WWE Champion Series Top 10 Intercontinental Champions of All Time

Nate ScacciaAnalyst IIIMarch 26, 2011

WWE Champion Series Top 10 Intercontinental Champions of All Time

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    Welcome to my Champion Series of the top 10. I will break down the top 10 champions from several titles in the following days. Today, I will break down the Intercontinental Championship's greatest holders. Some factors to consider are: number of times the superstar held the belt and length that the title was held.

    The Intercontinental Championship was once considered one of, if not the greatest championship of all time. It's storied history is unparalleled, and has seen some great champions.

The First Intercontinental Champion

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    The first Intercontinental champion was Pat Patterson after he won the WWF North American Championship and the South American Championship.

    While the tournament in which he won the South American Championship is disputed (some believe it never actually happened), Patterson was still the first Intercontinental champion. Patterson had only one title reign, but he still left his mark on the WWF/WWE.

No. 10: Razor Ramon

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    Number of Reigns

    4

     

    Total Number of Days

    438

     

    Razor Ramon won his first Intercontinental Championship after defeating Rick Martel on Raw.  

    Ramon would then become involved in a feud with Shawn Michaels, who claimed that he never lost the IC Championship. The feud capped off with a ladder match at Wretslemania X, where Ramon took on Michaels in a ladder match. The match was given a 5-star rating, and deemed match of the year.

    Ramon and Michaels would feud for some time longer, eventually leading to Diesel, Shawn's bodyguard, winning the belt. Ramon would win back and defend his title for years to come until he was suspended for drug abuse in 1996. During this time Ramon and Diesel were leaving for WCW.

    Ramon's last match was a job to Vader, a far cry form his once proud days as champion. Ramon's multiple reigns as Intercontinental champion and successful defense will put him down in history as one of the greatest IC champions of all time.

No. 9: Honky Tonk Man

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    Number of Reigns

    1

    Total Number of Days

    454

     

    What was initially meant to be a transitional period for the Intercontinental Championship turned into the longest reign in the history of the belt.

    Honky Tonk won the championship on a television taping by defeating Ricky Steamboat. Honky Tonk won the match in controversial fashion and his reign was filled with many other controversial wins. Honky Tonk would win his matches with frequent disqualifications and count-outs. This was also the case when he took on Randy Savage.

    Savage challenged Honky Tonk for his Intercontinental Championship multiple times, but could never win it thanks to interference and tactics by Honky Tonk.

    It was then set up for Honky Tonk to feud with Brutus Beefcake, and again this would involve the IC Championship. However, days before the match, Beefcake was involved in a storyline with Ron Bass. So the Intercontinental Championship match would now be between Honky Tonk Man and a mysterious opponent.

    Honky Tonk had no clue as to who his competitor was and stated that he did not care who it was. But when Ultimate Warrior ran to the ring, Honky could do little to stop him. Warrior won the title in just 31 seconds. Honky Tonk would never regain the championship, and would never reach the prominence he once had.

No. 8: Randy Savage

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    Number of Reigns

    1

    Total Days

    414

    Randy Savage began his hunt for the Intercontinental Championship by challenging Tito Santana. After an unsuccessful attempt by Savage at Saturday Night's Main Event, Savage would challenge Santana to a rematch at an edition of Prime Time Wrestling. This time, Savage would come away victorious, but in order to get the win, Savage would resort to an illegal steel object that was hidden in his tights.

    Savage would defend his championship against George "The Animal" Steele and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Both of these contenders would not be able to take the IC Championship off of Savage.

    At Wrestlemania III, Savage defended his IC Championship against Ricky Steamboat. The match was an instant classic that saw Steamboat, (with a little help from Steele) pick up the win.

    Savage would go on to form the Mega Powers with Hulk Hogan and Miss Elizabeth. Savage would also win the King of the Ring and eventually have a career-ending match with Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VII.

No. 7: Shawn Michaels

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    Number of Reigns

    3

    Total Days

    406

     

    Shawn Michaels lost his first Intercontinental Championship match against Bret Hart, but would win it later by defeating the British Bulldog at Saturday Night's Main Event. Michaels would then begin a feud with then-partner, Marty Jannetty. Jannetty would take the title away from Michaels, but The Heartbreak Kid would win it back with help from his debuting "bodyguard" Diesel.

    After this, Michaels quit the company after being charged with steroid use. Michaels would return two months later, and soon enter a rivalry with Razor Ramon. As previously stated, Michaels thought of himself as Intercontinental champion because he never lost the title. Michaels and Ramon would go on to have the match of the year at Wrestlemania X, where Michaels lost to Ramon.

    Michaels would go on to feud with Diesel, and they would wrestle at a WWF Championship match at Wrestlemania XI. Michaels lost the match and would take time off to become one of the businesses' greatest fan favorites.

No. 6: Mr.Perfect

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    Number of Reigns

    2

    Total Days

    406

     

    Mr. Perfect won his first Intercontinental Championship by defeating Tito Santana in a tournament final.

    This reign lasted four months until he lost to The Texas Tornado at SummerSlam. Perfect would then win it back in November by defeating Tornado with help from Ted DiBiase. Mr. Perfect would go on to face Big Boss Man at Wrestlemania VII, where Perfect retained his title due to disqualification.

    Perfect would go on to win a 20-Man Battle Royal, and hold the IC title until August. It was at SummerSlam where Perfect's broken tailbone and bulging discs forced him to drop the title to Bret Hart.

    Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) would recuperate and manage Ric Flair for his WWF Championship reigns.

    Hennig went to WCW and eventually returned to the WWF. Hennig was fired after multiple incidents of drunkenness and confrontations with Brock Lesnar. Hennig would go to TNA for a year where he had a feud with Jeff Jarrett.

No. 5: Ultimate Warrior

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    Number of Reigns

    2

    Total Days

    432

     

    Ultimate Warrior defeated Honky Tonk Man for his first Intercontinental Championship reign at the first-ever SummerSlam. Warrior defeated Honky Tonk in a matter of seconds and held the title for 216 days. He would drop the belt to Rick Rude and then win it back at SummerSlam, reigning for another 216 days as IC champion.

    Warrior would drop the championship after he defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship. Warrior would go on to defend his WWF title against the likes of Mr. Perfect, Rude and Ted DiBiase. Warrior would eventually make his way to WCW, where he only wrestled in three matches.

No. 4: Don Muraco

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    Number of Reigns

    2

    Total Days

    541

     

    Don Muraco defeated Pedro Morales to capture his first Intercontinental Championship, but lost it to Morales five months later.

    After his first reign, Muraco feuded with Bob Backlund and spent some time in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, where he partnered with Roddy Piper.

    Muraco returned to the WWF with a new manager, Captain Lou Albano. Muraco captured his second IC Championship by defeating Jimmy Snooka in a steel cage match.

    Muraco would feud with Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson, and often acted as an arrogant villain.He would disrespect his opponents, and in one instance, came to the ring with a hoagie and ate it during the match. Muraco would eventually drop his IC Championship to Tito Santana.

    Muraco failed to recapture his championship and faded from the spotlight for a short time. Muraco  returned with Mr. Fuji as his manager, and would win the first ever King of The Ring.

    Muraco teamed with "Cowboy" Bob Orton and made his way to ECW after he was fired in 1988.

No. 3: Tito Santana

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    Number of Reigns

    2

    Total Days

    443

     

    Tito Santana became the first Mexican-American to win the Intercontinental Championship after he defeated "The Rock" Don Muraco.

    His first feud while IC champion, was with Greg Valentine. Valentine would win the championship and injure Santana's knee in the process. This put Santana out of action for months before he eventually returned at WrestleMania.

    Santana returned to win back the Intercontinental Championship from Valentine, and the two would go on to have many memorable matches, not the least of which, was the steel cage match in Baltimore, Md. Santana climbed over the side of the cage and kicked the door closed on Valentine just as he was about to walk out victoriously. Santana's win caused Valentine to go crazy and destroy the IC championship belt. A new belt was designed and Santana carried the strap for seven months.

    Santana lost his belt to Randy Savage after Savage used a foreign object to get the win. The two would continue to feud but Santana would never regain the Intercontinental Championship. Santana would go on to feud with various superstars and eventually dawn the gimmick of "El Matador." Santana would go on to have brief stints with ECW, AWA, and WCW.

No. 2: Chris Jericho

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    Number of Reigns

    9

    Total Days

    318

     

    Jericho won his first Intercontinental Championship from Chyna at Armageddon.

    Jericho then teamed with Chyna, turned face, and feuded with Kurt Angle. Angle eventually won the belt off Jericho at No Way Out. Jericho's third reign as IC champion lasted only four days when he lost to Chris Benoit on Raw.

    At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Jericho won the championship for the fourth time by defeating Benoit in a ladder match. Jericho successfully defended it against William Regal at Wrestlemania X-Seven but lost it four days later to Triple H. Jericho would go on to become he first ever undisputed champion until Triple H took the title from him.

    Jericho then moved to Raw where he defeated RVD for his fifth reign as champion.

    Jericho then began his storyline with Christian and Trish Stratus, topping off with his victory over Christian at Unforgiven for his seventh reign as champion. Jericho would not win his ninth IC Championship until Extreme Rules, where he defeated Rey Mysterio.

    Jericho won the Unified Tag Team titles with Big Show, and won the World Heavyweight championship.

     

No. 1: Pedro Morales

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    Number of Reigns

    2

    Total Days

    619

     

    The Intercontinental Championship was the last major championship for Morales to win. When he won the IC Championship on December 8, 1980, he became the WWF's first Triple Crown Champion. Morales would feud with Don Muraco over the title.

    Pedro would lose it on June 20th, but gained it back on November 23rd. Morales became the first man to hold the Intercontinental Championship twice, and his 14-month reign gave him the longest reign to up to that point.

    Morales defended the championship against Don Muraco and "Superstar" Billy Graham. Muraco eventually defeated Morales to end his second reign. Morales then went on to wrestle in Puerto Rico and won the WWC North American Title from Buddy Landel.

    Morales would return to the WWF in 1984, but never won another title with the promotion. Morales competed in two King of the Ring tournaments during the final run of his career, but won neither of the tournaments. Morales would compete in the 20-Man WrestleMania Battle Royal, and eventually retired in 1987.

     

End

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    That concludes the "Top 10 Intercontinental Champions of All-Time."

    The Intercontinental Championship has a storied tradition that is truly amazing. Many historic and legendary superstars have held the championship over the years. Who will be the next legendary superstar to hold the title? Will current champion Wade Barrett surpass Honky Tonk Man with the longest single reign?

    Thanks for reading, leave your comments below.