5 best Intercontinental Championship matches in Summerslam history
Summerslam has had a long tradition throughout the years of hosting memorable Intercontinental Championship matches. While the Wrestlemania main event is seen as the high point of any Superstar's career -- challenging for, or defending -- the IC title at Summerslam is a sign that the company's management see you as an integral part of the mid-card division with a bright future.
When done correctly, Summerslam and the IC title ought to go hand in hand. In one sense, both are seen as stepping stones to something bigger: show the fans your worth at the biggest party of the Summerslam and Vince McMahon will know you can be trusted to main event Wrestlemania. Do well with the Intercontinental Championship and you will soon be trusted to represent the company as its world champion.
With Summerslam 2017 just around the corner, here is a list of five of the best IC title matches in Summerslam history:
#1 Dolph Ziggler vs. Rey Mysterio - Summerslam 2009
For all the criticism the WWE used to get during the height of the PG era, 2009 was actually a pretty solid year for the company which had more than its fair share of quality feuds and matches. Summerslam 2009 was a key example of this.
While not every match on the card delivered, it did enough overall to be remembered as a very strong Summerslam show. One match in particular that helped this event overall was the opening match between Dolph Ziggler and Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship.
For those fans who look at the career of Dolph Ziggler as a bit of a wasted opportunity, it's matches like this one here that explain why people think this way about him. Dolph was a fresh talent back in 2009, coming out of some difficult gimmicks and ready to set his sights on a singles career.
Going after the Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam should really have been a stepping stone for Dolph, and in many ways, that's exactly what it was.
Facing an established talent like Rey Mysterio would only help matters. The two had excellent chemistry throughout and knew how to build a wrestling match from bell to bell. The fluidity of the action served as a visual masterpiece and really gave hope to a lot of people that Ziggler would be the next break out star for the company.
The finish of the match was questionable, with Rey ultimately going over, but that didn't take away from the action too much. The match did exactly what it needed to do as an opening bout, which is to get the crowd hyped up and wanting more from the other matches on the card.
Despite the PG era not being the best period of time for the WWE, this match really ought to be remembered as one of the highlights.