WWE's secondary titles have been a popular topic to debate for the last several years, with the cause taking on greater weight with the unification of the WWE and World Heavyweight championships - and then again with Brock Lesnar holding the united belt despite not appearing regularly on television or pay-per-view (PPV).
Wading into the discussion is Dolph Ziggler, a man who many thought was restoring the Intercontinental championship to prominence this past Summer across two runs with the belt.
The Show Off was a guest on Ring Rust Radio with Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and Brandon Galvin earlier this week, and answered a question about the midcard title scene from Chiari with a radical notion...to make the belt matter, defend it a lot:
Well to restore prestige, you'd have to do something similar to what I did a couple of months ago. I finally beat Miz for the title, and then constantly, The Authority wanted to take it off me. So it became that much more exciting because every Monday, every Thursday, every weekend, every pay-per-view I was defending that title. They were trying to stick it to me, and you didn't know if I was going to win it or if I was going to lose it because the odds were stacked against me.
Or you thought that whether they are trying to take it off him or not, it's constantly being defended, and I think that was the right track in starting it to get seen as the workhorse title that gets put on the line all the time. Brock Lesnar is not always around, this could be the up-and-coming title, and for a couple of months I defended that thing 20 times and that's the absolute way to get that title more prestigious.
It's obviously on the back burner right now; there's other stories going on, it's not the top story right now, and I'm not going to pretend it is. My goal is when I'm given an inch I try to take a mile.
So when I had that title, I was always wanting to defend it, tell Triple H to call whoever he wants, have him at ringside, because the more I defended it, it slowly began to gain prestige as a title that wasn't just a workhorse title, but a title that was going to be defended sometimes, and that's what needs to happen.
Dolph's plan not only gives you a championship that fans see a lot while the WWE belt is saved for special occasions, but it also goes a long way toward making it, as he calls it the "workhorse title". Two things long-time fans think of in regards to the IC strap: it's a stepping stone to the top position in the company and it was often held by the best worker.
Booking it as something that's earned in frequent, non-gimmicked bouts accomplishes that. Much more than the model that has dominated WWE shows this decade - having the Intercontinental king job a lot to whoever he's facing at the next PPV.
While the ladder match at WrestleMania seems like a consolation prize for Ziggler when his plan to work with Daniel Bryan after he was "pissed" about how they were both used in the Royal Rumble match, Dolph does plan to work with the other "hungry guys" in that storyline on his usual plan - to steal the show.
Check out the full interview embedded below for more from the former IC and World Heavyweight champ. And let us know if you think Ziggler's plan for making the white and gold matter again would work, or if it's not just as easy as he makes it out to be.