Thursday, February 22

10 WWE Intercontinental Champions Who Disappeared Into Oblivion

For decades, the Intercontinental Championship has served as a catapult for rising stars to reach the main event scene. Several icons in wrestling history – such as The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Randy Orton – won the Intercontinental Title en route to multiple runs with the WWE Championship.


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The Best & Worst Intercontinental Champion From Each WWE Era

There have been plenty of fantastic and lackluster Intercontinental Champions in every WWE era!

Other competitors, however, can hardly claim to have achieved monumental heights of success after their Intercontinental Title reigns. For one reason or another, these wrestlers have since faded into oblivion. Sadly, while hardcore wrestling devotees might perk up at the mention of their names, many other fans would take a minute or two to recall their accomplishments.


10 Ken Patera: Not Quite A Historical First

“Second Ever IC Champ” Just Isn’t As Interesting

First 4 IC Champions

Date Won

Length of Reign

Pat Patterson

Sept. 1, 1979

232 days

Ken Patera

April 21, 1980

230 days

Pedro Morales

December 8, 1980

193 days

Don Muraco

June 20, 1981

155 days

While the inaugural Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson has been immortalized in many ways, the same cannot be said for Ken Patera. Though he logged many miles for the NWA, AWA, and WWE in the ’70s and ’80s, Patera is hardly ever brought up on WWE programming these days.

A closer look into Patera’s career reveals that he was quite the athlete in his day. He qualified for the 1972 Olympics as a weightlifter, and he won 3rd place in the 1977 World’s Strongest Man competition. When it comes to his pro wrestling legacy, however, Patera commands barely any name recall among fans of the squared circle.

9 The Mountie: A Colorful Character…And Not Much Else

His Repackaged Persona Was Fun While It Lasted

Title

No. of Reigns

Cumulative Length of Reign

WWE Intercontinental Title

1

2 days

WWE World Tag Team Title

3

216 days

From January 1991 to October 1992, The Mountie imposed his authority on his fellow WWE superstars. The Mountie’s authoritarian act was a nice change of pace for Jacques Rougeau, Jr., who had been in the Fabulous Rougeaus tag team since his first year in the company.

The peak of The Mountie’s WWE run came in January 1992 when he defeated Bret Hart to win the Intercontinental Championship. This professional highlight was short-lived, as The Mountie lost the title to Roddy Piper a couple of days later. In the years that followed this IC title stint, it’s hard to find any other peak of Monsieur Rougeau’s career.

8 Dean Douglas: F For Forgotten Character

The Dean Dropped Out Of Public Consciousness

Match Outcome in WWE

Total Number

Percentage

Win

15

48.4%

Loss

16

51.6%

Generally, teacher gimmicks don’t go over so well with wrestling fans. A prime example would be Dean Douglas, who wasted no opportunity in the mid ’90s to reiterate his intellectual superiority.

As if the uphill climb of this gimmick wasn’t steep enough, Douglas had the misfortune of having an Intercontinental Title reign that lasted no more than 20 minutes. To date, this is the shortest IC Championship reign of all time – and it’s about the only memorable detail about the Dean Douglas character in the WWE.

7 Ahmed Johnson: What Could Have Been

He Was A Hot Act In The Mid ’90s… Then He Fizzled Out

Decade

No. of Matches

No. of Wins

Win %

1990s

347

279

80.4%

2000s

31

9

29%

When Ahmed Johnson made his WWE debut in 1995, he had the physique and athleticism of a future World Champion. Johnson claimed the Intercontinental Title from Goldust at King of the Ring 1996, and for a while there, it seemed that he would follow a familiar trajectory to the main event scene.

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Pearl River Powerhouse: 10 Things WWE Fans Need To Know About Ahmed Johnson

Ahmed Johnson was a successful and fan-favorite WWE New Generation Era wrestler that could have been a major main event star!

Johnson, though, never quite made it to the mountaintop. By February 1998, he had wrestled his last match for the WWE. Had Johnson participated in the heyday of the Attitude Era – which kicked into overdrive just a month after Johnson’s swansong – he might have carved an even better legacy for himself.

6 Marc Mero: The Ex Of A Way More Famous Personality

His Crowning Achievement Was His Sole IC Title Run

Promotion

No. of Wins

No. of Losses

No. of Draws

WWE

190

144

7

WCW

391

139

15

Though the Intercontinental Championship was the only title that Marc Mero ever won in the WWE, it should be noted that he did so in grand fashion. Mero emerged as the victor of an eight-man tournament that included some fellows by the name of Rocky Maivia, Dude Love, and Owen Hart.

Aside from this feat, Mero is best known for his on-screen feud with (and real-life marriage to) the immensely popular Sable. Wrestling fans, however, are more likely to recall fond memories of Sable than they are to wax poetic about Mero’s WWE career.

5 Val Venis: Hello, Ladies… And Goodbye

Even The Big Valbowski Ran Out Of Steam

Title

No. of Reigns

Cumulative Length of Reign

WWE Intercontinental Title

2

81 days

WWE European Title

1

58 days

WWE World Tag Team Title

1

7 days

There’s no denying that Val Venis was a must-see act in the Attitude Era. How could fans turn their eyes away from an adult film star who sauntered to the ring in a towel? Aside from the Intercontinental Championship, the highly popular Venis would also add the European Title and World Tag Team Titles to his resume.

But most of the 2000s were a different story for the Big Valbowski, whose popularity seemed to have run out of juice. For much of that decade, Venis was relegated to a Sunday Night Heat regular that had little to no involvement in major Raw storylines. Nowadays, Venis does turn some heads when he Tweets outrageous stuff every now and then.

4 D’Lo Brown: From Double Champion To Journeyman

There’s His Career Before The IC Title, And There’s His Career After It

Title Won

Opponent Defeated

Date Won

Length of Reign

WWE European Title

Mark Henry

Sept. 26, 1999

30 days

WWE Intercontinental Title

Jeff Jarrett

July 27, 1999

26 days

WWE European Title

Mideon

July 25, 1999

28 days

WWE European Title

X-Pac

Sept. 29, 1998

19 days

WWE European Title

Triple H

July 14, 1998

63 days

Statistically, D’Lo Brown is one of the greatest ever to hold a certain midcard championship. That title, to be clear, is not the Intercontinental Championship but the European Championship (which he won a record-tying four times). While Brown had a highly prolific run prior to winning the IC Title, he wasn’t quite the same commodity after his stint as Intercontinental Champion ended.

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5 WWE Midcard Wrestlers Who Left A Lasting Impression (& 5 Who Didn’t)

While some midcard WWE wrestlers left their mark on the industry, others went through their careers without making much of an impression.

In July 1999, Brown was simultaneously IC Champion and European Champion. Later that year, tragedy struck when Brown performed an erroneous powerbomb that resulted in Darren Drozdov’s paralysis. In his last three years as a full-time WWE wrestler, Brown spent some time in the developmental program (as well as creative limbo). As he bounced from one promotion to another, he would never achieve the same level of popularity that he had enjoyed in the late ’90s.

3 Ezekiel Jackson: Aesthetics Just Isn’t Enough

He Looked Great, Yes, But He Lacked Many Other Things

Promotion

No. of Wins

No. of Losses

No. of Draws

WWE

159

170

7

FCW

391

139

15

Lucha Underground

5

9

0

Any wrestling promoter would be compelled to take a second look (perhaps even a third one, and so on) at Ezekiel Jackson. The behemoth from Guyana is an awe-inspiring figure that has superstar written all over him. However, when all is said and done, Jackson’s legacy amounts to little more than a remarkable physique.

Though he had the good fortune of sharing the ring with talented performers like Christian and Brian Kendrick, he never showed significant improvement in terms of technical skill or ring psychology. As such, after Jackson’s 54-day IC Title reign ended in 2011, he was ill-equipped to pull off incredible performances in the squared circle for the rest of his time in the company.

2 Curtis Axel: Memorably Imperfect

Oblivion, Thy Name Is McGillicutty

Title Won

Opponent Defeated

Date Won

Length of Reign

WWE Tag Team Title (with David Otunga)

Kane and Big Show

May 23, 2011

91 days

WWE Intercontinental Title

The Miz and Wade Barrett

June 16, 2013

155 days

WWE Raw Tag Team Title (with Bo Dallas)

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy

July 15, 2018

50 days

Having a wrestling lineage can be both a gift and a curse. In the case of Curtis Axel, he unfortunately couldn’t maximize the heritage of his well-respected grandfather and his iconic daddy. Even if the pressures of comparison are thrown out the window, Axel just didn’t excel at making a name for himself.

Admittedly, the Michael McGillicutty moniker was the complete opposite of a head start. Though he got his bearings and managed to change his name, Axel couldn’t quite escape the comedy character stereotype. His IC Championship win is weighed down by the images of his time in The Social Outcasts and The Miztourage – two acts that fall short of long-lasting glory.

1 Apollo Crews: In Danger Of Flying Over Fans’ Heads

He Needs To (Once Again) March To The Beat Of His Own Drum

Promotion

No. of Wins

No. of Losses

No. of Draws

WWE

423

257

3

Dragongate Japan

136

59

3

Pro Championship Wrestling

11

5

1

EVOLVE

9

4

0

Apollo Crews is just one of many NXT acts whose star power got lost in translation. After a promising stint on the black and gold brand, Crews found himself treading water on Raw and SmackDown. Though things might have played out differently if the main roster’s creative team maximized his strengths, Crews is ultimately accountable for his lackluster run in the big leagues.

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10 WWE Intercontinental Champions With The Best Physiques

The WWE Intercontinental Championship has always been the workhorse title, but there have also been champions with impressive physiques.

Interestingly, Crews found a comfort zone when he adopted his Nigerian royalty persona and claimed the Intercontinental Championship. When this title run concluded, Crews was once more directionless (even after a return to NXT). There’s still time, of course, for Crews to steer his career away from the void of wrestling oblivion.

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