WWE Intercontinental Championship
|Current champion(s)||Wade Barrett|
|Date won||April 8, 2013|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date established||September 1, 1979|
|Other name(s)||*WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship
*WWF Intercontinental Championship
The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It is the original secondary title of the promotion. Although generally contested on the undercard at WWE shows, matches for the title have, on occasion, headlined pay-per-view events.
Following the title's introduction in 1979, Pat Patterson became the inaugural champion on September 1, 1979. The title's creation came as a result of Patterson defeating Ted DiBiase to win the WWF North American Heavyweight Championship and defending the title in a tournament to be unified with a South American Heavyweight Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The title later became known as the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
On October 17, 1999, Chyna became the first and only woman to hold the Intercontinental championship by defeating Jeff Jarrett at No Mercy. Following the World Wrestling Federation's purchase of World Championship Wrestling in March 2001, 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.
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. As a result, Rob Van Dam was named the last European and Hardcore Champion. 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. 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. On October 2, 2011, Cody Rhodes introduced a modified version of the classic belt design with the white strap (incorporating the modern WWE "scratch" logo and further embellishments) at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event. Since August 29, 2011, when all WWE programming became "Supershows" featuring wrestlers from both brands, the title has been defended on both Raw and SmackDown.
The inaugural champion was Pat Patterson, who became champion after unifying his North American Championship with a "South American Heavyweight Championship" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in September 1979. Overall there have been 70 different champions. Chris Jericho holds the most reigns with nine. The Honky Tonk Man was the longest reigning champion at 454 days from June 2, 1987 until August 29, 1988, and Dean Douglas had the shortest reign at approximately 11 minutes. Chyna is the only woman to win the title. The youngest champion was Jeff Hardy, who won the championship at 23 years old. The oldest champion was Ric Flair, who won the championship at the age of 56. The current champion is Wade Barrett, in his third reign, who earned the championship by defeating The Miz on Raw on April 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
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- Dean Douglas' Reign
- See: WrestleMania VI, SummerSlam (1992), In Your House 3 and In Your House 8: Beware of Dog.
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- Official WWE Intercontinental Title History
- Wrestling-Titles.com: Intercontinental Championship
- WWE Intercontinental Title Belts: A Guide to the Gold