In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard, former WWE Intercontinental champions Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, and Santino Marella commented on what the Intercontinental championship means to them and if it’s lost some of it’s meaning over the years.
This is the championship I grew up watching, thinking, ‘This is what I want to do. I want to be the man who represents this company with this title.’
No, but it is very simple – stories were all about larger than life stars and titles were on the back burner for a little while. It’s OK, it happens. Everybody can’t be in the main event every single night at all times. It’s a great little peak and valley, just like has happened in my career. I was defending the title multiple times a week and it was like putting some equity in myself. The title was making me mean so much more.
I’m a five-time Intercontinental champion. It means a huge amount to the guys, and you need to remember the era we grew up in.
Guys like Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and my hero “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith all held that title, so it means as much to us today as it did to them back then.
When I decided I wanted to become a professional wrestler in 1998, the title I actually set my sights on was the Intercontinental title. The heavyweight championship is the main title, but this is a super significant title–it’s basically a world championship. Once you have this title, you’re guaranteed to work and defend it all year.
It’s never lost its shine to me. Sometimes, it takes a backseat to the world heavyweight title, but I prefer that title. It’s my favorite title. When I debuted and won that championship, my friends back home knew I wanted that title and said, ‘Man, you got it on your first day!’ So that was pretty cool.