WWE Looks to Reinvest in The Intercontinental Title – Why You Shouldn't Be Excited
Posted by Jack McGee on 04.17.2014
WWE started a tournament on Raw to crown a new #1 contender for the Intercontinental Title. Are they finally serious about reinvesting in the title, or are they just fooling us once again? 411’s Jack McGee takes a look!
Truth be told, I am older than the average 411 writer and reader. That doesn't translate into better, but just a point of reference to where I am coming from. When I was a kid, back in the day, use whatever cliché we need to use, I was a WWF fan. I grew up in the northeast and it is what I was exposed to the most. Hulkamania ran wild, and I had no problem with him, but I wasn't his biggest fan. I was a Randy Savage guy. Randy Savage had one of the best IC Title reigns; holding the title from February of 86 to March of 87, he was my guy, and damn that George Steele, because if it wasn't for him, Steamboat didn't have a chance at WrestleMania 3.
Looking back, I loved the roster of IC Title guys, and really followed them more than anything. Again, Hulkamania ran wild and I enjoyed the run, but he wasn't the reason that I went to the shows. Tito Santana, Greg Valentine, Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Warrior, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart; these were my guys that I paid to see. Hell back in the day when the company ran 2 to 3 shows a day, the IC Title was big enough to headline a house show and it actually drew money for the "B-towns". Look at that roster of names that held the title; that really was some great stuff. The roster of Intercontinental champions is a who's who of wrestling; add in Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Triple H, the Rock and Chris Jericho and that is a murder's row of star power. There are many other stars that held the title as well, which only strengthens the argument that this was a title that served to launch many careers. But that was when the title mattered, and to be honest with you, it hasn't meant much in a long, long time.
The post WrestleMania buzz is starting to wear off, but the WWE is trying to capitalize on it with the tournament to crown a top contender for the IC Title. Christian's latest concussion (which could spell the end for him longevity as an in ring performer) is the reason that the tournament is being held, since he was the top contender.
But I just couldn't get excited.
I do feel that this is a great idea to give you a few weeks of programming (that good old episodic TV) and making it seem as if the title is important. Up and comer Cesaro, former world champion Mark Henry, former world and IC champion RVD, former world champion Alberto Del Rio, former world champion Sheamus, former world champion Jack Swagger, former IC Champion Bad News Barrett and former world champion Dolph Ziggler. That is a damn fine field of competitors, and I liked having RVD, Cesaro, Sheamus and Barrett all advance. There was a lot to like from the tournament's opening round.
But I just couldn't get excited.
I liked what I heard following Raw. People like myself that loved the title, people that love tournaments, there was a lot of excitement. So many people I know are so happy and excited and talking about it like it meant something for once…
But damn it I just couldn't get excited. Why can I not get excited?????
Seriously, you guys have no idea how much I want the IC Title (and the US Title) to actually mean something, because I want to care. With the WWE unifying the big belts, there is a real opportunity for that title to mean something, to be a title for the working guys, to be that steppingstone for the next level of talent. But I have been fooled all too many times.
Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. The title has been shit on for years, and the guys that end up with the title seem to be cursed. Kofi, Ziggler, Barrett, Cody, Christian, Miz, Axel and even Big E; it is all the same. They get the big run up to the title, they get the big win, and then the wheels come off. They lose most of the time on TV in non-title matches, they face a bigger star and automatically lose, and the fans don't care. Fans wax poetic about Cody Rhodes holding the title for 236 days, but losing to Randy Orton repeatedly didn't help him. Worst of all people said Cody got shit reactions on PPV when he faced Orton. Of course he did, he lost all the time and the title was never on the line for Orton. If Randy Orton didn't care about that title, then why should the fans care about the title?
Listen, no wrestling is perfect. WWE, TNA, New Japan; they all have their highs and their lows. But maybe WWE needs to take a page out of New Japan's book here. While New Japan is building their new star (Okada) they have taken proven main event stars Shinsuke Nakamura and Hiroshi Tanahashi and had them feud over their IC Title. It main events shows, they have great matches and they fight FOR the title. So that you can understand this (if you don't watch) Tanahashi in New Japan = John Cena in WWE. Proven main event stars, fighting over a title that they want to win in great matches leading to people caring about a secondary title? It's just crazy enough to work.
Unfortunately, until WWE proves to me that they can do it, all this talk and excitement about "rebuilding and reinvesting" in the IC Title makes me laugh. It makes me laugh because I am long past angry. WWE has vastly improved their tag team division and made me care, I just hope that they can do the same for the IC Title. The title, as silly as it sounds, deserves it.
Jack McGee is an aspiring investigative journalist with interests covering TV, Movies, Wrestling, MMA and Sports. When not hunting the Incredible Hulk, Jack works on his surfing, his Johnny Utah like throwing motion and origami.