-10-04. 

External links[edit]