History of the Intercontinental Championship
WWE.com Legacy Edition
by Samoa Rowe
-Backstage promo with Honky Tonk Man, supported by Jimmy Hart. HTM declares himself to be the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time.
-Our host for the program is Jack Korpela. We are hitting the year 1988 and Honky Tonk Man’s reign of annoyance continues.
Honky Tonk Man © (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Primetime Wrestling - July 18th 1988
Hart turns around during his entrance and returns with Jim Neidhart. Lots of stalling in the early going, especially with Jimmy Hart protesting the situation. They finally hook up and shove into the ropes. Bret takes early control. Bret gets aggressive, raking the eyes and utilizing the turnbuckles. Hart misses a tackle and hits the corner hard, giving HTM an opening to take control. HTM soon missteps and gets hung up on the ropes too. Bret unloads a series of strikes, causing HTM to beg for mercy. Victory roll by Bret gets 2. Bret perches on the second rope, but Jimmy nails him with the megaphone. Neidhart grabs Jimmy, but HTM makes the save. Bret pulls HTM off and the Hart Foundation take turns pummeling HTM as the referee calls for the bell at 7:52. The match is declared a double count-out. Solid, if unspectacular match, and the crowd was unaffected by that finish, *½.
-Korpela speculates that HTM’s unethical tactics would not work on Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and his valet, Georgia.
Honky Tonk Man © (with “Peggy Sue”) vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake (with Georgia)
Primetime Wrestling - July 18th 1988
According the graphic, this took place on the same show as the previous match. Beefcake is accompanied by Georgia, who appears to be George Steele in drag. Strange. HTM is accompanied by Peggy Sue, who seems to be Jimmy Hart in drag. The bell rings but HTM stalls severely. Beefcake turns his head for a second and HTM jumps him. Beefcake turns the tables and gleefully destroys HTM to the crowd’s delight. Beefcake applies a sleeper, and Georgia prevents Peggy Sue from interfering. The referee is distracted and doesn’t see HTM use the megaphone as a weapon. HTM pins Beefcake to retain at 6:01. This was painful stuff, ¼*.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Honky Tonk Man
-Beefcake is livid and picks up some revenge shots. Peggy Sue is revealed to be Jimmy Hart by Georgia and they strip him down to his ladies underwear, and he bolts from the arena. That was about as entertaining as it sounds.
-Honky Tonk Man is interviewed about his upcoming Summerslam bout with Beefcake. It’s being hyped as their final meeting, and Beefcake has vowed to take the title and cut HTM’s hair.
-Korpela recaps what we’ve been watching and teases that something bad is going to happen to Beefcake.
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Tom Burton
Superstars - August 28th 1988
Ron Bass is ranting about Beefcake cutting up his hat on screen as the match begins. Burton fights off Beefcake with some shoulder blocks but runs into a backdrop. Beefcake takes control and applies the sleeper. Ron Bass runs in for a sneak attack on Beefcake. Bass tosses out the referee and chokes Beefcake with his whip. The match has got to be considered to be a DQ around the two minute mark.
Winner by DQ: Brutus Beefcake
-Bass isn’t finished and carves up Beefcake’s forehead with a spur. A big goofy X appears on screen to serve as a censor, but we get the idea. A group of wrestlers run in to make the late save but the damage has been done.
-Korpela speculates that Honky Tonk Man is going to need a new opponent for Summerslam.
Honky Tonk Man © (with Jimmy Hart) vs. The Ultimate Warrior
Summerslam - August 29th 1988
I’ve been looking forward to this one. Warrior charges the ring to a massive pop and unloads on HTM. Shoulder tackle, clothesline, and big splash finish HTM at 0:33! Damn, that was satisfying, ½*.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: The Ultimate Warrior
-Korpela finds it ironic that the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion lost the belt in one of the shortest matches ever.
Final Thoughts: Too much Beefcake for my liking in this edition. I was starting to sense some fan apathy towards HTM’s shtick so it was the right time to pull the trigger on Warrior’s massive destruction of him. The Warrior squash was a great moment, but ultimately means that 33 seconds of this program were entertaining and the other 39 and a half minutes were dull.