I can’t speak for every fan of course, but for the 30 plus years I’ve been one, it’s been generally believed that the Intercontinental Championship is probably the only WWE title that actually MEANS anything. Many of the best feuds in the history of the company have been over the IC title. Some of the single most beloved matches of all time were IC title matches. Savage/Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3 being the most universally loved. praised, and fondly remembered. While the WWE World Heavyweight championship is supposedly, on paper and in storyline, the most important and prestigious title in the ‘E, many fans AND talent would argue the IC belt means more.
Which is why, as much as I love a good clusterf**k ladder match, I’m kind of annoyed that for the second year in a row THAT’S what Creative is doing with it.
Let me elaborate a bit. First of all, I’ve absolutely zero problems with there being a ladder match at Mania. But Mania already HAD a ladder match for several years. Before it got turned into it’s own lacklustre PPV, the Money in the Bank match had become a highlight of each year’s Mania for me, and I’m sure for a lot of fans. But because of that, last year the ‘E thought they needed a replacement for it. Rather than just scrap the pointless themed PPV and bring MITB back to Mania, they decided to serve up the IC title in an MITB style clusterf**k.
My problem with this is twofold. For one, there’s no valid reason to not just put MITB back at Mania to give some of the midcard guys a Mania payday. It would more than cover the need to get as many of the roster onm the show as possible and for the audience’s need for such a clusterf**k at Mania. For two, I think throwing a bunch of guys together works for MITB, but not for the IC belt. It makes sense for a bunch of random unconnected guys to say “guaranteed world title shot if I win? Sure I’ll toss my hat in!”, but not for a bunch of random unconnected guys to just suddenly decide they’re valid contenders to the IC belt, especially without an existing feud to fuel it.
Another problem I have, and I’m sure this one a lot of folks will agree with me on, is that I bloody wanted Generico/Steen at Mania. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens have a built-in backstory that more than enough main roster fans are familiar with now that a one on one match between them at Mania could and would have drawn money. Anyone who doubts that has never watched them work.
This is not to say that the ladder match can’t be fun. It probably will be. It will be a fun spotfest, mostly likely the curtain jerker after the pre-show, to get the crowd juiced and ready for better matches. But in my heart, it should be Owens and Zayn, one on one, third from the top. Maybe that’s just my own wishful fangirl thinking, but if I were paying for Mania, I’d be more inclined to do so for a rivalry that means something and has real history than a spotfest clusterf**k with no real backstory.
Tomorrow, it’s Mania day, and I finish up my countdown with my predictions.
Tags: A Penny For Your Thoughts Wrestlemania Countdown, Intercontinental Championship