As noted on the site previously, last night (Oct. 2) at Hell in a Cell, Cody Rhodes re-debuted the classic Intercontinental championship belt design and did away with the one that was in use since 1998. I thought it was a brilliant decision that could reinvigorate the entire title picture surrounding it, if it's taken much more seriously as a major championship.
After the event last night, Rhodes cut a promo on the WWE website on why the decision was made to go back to the old belt design. Here's what he said:
"Everybody knows that the Intercontinental championship used to mean something. It mattered. People put their faith in it. Summerslam 1992 there were 70-something thousand people and do you know what the last match was? It was for the Intercontinental championship. It meant this guy is next in line. Santino Marella wasn't that guy. Chyna certainly wasn't that guy. People tarnished this title. Ezekial Jackson, really? This is the title that was synonymous with greatness. And I am certainly nothing but great."
That pretty much encompasses the feelings of every fan walking the Earth today. It's as though the collective cries were heard and management actually decided to do something about it.
The Intercontinental belt definitely used to be an elevator. But it was also the working man's championship for a number of years. The guys that held that title weren't just the guys who were being groomed for a run at the WWE championship -- they were the ones putting on the best matches on the card. While Hulk Hogan was dropping a leg and posing for 15 minutes, Curt Hennig was bumping all over the ring and having four-star matches on a nightly basis.
I'm not expecting that much, of course, but any return to that level of meaningfulness will only better serve the championship and whoever is holding it at any given time.
Video of Rhodes promo is after the jump. He goes on to tie the new belt into his current gimmick of being perfect but having to wear the mask. Really solid work from Rhodes, who is quickly growing into his own as a top heel on Smackdown.