WWE Intercontinental Championship Pt 6 – The Re-introduction of the Classic Championship Era

When we last left the Intercontinental Championship, it was in the hands of Ezekiel Jackson.

Little did the WWE and fans know the Championship that was once held in such high esteem was about to get a major boost.

This is the sixth part of the ongoing History of the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Pt 6 –
Prestige Returns

Cody Rhodes vs. Christian - Intercontinental Championship Match: photos | WWE
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For 54 days, Ezekial Jackson held the Intercontinental Championship before Cody Rhodes came calling.

Rhodes defeated Jackson and an episode of Smackdown and began his quest to bring legitimacy back to the Intercontinental Championship.

Bringing back the classic white strap design added a bit of intrigue to the title.

Cody would go on to hold the Intercontinental Championship for 234 days.

His was the longest reign in five years, and it still sits in the top ten longest reigns of all time.

His quest to be a great Intercontinental Champion was a success before he lost it on the grandest of stages.

Big Show On the Biggest Show

Big Show def. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes | WWE
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Heading into WrestleMania 28, Cody Rhodes had criticized the Big Show for his failures at WrestleMania. Not winning the big one was something Big Show was well known for.

However, this time would be different as Big Show ended Cody Rhodes’s lengthy reign as Intercontinental Champion.

This was Big Show’s one and only reign as Intercontinental Champion, and it lasted 28 days.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Pt 6
Cody Back On Top

Cody Rhodes reveals the classic Intercontinental Championship: Hell in a Cell 2011 | WWE
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Following a tradition established long before them, Cody Rhodes Big Show traded the Intercontinental Championship within a two-month period.

Rhodes won the title back from the Big Show during a Tables Match at Extreme Rules 2012.

To say the match ended rather anticlimactic would be an understatement.

Big Show’s reign ended as he accidentally stepped through a table coming off the ring apron to begin Cody Rhodes’ second reign with the Championship.

This reign for Rhodes wasn’t nearly as impressive as his first, lasting only 28 days.

Reign Number Four

Christian discusses his fourth reign as Intercontinental Champion: WWE.com Exclusive, June 17, 2012 | WWE
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When Christian ended Cody Rhodes’s reign as Intercontinental Champion, it had been nine years since he last held the belt.

Christian and Rhodes faced off at Over the Limit 2012, and for the fourth time, the former tag team specialist was Intercontinental Champion.

This reign lasted two more weeks than his first, a total of 64 days.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Pt 6
First of Many

WWE Raw 1000: The Miz Back on Track After Winning Intercontinental Title | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report
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Raw 1000 was a special night for WWE’s red brand. It was a time to celebrate the past and look towards the future.

This episode is when a man who would become synonymous with the Intercontinental Championship over the next decade would win the title for the first time.

That man was The Miz.

Like Cody Rhodes before him, Miz would make it his mission to bring back legitimacy to the Intercontinental Championship.

This first reign moving towards that goal lasted 84 days.

Kofi’s Fourth Reign

15 Most-Decorated WWE Wrestlers To Never Win A World Title – Page 14
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The road to legitimacy for the Intercontinental Championship was a bumpy one, and that was no more apparent then it changing hands on an episode of Main Event in October of 2012.

Ending Miz’s first foray as champion was Kofi Kingston.

This would be Kington’s fourth reign with the Intercontinental Championship, and it lasted 74 days.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Pt 6
Barrett Barrage

Wade Barrett wins the Intercontinental Championship | WWE
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Wade Barrett re-entered the Intercontinental Title scene at the end of 2012 and would finish the year as Intercontinental Champion.

His second reign started on the final Raw of 2012 when he defeated Kofi Kingston.

This reign was very similar to his first, lasting 97 days.

Mania Miz

WWE Wrestlemania 29 Results: Strangest Decisions from Wrestling's Biggest Event | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report
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Proving that the Intercontinental Championship was still a long way from legitimacy, the Miz won the title for the second time during the WrestleMania 29 PreShow.

This was a far cry from the historic title matches like Savage-Steamboat and Razor Ramon versus Shawn Michaels.

Taking place on the pre-show was another low point for WWE’s legendary championship.

Adding even more insult was the fact that this reign for the Miz lasted only one day.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Pt 6
Third Time Around

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Ending Miz’s one-day reign as Intercontinental Champion was the man he won it from, Wade Barrett.

The two faced off on the post-WrestleMania Raw, and Barrett won the title for the third time.

Lasting only 68 days, this would be the second shortest reign of Barrett’s with the gold.

Family Legacy

Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel def. Kofi Kingston | WWE
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Mr. Perfect was long considered one of the best Intercontinental Champions of all time.

His rivalry with Bret Hart over the title is held in high esteem.

So when his son Curtis Axel won the championship at Payback 2013, many hoped the Intercontinental Championship would be as beneficial to him as it was to his dad.

That came true to a point.

Axel held the Intercontinental Championship for an impressive 156 days after winning it in a triple-threat match with Barrett and the Miz.

However, this would be his one and only time holding the title his father helped make great.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Pt 6 –
Big Intercontinental Champion

Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel - Intercontinental Title Match: Raw, Nov. 18, 2013 - YouTube
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Curtis Axel wasn’t the only first-time Intercontinental Champion to be crowned at the end of 2013.

Big E Langston, who moved up from NXT to the main roster, won his first main roster singles championship on the November 18, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw.

Like many before him, Big E’s first reign with the Intercontinental Championship was a strong one, lasting a total of 167 days.

Bad News For Big E

File:Bad News Barrett IC Champion Jan 2015.jpg - Wikipedia
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In 2014, Wade Barrett found a new life in his WWE career, taking on his Bad News Barrett persona.

His “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news” phrase had caught on with the WWE audience, and he once again found the Intercontinental Championship around his waist.

His fourth reign with Intercontinental gold began at Extreme Rules and lasted 58 days before an unfortunate shoulder injury forced him to relinquish the gold.