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The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE.

Etymology

The term "intercontinental" in the title originally referred to North and South America. In 1985, the championship belt design changed, the centerplate now centered on the Atlantic Ocean, in a map including western Africa and Europe. On April 10, 1989, the championship was first defended outside of North America, by Rick Rude against The Ultimate Warrior in Milan, Italy. On March 30, 1991, Mr. Perfect made the first Asian defense against The Texas Tornado at a WWF co-promotion with Super World of Sports in Tokyo, Japan. It first came to Africa on April 6, 1997, when champion Rocky Maivia pinned Savio Vega in Durban, South Africa. Shelton Benjamin made the first Australian defense on April 7, 2006, pinning Gene Snitsky in Brisbane.

History

WWF North American Heavyweight Champion Pat Patterson became the inaugural champion on September 1, 1979. It was said he had unified his title with the South American Heavyweight Championship, in a tournament in Rio de Janeiro, although both the tournament and South American Championship were entirely fictional.

On April 1, 1990 at WrestleMania VI, Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior defeated WWF Champion Hulk Hogan to win the world title, albeit the Intercontinental Championship was vacated (for the first time in the title history) soon after. Mr. Perfect then went on to win a tournament to crown a new Intercontinental Champion.

Reigns

The inaugural champion was Pat Patterson who, as the WWF North American Heavyweight Champion in September 1979 was also declared "South American Heavyweight Champion" after "winning" a fictitious tournament in Rio de Janeiro. Patterson unified the two championships into the Intercontinental Championship.

There have been 78 different champions. Chris Jericho has the most reigns with nine. Pedro Morales held the championship for a record total of 619 days and The Honky Tonk Man had the longest uninterrupted reign at 454 days, from June 2, 1987 until August 29, 1988. Dean Douglas had the shortest reign at just 13 minutes 52 seconds. Chyna is the only woman in WWE history to win the title. The youngest champion was Jeff Hardy, who won the championship at 23 years old, while the oldest champion was Ric Flair, who won the championship at Unforgiven in 2005 at the age of 56. There have been 10 vacancies throughout the title's history.

WrestleMania's Main Event Championships
WWE ChampionshipWWE Intercontinental ChampionshipWorld Tag Team ChampionshipWWE Women's Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champions
Pat PattersonGreg ValentineRandy SavageRicky SteamboatThe Honky Tonk ManUltimate WarriorRick RudeMr. PerfectThe Texas TornadoBret HartRoddy PiperBritish BulldogShawn MichaelsRazor Ramon ● Diesel ● Hunter Hearst Helmsley/Triple HRocky Maivia/The RockStone Cold Steve AustinKen ShamrockRoad DoggThe GodfatherEdgeD'Lo BrownChris JerichoKurt AngleRikishiEddie GuerreroBilly GunnJeff HardyKaneAlbertChristianWilliam RegalRob Van DamBooker TRandy OrtonRic Flair ● CM Punk ● JBLBig ShowDaniel Bryan ● The Miz
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