The IC Title Up To Its Old Ways
October 28, 2004 by Gary Dhillon
THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP, a title that has played different roles over the years, "The Consolation Prize", " The That Just About Anyone Can Have (including a-train, yuck) Title", "The Non Juice Monkey Real Wrestlers Title", but in my mind the greatest role that the title has played is "THE STEPPING STONE ", Oh yes it certainly has played that role over the years, In many cases, and I'm starting to think it's up to its old ways.
The Title first attained the niche for being a stepping stone in about 1986 and the first man to use the belt as a stepping stone was Randy Savage, now when Savage first came to the WWF he was a pretty hot commodity but he wasn't consider a main eventer just yet, but one faithful night in 1986 in The Boston Garden when he defeated Tito Santana, Savage started a climb to the top which would eventually get him the title of main eventer, within the next 13 months Savage became one of the top stars in the WWF all thanks to the ic belt, he stole the show at WM 3 along with Ricky Steamboat and within a year became WWF champion. After Savage more guys used this formula, Bret Hart a guy who preformed some of the best matches in IC title history became a main eventer, as did Shawn Michaels who wrestled guys like Razor Ramon, Mart Jannetty and Jeff Jarrett to bona-fide classics in the ic picture en route to become WWF champ, want more" Triple H, The Rock and Steve Austin.
Towards the end of the 90's and at the beginning of the decade the IC title went through some brutal times, just about anyone could become IC champ, Chyna, Rikishi, A-train, it suddenly become a very very devauled belt, soon enough the belt became "retired". Very shortly when it was brought back a guy did what nobody had done since The Rock, use it as a stepping stone, At the "Armageddon" PPV Randy Orton defeated Rob Van Dam and set out to become a main eventer, He first got put into a feud with Legend Mick Foley and proceeded to pin him at the biggest stage of them all at Wrestlemania 20, then put on a classic match a month later in a hardcore match with Foley and pinned him, He now had reached new levels in his career and did it with the IC title in tact, he put on more great matches with the likes of Shelton Benjamin and Edge, After dropping the belt to Edge, a month later he shocked the world by becoming the youngest WWE Champ in history by beating Chris Benoit.The belt surely add another inductee to the making main eventers pile.
It isn't stopping at Randy Orton though, In the coming year more guys will likely use it as a stepping stone. Edge, if it wasn't for the injury he sustained he would likely be IC Champ, he is a man who has grown out of being just one half of a tag team, he has become a superstar,though his first 4 reigns didn't bring out the main eventer in him, and a 5th one was ended prematurely, an 6th title reign will surely lift him to becoming a main event superstar. Then there's Christian, a man I admire so greatly, because of his strong mic skills and great ring work, He has all the essentials of being a main eventer very shortly, but soon as The WWE decides to award him a lengthy title reign that's when the main eventer in Christian will shine, A case can be made for Shelton Benjamin, i mean ever since his return he has been get huge pops, so it will not come as a surprise when the WWE gives the strap to MR.Benjamin, these 3 guys will surely be the next of a long list of superstars whose careers greatly benefited from being IC champs, a title that has been dis-regarded greatly for so long during mostly the "attitude" era is now as valuable as it was when guys like, Bret Hart, Shawn Michales and other greats held it.
by Gary Dhillon..
Brian Bertrand wrote:
Another person you failed to mention was "Y2J" Chris Jericho. Shortly after his "co-champion" run with Chyna with the IC title he became the very first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion in WWE. Controversial as it may seem he did become quite involved with storylines and put on some of the best matches in his career while holding both belts. It gave him a real edge and kicked off his career somewhere that it's never been on, IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!! His storylines were so good, even CHRISTIAN looked talented.
Brad Dykens wrote:
Hey, Christain IS talented. He's totally in the Top 3 of guys on RAW whose names begin with "C" right now!
Rob Donaldson wrote:
Thank you, Gary. I'm glad someone else in this world sees Christian as more than the "CLB" I would think he could make a great world champ someday, but for now, I think it would be the wrong time. Although I think Shelton's time should be soon. Using the "Step up" formula as you described.
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