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Best Intercontinental champion


The Truth

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I see the intercontinental championship these days and it just means nothing to me. They say that it's just to elevant talent but im not sure it does even do that. I struggle to remember who is champion these days. I was thinking back to when this title did actual mean something and why. I think it was back when the policy was (someone said this I can't remeber who) to award the world title to the most over big star entertainer (face of course - usually hogan) and award the ic title to the best "wrestler" who could put on the best matches. But who was the best? the fact that those champions of yester year could put on such great matches, it's hard to pick. Im gonna take a punt and say Bret Hart. His matches always seemed to be so emotionally invested for me. Of course Shawn was great too. I remember watching his matches just in the hope that someone beats him (which for a heel surely that's what it's all about).

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Shawn Michaels 92-94 run. Was a great heel champion, had great matches and feuds with Razor Ramon during that period aswell aswell the return of Marty Jannetty. The storylines for the IC title back then made it exciting. Now a days the IC title as already mentioned is not deemed important enough.

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Bret Hart in the early 90s. A fighting champ, having great matches, and having maybe the greatest IC match of all time in the main-event of a PPV.

 

This run made him my favourite ever wrestler and set him up to win the big one.

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When I think of the Intercontinental title there's two names I always think of first - Mr Perfect and Razor Ramon.

 

The biggest reason is probably just because they were two of my favourite wrestlers growing up. That belt just looked like it belonged with Perfect to me. And Razor held it four or five times, didn't he? And at a time when multiple title reigns weren't very common.

 

Those are also the two I was always dying to see break into the WWF title picture as well as a kid, but apart from the odd challenge here or there, they were usually going for the IC title or thereabouts. I always thought they both made the title seem really important as well.

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Whilst not the best, the first name that comes to me as IC champ has always been Warrior, probably says more about the era I grew up watching than anything else.

 

More recent names would be Jericho and Benoit during the early 2000's. Since then the IC belt has probably meant less than the former light heavyweight belt.

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Despite his (annoyingly) short reign, I always associate Rude with the IC title - I think it was the tights, and the fact that Rude/Warrior was the first real feud I totally bought into.

 

The best though?

 

rickysteamboat004qc7.jpg

 

Yes, I know his reign was short too.

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I tend to think of Mr Perfect too, and then Razor to a less extent. Looking back though, did Perfect actually defend it that much? He lost it to Von Erich at SummerSlam, won it back on Superstars a few months later, didn't defend it at the Rumble, lost via DQ to the Bossman at Wrestlemania 7 and then dropped the title to Bret at Summerslam.

 

He was a shit champion!

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Whilst not the best, the first name that comes to me as IC champ has always been Warrior, probably says more about the era I grew up watching than anything else.

 

Warrior is actually a superb shout for being as credible an Intercontinental champ as ever was, with perhaps the exception of Pedro. He was ready for that title before he won it, and while he held it you always knew he was capable of being the top guy. He looked like the main event, he was massively popular, shunted merchandise and got deafening reactions. While he held the I belt and Hogan was WWF champ either on top of a house show card looked like a proper main event, and you knew it was theoretically a matter of time before he was allowed to wear the big belt.

 

I mention Pedro because he had already has a run with the big belt when he won the Intercontinental and was still considered a very big deal, which made it look a big shock when Muraco dethroned him because it was going over a legitimate main event star who easily could have been World champion again. I know some people might think of Punk or Jericho in the same way, but it's hardly the same. Both men as Intercontinental champions had fallen way down the pecking order since their previous World title reigns, the former needing lots of rebuilding before he would win another World title, the latters return to the main event scene being rather circumstantial (being given his title reigns in 2008 because the bigwigs deemed that his run with Shawn "needed the title" before dropping it to Cena, the REAL main event, and then being given the belt for convenience only because him fighting Edge and Mania XXVI made sense, and Shawn needed to cost Taker as the catalyst for their match, the REAL main event).

 

My actual answer, rather predictably for people that know my preferences over the years, is Hitman. Bret was the best Intercontinental champion for me because throughout his reigns he always convinced me the belt meant something because to win it, you had to beat the best wrestler on the roster. He'd get in the ring with skilled wrestlers like IRS or meatheads like Warload or Barbar or brawlers like Skinner and beat the lot of them just by being a better wrestler than any of them. My best mate feels the same way about Perfect, but he was a dirty cheating ratbastard so he wasn't as good a champion as Bret who just used to go out and Excellently Execute his challengers.

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