Tuesday 15 July 2014

Irish Intercontinental

WWE currently has a great opportunity to declutter their title scene a little bit. Knowing the way the company works I don’t think they’ll have realised it or that they’ll care about it if they have. But the opportunity’s there regardless.

The Intercontinental championship was vacated a few weeks ago after champion Bad News Barrett suffered an arm injury. A new champion will be crowned at the Battleground pay-per-view in a thirty man battle royal. Yeah, thirty. That number seems a bit high considering how few legitimately over wrestlers are on the roster and that (apparently) nobody involved will wrestle in a second match on the show. But that’s what they’re going for.

One of the thirty men in the match is current United States champion Sheamus. That’s a championship that means even less than the Intercontinental title. If either the IC or the US belt was dropped then the remaining one would mean more. The fewer prizes there are on offer the greater an accomplishment it is to win one.

Give Sheamus the Intercontinental championship.
I’m not a fan of former world champions winning mid-card titles. Nor am I a fan of Sheamus. But even so I wouldn’t mind seeing ‘The Celtic Warrior’ leave Battleground as a double champion. It would allow him to appear on RAW the next night and officially combine the two titles, quietly dropping the US belt after a few weeks (or then and there on RAW). Or he could knock the US strap and the country it represents and cast it aside, providing the spark for a heel turn.

Naturally I’d much rather see the uber-talented Cesaro or Dolph Ziggler win the Intercontinental title. Or the recently revived Fandango. Or the slowly catching on Bo Dallas. Any of them would be a great choice to construct meaningful mid-card storylines around. But in Sheamus WWE has the option to finish the tidy-up started last December with the world title unification, and that’s something I’ve wanted to see them do for years.

Of course for the Intercontinental championship to truly become the star-making tool it used to be more needs to be done than unifying it with or keeping it in favour of the United States championship. It needs to be presented as a title worth winning and wrestled for in lively matches featuring performers people care about. But getting rid of the US title isn’t a bad first step.

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