Wednesday, August 5, 2015

SummerSlam A to Z: Intercontinental Championship

Dolph wins at SummerSlam '14
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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The Intercontinental Championship has been defended at 21 of the 27 SummerSlams.  There have been singles matches, triple threat matches, ladder matches and even intergender tag team matches to determine a champion.  We'd be here all day if I ran down each of these matches, so instead I'm going to share thoughts a few of my favorites.

Tornado on his way to gold
Courtesy: WWE
Regular readers of this blog know I'm a fool for old school and a Kerry Von Erich mark.  Therefore it goes without saying I was super pumped when Kerry arrived in the WWF prior to SummerSlam '90.  Because Brutus Beefcake had been injured in a parasailing accident, The Texas Tornado stepped into the Barber's IC title match against Mr. Perfect.  In just over five minutes, my favorite wrestler was the new champ and there was much rejoicing on my part.  My only complaint is the title reign didn't last nearly long enough.

Excellent Sharpshooter
Courtesy: WWE
A year later Mr. Perfect defended against Bret "The Hitman" Hart.  Hart had primarily been a tag team wrestler and had wrestled Perfect years earlier in singles matches and lost.  I bet my buddy $5 that Perfect would retain, but much to my surprise, The Excellence of Execution proved why he's the "best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be."  The match was outstanding and I still remember my utter shock when the champ tapped out to the Sharpshooter.

The Bulldog has his day
Courtesy: WWE
Hart would lose the title to his brother-in-law British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith a year later.  It was a throwback to their tag team rivalry of the mid-to-late 80's.  Smith's run was short too, but I was happy to see him hold gold in the singles division.  Ultimate Warrior shocked the Honky Tonk Man at the first SummerSlam by pinning the longest reigning champion in 31 seconds.  I was actually a big HTM fan back then and was dismayed when hearing the news that Warrior had won. I now view that as an epic memory of SummerSlam.

Stone Cold!
Courtesy: WWE
I'm not discounting anything beyond 1992, but I really do remember those matches much better than the last 15 years or so.  Of course other notable IC matches include the night Owen Hart dropped "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on his head and severely shortened the career of The Texas Rattlesnake.  Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon relived their Wrestlemania X ladder match at SS 95 and Triple H and The Rock climbed to new heights both literally and figuratively back in 1998.

Chyna won another reign at SummerSlam '00.  Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and Edge all had memorable moments in the "secondary" title match at the annual event.  So many great memories, it's hard to chose the best.

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