Right now, the Intercontinental Championship rests around the waist of Cody Rhodes, and while for some time that seemed to matter to him, changing the design, defending it and really making a statement how he would be a better Intercontinental Champion than anyone ever has been, as of late, he's not been keeping his word.
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Cody Rhodes has been announced as one of the participants of the upcoming Elimination Chamber match that will take place on Feb. 19. Unless Rhodes plan on having two matches that night, we are having another pay-per-view event where the title will not be defended. At the Royal Rumble just last month, Rhodes participated in the Rumble match, but did not defend his title.
He had a title defense in December against Booker T at the Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view. It only lasted seven minutes and consisted of more fighting outside the ring than it did in. He did not defend it at the Survivor Series in November or the Vengeance pay-per-view in October. He did face John Morrison in October at Hell in a Cell, and in September of 2011, he took on Ted Dibiasse at Night of Champions.
Cody has held the title for nearly 200 days now, but sadly, his days of being proud of it, defending it and creating a story solely around the title seemed to have past. It's time for a change to the title, bring back the black strap and put it around the waist of someone who will treat the title like some of the greats of the past.
The Intercontinental Title has been held by greats like Brett Hart, Edge, The Honky Tonk Man, Ricky Steamboat, Macho Man Randy Savage and of course, the person who held it the most times, Chris Jericho. It was a belt other superstars went after to get; they wanted that title, because to reign as an IC champ elevated you to be the top of that group that wasn't involved in the WWE Championship chase.
It usually took that person to eventually be a world champion, but some, like Steamboat, were great IC champs and didn't need that higher belt to be considered a Legend.
With Rhodes working in a capacity that is taking him into the area of World Heavyweight or WWE champion, we need someone who will defend that belt and others who want it. The following are my picks, in no particular order, for the next Intercontinental Champion.
1. Hunico: He excels in the ring, and his Luchador style of wrestling would bring a great feel to the IC belt. Defending it in ladder matches and other contests that would involve high-flying and fast matches would make for an excellent battle. Just get rid of the bike gimmick, and you're all set.
2. Jinder Mihal: Cody has shown a heel champion is a good champion, and to have certain face competitors going after Mihal to get that title would also make for good matches. Mihal is a big man who moves in a fast way, his skills are good on the microphone, and in the same way when the Iron Sheik was champion, it would become a patriotic battle for the title.
3. Kofi Kingston: Kofi was a good champ before. He's held the belt three times already, but that's the great thing about the IC belt. You can hold it again and again, and it never loses its luster. Kofi made a huge impact at the Royal Rumble match, and with losing Bourne as his partner, he needs to be back in a championship spot and defending gold.
4. Wade Barrett: Another former champion, only one other time previous for Barrett he held the title just under 100 days. He's great on the microphone, is constantly having matches at pay-per-views and is a key player on Smackdown. Put the gold on his waist, and let's make those matches be for something.
5. Drew McIntyre: He seems lost right now in his current role, each week attempting to have a match to keep his job. What better way to have job security than to be a champion? He held the belt once before, but this might be what is needed for him to not only swing towards that face position like he seems to be heading, but what a great stipulation this could be. Have it be he's only employed while he's the champion, and if he loses the belt, he may lose his job.
The last two I would like to add to this list are currently on the Raw Roster, but with all the super shows going on constantly and other duties being performed, who is to say the belt can't be grabbed by someone listed as a Raw superstar?
Santino Marella: The guy is funny, and before the Cobra, he was a decent wrestler as well. In fact, I'd have to say he has one of the greatest Intercontinental Championship wins of all-time. He won the title as a fan at a show in Italy from Umaga. It was an OK match, but the fact that it happened, his reaction and what came afterwards was just gold, both around his waist and from his actions.
In his second run as the IC champ, he had The Honk-a-meter, a counting clock of how many days he was champion so that he could try and beat The Honky Tonk Man's record. Great stuff.
Brodus Clay: He's appeared on Smackdown several times in his new Funkasaurus theme, and he clearly is getting over with the fans. Have Brodus win the belt and, in the same Rikishi fashion, dance and defend that title with a whole lot of funk.
The title needs to be treated with respect, and the person who's wearing it should be solely focused and constantly defending the championship. We also need those out there who don't have the title but want it. We need to have more fights over the title and less over backstage antics or bullying.
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