Welcome back for the third entry in the ongoing series ranking some of the less-than-stellar champions in WWE history. The first two articles focused on the world and tag team titles, and now we come to the once-prestigious Intercontinental Championship.
The belt dates back to September 1979 when Pat Patterson was named the inaugural champion, and although the WWE will tell you he won a tournament in Rio de Janeiro for the honor, this is simply kayfabe.
In reality, the title was introduced as a long-term replacement for the WWF North American Heavyweight Championship, which Patterson held at the time of his "tournament victory." After the North American title was quietly abandoned in early 1981, the Intercontinental title was established as the company's secondary singles title.
Legendary names including Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The Rock and Steve Austin all used the championship as a steppingstone to main-event status, making it a highly coveted title once upon a time. However, since the Attitude Era, the title has been switched with alarming regularity, almost to the point of irrelevance.
To put it into perspective, between 1979 and 1989, 11 men won the title for the first time. Between 1999 and 2009, 34 superstars enjoyed their maiden run as champion. With 70 different champions to choose from, there are a lot of options, so read on to find out who makes the list of worst Intercontinental champions in WWE history.