The WWE Intercontinental Championship is one of the most prestigious and beloved championships in all of professional wrestling. Indeed, it’s launched the careers of more pro wrestlers than any other championship, including Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chris Jericho.
But with such a storied history, there are bound to be a number of wrestlers who you’ve completely forgotten were ever Intercontinental Champion. Here are just six of them.
1. Kerry Von Erich
The Von Erichs are one of the most legendary families in pro wrestling, but many people might not realize that Kerry Von Erich held the Intercontinental Championship once upon a time.
In July 1990, Von Erich debuted in WWE as the Texas Tornado – but the commentators openly acknowledged that he was, in fact, Kerry Von Erich. Not long after at SummerSlam, he took the place of an injured Brutus Beefcake and defeated Mr. Perfect to win the Intercontinental Championship. He held the title for 84 days before it was reclaimed by Mr. Perfect on the December 15 episode of “Superstars.”
2. The Mountie
On Jan. 17, 1992, The Mountie, a.k.a. Jacques Rougeau, defeated Bret Hart to win the Intercontinental Championship. And you probably don’t remember this because he won the title at a non-televised house show.
According to the storyline, Hart was suffering from the flu. But in reality, he was going through contract negotiations with WWE at the time. Naturally, WWE didn’t want to have the title on someone who was possibly on his way out, so they put it on The Mountie. Unfortunately for Rougeau, he lost the championship to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper just two days later at the Royal Rumble.
3. Chris Jericho and Chyna
If you’re wondering what Chris Jericho and Chyna, two of the most notable Intercontinental Champions of all time, are doing on this list, let me explain. You see, while Jericho and Chyna have 11 unforgettable individuals Intercontinental Championship reigns between them, you might have forgotten that they were actually co-champions for a few weeks in early 2000.
A title match between Jericho and Chyna recorded for the December 30, 1999, episode of “SmackDown” ended in a double pinfall, resulting in them both being declared the champion. However, WWE doesn’t officially recognize their 20-day co-reign, and instead considers it a vacant period.
4. Ezekiel Jackson
You might not even remember who Ezekiel Jackson was, let alone that he was Intercontinental Champion.
After splitting from The Corre (which was one of the worst stables in WWE history), Jackson won the championship by defeating his former leader, Wade Barrett, at Capitol Punishment (which is a pay-per-view you probably forgot happened) on June 19, 2011. He held the title for 54 days before dropping it to Cody Rhodes, who went on to have one of the best Intercontinental Championship reigns in recent memory – which is why we’ve probably all forgotten about Jackson.
5. Luke Harper
Chalk this one up to poor booking. Luke Harper could have been a fantastic Intercontinental Champion, but WWE Creative did him dirty.
In the fall of 2014, Harper left the Wyatt Family and aligned himself with The Authority. As a reward for his allegiance, he was granted a title match on “Raw” against Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler, whom he defeated.
While Harper did have one successful title defense against Dean Ambrose, Ziggler promptly recaptured the championship 27 days later in a ladder match at TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.
6. Zack Ryder
Poor, poor Zack Ryder. Chances are there are quite a few fans who remember him capturing the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 32, but his reign is hardly notable as it lasted just two days.
Ryder defeated six other men, including defending champion Kevin Owens, in a ladder match to win his first and only Intercontinental Championship. However, he lost the title to The Miz the very next night on “Raw.” The Miz, of course, then went on to have one of the longest and most entertaining reigns in years.
How many of these wrestlers did you forget or not know were Intercontinental Champion? Is there anyone you think had an even less memorable reign? Share your comments below!