Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Have you seen this belt....

....at WrestleMania?

With Jeff Hardy competing in the Money in the Bank ladder match, the Intercontinental Championship -- the second most prestigious title on its brand (and, before the roster split, the entire company) -- will not be defended at WrestleMania for the sixth consecutive year.

Long-time fans will recall how the Intercontinental Championship provided two highly memorable WrestleMania matches : Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat from WrestleMania III and the Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon Ladder Match from WrestleMania X.

Yet the last time this belt was defended on the grandest stage of them all was WrestleMania X-8 (in which I was in attendance), when Rob Van Dam defeated William Regal.

Lets look at the belt's WrestleMania history since then, shall we?

  • WrestleMania XIX: The championship is briefly retired during this time.
  • WrestleMania XX: Randy Orton (who was champion at the time) teams with his Evolution comrades Batista and Ric Flair to face the Rock 'n Sock Connection (The Rock & Mick Foley). Fun fact, this was also The Rock's last match (at press time).
  • WrestleMania 21: A trend is started, as the Intercontinental Champion -- Shelton Benjamin -- participates in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
  • WrestleMania 22: It is deja vu all over again as Benjamin (who was in his second reign with the belt) once again competes in the MITB match.
  • WrestleMania 23: Intercontinental Champion Umaga goes to battle with ECW Champion Bobby Lashley. Two supposedly prestigious champions, and what are they fighting over? That's right, Vince McMahon and Donald Trump's hair!

And now, this year at WrestleMania XXIV, unless Jeff Hardy loses the Intercontinental gold before March 30th (which he probably won't, considering how hard they're pushing him), the title will go undefended yet again.

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