WWE's Biggest Intercontinental Champions
While Rhodes’ nearly eight-month reign may be remembered for his restoration of the classic white belt ( PHOTOS), new champion Big Show brings about a revival of a different kind: the return of the super-sized Intercontinental Champion.
From Big Daddy Cool to The Big Red Monster, the WWE Universe has seen many large and physically imposing men proudly hold the Intercontinental Title. With The World's Largest Athlete now added to that list, WWE.com counts down the most massive Intercontinental Champions in WWE history, starting with The Most Electrifying Man in Entertainment ...
The Great One just added the newest – and perhaps finest – chapter to his storied squared circle career when he defeated John Cena in their “Once in a Lifetime” clash at WrestleMania XXVIII. ( FULL STORY | PHOTOS) However, The Rock has been winning titles and big matches for years, dating back to 1997 when he became a two-time WWE Intercontinental Champion. The Superstars he won those titles from? Two competitors by the names of Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Although physically imposing at 6’5”, 260 lbs., The Rock is even bigger in terms of charisma, influence and legacy. ( VIEW THE ROCK’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)
Hailing from Parts Unknown, the 6-foot-2 280-pound Ultimate Warrior burst into the sports-entertainment world in 1987. The enigmatic, face-painted Superstar won the WWE Intercontinental Title on two occasions, defeating The Honky Tonk Man at SummerSlam 1988 – in less than a minute - and Rick Rude at SummerSlam 1989. At WrestleMania VI, in front of 67,000 rabid members of the WWE Universe, Warrior bested WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan to win his first, and only, WWE Championship. On that night, he accomplished the rare feat of holding both the Intercontinental and WWE Titles simultaneously. ( VIEW ULTIMATE WARRIOR’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)
The Personification of Domination overpowered Wade Barrett at WWE Capitol Punishment in 2011 to capture the Intercontinental Championship, triggering the breakup of "The Corre." Although he lost the title to Cody Rhodes two months later, ( PHOTOS) the 6-foot-3, 280-pound native of Guyana is a bruising athlete with the size and raw power to reenter the Intercontinental Title picture. ( VIEW EZEKIEL JACKSON’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)
"Say hello to The Bad Guy!" Although he was a massive 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, Razor Ramon competed with an explosive athleticism, as exemplified in his classic Ladder Match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X. ( WATCH) A four-time Intercontinental Champion whose reigns exceeded 400 days, Razor wasn’t just one of the biggest but also one of the most decorated Intercontinental Champions in WWE history.
At King of the Ring 1996, Ahmed Johnson defeated Goldust to become WWE’s first African-American Intercontinental Champion. The 6-foot-2 300-pound former NFL player added his name to the list of powerful and proud Superstars to hold the title and also paved the way for future African-American Intercontinental Titleholders like The Rock, Shelton Benjamin and Kofi Kingston.
In terms of duration, Rikishi’s Intercontinental Championship reign was not particularly lasting or memorable at a mere 14 days. However, in terms of physical size, the 6-foot-1 and 425 pound native of Samoa had few peers. In addition to his colossal frame and tremendous strength, Rikishi may be best remembered today for popularizing The Stink Face. ( VIEW RIKISHI’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)
Even with his busy schedule of drinking beer, smoking cigars and making obscene amounts of money, towering Texan John Bradshaw Layfield found time to capture the Intercontinental Title in 2009, defeating CM Punk with a Clothesline from Hell. Although he lost the title and retired soon after, the 6-foot-6 290-pound Superstar had a memorable and successful WWE career, capturing a litany of other titles, including WWE Champion, World Tag Team Champion, United States Champion, Hardcore Champion and European Champion. ( VIEW JBL’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)
A two-time Intercontinental Champion – who won the title from sports-entertainment luminaries Triple H and Chris Jericho, respectively – The Big Red Monster has been seven feet of hell for his opponents throughout his time in the squared circle. With his towering size and heartless demeanor, Kane is one of the biggest and most imposing Superstars to ever hold WWE’s Intercontinental Championship or any championship for that matter. ( VIEW KANE’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)
The hard-hitting Diesel came into WWE as Shawn Michaels' personal bodyguard. However, the WWE Universe could see it was just a matter of time before the 6-foot-10 328-pound bruiser started winning titles of his own. On April 13, 1994, Diesel was too much for Razor Ramon to overcome as the former basketball player became – at the time – the largest Intercontinental Champion in WWE history. ( VIEW DIESEL’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)
The World’s Largest Athlete finally got his WrestleMania moment when he defeated Cody Rhodes and claimed the Intercontinental Championship on The Grandest Stage of Them All. ( FULL STORY | PHOTOS) It remains to be seen what kind of champion Big Show will be and how long he can hold the title. However, there is no doubt that at more than 7 feet tall and 400 pounds Show is the biggest Intercontinental Champion WWE has ever had. Can the duration and importance of his reign be as colossal as his dimensions? ( VIEW BIG SHOW’S SUPERSTAR PROFILE)