WWE - The History of the Intercontinental Championship [Import]
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WWE: The History of the Intercontinental Championship
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This championship has definitely has it's history of ups & downs over the years but nobody can deny that the Intercontinental Championship has provided some of the most memorable matches & memories throughout it's history & here is a collection of some of those matches & memories as voted by the fans on WWE's website. Now this format is different than how WWE did their "History Of WWE Championship" in that they don't give a timelime of champions throughout the presentation but Todd Grisham host the DVD & give the same role as he did in the Ladder Match DVD where he gives a brief overview of the wrestler or event spotlighted.
Pat Patterson vs. Ted DiBiase - Patterson kept stalling early on in the beginning before Dibiase finally charged & worked him over with a ground & pound offense with both men trading momentum taking advantage of a mistake made by their opponent with Dibaise having the wrestling advantage while Patterson resorted in rule breaking tactics resulting in what was a good match for it's time.
"MSG" Oct. '79
Ken Patera vs. Pedro Morales - Pedro's hot temper led to his control early on with various punches & even choking before Patera was able to catch a break using not only his strength with strength such as bearhugs from different positions to dominate but also choking himself with the breaking down into a huge physical brawl. This was a good match with both men being more physical than usual.
"MSG" Oct. '80
Pedro Morales vs. The Magnificent Muraco - Pedro was very dominate in the beginning at a slow pace to the point where Muraco had to result in dirty tactics such as using the environment around ringside & constantly sending him to the outside that had flared up Pedro's hot tempter causing him to fight fire with fire on the outside with the match turning into a brawl that couldn't be contained inside the ring.
"MSG" Dec. '82
Steel Cage Match: The Magnificent Muraco vs. Jimmy Snuka - We got a special treat here with the pre-match promo from Muraco as both men started as both men started exchanging blows right from the start and didn't let up with the cage being used as a weapon multiple times to either have the bodies thrown into them or just had the face raked against it resulting in blood along with both men delievering some impactful offense from a powerslam off the top rope to hard headbutts. This was a bloody massacre for it's time but more memorable for what happened with Snuka on the top of the cage that legends like Mick Foley still point out as one of the most memorable moments in wrestling history.
"MSG" Oct. '83
[Bloodbath: Wrestling's Most Incredible Steel Cage Matches]
Lumberjack Match: Greg Valentine vs. Tito Santana - The different sets lumberjacks showed their agendas during this match early on with the allies of Valentine trying to protect him whenever he was on the outside & even help him inside the ring during the match while the friends of Tito were trying to do their jobs & throw him back in to the point where Valentine even tried to go down the isle & in the crowd to get away at various points in the match before both men settled in the ring working over each other's legs. I've never seen Tito & Valentine had a bad match against each other with this being no exception but it was more entertaining than usual with the involvement of the lumberjacks throughout the match.
"MSG" Mar. '85
Tito Santana vs. Randy Savage - Tito started out with the advantage causing Savage to keep breaking it using the ropes & going to the outside before Savage was able to gain control with impactful offense like a clotheslines that knocked himself down & a top rope double axe handle half way across the ring while also using dirty tactics that caused Santana to turn up the intensity with a kickout of a pin attempt with caused Savage to land on the referee & heavily working over Savage's leg. This was great solid wrestling match between two great workers.
"Boston Garden" Feb. '86
[Macho Madness: The Ultimate Randy Savage Collection]
Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat - Ricky Steamboat had George "The Animal" Steele in his corner as Steamboat made it clear from the beginning that he was out for revenge for his injured throat with a blatant choke only for Savage to use a choke right back using the ring ropes as both men traded momentum with Steamboat working over the arm with stretches & his trademark armdrag along with various chops while Savage used his aerial assault both in & outside the ring along with both men with constant pinfall attempts on the other & hitting a ring post at one point in the match with a moment of "deja vu" occurring as the match went on. What hasn't been said about this match that hasn't been said for over 20 years in that was the match that stole the show at WrestleMania III & is still known as one of the greatest of all time to the point where it was an inspiration to so many future talents including Chris Jericho.
[Macho Madness: The Ultimate Randy Savage Collection; Ricky Steamboat: Life Of A Dragon; True Story Of WrestleMania]
Ricky Steamboat vs. Honky Tonk Man - Steamboat took the match to Honky right away & was very dominate to the point where Jimmy Hart wasn't able to get involved when he tried before a miscalculation allowed Honky to finally get some offense focusing on the throat & neck area as this match went around the 5 minute mark but did go back & forth non-stop during that entire time with a very unexpected & controversial ending.
"SuperStars" June '87
Honky Tonk Man vs. Ultimate Warrior - All I can say on this one is don't blink because you'll miss the longest Intercontinental Title reign end in seconds.
[Self Destruction Of Ultimate Warrior; Best Of WWE At Madison Square Garden]
Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior - The rematch months after their controversial WrestleMania encounter with Warrior dominating with his power offense such as pressing Rude over top rope onto the floor & just dropping Rude onto his butt on the mat while giving Rude a taste of his own medicine as far his taunts before Rude attempted to take away the power by heavily working over his back as both men traded momentum with both men trying to one up the other at times including executing different styles of piledrivers against each other. Rude was one of the men who was able to work with & get the best out of Warrior's one dimensional power style giving Warrior one of the best in-ring quality matches here.
Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart - Stu & Helen Hart were in the crowd for this match as Bret took control in the early moments hip tossing Perfect onto his out of the ring right away & grounding him with a side headlock takedown as Perfect kept trying tactics to mount offense such as pulling Bret's hair only for Bret to either counter or do it right back to him to the point where Perfect attempted to just walk away only for Bret to throw him back in ripping his singlet in the process. Perfect resorted to dirty tactics in order to finally gain some momentum pushing Bret off the apron into the guardrail & working over his neck with moves like the snap neckbreaker while being able to counter Bret's own crucifix into a samoan drop before Bret started fighting back including tossing Perfect into the corner in such a way that he crotched the post with both men exchanging close near falls on each other. This is a pure wrestling fans dream here and tons of credit here goes to Mr. Perfect for putting on this type of performance with a back injury that would keep him out of the ring for over a year as this was the match that put Bret Hart on the map as a solo star along with the debut of the Sharpshooter.
[Bret Hart: Best There Is, Best There Was, Best There Ever Will Be; The Life & Times Of Mr. Perfect; Best Of WWE At Madison Square Garden]
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog - This was a historic match on many levels as this was the only time that only the PPV main event was just for the Intercontinental Championship but also in front of the the second largest WWE crowd to date for over 20 years along with this being one of the first ever storylines at this level to off reality with both men being brothers-in-law through Bret's sister Diana. Both men went back & forth with grounded wrestling working over either the arm or head as they were evenly matched throughout the contest with both men having the same idea throughout the match such as catching each other on the top rope or working over the back in different ways with Bulldog using his power & Bret resorting to more wrestling. This match has gotten many positive reviews over the years as one of the greatest matches in both men's careers & SummerSlam history which I can't argue with but extra credit should go to Bret here as he took some very hard & uncomfortable spots due to Davey being off at times throughout the contest (which he pointed out on his DVD) yet still gave a quality performance.
[Bret Hart: Best There Is, Best There Was, Best There Ever Will Be; Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology; Best Of Confidental]
Ladder Match: Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels - This was the first ladder match to be seen on WWE television. Both men started off wrestling early before Diesel got involved & ended up paying for it before Razor removed the outside mat & exposed the concrete that didn't end up working in his favor. The ladder came into play from here as Shawn started to use it as a weapon to attack Razor's ribs starting with a baseball slide into the ladder right into Razor's ribs & later doing a big splash off the top of it while later Razor used it to his advantage by whipping Shawn into it & using it squish Shawn into the ringpost. There were times when both men launched an attack while one was on the ladder much as Razor slamming Shawn off of it & him "making an ass" of Shawn to prevent him from winning the match. This ladder match was the one that set the standard for what WWE would do this match for years to come as it was definitely a match where both men came out stronger than they went in with Jerry Lawler to the point said about one competitor, "He Is Superman!"
[Shawn Michaels: From The Vault; Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn; Best Of WWE At Madison Square Garden]
Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett - Razor came into this match defending the Intercontinental Championship for the second year in a row as both men traded momentum back & forth throughout the contest with one man not getting a heavy advantage over the over for very long until a freak landing opened the door for one man to heavily target a body part non-stop with his opponent fighting back from behind. This was a good match that was competitive between the two men & told a good story in regards to working over the injury.
Royal Rumble '95
Steve Austin vs. Rocky Maivia - This was a glorified handicap match were as it was The Rock & Nation Of Domination vs. Stone Cold & his pickup truck that got so out of control to the point where the referee got knocked out at one point & Austin wasn't able to take his vest off until the match was over.
D-Generation X '97
[Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line]
2 Out Of 3 Falls Match: The Rock vs. Triple H - The leaders of the D-Generation X & The Nation in WWE faced off here with it being more personal with Triple H looking for revenge for The Rock costing him his European Championship earlier in the week as both men traded momentum in the ring & on the outside with both men hitting the guardrail and victims of their opponent taking advantage of the ringside environment while members of their groups would make their presence known or get physically involved throughout the contest along with each member using a weapon in the ring whenever it was possible from the title belt itself to a steel chair. This match is actually better than some of their more well known matches for the WWE Championship as they put on a 30 min. performance here wrestling & brawling each other into exhaustion in what I consider a "lost classic."
Fully Loaded '98
Good Housekeeping Match: Jeff Jarrett vs. Chyna - This match had different types of household appliances & objects surrounding the ring with Jarrett bringing with the kitchen sink as we saw so many different items used as weapons from a trash can & broom to food like a stick of sausage & bananas with Ms. Kitty get involved & covered in cake mix for her troubles in what was just very entertaining glorified hardcore match from start to finish that more remembered for the behind the scenes story that not only led to Jarrett almost no-showing the event but also never appearing in WWE again after this match.
No Mercy '99
Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle - It should be noted that Kurt Angle came into this match also as European Champion while Chyna was in Jericho's corner with Jericho taking control early on in the match sending Angle to the floor where the match turned into a brawl with the ring post & steel steps used before going back into the ring where Angle was able to target an injured body part of Jericho's to the point where Jericho was showing signs of it hurting when executing his own offense. This was a good quality encounter but both men would go on to have better matches throughout their career against each other.
No Way Out '00
[Breaking The Code: Behind The Walls Of Chris Jericho]
Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac - This match lasted around 5 minutes but was pretty short & sweet telling the story of one man making himself the "odd man out" leading to a alliance before it eventually became "every man for himself."
"SmackDown!" Oct. '00
Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy - Triple H came out very aggressive with punches angry over an attack earlier in the night before Hardy was able to get some fast offense in including sending him head first into the steps while Triple H was able to catch him at times responding with a slam & offense showing that he wanted to punish Hardy more than winning with the match starting to get out of control leading to one man being able to beat the other at his own game.
"SmackDown" Apr. '01
[Hardy Boyz: Twist Of Fate; WWF Action; Best Of SmackDown: 10th Anniversary]
Unification/Ladder Match Match: Rob Van Dam vs. European Champion Jeff Hardy - Both men started wrestling early with RVD even going for a pin out of instinct. The ladder was brought in quickly with RVD being the first to use it with a baseball slide into Hardy followed by a somersault off the apron onto Jeff before taking a nasty bump on his own as he was yanked off the ladder by Hardy so hard that he fell face first followed by both men then went for other ladders at ringside resulting in a duel ladder fight. Both men took some very hard hits here such as RVD's rolling thunder onto Jeff Hardy laying on a ladder, a back suplex & flip powerbomb off the ladder, the ladder being kicked out from underneath with one man "crashing & burning", and both a 5 Star Frog Splash & Swanton Bomb off the top of the ladder. I enjoyed this better than their previous ladder match years earlier as this was hard hitting.
"RAW" July '02
[Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn]
Randy Orton vs. Edge - Edge started out constantly in control causing Orton to keep going outside whenever Edge started to build momentum to the point where he tried to walk out of the match before he finally started to get more aggressive like pounding on Edge while he was in the ropes along with a chinlock half-nelson combination. Edge started to return the aggression such as delievering a baseball slide to Orton causing his head to hit the announce table followed by a clothesline off the apron & missle dropkick while Orton targeted the throat area using his knee to choke Edge before applying a wrenching side headlock with a bridge. They continued to trade momentum with Orton continuing to use dirty tactics to try to steal a win while both men continued to counter each others moves like the spear & RKO. This was a very competitive match between both men to the point where the crowd was cheering both men throughout the match.
[Edge: Decade Of Decadence; Randy Orton: Evolution Of A Predator]
Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair vs. Triple H - Both men started off exchanging strikes against each other as Flair used chops & Triple H throwing punches with the steel cage coming into play eventually busting open both men throughout the match with each man punishing the other using the cage & other weapons they were able to get their hands on from a chain to a steel chair to the point where they both had a "crimson mask" while using other tactics such as low blows & kneedrops onto various sensitive parts of their bodies in what resulted in a high quality bloody brawl to the point where the audience gave standing ovations to both men after the match.
As a side note, pay attention to the comment Joey Styles made about the relevance of the Intercontinental Championship in regards to the challenger & feud itself which was pretty ironic on a DVD showcasing the history of the championship.
[Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection]
Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam - This was a unique match as both men had the opportunity to be the champion but also walk out with Rob Van Dam's "Money In The Bank" briefcase as both men were exchanging similar offense each other from aerial going over the top rope with a crossbody & sunset flip powerbomb to impactful moves such as rolling thunder & DDT to playing to their strengths like Shelton's athleticism including a vertical leap from the ring to the top rope into a superplex or RVD's using his educated feet for various styles of kicks. This was a very competitive match between both men that played to both men's strengths with Shelton's athleticism & amateur wrestling background to RVD's educated feet & flexibility.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro - This match started off hot & didn't let down from there with each competitor having the idea to "divide & conquer" by having one of the competitors out of the way so he could focus on the other one as every man in this match had various moments showcasing their athleticism & agility such as a springboard somersault & frankensteiner off the top rope, one superstar monkeyflipping the other into the third man's dropkick, a superplex on one man while he was back suplexing the other off the top rope, and Melina at ringside getting involved either as a distraction or physically as well. This was a non-stop action packed match.
Umaga vs. Jeff Hardy - Umaga came out the cage assaulting & beating Jeff down causing him to attempt the strategy of "hit & run" only to keep getting caught with power moves & grounded on the mat before he finally started taking a defensive approach worked to his advantage leaving an opening to rebound with his daredevil offense. This was a good back & forth match between both men telling a good story of Umaga being the monster one step ahead of Hardy.
Great American Bash '07
Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho - Both men came into this match very aggressive coming at each other with slaps to punches & takedowns right away to the point where the referee had to get physically involved to separate them as the intensity picked up with both men taking advantage of an opening the other left either in the ring or on the floor while either hitting some big moves like the Whisper In The Wind or Lionsault or countering them such as the Walls Of Jericho & swanton bomb. This was a very intense fast paced match between both men.
"RAW" Mar. '08
[Breaking The Code: Behind The Walls Of Chris Jericho]
The only DVD extra is a hidden one on disc one which is an old "Confidential" piece on the Intercontinental Championship back in Oct. '02 (before they retired the belt for half a year). I'm very satisfied with the selection here as we didn't get a bunch of DVD repeats unlike the "WWE Championship" collection leaving room for some lost gems & classics made their way to DVD with the only real matches I regret not being on here is the finals of the Intercontinental Championship tournament between Mr. Perfect & Tito Santana along with the Texas Tornado's title victory over Mr. Perfect. In the end, I recommend this project & try to get the first print copies as the attached booklet accidentally has a picture of Freebird Buddy Roberts (who wasn't an Intercontinental champion) instead of Pat Patterson.
-10/22/79, MSG, Pat Patterson (Champion) vs. Ted DiBiase: Its a pre-Million Dollar Man match featuring DiBiase and sadly thats the best part of the match as its kinda slow, there's some stalling in the beginning by Patterson who gets booed heavily. Ted attacks swinging Pat into the corner and stomping on him, then works on the left arm with knee drops and an arm bar. He has the offense going for a while even dodging a dive in the corner by Patterson, then slaps on an abdominal stretch, not once but twice. Patterson counters out of the second one then punches and chokes Ted, who comes back and grabs a foreign object Pat tried introducing but gets rolled up for three and Patterson retains. 4/10, cause of the slow stalling and rest holds.
-10/20/80, MSG, Ken Patera (Champion) vs. Pedro Morales: Right from his entrance Morales attacks Patera before he could even get ready and he retreats up the entrance way for a minute, then stalls and taunts Pedro holding the title in his hand. Pedro hits some hard punches sending him to the outside, but gets hit by Ken and tossed over the top to the floor. Ken works over Pedro for a while with a front face lock and holds it forever seemingly, Morales powers out tossing Ken over his head to the mat. Pedro does comeback with some hard shots, but Patera cuts him off working on the back with a bearhug. Later they both are trading blows, the referee gets shoved out of the ring by both men and he calls for a DQ. 5/10, for the finish and the at times slow pace.
-12/28/82, MSG, Pedro Morales (Champion) vs. The Magnificent Muraco: An okay one here, the fans really hammer on Muraco which angers him, its power for power here. It starts pretty slow with side head locks, but Muraco hits a lowblow behind the referees back then works on Morales with a rib breaker and more wear down moves, even sending Pedro over the top to the floor. Morales fires up and takes it to Muraco hammering him in the ring, sending him out to the floor with a winding punch. Back in the ring Muraco kicks the referee causing a DQ. 5/10.
-10/17/83, MSG, Steel Cage Match, The Magnificant Muraco (Champion) vs. "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka: The pre-match promo is included which was a good one by Muraco that really sets the tone for this contest which featured one of the most famous moments in WWE history, provided by Jimmy Snuka. The match itself isn't too bad just too short to be highly rated, the fans were hot for Snuka to win, he hits some hard shots, but also tastes the steel getting busted open. Jimmy gets slammed from the second rope, but comes back with a fist from the second rope, he looks to have it won however he hits a headbutt sending Muraco out the door to the floor. 4/10 for the match, 10/10 for the aftermath as Snuka throws him back in the ring and hits his trademark splash from the top of the cage much to the fans delight.
-3/17/85, Lumberjack Match, Greg Valentine (Champion) vs. Tito Santana: Not a bad one here as various superstars are around the ring to make sure the guys get back in the ring quickly. Greg hits Tito before the bell but Santana comes back with a flying clothesline and keeps up the offense even when Valentine tries going to the outside for a breather only to be tossed back in. Greg does get his knee up to stop Santana's momentum, then grounds him but Tito won't stay down for three, even when Valentine works on the previously injured leg of Santana. Valentine keeps up his offense, but Tito makes his comeback and really takes it to the champ, slaps on the figure four but Big John Studd helps Greg get to the ropes. Valentine comes off the ropes, they bump heads and Greg falls on Tito for the three, 5/10, as the finish was super weak.
-2/8/86, Boston Garden, Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Tito Santana (Champion): Good match here between two good technicians, both do also get some hard shots in and brawl good as well. Tito was always a good worker and this match showed why as much like the previous Steamboat match, Savage used a foreign object and made the cover as Randy's quest for WWE gold became reality. 7/10.
(Available on Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection)
-3/29/87, Wrestlemania III, Macho Man Randy Savage (Champion) vs. Ricky Steamboat: Hogan/Andre may have brought the fans into the arena but this match was the best on the card. Both men just went all out and had the crowd on the edge of their seats the whole time. Tons of near falls, high impact moves and a good ending as Steamboat rolls up Savage for the 3 count to win the I.C. title. 10/10.
-6/2/87, Superstars, Ricky Steamboat (Champion) vs. The Honky Tonk Man: After a great win at the WWE's biggest show of the year, we have this very quick contest where Honky attacks Ricky before the bell but gets sent to the outside, then a back suplex into the ring by Steamboat, then he hits some trademark chops. Ricky gets sent into the turnbuckle then Honky works on the throat and neck, Steamboat comes back with more chops, including one off the top rope, but Jimmy Hart distracts him allowing for Honky to reverse a roll-up for three to win the title. 4/10.
-8/29/88, Summerslam, The Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man (Champion): After a 15 month long title reign Honky was looking for a challenger and out came Warrior to a massive pop, he quickly took it to the Honky one, hitting a couple of clotheslines then the splash and covers to win in maybe a minute. 4/10 for the shock factor.
(Available on The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior and The Summerslam Anthology Volume I)
-8/28/89, Summerslam, The Ultimate Warrior vs. Ravishing Rick Rude (Champion): After Rude won the title at Wrestlemania earlier in the year, we have this rematch where Warrior hit his usual big moves while Rude did his best to wear down and stop the Warrior's unlimited energy. Great spot where Warrior press slams Rude to the outside, later Rude finally gains an edge knocking Warrior off the top rope, then he keeps hammering him but Warrior won't stay down for three and he even slaps on a sleeper hold. The ref gets knocked down, Warrior comes back hitting some clotheslines and a slam, then a piledriver but Rude gets his foot on the rope. Warrior kicks out of a unique piledriver, then another one but Roddy Piper comes down to the ring and distracts Rude, allowing Warrior to hit a big shoulder block, the press slam and the splash for the three. 6/10.
Disc 2-The 1990's
-8/26/91, Summerslam, Mr. Perfect (Champion) vs. Bret 'Hit Man' Hart: Probably one of the greatest matches in both men's careers, Perfect had a back injury coming into this but still put on a great performance. Bret really had a breakout performance here as he just wouldn't quit and was finally able to lock on the Sharpshooter and Perfect tapped out as Bret wins the title. 10/10, its best to be watched and enjoyed.
(Available on Bret Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be, The Life & Times of Mr. Perfect and Summerslam Anthology Volume I)
-8/29/92, Summerslam, Bret Hart (Champion) vs. The British Bulldog: The famous contest from London's Wembley Stadium where Davey wrestled in front of his hometown fans and given the backstory of Bulldog having had a staph infection in the weeks prior to this event it was a good match. Bret really made Bulldog a star here and mostly masked any issues he may have been having, it was counter filled and the crowd was heavily cheering on Bulldog. It ends when Davey reverses an attempted sunset flip and covers for three to win the I.C. title. 9/10.
(Available on Bret Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be, WWE Confidential Volume 1)
-3/20/94, Wrestlemania X, Ladder Match, Shawn Michaels (Champion) vs. Razor Ramon (Champion): The fake champ vs. the official champ and this was pretty hard hitting match for back then. The first few minutes of the match have some good wrestling holds but then some brawling occurs on the outside before the ladder is brought into play by Shawn. Lots of uses of the ladder by both men, though Michaels uses it first on Razor, even throwing it at him a couple of times. Shawn also hit a splash on Razor from the top of the ladder in a very nice high spot. Razor takes advantage afterwards by tipping the ladder over causing Shawn to hit throat first on the top rope. Razor the reverses an Irish whip and Shawn crashes into the ladder in the corner. Razor also throws the ladder at Shawn while he's against the ring post, then throws it at Michaels again. Lots more back and forth action, then just when Shawn looked like he'd win, Razor pushed the ladder over and Shawn fell into the ropes and got his foot caught in the ropes. Razor then climbed the ladder and retrieved the two belts to become the undisputed I.C. Champion. 11/10.
(Available on Shawn Michaels: From the Vault and Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn)
-1/22/95, Royal Rumble, Razor Ramon (Champion) vs. Jeff Jarrett: A good opening match that has the crowd cheering loudly for Razor who faces a good challenge from Jarrett who works on Ramon's leg setting him up for the figure four leg lock and also takes away the Razor's Edge. Ramon has a good showing as he always did when he had his head on straight. There's a countout where Razor could've walked away with the title but he came back, went for the Edge his leg went out and Jarrett rolled him up to win the title. 8/10.
-12/7/97, In Your House: D-Generation X, Stone Cold Steve Austin (Champion) vs. Rocky Maivia: Over a year before the first of many main event clashes between these two, there's this match thats good as the Nation attacks Steve before the match starts, then D'Lo gets Stunned on the roof of Austin's truck. The Nation keeps interfering, Austin keeps turning back the challenge but Rock stays on Steve knocking around the Texas Rattlesnake. Rock tries using brass knucks but Austin hits the Stunner, pins Rock for three to retain the title. 6/10.
(Available on Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line....)
-7/26/98, In Your House: Fully Loaded, 2 out of 3 Falls 30 Minute Time Limit Match, The Rock (Champion) vs. Triple H: Good but not great contest here between these two, they do have some good exchanges, even going to the outside a couple of times. There's interference that kept the tension between DX and The Nation going, but it shockingly doesn't take away from the match. After D'Lo distracts Trips, Rock hits the Rock Bottom and covers to take the first fall, then there's a one minute rest period. Rock continues the assault on Trips, even slamming him into the steel steps, hits the People's Elbow but Trips kicks out. X-Pac comes down, hitting the X Factor but Rock kicks out, Rock accidentaly hits the referee with a chair, allowing Chyna to hit a lowblow on Rock then a DDT on the chair, Trips covers to win the second fall. The third fall has some good action, but ends when neither man can put the other down so its a draw. 7/10.
-10/17/99, No Mercy, Good Housekeeping Match, Jeff Jarrett (Champion) vs. Chyna: Another name for a hardcore match and this was pretty much a joke of a bout, there's some weapon use and Jeff taunted Chyna at times. Jeff uses the title belt on Chyna and covers her to win.... however the ruling is made since it wasn't a household item then the match continues (stupid rule in my opinion). Soon after Chyna ends up hitting a guitar shot (which I guess qualifies as a standard househould item) and covers Jarrett to become the first women to win the I.C. title. 4/10.
Disc 3-The 2000's
-2/27/00, No Way Out, vs. Kurt Angle: Not a bad one here though short after they're pre-match promos are done, Jericho does hit some good moves, Kurt displays great mat based wrestling. There are some close nearfalls and Jericho almost has the match won, the title belt is brought into the ring, Chris goes for the Lionsault but Angle puts the belt in the way and covers Jericho to win. 5/10.
(Available on Breaking The Code: Behind the Walls of Chris Jericho)
-10/12/00, Smackdown, Triple Threat Match, Eddie Guerrero (Champion) vs. Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac: This was an odd one as it wasn't that good even with those that were involved, there were some good exchanges but its also quite a quick contest so it doesn't really leave much of an impression. Eddie ends up taking this one after knocking X-Pac to the outside and covering Jericho to retain. 4/10.
-4/12/01, Smackdown, Triple H (Champion) vs. Jeff Hardy: Earlier in the show Jeff attacked Triple H and Stone Cold, then hit a Twist of Fate on Stephanie, so Trips was looking for revenge and he hammered on Jeff, who able to come back and hit some of his trademark moves. While the ref was down Matt Hardy ran to the ring, hit Trips with a chair, then Jeff hit the Swanton and covered the Game to win the I.C. title. 6/10. It was called "The Upset of the Decade" and it was shocking at this time.
(Available on Best of Smackdown: 10th Anniversary, 1999-2009 and WWF Action)
-7/22/02, Raw, Ladder Unification Title Match, RVD (I.C. Champion) vs. Jeff Hardy (European Champion): This was right after Eric Bischoff had become the GM of Raw and he was making his mark by getting rid of some dead weight and titles he didn't want (i.e. the European title), hence this match that would merge the two titles. Both men had faced off in classics before this so they knew each other well and were able to counter the others moves on a few occasions. The ladder is brought out, Jeff is pulled off landing back first, both guys get a ladder and have duel that ends with a spin kick by RVD into Jeff. There's the expected high spots, Swanton, Rolling Thunder and splashes on the ladders, RVD kicks a ladder out from under Jeff turning him inside out, then hits the frog splash, climbs the ladder and wins the I.C. title. 7/10.
(Also Available on Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn)
-7/11/04, Vengeance, Edge vs. Randy Orton (Champion): For weeks Edge had gone after members of Evolution in an effort to get to Randy to take his title and he got his chance in this match. Its a good match though it has been praised a tad too much in my opinion, however these two worked very well together. The momentum swing back and forth and the long 20+ minute running time does offer the chance for them both to tell a good story with Edge overcoming the odds and the final few minutes were great as the trade finishers with Edge hitting the spear and covering to win the I.C. title. 8/10.
(Available on Edge: Decade of Decadence and Randy Orton: Evolution of a Predator)
-11/1/05, Taboo Tuesday, Steel Cage Match, Ric Flair (Champion) vs. Triple H: Quite a good and bloody cage match here as Flair was out to prove he still had it and could be a main event performer. He did take some brutal punishment and was bleeding badly as was Trips, who did hammer on Ric slamming him into the steel wall at times. It does end after Ric smashes a chair into Trips head a few times, then leaves through the door to win and retain. 10/10.
(Available on Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection)
-4/30/06, Backlash, Winner Takes All Match, Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin (Champion): The winner here would become both the I.C. champ and the holder of the MITB briefcase, which adds some spice to this match. Its a good, athletic contest as both men were very gifted in the ring especially at this time in their careers, there's some one upping by both men as they have some good exchanges. Near the end Shelton attempts to use the briefcase but gets kicked in the face while holding it, then the Five Star Frog Splash by RVD and he covers to win the title. 7/10.
-6/25/06, Vengeance, Triple Threat Match, Shelton Benjamin (Champion) vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro w/Melina: The match of the PPV here and quite a surprise, their styles mix well, plenty of good counter wrestling along with some good high spots. Carlito hits a dive springboard dive off the top to the outside, then a great head scissors out of nowhere onto Nitro, but Carlito gets launched into the air by Shelton who later hits a big samoan drop for two. Loved the spot where Nitro was in the tree of woe, Shelton jumped to the top to nail Carlito but Nitro throws Shelton off the top and Carlito gets launched to the ring. Carlito hits the backstabber, Nitro pulls him out of the ring, covers Shelton and wins the I.C. title. 9/10.
-7/22/07, Great American Bash, Umaga (Champion) vs. Jeff Hardy: These two had a good rivalry but something about this one seemed a little off, Jeff employed a hit and run offense while Umaga just overpowered Hardy and hammered him down, locking on a nerve hold to keep Jeff grounded. Umaga hits a huge swinging sidewalk slam but just for two, Hardy does make his comeback hitting some quick moves, including a crossbody to the outside. Jeff does hit the Twiste of Fate, then the Swanton both for only two, Umaga ends up hitting the Samoan Spike and covers to win the match. 6/10.
-3/10/08, Raw, Jeff Hardy (Champion) vs. Chris Jericho: Not a bad TV match here as Jeff had tremendous momentum heading into the bout, both guys did do well here and countered the others moves at times. There was also some aggression by both men stemming off a confrontation the week before on Raw, Jericho does send Jeff headfirst into the announce table. There were some great reversals near the end, Jericho hits the Lionsault but only two, Jeff misses the Swanton, Jericho hits the Codebreaker and covers to win. 6/10. Strangely after this Jeff would leave WWE TV for a couple of months, for a drug policy violation (gasp, I'm shocked).
This was an overall good collection of matches and is certainly better than the History of the WWE Championship set and while this isn't the greatest set of matches in my opinion there are enough to make it worth getting for a good price. However I do concede that the earlier matches are a bit slow and aren't really worth watching again, outside of the Snuka/Muraco cage match, just for Jimmy's dive mainly. There's also a fair amount of repeats and those that are on dvd for the first time are a mixed bag.
For me, standout matches included the Steamboat/Savage classic from Wrestlemania 3, Hart/Perfect from Summerslam 1991, Hart/Bulldog one year later at the same event, Ramon/Michaels from Wrestlamania X, Triple H/Rock from Fully Loaded, Edge/Orton from Vengeance 2004, and Flair/Triple H from Taboo Tuesday. Were all the great matches for this prestigious title included? Of course not! You can't please everybody. But for me, a lifelong wrestling fan that has been watching since I was four, it is a great collection. I know people will disagree with me, but that is my attention. As one other reviewer mentioned, I hope they continue this Championship series by covering the history of the Tag Team Championship. Of all the titles in WWE history, it will be the last that traces its history far back and up to today.
By the way, for the people that are complaining about there not being enough Randy Savage matches, I think his two best matches for this DVD were included. I saw many of his others, and they just weren't worthy of being on this collection. Do I wish a Savage DVD comes about one day? Of course! Time will tell, and we will have to see if Vince can one day give Savage what he deserves, regardless of past circumstances. Look at Bret Hart. He left on bad terms, but eventually reconciled. Perhaps Savage and the WWE will one day too. Kudos to this Intercontinental Championship collection. Good job WWE.