For the first time in his career, Roman Reigns is the intercontinental champion. The Big Dog defeated The Miz for the belt on Raw Monday night.
Sheamus and Cesaro did their best to help The Miz retain. They interfered and distracted Reigns long enough to let The Miz hit the Skull-Crushing Finale.
Reigns kicked out, however, and his fellow Shield members, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, arrived to even the odds. Reigns then delivered the Spear to The Miz for the win. WWE shared his post-match celebration and an overview of the finish:
ESPN.com's Tim Fiorvanti enjoyed the match:
Bleacher Report's Mike Chiari also enjoyed the title switch:
Reigns is a three-time world champion and the winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble. All the same, he has big shoes to fill as he takes over for The Miz as the intercontinental champion. The Miz brought a level of prestige to the Intercontinental Championship that hasn't been seen in many years.
Fans started taking The Miz seriously when he unleashed a vicious promo on Daniel Bryan during the Aug. 23, 2016, edition of Talking Smack:
The Miz's stock rose exponentially after that interview, and he took the Intercontinental Championship with him despite losing it on separate occasions to Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose. The A-Lister became one of the highlights of WWE programming and never hesitated to emphasize the importance of the intercontinental title.
It will be interesting to see whether that trend continues with Reigns.
John Cena elevated the United States Championship through his open challenge series in 2015, but the momentum from Cena's reign was fleeting. The U.S. title almost immediately became an afterthought after Alberto Del Rio took it from Cena at Hell in a Cell 2015.
Reigns was the U.S. champion from September 2016 to January 2017, which had little effect in getting fans to care about the belt.
If nothing else, Reigns' win Monday night will allow The Shield to continue interacting with The Miztourage, which has been an entertaining feud.