In 1979, Pat Patterson "won a tournament" to become the first Intercontinental Champion. Many of the men to wear the title used it as a steppingstone to the WWE Championship. For others, this title represented the peak of their career. The title has been continuous with the exception of a seven month period in 2002 and 2003 when it was discontinued. After the brand split, the title was the exclusive property of RAW from 2002 - 2009. In the 2009 draft, the title moved to SmackDown.
Pedro Morales became the first man to win the then WWF triple crown (World, Intercontinental, & Tag Team Champion). Pedro Morales was the first former world champion to hold the title, the first man to hold the title twice and the first man to lose the belt to the same man (Don Muraco) twice. His first title reign started on December 8, 1980 and ended six months later. He regained the title five months later. His second title reign lasted a then-record 425 days. Pedro was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995.
2. Don Muraco - 541 DaysDon Muraco is a two time champion. He beat Pedro Morales for the title twice. Once in 1981 and again in 1983. His second title reign lasted for over a year. His most famous defense of the title was a steel cage match against Jimmy Snuka. After a fluke victory over "The Superfly", Snuka dragged Muraco back into the ring and delivered his superfly leap from the top of the cage. Don Muraco was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
© 2008 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Honky Tonk Man shocked the world when he beat Ricky Steamboat for the title on June 2, 1987. With the help of his manager Jimmy Hart, his girlfriend Peggy Sue and his guitar he went on to have the longest single title reign in the nearly three decade history of the title. He lost the title to the Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam 88
in a surprise bout that lasted less than a minute.
Tito won the title from Don Muraco on February 11, 1984 in a match at the Boston Garden that was never recorded. His first title reign ended at the hands of Greg Valentine. After recovering from a knee injury, he regained the title from Valentine in a steel cage match eight months later. This was the first time that a WWE title had changed hands inside a steel cage. His second and final title reign ended at the same place he won the title for the first time, the Boston Garden. That loss to Randy Savage eventually became a part of the saga involving evil referee Danny Davis.
Razor Ramon was a four time Intercontinental champion. His first title reign started when beat Rick Martel for the vacant title on September 27, 1993. His most famous title defense was a ladder match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X
. He left the WWE in 1996 and as Scott Hall became one of the founders of the New World Order.
The Ultimate Warrior beat The Honky Tonk Man for the title in a surprise match at SummerSlam 88
. He would go on to lose and regain the title from Rick Rude. At WrestleMania VI
, he beat Hulk Hogan to become the WWE Champion. That victory marks the first time that the current Intercontinental Champion became the WWE Champion. He was forced to vacate the title after this match.
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Randy Savage beat Tito Santana for the title on February 8, 1986. He lost the title to Ricky Steamboat in a classic match at WrestleMania 3
. His most famous feuds over the title were with Ricky Steamboat, George Steele, and Tito Santana. At WrestleMania IV
, Randy won the WWE Championship. By doing this, he became the first former Intercontinental Champion to go on to win the WWE Championship.
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"Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig won the tournament caused by the Ultimate Warrior being forced to vacate the title after WrestleMania VI
. He lost and regained the title from Kerry Von Erich. His second and final title reign was ended by Bret Hart at SummerSlam 91
. After that match, Curt was forced to leave the sport for a few years due to a severe back injury. Mr. Perfect passed away in 2003.
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Shawn Michaels held the belt on three occasions. His first reign started when he beat the British Bulldog on the October 27, 1992, broadcast of Saturday Night's Main Event
. His first title reign was ended by his former partner Marty Jannetty. He regained the belt with the help of his new bodyguard Diesel. He would go on to win and vacate the title on two occasions over the next few years.
(c) 2006 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Shelton is a three-time champion. His first reign began when he beat Chris Jericho at Taboo Tuesday 2004
. He lost the title to Carlito a few months later. He won the belt for a second time with the help of his mother when he beat Ric Flair. He lost the title at Backlash 2005
to Rob Van Dam. He regained it two weeks later but lost it a month later to Johnny Nitro in a three-way match that also included Carlito.