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History of the Intercontinental Championship
WWE.com Legacy Edition
Part Four

by Samoa Rowe

-Jack Korpela welcomes us to another exciting episode.

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine © (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Junkyard Dog

Regardless of how good (or bad) this match ends up being, it’s worth including due to the historical importance of being the first Intercontinental title match on Wrestlemania. JYD goes after the arm in the early going and isn’t afraid to throw some hard shots. JYD blocks a boot and knocks Valentine off his feet. Valentine hides in the corner. Valentine misses a forearm, and gets nailed with some crawling head butts. Test of strength favors Valentine, who breaks it with a forearm shot. Valentine goes to work on the legs. JYD blocks the figure four, and they trade shots. JYD picks up some momentum with his head butts. Hart is on the apron for the distraction, and JYD grabs him. Valentine jumps from behind but accidentally knocks Hart off. JYD pummels the champ into the corner, but Valentine rakes the eyes and gets the rope assisted cover to retain the gold at 5:59. The referee is informed that Valentine’s feet were on the ropes, so the match is restarted. Valentine refuses to reenter the ring, so JYD wins by count-out. The match was nothing special, and the finish was lackluster, *¼.
Winner by count-out: Junkyard Dog

-Korpela ponders what would happen if Valentine was put into a match where he couldn’t cheat.

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine © (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Tito Santana
Primetime Wrestling
July 23rd 1985

As you could have guessed, this is a steel cage match. We join the match in progress, with Santana clutching the legs, preventing Valentine from crawling to the floor. Santana attempts an escape, but Valentine cuts him off. Santana blocks the figure four, but Valentine remains in control. Flying elbow by Santana. They stumble to their feet, with Valentine nailing a back suplex. Valentine rams Santana into the cage. Valentine looks to escape, but Santana dives onto his leg. They trade shots, with Santana slamming the champ’s head back into the cage. Santana blocks the figure four, sending Valentine crashing into the wall. Santana tries to climb out, too disoriented to go for the door. Valentine climbs up but gets knocked off. Valentine goes for the door, but Santana kicks it shut into his face. Santana hits the floor to win the belt at 5:55 (shown). Again, nothing special, but that finish was pretty inventive for 1985, **.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Tito Santana

-Korpela welcomes us back to the program, as if there had been a commercial break. He talks about the creation of Saturday Night’s Main Event, a new program for the championship to be defended on.

Tito Santana © vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (with Ms. Elizabeth)
Saturday Night’s Main Event
November 2nd 1985

They lock up and Tito makes a clean break in the ropes. Santana teases throwing a closed fist. Savage connects with a hard shot and takes control. Santana ducks an elbow but misses an elbow drop. Double axe handle off the ropes by Savage gets a cover for 2. Chinlock by Savage. Santana fights out, but Savage sets him up for a splash, which is countered. Santana is on fire, pummeling the challenger around the ring. Savage tries to run away, but Santana pursues him in and out of the ring. Savage knocks Santana out of the ring and attempts a piledriver on the floor. Both men are counted out at 4:10. It was good while it lasted, **.
No contest

Tito Santana © vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (with Ms. Elizabeth)
Primetime Wrestling
February 24th 1986

They lock up and have a fun shoving contest. They trade waist locks. Savage retreats to ringside to regroup. Back to the ring, Savage goes for the head, but Santana reverses into a head scissors. Savage taunts from the top rope and the match restarts. Savage thumbs the eye and heads to ringside to argue with the fans. Santana goes after him and they brawl at ringside. The action returns to the ring, where Santana nails a scoop slam. Savage flees the ring and lures Santana into another trap. Back to the ring, Santana blocks a boot and drops Savage for a cover. A rope break saves the match for Savage, who rakes the eye. Cover by Savage gets 2. Clothesline by Savage gets 2.5. Savage goes high risk and connects with a double axe handle, earning a close near fall. Macho Man attacks the eye again. Santana is tossed to ringside, and Savage crowns him from off the top! Big spot for the 80’s. Savage pulls Tito back by the hair, but Santana blocks the ring post. Santana attacks the chest and angrily stomps on the challenger. Santana goes high risk and nails a flying elbow to the head. Cover by Santana is foiled by the rope. Hard Irish whip by Tito, but he charges into Savage’s knee. Cover by Savage gets 2, but the referee is knocked over. The referee misses some potential three counts, and Savage hurts himself while attempting a knee drop. Santana smells blood and targets the injured knee. Santana locks on the figure four but Savage gets the ropes. Big suplex by Santana, but Savage is trying to get something from his tights. Savage blocks the figure four and retrieves a weapon. Savage misses the shot, but nails Santana in the head during a suplex. Savage gets the cover and wins the belt at 10:30. Savage gets the cheap victory in a hard worked match, ***.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Randy Savage

-Korpela puts over how historic Savage’s reign was. Next episode will highlight the reign and will include one of the greatest Wrestlemania matches of all time (gee, wonder what that could be?).

Final Thoughts: Aside from the Savage title win, none of the matches are really worth sitting down to watch for the actual ring work. This episode focused on historical moments, like the first Wrestlemania and Saturday Night’s Main Event. That’s important in it’s own right, but doesn’t make for an exciting episode. Still, there are worse ways you could spend 40 minutes.

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