As Todd Grisham explains in his introduction, this collection was assembled
by asking WWE fans about their favorite Intercontinental Championship matches.
In the end, twenty-six title matches made it onto these three discs. Here they
• Pat Patterson vs. Ted DiBiase at Madison Square Garden in
Clocking in at only 8 minutes, this opening match from 1979 is not
necessarily the most entertaining one. It's a little slow-paced for my taste,
and although DiBiase delivers a few interesting moves, he never really gets a
chance to make this a memorable battle.
• Ken Patera vs. Pedro Morales at Madison Square Garden in
This one is definitely an improvement on its predecessor, as both
wrestlers kick it up a notch. Although their 16 minutes in the ring is mostly
kicks, punches, and long submission holds, the show they deliver is not boring.
We do get to see a couple of bold moves, and a little surprise at the end serves
as an amusing finish.
• Pedro Morales vs. The Magnificent Muraco at Madison Square
Garden in 1982
Morales and Muraco put all their energy into this 14-minute
battle, which is not as fast-paced as the previous title match. Still, the
determination of both wrestlers to give the crowd a decent show works.
• The Magnificent Muraco vs. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka at
Madison Square Garden in 1983
Even though the first steel cage match on
this disc lasts for only 7 minutes, it delivers plenty of solid wrestling
entertainment. Watch out for an awesome bonus stunt toward the end of the
• Greg Valentine vs. Tito Santana at Madison Square Garden in
This one is a Lumberjack Match, which means a bunch of fellow
wrestlers surround the ring to make sure none of the two competitors inside will
attempt to leave the fighting ground to back out or take a little break. Much
like the previous battles, this one features mostly kicks, punches, and long
submission maneuvers. While this fighting style may be considered a little
boring in pro wrestling today, it certainly got the crowds cheering back in the
'80s. That said, this 15-minute matchup is certainly not a disaster; on the
contrary, both wrestlers know what they're doing, and that's what ultimately
• Tito Santana vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage at Boston
Garden in 1986
Clocking in at 10 minutes, this championship match is
rather amusing, with Randy Savage making use of all kinds of dirty tricks to
weaken his opponent and snatch the Intercontinental title from him. Interesting
to notice also is the wrestlers' increased use of high-risk maneuvers, which
obviously boosts the match's overall pacing.
• Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. Ricky "The
Dragon" Steamboat at WrestleMania III in 1987
The look of the giant
Pontiac stadium filled with more than 93,000 eager wrestling fans alone makes
this matchup a memorable one. And wow, what a fantastic battle this is. Savage
and Steamboat undoubtedly deliver the most action-packed title match we've seen
so far on this disc, complete with bold moves and incredible determination. At
14 minutes, this one is neither too short nor too long, showing the explosive
crowd in Pontiac and the viewers at home what exciting pro wrestling is really
about. This one's one to remember.
• Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Honky Tonk Man at
SuperStars in 1987
At only four minutes, this is quite a short title
match, but that doesn't mean it's not entertaining. On the contrary, Honky Tonk
Man and Steamboat don't waste much time but get straight to the action, offering
viewers a decent, fast-paced fight.
• Honky Tonk Man vs. Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam in 1988
I know it's hard to believe, but this one only lasts for 45 seconds. It's
obviously way too short a match to be taken seriously, but nonetheless, it's
• Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam in
The Ultimate Warrior brings along tons of energy and plenty of
determination, and the crowd loves it. Both athletes offer a nice display of
their flexibility, delivering a variety of powerful maneuvers that keep this
championship match engaging enough until the very end. That concludes Disc One.
Let's break into the '90s:
• Mr. Perfect vs. Bret "Hit Man" Hart at SummerSlam in
I always enjoyed watching Bret Hart in action, and one thing I always
looked forward to seeing was the Sharp Shooter, Hart's great signature
submission maneuver. And you'll certainly get to see the Shooter in this
17-minute matchup, a highly entertaining and powerful enough battle that gets
Disc Two off to a solid start. Strong kicks, high-risk moves, and plenty of
attitude make for a good pro wrestling show, and that's exactly what this opener
• Bret "Hit Man" Hart vs. British Bulldog at SummerSlam
At 23 minutes, this one is pretty long, but it also features
everything you would expect from a championship match at a PPV. It's got the
fierce kicks, the submission holds, the strong punches, the powerful maneuvers,
and plenty of action-packed signature moves that will keep the entertainment
factor at a considerably high level throughout.
• Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X in 1994
Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels go head to head in a Ladder match, which means
the title belt is suspended over the ring and both wrestlers must use a ladder
to grab it for the win. Because there are no other rules in this matchup, the
two athletes don't shy away from grabbing the ladder and using it to cause
damage to each other. If well coordinated, these matches are a lot of fun
because you never know who's able to successfully mount that ladder to the top
without being thrown off by the opponent. Additionally, ladders give wrestlers a
great opportunity to deliver impressive dives and other high-risk maneuvers, and
there are plenty of those in this fight. Excellent match!
• Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett at Royal Rumble in 1995
Although this one slows down from time to time because Jeff Jarrett likes to put
on a silly show, it's by no means a boring match. On the contrary, the
fast-paced moments of this battle deliver the goods, with both Ramon and Jarrett
exchanging momentums via a variety of cool Irish Whips and other flexible moves.
Clocking in at 20 minutes, this is yet another solid display of entertaining pro
• Rocky Maivia vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at In Your House: D-X
Stone Cold and Rocky enter this ring with incredible energy and
enthusiasm, giving fans just what they want to see: an efficient title match
with great heavy maneuvers and plenty of twists. I really enjoyed what WWE show
writers accomplished during in the '90s, because they gave pro wrestling's stars
a chance to give audiences their money's worth on so many occasions. This one
only lasts for five minutes, but these five minutes are certainly
• Triple H vs. The Rock at In Your House: Fully Loaded in 1998
This title match between HHH and the Rock is a two out of three falls match,
which means the first wrestler to score two pinfalls wins the game and
championship. The whole battle lasts for about 30 minutes, and while that is
quite long for this kind of matchup, Triple H and the Rock keep it engaging
enough throughout. Both wrestlers have a diverse set of moves that are powerful
and look nice, and neither shies away from using their technical skills to the
fullest extent. It may not be the best fight we've seen on the disc, but it's
• Jeff Jarrett vs. Chyna at No Mercy in 1999
and Chyna's match for the title is utterly ridiculous, yet highly amusing. This
being a so-called Good Housekeeping Match, the two wrestlers are allowed to use
all sorts of gadgets scattered around the ring. Yes, those include ironing
boards, microwaves, flour, milk, eggs, and even salami. As stupid as it sounds
and eventually is, Jarrett and Chyna takes this seriously enough by using
everything they find against each other. It's a laughable matchup indeed, but
it's also a good way to conclude the '90s. And that wraps up Disc Two. On to the
• Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle at No Way Out in 2000
Kicking off this third and final disc are Y2J and Olympic medalist Kurt Angle,
who deliver a solid 10-minute show loaded with fast-paced wrestling action and a
couple of minor surprises that spice up this battle a little. No Way Out
2000 was an excellent pay-per-view, and this match certainly contributed to
the success of the event.
• Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac at SmackDown in
Welcome to the Triple Threat, the perfect display of these three
athletes' flexibility and willingness to deliver high-risk moves to offer
audiences entertaining wrestling performances. It's too bad this one only lasts
for 3 minutes, because it's both powerful and utterly entertaining from start to
• Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy at Smackdown in 2001
at eight minutes, Triple H's match against Jeff Hardy is fun to watch for
several reasons. While the Game brings along powerful punches and some strong
signature moves, Hardy boasts risky maneuvers that can easily make any matchup
look a lot more impressive. This one's a short but efficient battle.
• Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy at Raw in 2002
It's time to
return to some ladder action, a match type that's always entertaining to follow.
Hardy and Van Dam don't waste any time and get straight to business, making use
of the first ladder within the first minute of the battle. Ladders also give
wrestlers plenty of opportunities to perform extreme dives, and we certainly get
to see a lot of those in this short but vibrant 7-minute competition.
• Edge vs. Randy Orton at Vengeance in 2004
The action may
slow down in this 27-minute championship match, but both Edge and Orton show
what it means to have enough endurance in this business. The moves they deliver
are by no means as exciting as the ones we've seen in the previous couple of
matches, but I can hardly imagine any wrestling fan out there not appreciating
the effort these young wrestlers put into this matchup. Not bad indeed.
• Ric Flair vs. Triple H at Taboo Tuesday in 2005
like steel, you'll certainly enjoy this Steel Cage Match between the Nature Boy
and the Game. Surprises are scarce in this 23-minute battle, but the two
wrestlers keep the action flowing at a steady pace. Yes, the steel comes to use
a lot as well.
• Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin at Backlash in 2006
winner of this intercontinental championship match walks away not only with a
title, but also with a case full of cash. I've always enjoyed Van Dam spilling
his energy all over the ring, and this battle against Benjamin is not different.
Both athletes are on fire for most of this 19-minute matchup, and that's exactly
what the audience wants to see.
• Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro vs. Shelton Benjamin at Vengeance in
We return to some Triple Threat action for this match, which features
three young athletes looking for a quick career boost. While this is certainly
not the most suspenseful match of this collection, some of the risky moves we
get to see inside this ring are indeed quite stunning.
• Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga at The Great American Bash in 2007
Hardy and Umaga don't share the same weight class, but that does not prevent
Hardy to use his speed to his advantage in his attempt to give viewers the show
they deserve. Then again, Umaga also uses his power to his own advantage.
Doesn't this sound like the recipe for a fun wrestling battle? Indeed, that's
exactly what it is.
• Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho at Raw in 2008
We wrap this
disc and the collection with a short but decent enough match between Jeff Hardy
and Chris Jericho, who've both had an especially busy year in '08. This may not
be the most exciting performance they've given us recently, but for an
Intercontinental Championship Match at Raw, it's better than many single or
championship battles we see during pay-per-views.
Overall, The History of the Intercontinental Championship is an
excellent collection stuffed with mostly great matches. It's an interesting look
back at the history of the title, and a great way to follow how pro wrestling
and its television coverage has changed between the late '70s and today. This
collection does not include any special features, and frankly, that's not a
problem at all here. There's plenty of wrestling action to enjoy here, and Todd
Grisham's quick interludes add some extra insight into the history of the
As far as the technical aspects are concerned, the matches from the 1980s
obviously bear a poorer image quality than those of the 1990s and 2000s. That,
however, is not an issue here. There is only so much you can do with footage
this old, and the presentation on this set looks just fine. Same goes for the
audio transfer, which increases in quality as you work your way through the