On Sunday, Cody Rhodes revealed that he has brought back the classic Intercontinental Championship. It is hard to belief that a few months ago, no one cared about the Intercontinental Championship. The WWE was doing a great job of devaluing it and making it irrelevant.
Now, it seems that the WWE has decided to make it more relevant. Since Rhodes won the title on August 16, he has defended it three times. Rhodes has also defeated Randy Orton twice (once by pinfall and once by DQ) and defeated Ezekiel Jackson. Why is this relevant?
Wade Barrett's Intercontinental reign involved 13 losses, and frequent DQ championship defenses. Ezekiel Jackson defeated Wade in his rematch for the belt, then defended it against Ted DiBiase in a squash and finally against Rhodes, who defeated him for the belt. Jackson was 2-5 as the IC Champion, hardly impressive. Kofi Kingston was 4-12 and had a seven match losing streak.
Cody Rhodes is 6-3 as champion and, as I mentioned before, Rhodes has defeated Randy Orton twice and Ezekiel Jackson once during this reign. Rhodes is undoubtedly the top IC Champion of the year so far and it will only get better. Rhodes's recognition of the past Intercontinental Champions last night made it feel like he cared about the history of the championship.
By showing that he is proud to be the champion, he adds even more credibility to the belt. In order for a belt to feel prestigious, the holder must want to defend and win it. Rhodes seemingly has this desire. To prove my point, let's look at the increasingly devalued WWE Championship.
The WWE Championship has changed hands seven times so far this year. In the past five years, it has changed hands 33 times. To put this in perspective, the title changed hands six times from 2002 to the beginning of 2006. From 1963 to 1978, it changed hands eight times.
In order for a Championship to be valuable, it not only has to have a good champion that cares about it, but it also can't be thrown around from person to person with little care. The longest WWE Title reign this year (besides The Miz's reign that started in 2010) is John Cena who held it for 77 days from May 1 to July 17. The next closest is Del Rio's 35 day reign. The average length of reigns is 29 days.
The WWE has revived the Intercontinental Championship by only having it change hands four times this year and having it be defended frequently while letting the champion defeat big name opponents. The WWE title has been dragged through the mud and devalued so much in that span.
Thanks for reading my 100th article. I apologize for my long absence from writing.
Writers Note: I wrote this article originally to show how great it is that the WWE is bringing back great title reigns and making them meaningful again. When I did research, I was surprised at the current state of the WWE Championship.