Pro Wrestling Countdown: Top Ten Intercontinental Champions
In celebrating of the new WWE DVD, "WWE History Of The Intercontinental Championship", I thought I would bring back my "The Top Ten" column and count down the ten greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time. Enjoy.
Honorable mention: Don Muraco, Jeff Hardy, Pat Patterson, and Jeff Jarrett
10) Shelton Benjamin- He represented his generation of champions well and had some of the best matches involving the title that this decade has seen. He brought back some credibility to the title that it had lost in the “Attitude Era”.
He was put over by established guys like Chris Jericho and Ric Flair in the hopes that someday he would become somebody. While he has had a great career thus far, he truly shined brightest as Intercontinental Champion and the division shined a little brighter too.
9) Randy Orton– When you think of a young star using the Intercontinental title to propel themselves to the World title you think of Randy Orton. He had one of the most dominant reigns of as Intercontinental champion in quite some time and it was during this time that Randy started to develop his character and soon after his run he was winning the world title and becoming a star.
8) Chris Jericho- Though Jericho has never had a long run as champion. He has held the title 8 times. More so than any other champion. He has had great title matches with the likes of RVD, Christian, Benoit, Angle, and Jeff Hardy. He brought something special to the division. He brought a big match feel. Like when he got to the ring the whole match seemed much more important.
7) Bret Hart- Hart’s accomplishments in this business reach no bound as he was not only one of the best WWE Champions, but one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions too. He battled with the likes of The British Bulldog, Mr. Perfect, and of course “Hot Rod” Roddy Piper.
It amazes me that when I go back and watch some of Hart’s matches that he was so precise with everything he did. He never slipped up he was always in control, mark of a great athlete. Hart’s two reigns as Intercontinental champion may not be remember as prominently as the Honky Tonk Man’s reign, but Hart brought a great amount of athleticism to a division that someday it would be sorely miss.
6) Randy Savage – He made the title feel important. He strove to have great matches. Savage is sometimes not given the credit he deserves. Especially not by McMahon, but I won’t get into that right now.
Savage had intensity that no other performer could match in the ring, except maybe Warrior, but that guy was a nut. Savage only held the title once, but held it for over a year and straight up dominated the competition.
5) The Honky Tonk Man- When you think of the Intercontinental Championship, you might think of the Honky Tonk Man. His in ring work was nothing to write about, but there is no denying that his reign as champion will forever be remembered as the most dominant reign ever.
He was cool, he was cocky, and he was bad. The guy may not be Hall of Fame material, but he earned himself a place as one of the better Intercontinental Champions.
4) Pedro Morales- The WWE Hall of Famer held the Intercontinental title twice (he was the first to do so) and found himself a rival in “The Magnificent” Don Muraco. He had two of the most fantastic runs as champion.
Morales’ name will become lost in the world of wrestling one day, but today I will remember him as one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time because he earned it.
3) The Rock- He was one of the first guys to use the title to jump to the WWE Championship. In the time of his reigns he was still developing his character and what came of it was one the greatest entertainers this business has ever seen. The title was made for guys like The Rock and he used the title to its full potential.
2) Razor Ramon- “Tha Bad Guy” used the title in the WWE to establish himself and he was supposed to be a future Main Event player in the WWE until he jumped ships to WCW. Ramon had some very good feud with the likes of Goldust, Jeff Jarrett, and of course, Shawn Michaels.
He put himself over using the title and then he went to WCW and was still ridding on that momentum. That was very low of him, but brilliant.
1) Curt Hennig- “Mr. Perfect” is in my mind one of the greatest pure wrestlers the WWE has ever seen, maybe even better than Hart. If they weren’t so obsessed with Hogan they would have seen that Hennig would have been a great world champion, but alas.
Hennig made the Intercontinental Championship what it is today, and without him there would be no bar to measure with. He brought a touch of class to the division that it had never seen and will never see again.
He is and may always be the greatest Intercontinental Champion ever.
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