The History of the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The 8th Wonder of (the Intercontinental) World. Triple and Chyna split after the Corporate Ministry. The red hot powerhouse became the first-ever female competitor to be No.1 contender to the WWF Championship and entrant in the King of the Ring tournament. She then became No.1 contender to long-time rival Jeff Jarrett’s WWE Intercontinental Championship. She bested Jarrett in a “Good Housekeeping” matchmaking her the first and only woman, to date, to hold the Intercontinental Championship and solidifying her place as the 8th Wonder of the World.
RAW Is Jericho
In August Chris Jericho debuted declaring “Raw is Jericho”, proclaimed himself “Y2J” and savior of the WWF. He feuded with Chyna over the Intercontinental Championship, defeating her for the title at Armageddon. On an episode of Smackdown, a match between Jericho and Chyna ended in a double pinfall. Each was declared a champion. Stephanie McMahon recognized them as co-champions. Y2J won a triple threat match against both Chyna and Bob Holly making him a sole champion.
At No Mercy Kurt Angle, reigning European Champion, defeated Jericho becoming the third and final Eurocontinental Champion. At Wrestlemania 2000 Angle put both titles on the line in a two out of three falls match against both Benoit and Jericho. Benoit scored the first fall winning the IC Title. Jericho regained the title by defeating Benoit on Smackdown for a third reign that was cut short the next week on Raw when Benoit won back the title for the second time.
Rikishi beat Benoit for the title before losing it Val Venis on the Fourth of July Smackdown.
At SummerSlam Chyna made history again. She teamed with Eddie Guerrero against champion Val Venis and Trish Stratus in a mixed tag match with the title on the line. Chyna pinned Trish gaining the title a second time.
Latino (Heel) Heat
Eddie later inserted himself into her title defense against Kurt Angle so he could protect his “Mamacita”. During the match Guerrero won the title after knocking Chyna to the mat, laying on top of her, and “accidentally” getting the three count because her shoulders were on the mat.
Eddie lost the title to “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn. Who quickly lost the title back to Chris Benoit.
YJ2 regained the IC Title in a ladder match at Royal Rumble for a third reign
In April Triple beat Jericho for the title, quickly losing the regaining it to and from Jeff Hardy.
Triple lost the title to Kane at Judgement Day before Kane lost the title to Albert due to interference by DDP.
After the Alliance(WCW/ECW) successfully secured the WWE Championship, Lance Storm deemed it “only appropriate” that he should take the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Albert. He did so on RAW making short work of his opponent with the assistance of several Alliance members.
Rated R for Awesomeness
Edge was coming off a career year having won the King of the Ring. After joining Team WWF the future Rated R Superstar captured the Intercontinental Championship for a second time. Christian soon after betrayed his long-time partner and took the title at Unforgiven match before recapturing the championship at No Mercy in a ladder match. Two weeks later he lost the IC Title then captured the WCW US Title which he later unified with Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series by defeating Test for a fourth reign.
At Royal Rumble, Edge lost the title to William Regal
Mr. Monday Night
At Wrestlemania X8 Rob Van Dam won the Intercontinental Championship and was later drafted to Raw making the title exclusive to that brand. At Backlash, Eddie Guerrero beat Van Dam for the title before losing it back in a ladder match on Raw before defeating Jeff Hardy in a unification match with the European Championship. Chris Benoit won the title shortly after defecting to Smackdown thus making the title exclusive to Smackdown until Van Dam once against became champion at SummerSlam bringing the title back to Raw. Later, Van Dam beat Hardcore Champion Tommy Dreamer unifying the IC and Hardcore Championships putting together 3 quick reigns.
Two weeks later on RAW Y2J once again became champion, beating RVD.
All About the Game
Kane won the title from Van Dam despite interference from Triple H and Ric Flair. Afterward, Kane began feuding with Triple H for his World Heavyweight Championship. The two clashed in a title for the title match at No Mercy. Triple H, unifying the titles. RAW general manager Eric Bischoff, consequently, deactivated the Intercontinental Championship.
After 7 months RAW co-general manager Stone Cold reactivated the Intercontinental Championship at Judgement Day in a 20 man battle royal won by Christian making him a two-time champion. Booker T won the championship on RAW, his first title in WWE before losing it back to Christian at a house show becoming a three-time champ.
RVD feuded with both Y2J and Christian over the IC Title. He defeated Christian in a ladder match for the title. Jericho beat Van Dam for the title by submission after Eric Bischoff distracted the referee tying Jeff Jarrett for most IC Title reigns but Stone Cold forced Y2J to defend the title in an impromptu cage match which Van Dam won.
A Legend Killer is Born
Randy Orton debuted in 2003 but went down with an injury to his shoulder during which time he updated fans via “RNN” segments. After his return, he morphed into an arrogant young heel set on taking on the moniker of “Legend Killer” and joining villainous stable Evolution. In December he defeated Rob Van Dam at Armageddon for the Intercontinental Championship. Orton became the longest-reigning champion in 7 years holding the Intercontinental Championship for 210 days. Afterward, Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, a 13 time World Champion and the WWE’s Apex Predator.
Orton lost the IC Title to Edge at Vengeance 2004 to Edge who held the championship for two months before an injury forced him to drop the title.
The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla’s Record
Chris Jericho began teaming Christian after losing the IC Title. They would eventually feud after Christian turned on Jericho. The two men faced off several times leading a ladder match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship at Unforgiven. Y2J won the match and surpassed Jeff Jarrett’s record 6 reigns.
Originally written by Tavish York