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The 10 Best WWF/E Intercontinental Champions Of The 2000s

The 2000s was a beautiful decade for the Intercontinental Championship. Starting with the year 2000 – the single-greatest year for then-called World Wrestling Federation – the Attitude Era was still going strong, with new faces rising to take their rightful place in history, and the overall product being virtual perfection. The mid-card was SO strong, and a new generation of gladiators claimed Intercontinental Gold to continue its legacy as one of the most prestigious championships a wrestler could hold.

When the Attitude Era ended, and the Ruthless Aggression Era began, the Intercontinental Championship scene remained strong and glorious (we WON’T talk about the title being temporarily retired from October 2002 to June 2003, alright?), with so many newcomers building & building upon the championship’s prestige and make more epic history, former tag-team specialists now looking for their big break as a singles star, and even legends who had moved away from the world title picture gave themselves and thus the IC title a new lease of life. Overall, the 2000s really gave us some absolute legends as Intercontinental Champion.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Christian
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

When Christian became absolutely jealous of Edge’s success as the 2001 King of the Ring, and then the Intercontinental Champion…Christian turned heel with a one-man Con-Chair-To to his former-best chum. Then won his first Intercontinental Championship at Unforgiven 2001, subsequently joining the Alliance during the whole Invasion storyline. Fast-forward to 2003, Christian got a new haircut, upgraded his heel persona and enjoyed another two dastardly reigns as IC Champ before finally losing the title to Rob Van Dam in one of the greatest Ladder Matches ever on Monday Night Raw. Captain Charisma used his time as IC Champ wisely to get to where he is today. For his Peeps, of course.

Johnny Nitro/John Morrison
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

When MNM sensationally split-up in 2006, Johnny Nitro went from SmackDown to Raw, and picked up his first Intercontinental Championship at Vengeance 2006 in a spectacular triple-threat against Carlito and Shelton Benjamin. After that came a great feud with Jeff Hardy, which saw the belt change back-and-forth in various ladder and cage matches. Then when the real-life John Hennigan upgraded himself to John Morrison, he defeated the legendary Rey Mysterio to win his third & final IC Title in 2009 for an impressive run. John, you did alright with this one, mate.

Kurt Angle
IMG credit: WWE & Shitloads of Wrestling – Tumblr

On paper, Kurt Angle’s sole IC Title reign seems inconsequential compared to his glorious world title reigns; especially given that his run only lasted 35 days. But it was EVERYTHING that Kurt did with the championship in that time that was so unforgettably brilliant! Beating Chris Jericho at No Way Out 2000 for the title whilst already European Champion, Angle became the third, final and most successful ‘Euro-Continental’ champion of all time. And when he lost both titles at WrestleMania 16, Angle wasn’t even involved in either loss! Kurt Angle would never have ascended to main-event status if not for his brilliance as the Euro-Continental Champion! It’s true! It’s true!

Kane
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Already a former world champion, tag champion and established main-eventer, Kane picked up his first Intercontinental Championship at Judgement Day 2001 by beating Triple H in a brutal chain-match (the best bout ever in Kane’s career, in my opinion) and although his first reign only lasted 39 days, Kane was a fighting champion, successfully defending it on weekly TV against the likes of Kurt Angle, Edge, Christian and Rhyno before dropping it to Albert (of all people!) after some incredibly good matches between the two. Kane won his second IC Title in 2002 by beating Chris Jericho, and although his second reign lasted 20 days, Kane remained a fighting IC Champ, as well as a Tag Team Champion simultaneously, winning one of the greatest TLC matches all by himself! The Big Red Machine can be proud of his work as Intercontinental Champ!

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Ric Flair
IMG credit: That Shit Was Hot – Tumblr

In the twilight of his career, Ric Flair won his only Intercontinental Championship from Carlito at Unforgiven 2005. He became the oldest champion in history at 58-years-old, his reign lasted 155 days before dropping the title to Shelton Benjamin, and he feuded with the likes of Edge and his former Evolution bestie Triple H. The greatest moment of that run was unquestionably a classic cage match at Taboo Tuesday 2005, which saw the Nature Boy retain the title against Triple H. It was one of the greatest IC Championship bouts in the title’s history and another classic courtesy of Ric Flair. WOOOOOOOO!!!

Santino Marella
IMG credit: WWE

Santino was absolutely ace. Ergo, he was an absolutely ace Intercontinental Champion. Picked at RANDOM by Vince McMahon (yeah, right!) from the Milan, Italy audience during 2007 to challenge then-champ Umaga on Raw, Santino scored a shocking upset (with Bobby Lashley’s help!) to win his first title in WWE! Marella reigned for 77 days before dropping the title back to Umaga. In 2008, Santino was now partnered with Beth Phoenix and ‘Glamarella’ became a successful power-couple, holding both the Intercontinental and Women’s Titles respectively, after Beth scored the win at SummerSlam 2008. And of course, there was the genius ‘Honk-A-Meter’; Santino’s week-by-week attempt to break the Honky Tonk Man’s unbeaten 64-week reign. He failed miserably…but it was STILL genius!

TOP 10

10. Eddie Guerrero
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Shortly after Eddie Guerrero’s fantastic run as the European Champion came to an end in 2000, Latino Heat soon moved onto the Intercontinental belt, albeit ‘accidentally’. Shortly after his beloved “Mamacita” Chyna picked up another historic Intercontinental Championship, Eddie asked Commissioner Mick Foley to insert him into her title defence against Kurt Angle. Chyna had been knocked out by Kurt, Eddie took care of him and then ‘accidentally’ pinned Chyna whilst trying to revive her. Only a legend like Eddie could’ve pulled that off…!

Of course, it was a precursor to Eddie’s inevitable lying, cheating, & stealing. Eddie turned heel, and reigned with the Intercontinental Championship for 80 days before dropping it to Billy Gunn. At Backlash 2002, Eddie Guerrero won his second Intercontinental Championship from Rob Van Dam and held it for 36 days, feuding with RVD throughout the entire reign, retaining the title at Insurextion and Judgement Day before finally dropping it to Van Dam in one of the best Ladder Matches ever on Raw. Eddie had one of the greatest careers of all time, and the Intercontinental Title remains an important part of his legacy.

9. Triple H
IMG credit: WWE & Twitter

Triple H had already picked up two Intercontinental Championships in the 90s. His first reign lasted 115 days as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and his second reign came after defeating the Rock at SummerSlam 1998 but was cut short when Hunter had to vacate the title due to a knee injury. Helmsley used his IC Title victories to get to the main-event level. But even after HHH had cemented his legacy as a THAT-DAMN-GOOD WWF Champion…Triple H went back to the Intercontinental Title in 2001 and continued to be an amazing champ

Uniting with former arch-nemesis Steve Austin to form the Two-Man Power Trip, ‘The Game’ defeated Chris Jericho to win his third IC Title. This reign only lasted 7 days before he was shockingly upset for the title by Jeff Hardy! Hunter got the belt back three days later, and with Austin, renewed his hostilities with the Undertaker & Kane. The Two-Man Power Trip beat the Brothers of Destruction for the Tag Titles at Backlash 2001, with Hunter becoming the second-ever Grand Slam Champ, and he and Austin (who was WWF Champion) now had all the gold and power in their possession.

Triple H was finally dethroned by Kane for the IC Title at Judgement Day after 34 days, and then in 2002, Hunter unified the IC Title with the World Heavyweight Championship. Although Triple H’s time with the championship was brief in the 2000s, the Intercontinental Belt transcended to the main-event whilst in his hands.

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8. Chris Benoit
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Obviously, it’s very hard to discuss Chris Benoit without thinking about the horrific and inexcusable Benoit Tragedy. But in the context of this list, Benoit the WRESTLER remained a fighting Intercontinental Champion. Determined to make an impact in the WWF after jump-shipping from WCW in February 2000, Benoit immediately set his sights on championship gold, and found himself in the two-fall triple-threat match at WrestleMania 16 for the European and Intercontinental Titles with Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho.

Benoit won the Intercontinental Championship that night, and then took on all-comers on Raw, SmackDown and Sunday Night Heat, with his heated-rivalry with Chris Jericho standing above all other challengers throughout 2000 and into 2001. The title switched back-and-forth between the fierce rivals in an excellent series of matches, with the greatest being an epic Ladder Match at Royal Rumble 2001. Benoit picked up his fourth & final Intercontinental Championship in 2002 before losing it to Rob Van Dam at SummerSlam. Benoit’s reigns may have been brief, but he always made them count, and then he ultimately claimed the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 20.

7. Edge
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Edge had already won his first Intercontinental Championship in July 1999 from Jeff Jarrett. Alas, his reign only lasted 24 hours, but the groundwork had been laid for Edge’s success as a singles-wrestler in the 21st Century. After becoming 2001 King of the Ring, Edge again set his sights on Intercontinental gold and regained the title from Lance Storm in a damn-fine match at SummerSlam. He lost the belt a month later to a jealous Christian at Unforgiven, but got his revenge in a Ladder match at No Mercy. Sadly, it was another brief reign when he lost the belt to Test 15 days later, but Edge scored another thrilling triumph at Survivor Series when he unified the IC title with the United States Championship.

Edge’s fourth reign lasted 63 days before he was defeated by William Regal at Royal Rumble 2002, and then Edge picked up his fifth & final championship by ending the Legend Killer Randy Orton’s almighty reign at Vengeance 2004. After 57 days, Edge surrendered the title due to injury. Although his reigns were brief, Edge was a happy & proud Intercontinental Champion, using his time with the belt to grow as a performer, wrestler and superstar, before going-on to be the world champion. Another classic success!

6. Jeff Hardy
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

The Hardy Boys rank among the greatest tag teams of all time, and both Matt and Jeff had already proved that in their feud with Edge & Christian and the Dudleys from No Mercy 1999 to WrestleMania 17. But it was during April 2001 when Jeff received his first big break as a singles-wrestler. During Team Extreme’s feud with the Two-Man Power Trip, Jeff Hardy scored a shocking upset over Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship on SmackDown! He also made history as the youngest Intercontinental Champ ever, winning the title at 23-years-old! Jeff sadly lost the belt back to Hunter three days later, but the victory cemented Jeff’s single-status as a superstar.

Hardy would win his second Intercontinental Championship over five years later on 02.10.2006, then embarked on wicked feuds with Johnny Nitro and Umaga in some absolutely fantastic matches (the best being a cage match at New Year’s Revolution 2007 with the former, and a rollercoaster match with the latter at the Great American Bash later that year). Defending the title regularly on weekly TV and on pay-per-view, Jeff even challenged for the WWE Championship whilst Intercontinental Champion! From 2006 to 2008, the Charismatic Enigma had captured the belt four times at this point, spent a combined total of 323 days as IC Champ, and became yet another wrestler who successfully went on to be WWE World Champion. So amazing was Jeff as the Intercontinental Champ, he won the belt for a fifth & final time in 2020.

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5. Shelton Benjamin
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

From late 2002 to early 2004, Shelton Benjamin was one-half of the World’s Greatest Tag Team (with Charlie Haas); and they had plenty of credentials to back up that claim. When the World’s Greatest Tag Team was split-up in the 2004 Draft Lottery, Shelton ended up on Raw and immediately became a huge singles-star by beating Triple H for three weeks running! Fast-forward to Taboo Tuesday 2004, the fans voted for Benjamin to challenge Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship…and Shelton won!

Shelton’s first run with the title was a spectacular 244-Day reign (the LONGEST of the 2000s), resplendent with first-class title defences against Christian at Survivor Series 2004 and Chris Jericho at Backlash 2005. Shelton entered the first-ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 21 as IC Champ, and raised the value of the title even higher with his performance in that bout, becoming the MVP of MITB matches going forward.

Shelton picked up another two great Intercontinental titles in 2006, feuding with the likes of Ric Flair and Rob Van Dam (the highlight being an excellent Winner-Takes-All match for the IC Title and MITB briefcase at Backlash 2006), before dropping the championship in a fantastic triple-threat at Vengeance 2006 involving Carlito and Johnny Nitro. Although Shelton Benjamin may never have reached world-title heights in WWE, as an Intercontinental Champion, there ain’t no stoppin’ him! NAAAAHHHH!!!

4. Rey Mysterio
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

On paper, Rey’s two Intercontinental Championship reigns from 2009 may not seem impressive (his first lasted 63 days, his second lasted 68 days), but Mysterio MAXIMISED his time as champion to not only provide one of the best Intercontinental Title runs in years, he also reminded us why Rey Mysterio is one of the most spectacular & awe-inspiring wrestlers of all time.

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Beating JBL in a shocking 21 seconds at WrestleMania 25 to become Intercontinental Champion, Rey became the 21st Triple Crown Winner in WWE, then embarked on a legendary feud with Chris Jericho. A series of classic matches on PPV (Judgement Day and Extreme Rules) – with each one better than the last – saw the title change hands between the rivals. And it culminated in an epic Title-vs.-Mask affair at The Bash 2009, with Rey ending the feud, and moving-on to a rivalry with Dolph Ziggler, with the title-defence at SummerSlam really putting Ziggler’s name on the map. After losing the title to John Morrison, Rey Mysterio became involved in high-profile feuds with Batista & CM Punk, regained the World Championship in 2010, and then won the WWE Title in 2011. The Intercontinental Title brought Rey back to the Promised Land, and vice versa.

3. Rob Van Dam
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

One of the most popular newcomers to have come to the WWE during the whole Invasion storyline, Rob Van Dam immediately achieved success as the greatest Hardcore Champion of all time. Then in 2002, he won his first Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 18 from William Regal. One of the most spectacular, innovative and amazing athletes of all time, RVD also cemented himself as one of the greatest to have ever held this championship.

Although Van Dam didn’t enjoy an undefeated, record-breaking run like his unforgettable 23-month reign as the ECW World TV Champion, Mr. Monday Night nevertheless made history many times as IC Champ. From 2002 to 2006, Rob was a six-time champion, involved in thrilling feuds with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, Christian, Randy Orton and Shelton Benjamin, partook in several classic matches on TV and PPV, unified the Intercontinental Title with the European and Hardcore Championships, briefly held the IC Title and MITB briefcase simultaneously…and of course, went on to become WWE Champion at ECW One Night Stand 2006. Just like every other time, RVD was the Whole F’N Show as Intercontinental Champion.

2. Randy Orton
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Randy Orton’s sole Intercontinental Championship reign from Armageddon 2003 to Vengeance 2004 stands above most in the title’s lineage. Lasting 210 days, it was the longest reign of any IC Title-holder since The Rock’s 264 day run from December 1997 to August 1998. Having joined the ranks of Evolution and established himself as the Legend Killer, Randy simply shined brighter than ever with the gold. Improving more-and-more as a heel, on the mic and in the ring, the Legend Killer reigned supreme with Evolution; who now had every male championship on the Raw roster.

Defending it routinely on TV, Orton’s IC Title reign also revolved around his legendary feud with Mick Foley. Having dared to spit in the Hardcore Legend’s face, Orton scored the winning pinfall on Foley at WrestleMania 20 when Evolution beat the Rock ’n’ Sock Connection, and then at Backlash 2004, the Legend Killer retained his title against Cactus Jack in one of the bloodiest, most brutal classics EVER waged for the Intercontinental title; a No-Holds-Barred Match that remains the greatest bout in both Randy and Mick’s careers. And when Orton was finally dethroned by Edge at Vengeance 2004, the WWE Universe rejoiced!

A month after that, Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion of all time and the rest was history.

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1. Chris Jericho
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Really, who ELSE could it have been for single-greatest Intercontinental Champion of the 2000s? After beating Chyna for his first Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon 1999, Chris Jericho brought the championship into the new millennium, and from 2000 to 2009, the man dominated the decade overall as IC Title holder; being involved in so many legendary storylines/feuds and classic matches involving the championship.

Feuding with a who’s-who of wrestling, Jericho battled Chyna, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, William Regal, Triple H, Kane, Rob Van Dam, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Jeff Hardy, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio over the Intercontinental Title; continuing to make the title one of the most prestigious in all of wrestling, as well as put over so many new stars/titleholders for the belt. Jericho even has the distinction of co-holding the IC Championship with Chyna in a storyline that worked brilliantly!

Although Jericho’s accumulated total of 311 days as Intercontinental Champion is surpassed by others, Y2J nonetheless still holds the record for most title victories with a staggering NINE IC Championship wins! Not just one of the greatest technical wrestlers/performers who ever lived, Chris Jericho easily ranks in my Top 10 Intercontinental Champions of ALL TIME.

So…what do YOU think of this list? Agree with the picks? Who were YOUR favourite Intercontinental Champions of the 2000s?

See you all again soon!

MrDCWood

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Categories
Lists

The 10 Best WWE Intercontinental Champions Of The 2010s

The Intercontinental Championship: wrestling historians regard it as many things. The workhorse title, one of the most prestigious championships to hold in all of wrestling, a launching pad to potentially become the next world champion. All of which have certainly been proven true throughout the championship’s 43 years. Sadly, what has also been proven true, are people’s remarks that the prestigious Intercontinental Championship (as Michael Cole has been told to call it every week) is nowhere near as prestigious as it once was. What with too many forgettable titleholders in recent years, no more high-profile rivalries over the championship…and virtually little-to-no major title defences on PPV or even weekly telly.

(Although that’s rapidly changing now with Triple H as Head of Creative and Gunther now IC Champ…)

But on the other hand, people are too willing to forget that the the 2010s did produce a first-rate lineage of Intercontinental Champs, who not only gave some much-needed prestige back to the title, but also used the belt as a stepping stone to even bigger things. These guys really left their mark on the Intercontinental Championship, and made it truly prestigious again.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Big E Langston
IMG Credit: WWE & Pinterest

Before becoming part of The New Day we all know and love, Big E captured his first Intercontinental Championship in 2013 by defeating Curtis Axel. Enjoying a lengthy 167 day reign as champ, fending off the likes of Curtis Axel, Fandango, Damien Sandow and Jack Swagger (in an excellent title-showing at Elimination Chamber 2014)…Big E also used the title to move up the card then shortly joined the New Day after losing the belt in 2014, and the rest was history. The man definitely did alright for himself as IC Champ.

Luke Harper
IMG Credit: WWE & Twitter

The late Jonathan Huber (and future Brodie Lee in AEW) was one seriously underrated athlete and tremendous talent. Part of the creepy & brilliant Wyatt Family, Luke Harper also achieved great success as a singles-wrestler, winning the Intercontinental Championship from Dolph Ziggler in 2014 and joining Team Authority for that year’s Survivor Series. Although his reign only lasted 27 days, it was memorable and culminated in a terrific ladder match at TLC 2014, where Harper lost the belt back to Dolph Ziggler. Jonathan Huber was a star who is still loved and missed to this day.

TOP 10

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10. Daniel Bryan
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Alas, what COULD have been. After being forced to relinquish the WWE Championship and being shelved in 2014 because of injury, Daniel Bryan would return in 2015 and find himself in the opening contest at WrestleMania 31; an utterly thrilling ladder-match against Luke Harper, Dean Ambrose, R-Truth, Stardust, Dolph Ziggler and Bad News Barrett, which saw Bryan claim his only Intercontinental Championship. And thus become the 26th Triple Crown Winner and a member of the Grand Slam Club.

With the ‘Yes’ Movement back in full-swing, Daniel seemed poised for a dominant Intercontinental title reign. Especially after a wicked title defence against Ziggler the next night on Raw. Unfortunately, injuries and concussions struck again, forcing poor Daniel to vacate the title after 44 days and retire from the ring for more than two-years. Nonetheless, Daniel Bryan’s epic Intercontinental Title victory is remembered much more than most from the last decade.

9. Wade / Bad News Barrett
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

The one-time Nexus Leader deserved so much more than what he received throughout his WWE career. However, something Mr. Barrett can be very proud of is his success as the Intercontinental Champion. Between 2011 and 2015, Wade racked up an impressive FIVE Intercontinental Title Reigns, feuding with the likes of Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Rob Van Dam and Dolph Ziggler, with his shortest reign lasting 58 days and his longest lasting 97 days!

It was before Wade’s fourth title win that he became “Bad News”, got SUPER over with audiences and really became a memorable IC Champ. Sadly, a shoulder-injury, daft booking and the Powers-That-Be telling Wade to STOP BEING POPULAR (idiots!) impeded him…but overall, Bad News Barrett was a damn fine IC Champ.

8. Dean Ambrose
IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

When The Shield disbanded in 2014, poor Dean Ambrose (now AEW megastar Jon Moxley) REALLY had to wait for his big break as a singles-wrestler as opposed to Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Thankfully, Dean FINALLY got his chance when he defeated Kevin Owens at TLC 2015 to win his first Intercontinental Championship. Successful title defences against Dolph Ziggler and a wicked feud with Kevin Owens followed, with the Lunatic Fringe retaining his title in a Last Man Standing Match at the Royal Rumble 2016; one of the greatest Intercontinental Title Bouts of the last decade!

Ambrose would lose the IC Title back to Owens after 64 days, THEN went on to become WWE Champion in 2016. A second Intercontinental Title win followed in 2017 (lasting 152 days) and his third & final reign in 2018 only lasted 28 days. Sadly, neither were as impressive or as eventful as Dean’s first run with the championship. Nevertheless, Ambrose did successfully use the title to springboard to even greater heights.

7. Kevin Owens
IMG credit: WWE & The Mirror

Fresh off his dominant NXT Championship run and Feud of 2015 with John Cena, Mr. Owens ended Ryback’s Intercontinental Championship reign, and went on to be a dominant, fighting champ for 84 days. Retaining the belt against the likes of Chris Jericho and Ryback, as well as picking up impressive non-title wins over Neville, Dolph Ziggler and Mark Henry, making it to the semi-finals of the WWE Title Tournament in 2015, and his previously-mentioned feud with Dean Ambrose…ALL raised the value of the Intercontinental Championship once again.

Owens’ second title win lasted 48 days, featuring him retaining the belt at Fastlane 2016 in a fantastic match with Dolph Ziggler and then Kevin ultimately lost the IC Strap in that brilliant ladder match at WrestleMania 32 (the one Zack Ryder won and we all rejoiced!). Although Owens would never regain Intercontinental gold, he would go-on to be the Universal Champion later in 2016…and naturally was awesome at it. KO + Intercontinental Championship = Greatness.

6. Drew McIntyre
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Hindsight really is a funny thing; especially when it comes to Drew McIntyre in 2010. This was a far-cry from the wrestler/performer we all know & love today. Pushed to the moon, hand-picked as Vince McMahon’s ‘Chosen One’…frankly, I didn’t think Drew merited the push given how raw and green he was at the time.

Having said all that, Drew’s sole Intercontinental Championship reign WAS a huge-success looking back and then looking where Drew is today. After defeating John Morrison to end the previous decade at TLC 2009, McIntyre retained the title over Morrison, qualified for Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 26, battled the likes of Undertaker & Kane, viciously assaulted the likes of poor Matt Hardy, relied on his relationship with Vince to avoid being ‘officially’ defeated/stripped of the title, as well as bullying SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, and entering a feud with Kofi Kingston. By the time Drew FINALLY lost the IC Championship to Kofi at Over The Limit 2010…he had reigned for 161 Days!

Eventful & packed with heat, Drew McIntyre’s one & only mighty reign with the Intercontinental Title stands above most in the belt’s history. Ten years after all that, Drew would finally fulfil his destiny as Vince’s Chosen One. Long-term success at its best.

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5. Kofi Kingston
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

Before being part of The New Day, Kofi Kingston was already a popular mid-carder. Kingston had even captured his first Intercontinental Championship in 2008 from Chris Jericho himself! In the 2010s, Kofi picked up a further three Intercontinental Titles, further connecting with audiences and restoring the prestige of the belt.

Over with the crowd, a reliable performer and fantastic wrestler, Kofi spent plenty of time in the IC Title picture, feuding with the likes of Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Curtis Axel and The Miz. With several stellar title victories and defences on his resume, Kofi Kingston ended up a proud four-time Intercontinental Champion. After that…a hugely successful stint in the New Day, plenty of amazing Tag Team Championships, ultimate glory as the WWE Champion…and surely an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame one day.

4. Seth Rollins
IMG credit: WWE

After achieving glory with The Shield, shockingly betraying the Shield, ultimate glory as WWE Champion and being the Wrestler of 2015…only to be injured, betrayed by the Authority and trying to work his way back up the ladder, Seth Rollins was at something at a crossroads before he won his first Intercontinental Championship in 2018.

Winning the belt in an excellent triple-threat match over the Miz and Finn Balor at WrestleMania 34, Seth truly personified the WORKHORSE aspect of the title in the modern-era. Retaining the title in epic-fashion against the Miz at Backlash, Seth then embarked on various open challenges on Monday Night Raw, as well as feuding with Elias and Dolph Ziggler over the belt. Rollins won his second Intercontinental Title from Ziggler at SummerSlam 2018, and continued to be an exemplary IC Champ throughout the rest of the year. Although his ultimate loss to Dean Ambrose at TLC 2018 was lacklustre, Seth Rollins ruled the IC Title scene for 190 days total, then went onto be Universal Champ in 2019. Another feather in the Architect’s cap!

3. Dolph Ziggler
IMG credit: WWE & Pinterest

When people say Dolph Ziggler should’ve been a successful World Champion and main-event-player… they always turn to Ziggler’s legacy as the Intercontinental Champion to put their case forward. Simply-put, Dolph is an amazing worker, and everything he’s done with the IC Title has just been phenomenal.

After feuding with Rey Mysterio over the belt in 2009 put his name on the map, Dolph Ziggler won his first of SIX Intercontinental Championships in 2010. For the next eight years, Ziggler was always a strong, ever-present contender for the Intercontinental Title. In a variety of different matches against so many different opponents, Ziggler was another modern-day star who embodied the workhorse-ethic that the belt symbolised, delivering several classic matches and feuds, with none-more-so than his 2016 rivalry with the Miz, which saw Ziggler triumph in the epic Title vs. Career affair at No Mercy 2016. Dolph is truly one of the best to have ever held the title.

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2. Cody Rhodes
IMG credit: WWE & TheSportster

Really, we have so much to thank Cody Rhodes for when he became Intercontinental Champion. After mercifully ending Ezekiel Jackson’s reign in 2011, Cody went-on to hold the strap for an almighty 234 DAYS! That’s impressive in itself, but Rhodes also used the title to not only prove himself as a singles-wrestler, he went on to become the best Intercontinental Champ in years.

Exceptional on the mic and in the ring, the versatile Cody would further impress against the likes of John Morrison, Ted DiBiase Jr. and even Booker T! As well as amazing showings in the 2012 Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber whilst IC Champ. Cody’s reign will also be remembered for retiring the Attitude Era design for the Intercontinental Title and restoring the Classic Design. Although his reign hit a bump in the road with a daft Big Show feud, Cody finished a two-time IC Champ after dropping the belt to Christian. One of the reasons why Cody Rhodes is where he’s at today is because of what he did with this championship.

1. The Miz
IMG credit: WWE & aminoapps.com

After falling back down-to-Earth following his WWE Championship loss in 2011, the Miz won his first Intercontinental Championship in 2012 from Christian and had a solid-run. Then he had a second reign which lasted 24 hours, and a third reign which lasted 24 days, and a fourth reign which (AGAIN!) lasted 24 hours…it wasn’t looking good.

THEN the Miz won the title for a FIFTH TIME in 2016 and he cemented himself as one of the ALL-TIME GREATS to EVER hold the Intercontinental Championship! The Awesome One had long reincarnated as a Hollywood A-Lister, reunited with wife Maryse to form a white-hot heelish duo and proceeded to raise the trophy like it was the single-most-important prize in wrestling! Ending Zack Ryder’s 24-hour reign to much despair, The Miz went-on to defend the belt against the likes of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Cesaro at Extreme Rules in one of the best matches EVER for the title! He had memorable feuds with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns over the strap, and a legendary rivalry with Dolph Ziggler which included the epic Title vs. Career showdown…he constantly defended it on pay-per-view and weekly TV…

OH, YES…and there was that AWESOME promo Miz delivered on Talking Smack against all his haters and Daniel Bryan.

When Miz had finished with the Intercontinental Championship in 2018, he was an EIGHT-TIME CHAMPION; the second-most reigns behind Chris Jericho (who had 9 reigns). Miz’s COMBINED NUMBER OF DAYS as champion was 592! Second only to Pedro Morales’ combined total of 617 days!

No question, The Miz isn’t just the greatest Intercontinental Champion of the 2010s…he’s one of the greatest IC Champs of ALL-TIME. Easily in my Top 10 ever.

So…what do YOU think of this list? Agree with the picks? Who were YOUR favourite Intercontinental Champions of the 2010s?

See you all again soon!

MrDCWood

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