Why Did WWE Change the Intercontinental Championship?

ICWrestlingNews.com looks at the recent changes to the Intercontinental Championship and asks why WWE decided to make the switch.

The IC Title’s History

The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship contested in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion. It is one of the oldest titles in WWE, having been introduced in 1979. The inaugural champion was Pat Patterson. As of 2019, there have been a total of 44 different champions. The title has been held by some of the most prominent names in WWE history, including Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Triple H, and Edge.

The IC Title’s origins

The Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE. It is one of the secondary championships in WWE, contested beneath the WWE Championship. The inaugural champion was Pat Patterson, who won a tournament at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 1979.

WWE has branded the title as “the second most prestigious title” in WWE, behind WWE’s world heavyweight championship. The current champion is Big E, who is in his second reign.

The title was introduced in 1979 as the WWF’s “secondary” championship complementing their then-WWF Heavyweight Championship; WWF executive Pat Patterson proposed its initial design. The Intercontinental Championship was therefore established as a “consolation prize” for those wrestlers who did not quite make the cut to compete for the WWF Heavyweight Championship but were still considered notable enough to warrant mention on TV, such as Superstars like Pedro Morales and Ken Patera who held both titles during their careers (Morales being the first dual champion).

The IC Title’s golden years

The WWE Intercontinental Championship has been a key part of the company’s mid-card for over three decades now. The title has been held by some of the biggest names in WWE history, including The Rock, Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The title was created in 1979 as a way to help bridge the gap between the WWE Championship and the then-World Tag Team Championship. In the early years, the title changed hands often and was considered to be less important than the WWE Championship.

This all changed in 1988 when The Honky Tonk Man became Intercontinental Champion. Honky Tonk Man set a record for the longest reign in history, holding the title for 64 weeks. Suddenly, the Intercontinental Championship was a hot commodity.

Since then, the title has undergone several changes. It has been unified with other titles on multiple occasions and has even been vacated several times. However, it remains an important part of WWE today and is currently held by Seth Rollins.

The IC Title’s Decline

The WWE Intercontinental Championship has a long and prestigious history, dating back to 1979. The title was held by some of the company’s most legendary stars, such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Triple H. However, in recent years, the title has been devalued and has changed hands multiple times. Let’s take a look at why this is the case.

The IC Title’s decline in the late ’90s

In the late 1990s, the IC title began to lose its luster. The problem was twofold. First, the World Heavyweight Championship was created in 1996 and quickly became the primary title in WWE (then known as the World Wrestling Federation). Second, WWE’s main event scene became more focused on tag teams and six-man tag matches rather than singles competition. As a result, the IC title was often relegated to midcard status.

The IC Title’s decline in the early 2000s

The Intercontinental Championship was once one of WWE’s most prestigious titles, but it has declined in recent years.

There are a number of reasons for this decline, including the introduction of other championships and the downgrading of the title’s importance on WWE programming.

In the early 2000s, WWE introduced a number of other championships that took away from the Intercontinental Championship’s prestige. The most notable of these is the World Heavyweight Championship, which was seen as a more important title than the Intercontinental Championship.

WWE also began to focus more on its flagship show, Raw, and less on its secondary shows, such as SmackDown and Velocity. This led to the Intercontinental Championship being featured less prominently on WWE programming.

Additionally, a number of high-profile Superstars have held the Intercontinental Championship in recent years, including John Cena and CM Punk. This has led to many people perceiving the title as being ” devalued.”

The IC Title’s Revival

In September of 2016, the WWE Intercontinental Championship was brought back with much fanfare. The title had been inactive for almost a year, and many fans were excited to see it return. However, some changes were made to the title that left many fans wondering why WWE made the changes that they did. Let’s take a look at the changes and see if we can figure out why WWE made them.

The IC Title’s revival in the mid-2000s

In the mid-2000s, WWE made a concerted effort to revive the Intercontinental Championship’s prestige. The title had been defended sporadically and its holder was often seen as an afterthought on Raw and SmackDown. But with new blood in the form of Jeff Hardy, Edge, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, and Mr. Kennedy, the IC Title was thrust back into the spotlight.

WWE also began to promote classic Intercontinental Championship matches on their website and DVD releases. This increased interest in the title and led to more fans clamoring for a return to the “glory days” of the belt.

The Intercontinental Championship was once again contested in high-profile matches on Raw and pay-per-views. In 2008, WWE even held a tournament to determine a new holder of the title after it had been vacated due to Edge’s injury. The tournament was won by Cody Rhodes, who went on to have a lengthy reign as champion.

Since then, the Intercontinental Championship has continued to be an important part of WWE programming. It has been held by top stars like The Miz, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, and Seth Rollins. In 2017, WWE even brought back the original Intercontinental Championship belt that had been used in the 1980s (the current belt is modeled after this one).

The revival of the Intercontinental Championship has been a success story for WWE. The title is once again relevant and its holders are considered among the top stars in the company.

The IC Title’s revival in the 2010s

When The Miz won the WWE Title from Randy Orton in November 2010, it signified a new era for the company. The “Hollywood A-Lister” wasn’t your typical WWE Champion. He was cocky, brash and didn’t fit the mold of what a WWE Superstar should look like. This new era also saw the re-emergence of the Intercontinental Championship.

The Miz dropped the WWE Title to John Cena at WrestleMania 27, but he quickly rebounded by winning the Intercontinental Championship from Cody Rhodes a few months later. The title would change hands several times over the next few years, but it always seemed to be in good hands. Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Big E and Dean Ambrose are just a few of the Superstars who held the title during this time period.

The Intercontinental Championship was always considered an important title in WWE, but it reached new heights in the 2010s. The title was featured prominently on TV and pay-per-views, and it even got its own reality show (i.e. WWE’s reality competition series Tough Enough). It’s safe to say that the IC Title’s revival in the 2010s was a huge success.

The IC Title’s Future

On September 1st, WWE made a change to one of their most iconic championships. The storied Intercontinental Championship, which has been held by the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Bret Hart, was given a new look. The new design, which was unveiled on WWE’s Instagram page, was met with mixed reactions from fans. Some people loved the new look, while others felt that it was a cheap knock-off of the United States Championship.

The IC Title’s future in WWE

In recent years, the IC Title has been treated as a secondary title in WWE, behind the WWE Championship and Universal Championship. This was not always the case, as the IC Title was once one of the most important titles in WWE. So, what happened?

There are a few factors that have led to the IC Title becoming less important in WWE. Firstly, the introduction of other titles (such as the United States Championship and WWE Tag Team Championship) has meant that there are now more titles on offer, and thus the IC Title is not as exclusive as it once was. Secondly, WWE’s focus on creating new stars has meant that established midcarders are often bypassed fortitle opportunities in favor of up-and-comers. Lastly, the brand split has also played a role in diminishing the importance of the IC title, as each brand now has its own top title.

Despite all this, there is still hope for the IC Title. WWE has recently made some changes that suggest they are looking to elevate the title once again. Firstly, they have moved the title back to RAW (it had been on SmackDown for a few years), which suggests they see it as a top title on RAW. Secondly, they have also shortened the name back to simply “Intercontinental Championship”, which harkens back to its glory days in the 1980s. Lastly, they have also put it on two of RAW’s biggest stars – Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman – which would indicate that they are serious about making it a top title once again. Only time will tell if these changes will be enough to make the IC Title relevant again, but there is definitely reason to be optimistic.

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