December 10, 2008
Matt Peddycord

WWE: The History of the Intercontinental Championship – Disc Three
Released: 11/25/2008

WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho (w/Chyna) vs. Kurt Angle – (No Way Out – 2/27/00)

Kurt Angle is also the European champion and looking to become the first ever Eurocontinental champion, says Kurt. This was not yet as big of a deal as it would be in the years to come because Angle was still trying to adapt to becoming a “professional” wrestler. He had the personality and the mic skills down pat, but his in-ring prowess was still something he had to master. I don’t think it was until his matches with Benoit in 2001 that he truly came into his own as the complete wrestler. Believe it or not, Chyna gets her OWN entrance. No wonder she got the big head. That’ll get you booted out of the company real quick. Jericho has his own three I’s for Kurt Angle and they are Idiot, Imbecile, and Ignoramus! How respectful. Quick start to this one as Jericho hits Angle with clotheslines until he takes a drop toehold into the bottom rope. Angle charges into a backdrop that puts him clear out on the floor. Once Angle’s back on the apron, Jericho knocks him down with a springboard dropkick. Angle avoids a baseball slide and smashes Jericho’s face into the steps. They brawl around ringside as Jericho misses a clothesline up against the ringpost and jars his arm across the steel. Jericho avoids a whip into the steps by hitting a Lionsault off the steps! Back in, Jericho gets crotched on the top rope for a belly-to-belly superplex for two. Angle wrenches the injured arm in the ropes. Jericho elbows out of a chinlock and delivers a double-underhook backbreaker for two. Angle comes back with a German suplex for two. And we go back to the chinlock. Jericho escapes, but lowers the head and takes an armbreaker DDT for two. Jericho hits Angle with a spinning heel kick out of nowhere and follows up with a running face slam. Flying Forearm by Y2J gets 1-2-NO! Angle tries a hurracanrana (!!) and Jericho blocks it with the double powerbomb for two. Angle rolls out of the pin into a cross armbreaker, but Jericho makes the ropes. Angle ducks a clothesline and hits the OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, 1-2-NO! He gets desperate and grabs the IC belt. With ref Tim White’s help, Jericho avoids getting nailed and locks on the WALLS OF JERICHO. The IC title is still in the ring. Remember that. Angle makes the ropes and they head to the floor. After having his face slammed on the announce table, Angle rakes Jericho across the face and grabs his European title. Chyna comes over to stop and to her dismay, Jericho shoves Angle into Chyna which sends her falling into the steps. Jericho gives Angle a suplex back in and goes for the Lionsault, but Angle has the IC belt and smashes it into Jericho’s face on the way down. Now Tim White’s back in the ring after checking on Chyna and counts 1-2-3. (10:16) Angle wins his one and only IC title belt and once again we have a Eurocontinental champion, if you will. **¾

WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac – (Smackdown! – 10/12/00)

Remember the Jericho/X-Pac feud from the fall of 2000? Yeah, me neither. This is a GREAT combination of wrestlers, by the way. Eddie’s the uber-heel right now for cheating on Chyna last week on Raw. To start with, Eddie stands back and lets Jericho and X-Pac beat each other up and stops a pin. Jericho has spinning heel kicks for both guys and then puts Guerrero on the floor with a springboard dropkick. X-Pac gets sent to the floor as well, ending with Guerrero eating a baseball slide. X-Pac gets in a spin kick of his own and takes Jericho down. Back in, X-Pac and Eddie double-team Y2J. Bronco Buster to Jericho! Y2J punches back and goes for the WALLS OF JERICHO on Guerrero , but X-Pac saves. Guerrero and X-Pac deliver a double-clothesline, but then Eddie turns on X-Pac. Jericho catches Eddie off a charge and launches him off into the corner. Jericho gets rid of X-Pac momentarily while he sets up for the Lionsault! X-Pac runs in with a low blow and an X-FACTOR on Jericho. Just as he makes the cover, Eddie dropkicks him off Jericho down to the floor and pins Y2J for the 1-2-3. (3:50) Fast paced action like you would expect. It’s just sad they couldn’t put the much better fatal four way IC title match from No Way Out 2001 on here instead. **¼

WWF Intercontinental Champion Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy – (Smackdown! – 4/12/01)

Why they didn’t just push the Hardy Boyz in the Brothers of Destruction spot to headline Backlash that year is beyond me. They could just had Edge and Christian job to UT and Kane and then have the 2-Man Power Trip win the tag belts the next night on Raw for a big ratings booster. Jeff Hardy gave Stephanie a Twist of Fate earlier in the night so this can start off with H beating the crap out of Hardy. We see Stephanie in the back holding on to her neck, but looking on with a smile. Jeff comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a series of dropkicks. He runs into a PEDIGREE, but no! Jeff counters into a double legdrop to the groin. That gets two. HHH shoves off a ten-count corner punch, but then takes a Whisper in the Wind for two. Triple H avoids a charge and sends Jeff flying out to the floor. Hardy tries to run down the barricade and splash Hunter, but H sees it coming and slams him to the mat. Hardy reverses a whip on H into the barricade and leaps off the apron onto Triple H, but gets caught in a slam on the floor. OUCH. HHH sends Jeff into the steps before bringing him back in the ring. He delivers the High Knee and pummels Hardy down on the mat and then in the corner. H whips Hardy hard from corner to corner and hooks on a sleeper. Jeff counters with a sitout jawbreaker and a Russian legsweep. He heads up top, but H pulls ref Tim White into the ropes to crotch Hardy up. Timmy White is PISSED! He shoves Triple H back and then gets shoved down way harder by the Game. H wants a superplex as Matt Hardy jets down to the ring with a steel chair in hand! WHACK to Triple H! SICK chairshot! SWANTON BOMB! Cover, 1-2-3! (8:06) Stephanie is in shock as Jeff Hardy upsets Triple H and wins the IC title. A fun little match as the first six months of 2001 saw the perennial mid-carders like the Hardyz, Benoit and Jericho wrestle the seasoned main eventers that were running out of issues to fight over. Of course Triple H would regain the belt four nights later on Raw, but it was a change of pace at least for a while. **½

WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. WWE European Champion Jeff Hardy – Ladder Match – (Raw – 7/22/02)

This was a title unification match to rid the world of the European title that nobody in the WWE ever seemed to know what to do with once actual Europeans like Davey Boy Smith and William Regal already had their title reigns that went nowhere. Jeff Hardy had just had a ladder match 21 days earlier against the Undertaker for the WWE Undisputed title and now this with RVD. It’s a RVD/Lynn headlock/headscissors sequence to a stalemate to start. Hardy gets a headscissors takedown out of the corner and clotheslines RVD to the floor. Hardy looks to bring in the ladder, but RVD baseball slides the ladder into his face. Quebrada off the apron to Hardy connects. RVD makes the first climb for the IC title, but Jeff pulls him down by his ankles. Jeff avoids a monkey flip and double legdrops RVD to make an accordion out of him. Ahh, JR didn’t say it. Instead he talks about Jeff’s strange personality traits. A personality trait would be like if you were a neat and orderly person, or being outgoing. What Jeff does when he huffs spray paint out of a paper bag and calls the brain-altering effects “watching TV” is not a personality trait, JR. Jeff gets yanked down off the ladder, but then dropkicks it out of RVD’s hands into the aisleway. That leads to a dueling ladder fight. Hardy wins that after RVD drops the ladder, but then RVD spin kicks Jeff’s ladder into him. RVD places Jeff on a folded up ladder and delivers a handspring moonsault to Jeff! RVD makes another climb, but Jeff climbs up too and brings RVD down with a Russian legsweep. Now Jeff puts a folded ladder on RVD and gives him a SWANTON BOMB! They each make the climb on a ladder to trade punches until RVD gives Jeff a SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB OFF THE LADDER! After all that, RVD gives Jeff Rolling Thunder on a ladder. Ladders are set up beside each other for each man. RVD ends up kicking Jeff off his ladder and then gives him a questionable FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH! Looked more like a two and a half star frog splash, but that might confuse people. RVD climbs back up the ladder because Hardy is DONE and retrieves his IC belt. (6:56) No more European title! This was like the condensed version of all the ladder affairs between Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam in 2001, and it showed too as it appeared they were just going through the motions with each other. **¾

WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton vs. Edge – (Vengeance – 7/11/04)

This is what I loved about the summer of 2004. Evolution had four babyfaces (Benoit, Jericho, Edge & Benjamin) they could go against to give us some memorable six and eight man tags, which made up for the abysmal year of Raw in 2003. You could almost compare it to the summer of 1987 with the Horsemen having Dusty and his friends to generate all these great matches. To this date, Orton is undefeated on PPV, which should tip you off as to who is going to win this match. Randy Orton has also really started to create a fanbase that’s rather loud and vocal in his favor. Orton has enough of Edge’s headlock and takes a walk up the aisleway until Edge brings him back. Orton proceeds to cause Edge to make a mistake and throws him clear over the top rope to the floor. Suplex back in from Orton gets two as he starts to choke and stomp Edge on the mat. Orton grabs a half nelson/neck wrench hold. Edge punches out of that and hits a jumping forearm. A series of clotheslines puts Orton on the floor as Edge already appears winded ten minutes into this match. Orton grabs his title and gets a baseball slide into the SAT. After a flying clothesline off the apron, Edge brings Orton back in for a missile dropkick for two. Orton blocks a SPEAR with a kick to the face! That gets approval from the crowd. Orton hits the inverted headlock into a backbreaker for two. That move needs a name. He hangs Edge over the apron for some European uppercuts and elbows. More wrenching of the neck follows inside the ring as Orton denies the crowd’s cheers. This goes on for several minutes before Orton applies the crazy overzealous chinlock. That eats up another couple minutes until Edge battles out and hits a crossbody block for two. Orton thinks he’s shut Edge down with a clothesline, but then gets caught coming off the top with a dropkick. BRIAN PILLMAN LIVES~! Reverse neckbreaker by Edge causes a near double-countout. Edge wins a slugfest and delivers a Russian legsweep. Edge-O-Matic gets a nearfall. They botch when Edge tries to stop a superplex and Orton lands his leg on the top rope on the way to the mat. Edge hits the flying bodypress anyway, but Orton rolls through for 1-2-NO! Orton goes to the eyes and pulls off a top turnbuckle pad. While ref Chad Patton attempts to reattach it, Edge gets a small package for a delayed 1-2-NO! Cheap rollup by Orton gets two, as does a standing dropkick. Edge delivers the EDGECUTION for 1-2-NO! Orton hotshots Edge to stop a ten-count corner punch and with his feet on the ropes, he rolls up Edge for 1-2-NO! Edge shoves off the RKO and goes for the SPEAR, but Orton leapfrogs over him to send Edge into the corner! The RKO is countered this time into a backslide for 1-2-NO! Edge reverses a whip into the exposed turnbuckle and finally hits the SPEAR on Orton for 1-2-3! (26:37) This was the equivalent of the Rock/HHH match six years earlier where they had no business wrestling this long, but big things were in their future. For Orton, it was way bigger and sooner than Edge, as he would defeat Benoit for the World title the next month at SummerSlam and then turn face to become Evolution’s latest enemy. An enemy who was quickly devoured, but an enemy nonetheless. It was another case where when Vince heard a face reaction and jumped at the chance to make that performer a “good guy”. ***¼

WWE Intercontinental Champion Ric Flair vs. Triple H – Cage Match – (Taboo Tuesday – 11/1/05)

Joey Styles and Jerry Lawler are on commentary. Time for Triple H to put Old Yeller down. Big standoff to start with both men exchanging some rather mean words! Being the master of mindgames, Flair backs H into the corner for a chop and then walks away. Flair continues with the chops until HHH nails Flair with a High Knee. Flair chops back some more, but runs into a AA Spinebuster. Triple H is hesitant at first, but then starts beating the crap out of Flair and sends him into the cage to bust him open. Another throw into the cage sets up the Knee Drop out of the corner. H then takes Flair to the cage wall and starts to grind his face right before he splashes Flair up against the steel. This time H lowers the knee pad and Knee Drops Flair out of disrespect. Triple H sends Flair into the cage one more time and then starts to climb out. Flair is not going to die that easily though and meets H at the top and chops him down. They trade blows until they wind up crotching each other on the top rope. H climbs back up and finds a chain in the corner of the cage. With Flair down on the mat, H wraps the chain around his fist to come down on Flair, but Ric gets his foot up to block. H still has the chain wrapped around his knuckles as Flair chops him and sets him up for the FIGURE-FOUR with a shin breaker, but H gives him a chain punch to the face. Cover, 1-2-NO! Triple H drops a fist again with the chain on Flair before ref Mickey Jay takes it away from him. HHH destroys Flair by beating him down in the corner and then hits another Knee Drop before mocking Flair with the FIGURE-FOUR. Flair makes DEATH THREATS to Triple H when he’s in the hold! Triple H cranks on it but Flair will not die. Flair eventually flips Triple H the bird and turns the hold over into the ropes. H drags Flair to the middle of the ring to reapply the Figure Four, but Flair kicks him off into the steel. Now Triple H is busted wide open. When he sees blood, Flair gets a second wind and works the cut on the cage and with his fingers! Stalling suplex by Flair sets up the Rolling Knee Drop. Flair gives him another one. More chops from Flair leads to a chop block to do some damage on the knee. FIGURE-FOUR is applied by Flair this time. Triple H avoids submitting by throwing the ref into Flair to break up the hold. Flair stays in control with a knee drop to H’s knee and then starts to climb out. H comes after him, but gets raked in the eyes and takes a flying single sledge to the head. Cover, 1-2-NO! From there, Flair lowblows Triple H to allow Joey Styles a justifiable reason to say “balls” on PPV. Triple H grabs hold of Flair to keep him from crawling out the door. He brings a chair in with him. H gets the chair away from Flair and goes to whack him, but Flair grabs the testicular claw! Flair gives him a chop while he’s there too! He ducks low off a whip though to set up a PEDIGREE, but Flair backdrops H over onto the chair. Flair proceeds to give Triple H THREE chairshots and then walks out the cage to retain his title and his dignity. (23:46) A very good albeit methodical brawl. ***¾

WWE Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam – Winner Takes All – (Backlash – 4/30/06)

Rob Van Dam won the ‘Money in the Bank’ ladder match previously at that year’s WrestleMania, which explains the winner takes all stipulation. Feeling out process to start culminating with Benjamin using the ropes to flip out of a wristlock. Some armdrags and a big spin kick by RVD puts Benjamin on the floor to regroup. Back in, RVD sets him up for Rolling Thunder. Benjamin sees it coming and high-tails to the floor. RVD follows him out with a pescado. Back on the apron, Benjamin catches RVD with a knee and then delivers an AMAZING sunset flip powerbomb to the floor below! Benjamin rolls RVD back in for a two-count. Basic ring psychology would suggest Benjamin would go after the back and he does. Once Benjamin goes for the T-BONE SUPLEX, RVD shrugs him off into an elbow. Another Rolling Thunder attempt is caught for a BEAUTIFUL Samoan drop for two. RVD temporarily fights off a superplex, but Shelton does a vertical leap to the top rope and brings him down with a superplex after all. RVD elbows out of a neck-wrenching chinlock and then avoids a dropkick. HERE COMES ROB VAN DAM! On the third try, the Rolling Thunder finally connects for 1-2-NO! RVD gets the Split-Legged Moonsault for 1-2-NO! Shelton flips out of the Monkey Flip, but falls victim to the stepover heel kick. FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH misses! Benjamin runs over and stands RVD on his head with a DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! RVD gets his foot on the bottom rope. Benjamin grabs the MITB briefcase and sidesteps a baseball slide from RVD and answers back with a superkick. Back in, RVD rolls through a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! RVD ducks a roundhouse kick and levels Shelton with a rana for 1-2-NO! Benjamin takes hold of the briefcase and elbows RVD back into the ref. RVD ducks a briefcase shot and catches Benjamin with a VAN DAMINATOR! The ref didn’t see a thing! FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH! It’s over. (18:42) Unnecessary as it may seem, RVD regains the IC belt as he gears up for his title win in June over John Cena. Much better than I remembered. ***¾

WWE Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (w/Melina) – (Vengeance – 6/25/06)

So as to not make RVD look weak by losing the IC title back to Benjamin in a one-on-one match, Benjamin regained the IC title in a 3-on-2 handicap match. Carlito dumps Nitro out to start, as he and Shelton exchange nearfalls. Nitro picks his spot to enter the matchup and runs right into a backdrop from Carlito while he has Shelton in a headlock. Nitro springboards back in and avoids a big boot from Shelton that wipes out Carlito. They go to the floor where Carlito attempts a pescado on both Benjamin and Nitro, but Melina pulls her man out of harm’s way. Carlito catches himself on the apron, but gets tripped up by Nitro and sent into the ringpost. Nitro brawls with Shelton as Carlito regroups and delivers a double springboard plancha to create a pile! Back in, Carlito gets two on Nitro. Nitro surprises Carlito with a tilt-a-whirl Russian legsweep and dropkicks Shelton off the apron. Carlito springboard flips over Nitro and snaps off a great looking rana as the crowd approves. Benjamin cuts off a Bossman straddle from Carlito and launches him in the air for two. Shelton gets rid of Nitro and delivers a suplex on Carlito for two. Samoan drop gets another two count. Nitro makes the save, but receives a modified Snake Eyes by Shelton. That gets two as Melina puts Nitro’s foot on the bottom rope. Carlito and Nitro work out a double-team where Nitro monkey-flips Benjamin into a standing dropkick! Nitro breaks up the three-count and sets Carlito up for a superplex. Shelton shakes the ropes to crotch Nitro. With Nitro still hanging in the corner, Benjamin does a vertical leap to the top to superplex Carlito as Nitro sits up and brings them ALL down with a Spider German Suplex! And Charlotte goes INSANE. Nitro covers Carlito for 1-2-NO! Carlito gets dumped, but quickly comes back in and clobbers everybody with right hands. Carlito ducks under a double-team clothesline and answers back with a springboard back elbow on both men! Carlito gets a pair of nearfalls. Nitro misses a charge on Carlito and flies out to ringside. Meanwhile, Benjamin delivers a roundhouse kick to the back of Carlito’s head for 1-2-NO! Carlito goes to the throat and tries a suplex on Benjamin, and changes over to the BACKCRACKER! Oh but wait! Nitro yanks Carlito out and jumps on top of Benjamin for 1-2-3! (12:05) Carlito got the biggest reactions and was clearly the MVP of the match, but Nitro steals the IC title. Great stuff from everybody and another match that was better than I remembered when I first recapped this match. ***½

WWE Intercontinental Champion Umaga vs. Jeff Hardy – (Great American Bash – 7/22/07)

Umaga freakin’ DESTROYS Hardy to begin things and then grabs a nerve hold. UH OH! That’s a weakness for all babyfaces. Jeff fights out and tries a slam, but Umaga falls on top because that never works on the first try. Umaga delivers a couple banzai drops until he hits knees. Jeff leaps off the middle rope into a crazy Gunn Slinger. Cover, 1-2-NO! Umaga misses a flying headbutt to kickstart a Jeff Hardy comeback. A DDT doesn’t phase him, as he charges at Hardy and flies out to the floor. Hardy follows up with a sliding kick through the ropes and a pescado. Umaga tries to avoid a sunset flip with a butt splash, but Jeff moves and hits a basement dropkick for two. Umaga fires back and pounds Jeff into the corner, but just enough to prevent from being DQ’ed like at Vengeance against Santino. Is that continuity I see? Hardy moves from a Buttalanche and hits the Whisper in the Wind (JR ~ “Twist of Fate!”) for 1-2-NO! Now Umaga eats the ringpost to set up for the SWANTON BOMB! Cover, 1-2-NO! Umaga shoves off the TWIST OF FATE and answers back with a superkick to set up the Buttalanche. SAMOAN SPIKE! Umaga covers, 1-2-3. (11:21) Now THAT’S how you deliver a babyface vs. monster match. This takes me back to some Magnum/Kamala goodness from the ’80s. ***

WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho – (Raw – 3/10/08)

Both men are considered babyfaces, but both are ‘Money in the Bank’ participants, so yeah there’s tension. Jeff Hardy gave Chris Jericho a Twist of Fate on his own Highlight Reel segment. Man, this is a roll-around-the-playground fight to start. Hardy catches a dropkick and delivers the double legdrop to the groin. Jericho clotheslines Jeff to the floor as we go to commercial. We come back and see Hardy fighting out of a chinlock. Jericho misses a corner charge and flies out to the floor. Hardy dropkicks Jericho through the ropes and runs across the barricade, but gets planted on the announce table. Back in, Jericho hits a slingshot splash for 1-2-NO! Jericho works a backbreaker and foot chokes Hardy in the ropes. Hardy stops a Bossman straddle with a jumping neckbreaker. Whisper in the Wind connects for 1-2-NO! Jericho comes back with a Northern Lights suplex for 1-2-NO! Hardy bridges up into a backslide for 1-2-NO! Mule kick puts Jericho in the corner, but Hardy misses a corner dropkick. Hardy rolls through a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Jericho shrugs off the TWIST OF FATE and hits the Lionsault for 1-2-NO! This crowd is SOLIDLY behind Jericho. Hardy counters the WALLS OF JERICHO into a small package for a nearfall. Jericho whiffs an Running Enziguri and eats a TWIST OF FATE. SWANTON BOMB is coming up next, but Jericho moves! CODE BREAKER gets the win and Jericho’s record setting eighth Intercontinental championship. (8:10) Fun back and forth match with tons of heat. **¾

Final Thoughts: Letting the WWE fans choose the matches was a cool idea. I think what was picked was the best that was offered. I would rather have seen a Santana/Valentine cage match instead of the lumberjack match that’s already on the Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s DVD though. Of course the biggest gap missing here is great matches from Benoit’s IC title reigns in 2000 and 2002. For IC title fans like me though, this is a must-have. Even if you’re not, there’s enough to like on each disc to make it worth your time and money. Thumbs up for the History of the Intercontinental Championship.

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