Dark Pegasus Video Review: The History of the Intercontinental Championship (Disc One) Posted by J.D. Dunn on 11.28.2008
I unified it in South America by beating um... Morgan Fairchild. Yeahhh, that's the ticket.
The History of the Intercontinental Championship, Disc One by J.D. Dunn
Your host is Todd Grisham.
Todd talks about the importance of the IC Title… in the past. He also points out that the title was born in Rio. Sure. The WWE story is that Patterson won the North American Title and the South American Title, unifying them into the Intercontinental Title. The real story is that Mid-South Wrestling already had a North American Title, so Vince McMahon Sr. agreed to change the title to avoid confusion. Hence, Intercontinental Title.
Intercontinental Title: Pat Patterson vs. Ted Dibiase (10.22.79)
This would be the rematch from when Patterson defeated Dibiase for the North American Title. Pat Patterson stalls forever, so Vince conducts an interview with Cal Rudman. Goddamn you, Patterson. Finally, Dibiase gets his hands on Patterson and stomps a mudhole, so Patterson ducks out of the ring. Back in, Dibiase goes right to work on Patterson's arm with a series of knees and an armbar. Dibiase gets whipped to the buckle but comes out with an abdominal stretch. Patterson slips out of it, but Dibiase gets fired up and hits a dropkick. A second one misses, though, and Ted falls on his head. Patterson grabs his brass knuckles, but Ted beats him to the punch. Now, Ted grabs the knuckles and goes after Patterson, but Pat scoops up his legs and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin at 7:54. Fired-up babyface Dibiase is pretty great to see, especially for people who grew up with him as a heel. **
Intercontinental Title: Ken Patera (w/The Grand Wizard) vs. Pedro Morales (10.20.80).
Patera says the IC Title will never wind up around that "fat Puerto Rican waist" of Morales. Morales storms the ring and chases him off. The MSG crowd is insane for Morales. He pummels Patera early but gets tossed over the top rope. Pedro makes it to the apron but gets tossed into the corner. Patera grounds things with a front facelock that goes on for quite a while. Pedro powers up and tosses him across the ring, though. Patera moves in, but Pedro catches him with a shot to the gut. Patera fights back and hits a suplex. That sets up a bearhug. Pedro eventually claps his way out of it, which sets Patera off. He screams and stomps Pedro repeatedly. Pedro gets to his feet and rakes Patera's face, which is odd for a babyface. They slug it out, and both guys shove the referee down for the DQ at 15:64. A bunch of wrestlers comes down to separate them. It was just a series of comebacks for Pedro, which the crowd was hot for. Not something I'd recommend for today's fans, though. **1/4
For whatever reason, they showed the match that set up the title change, but not the actual title change.
Intercontinental Title: Pedro Morales vs. Don Muraco (w/Captain Lou Albano - 12.28.82).
This is toward the end of the long-standing feud between the two as they traded the title over the course of two years. Albano gets tossed early. Pedro suckers Muraco into missing an elbow. Btw, what in the hell does Gorilla Monsoon mean when he calls that a "double-cross?" He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means. Pedro grabs a hammerlock, so Muraco goes low with a mulekick. Now that's a heel! A swinging neckbreaker gets two for Muraco. A suplex gets two more, and Muraco tosses Pedro to the floor for poops and giggles. Apparently, he has enough poops and a fair amount of giggles because he suplexes Morales back into the ring and dropkicks him back to the floor. Muraco follows him out and beats him down into a couple of empty chairs. "Standing Room Only" my ass. Pedro gets pissed and rakes Muraco in the face. He's fired up now! Muraco goes up top but gets crotched. Hilarious ending as Pedro accidentally knocks the ref down, so when the ref tries to intervene, Muraco blatantly kicks him back down for the DDQ at 14:24. This would set up a rematch a month later where Muraco won the title back. Decent brawl, but it had a number of dead spots. **
Great Muraco promo sets up…
Intercontinental Title, Steel Cage Match: Don Muraco (w/Lou Albano) vs. Jimmy Snuka (w/Buddy Rogers – 10.17.83).
Yes, it's that match. Blink and you'll miss a young Mick Foley in the crowd. Look closely, and you probably still won't find him. This would be the result of Rogers pointing out that Albano had been stealing money from Snuka back when he managed him. Snuka would chase Muraco all over the territory, usually getting screwed in some kind of Strap Match. Muraco slingshots Snuka into the cage, busting him open early. They brawl on the top, and Snuka shoves Muraco back into the ring. Muraco has the presence of mind to slam Snuka off the second rope. Snuka catches him going for the door but takes a low blow. Snuka fights his way back and drops a fist right between the eyes. Unfortunately, he hits a flying headbutt that sends Muraco crashing through the door at 6:37 (shown). Snuka hasn't had enough, though. He tosses Muraco back in and hits him with the famous Superfly Splash off the top of the cage. Not exactly a technical classic, but this was all about rage and intensity. **1/4
Intercontinental Title, Lumberjack Match: Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Tito Santana (03.17.85).
This is the match featured on "The WWF's Most Unusual Matches", although I believe that one had different commentary and was clipped by about 4 minutes. This looks to be in its entirety. John Studd, King Kong Bundy, Ricky Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka and Rocky Johnson are among the many lumberjacks. Valentine jumps him during pre-match inspection. Tito knocks him to the outside. Studd doesn't seem too anxious to toss his fellow heel back in, so Steamboat has to do it. Tito gives Valentine an atomic drop and a knee lift. Valentine heads outside again, so Bundy and the JYD throw him in. Santana stomps Valentine down in the corner and rings his bell. Valentine tries to escape the arena, but the lumberjacks track him down and throw him back in again. Tito drops an elbow off the second rope for two. Valentine crawls out into the crowd, but Steamboat drags him back and throws him in to Tito. Tito charges into the corner, but Valentine gets a knee up for two. Valentine goes to work on Tito's knee in preparation for the figure-four. He tosses Tito to the outside, hoping to let the heels do his dirty work for him. Tito tries to struggle to his feet, but Valentine drops a forearm across the back of his head. He goes for a figure-four, but Tito reverses to a small package for two. Valentine cuts off a comeback with a forearm shot. They do a goofy spot where Valentine charges him in the corner, and Tito kind of monkey flips him into the turnbuckle. Valentine tries to crawl to safety, but Tito drags him back in by his tights. A suplex gets two, and Tito goes for the figure-four. Valentine tosses him aside and tries to bail again. The faces beat Valentine all the way back in. Tito gets the figure-four, but Studd helps Valentine make the ropes. Studd and Tito go at it. Valentine hits Tito from behind, triggering a wild slugfest. Tito and Valentine run into each other at full speed, knocking each other out. Valentine falls on top for the pinfall at 15:00, even though he's unconscious. Inventive finish that's clean, but just dissatisfying enough to ensure a rematch for more money. ***3/4
Intercontinental Title: Tito Santana vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth, 02.08.86).
Sweeeeeet. Savage had come on like gangbusters the year before. The Boston fans are in love with him. Tito, not so much. Danny Davis is your referee, which becomes important. These guys had great character chemistry together. Savage is violent, crazy and dangerous. Tito is one of the best babyfaces in history. It's the wrestling equivalent of a hyena and a gazelle. Savage stalls early and goes to Tito's eyes, which pisses Tito right off. Tito chases him to the floor but gets blindsided. He blocks the double ax-handle with a shot to the gut, but Savage ducks to the floor. Savage keeps going to the eyes every time Tito gets momentum. Savage gets two off a clothesline and gets two more off the double ax-handle. To the floor, Savage hits the double ax-handle from the top to the floor. Tito fires back and comes off the second rope with an elbow. Savage gets his boot up to block a charge, and Davis gets bumped on the kickout. CUE OMINOUS MUSIC! Tito small packages Savage, but Davis is slow to count. Savage misses a kneedrop, giving Tito his opening. Tito focuses in on Savage's leg. SWEEP THE LEG! Tito gets the figure-four leglock to a HUGE pop. Savage rolls to the ropes and pulls something out of his tights. Tito suplexes him back in and goes for the figure-four, but Savage kicks him away. Savage misses a swing, but he hits Tito with it during a backdrop suplex. That gets the win at 10:30. Funny moment as Savage tosses the foreign object to a nearby puzzled photographer. Tito was highly underrated, and Savage was awesome at this point. Good stuff. ***1/2
Intercontinental Title: Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ricky Steamboat (w/George Steele, 03.29.87).
Well, here it is – one of the greatest matches of the 1980s. Most of it is too fast for strict play-by-play. Ricky fires off a few armdrags and lifts Savage by the throat. Savage misses a charge and nearly gets his arm broken in half when Steamboat lifts up on a wristlock. Savage hits an elbow to take over and gets a series of nearfalls. Steamboat fires back, and Savage gets tied in the ropes. They trade an incredibly fast series of nearfalls. Steamboat tries to skin-the-cat, but Savage clotheslines him right back out. Back in, Savage gets a series of nearfalls, but he can't finish Ricky off. Steamboat dips his shoulder and backdrops Savage over the top in a HUGE BUMP! Back in, Steamboat jumps off the top rope, over Earl Hebner, and hits Macho Man with a chop between the eyes. The fans think that's it, but Hebner says he only counted two. Now it's Steamboat who gets a furious series of nearfalls but can't get the win. The crowd thinks Ricky's won it again, but Hebner just hit the mat hard when he dropped down, and it was only a two count. Ricky gets two off an O'Connor Roll, and Savage reverses with a handful of tights for two. They reverse Irish Whips, and Steamboat gets sent into Dave Hebner. Savage hits the flying elbowdrop, but there's no ref. Macho grabs the ring bell and is about to crush Ricky's throat with it again, but George Steele sneaks up and pushes him off the top. Savage picks Ricky up and goes for a bodyslam, but Ricky rolls him over into a small package! ONE, TWO, THREE! Ricky gets the pin and the title (and one of the biggest pops ever) at 14:35. One of the greatest matches of all time, and certainly a consensus Top 10 pick for the 1980s. Savage has his head in his hands all the way back to the locker room as Elizabeth tries to console him. *****
Intercontinental Title: Ricky Steamboat vs. The Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart, 06.02.87).
Not sure what's up with Steamboat's music. I know it used to be "Sirius," which is no good for the bottom line, but the music they picked for this is just bizarre. No one saw this coming. Honky was just a joke, the equivalent of Santino Marella. Then again, Marella is a former IC champ. Honky attacks from behind, but Steamboat fights off Jimmy Hart and backdrops Honky to the floor. Honky goes to the eyes but misses a fistdrop. Steamer uses a karate kick and a chop to the eyes. Honky blocks a backdrop and goes for the Shake, Rattle & Roll, but Ricky backdrops him to counter. Honky goes upside down into the corner. Jimmy Hart occupies the ref so that he misses a Steamboat pin. Honky charges, but Steamboat slips through his legs and knocks him into Hart. Steamboat small packages Honky, but Honky reverses and grabs the ropes to pick up the win and the title at 3:53. They really packed a lot into those four minutes. **1/2
Intercontinental Title: The Honkytonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. A Mystery Opponent (08.29.88).
Honky beat beloved Ricky Steamboat for the IC title and spent the next year plus ducking every major challenger that he could, and getting disqualified or counted out whenever possible. Brutus Beefcake is injured, of course, so Honky asks for someone… anyone to come out and fight him for the belt. And he doesn't care who it is! Suddenly, the Ultimate Warrior answers the call and finishes Honky off with a clothesline and splash in exactly :30. One of the greatest moments in WWF history. 1/4*
Intercontinental Title: Rick Rude vs. The Ultimate Warrior.
Warrior blitzes Rude early and press slams him to the floor! He hits Rude with the title belt, prompting Jesse to wonder if you can shoot somebody with a machine gun as long as it's on the outside. Rude gets his sculpted ass handed to him for six minutes straight until he crotches the Warrior out of sheer desperation. A chinlock gives Rude time to breathe. Warrior powers out of the Rude Awakening, so Rude settles for a sleeper in a spot recycled from their Mania match. Warrior fights out of it but bumps the referee in the process. Warrior powerslams Rude, but the ref is out. Warrior hits a piledriver as the ref recovers. ONE, TWO, THRE-foot on the rope. Rude blocks the splash and hits a piledriver of his own. That leads to a fistdrop off the top for two as Roddy Piper saunters down. Rude stops to argue with Piper and gets mooned. SCANDAL! Warrior recovers and throws Rude back with a belly-to-back suplex. The press slam and splash finish at 16:01 as Warrior regains the IC Title. This really did have an epic feel to it, which hadn't really happened since Savage vs. Steamboat. Both guys were on, and this was Warrior's best match to that point. ***1/2