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A couple weeks ago, Cody Rhodes said something that, for some reason, still sticks with me every time I watch the first hour or so of Raw and Smackdown. Rhodes was working a promo with Ezekiel Jackson, setting up a potential showdown between the two for the Intercontinental Title.
The promo was pretty much what I expected for a match like this, until out of nowhere Rhodes said something pretty shocking—but also something that couldn't have been more true.
Rhodes called out some recent holders of the once-coveted Intercontinental Title, saying that they had turned this belt into "a memento for mediocrity." Finally, someone who wasn't from the IWC pointed out just how lame the IC title landscape had become.
In my opinion, it was a moment similar to some of the great CM Punk promos. Rhodes wasn't afraid to say something that many of us had been thinking for a couple years now. A week or so later, he was the owner of that memento of mediocrity.
Hopefully, the WWE gave Rhodes the belt and the opportunity to carry the division because they realized just how correct his statement was. So far, though, that idea seems pretty doubtful.
The same goes for the United States title over on Raw. Dolph Ziggler has had it for a few months now, and honestly, who really cares?
There was a time when mid-card belts like these were actually worth fighting for. Some of the greatest matches of all time have been for these titles, and for years it was considered a person's first step towards the main event.
Now, these belts are barely defended, they're passed around almost like clockwork, and I can't remember the last time there was a decent feud or match for the IC or United States championship. If I had to pick though, I'd say The Miz versus Daniel Bryan at last year's NOC.
I hoped that Triple H taking over would lead to a change in this habit, but so far the mid-card landscape hasn't been much different.
I'm assuming that the WWE is setting up a small, pointless match between Rhodes and his apprentice Ted DiBiase, which I can't say I'm too excited about.
Over on Raw, Ziggler seems more focused on fighting with Vickie Guerrero then actually putting his title on the line. Again, just another huge waste of everyone's time.
Hopefully, things pick up quickly over the next few weeks, or NOC will certainly be a very disappointing card.