The Intercontinental Championship received a shot in the arm at Clash of Champions as Sami Zayn, Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles stole the show with a great ladder match. The Intercontinental title has always been considered the championship for the best in-ring worker. As such, Sami Zayn seems like the right candidate to have classic matches with anyone on the SmackDown roster.
The Intercontinental title has a rich history dating back to 1979 when Pat Patterson became the inaugural Intercontinental Champion. Former Intercontinental Champion, The Honky Tonk Man, holds the record for the longest run with the Intercontinental Championship as his legendary title reign lasted 454 days before the Ultimate Warrior ended it.
Chris Jericho holds the record for most Intercontinental title wins with nine. However, his combined days as champion is still 140 days lower than the length of Honky Tonk's single title reign.
While none of the modern-day Superstars can hope to match that mark, this list looks at the five longest Intercontinental title reigns since 2000.
#5. Jeff Hardy - 189 days as Intercontinental Champion
A five-time Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Hardy's fourth reign lasted over six months and earns him a place on this list. Hardy was in the middle of a sustained singles push in 2007 when he defeated Umaga to win the gold on the Sept. 3 episode of RAW.
This run as champion wasn't really memorable as Hardy was taking baby steps towards the main event scene, which resulted in very few title defenses for the Intercontinental title. Instead, Hardy got into a feud with Triple H, became the number one contender for Randy Orton's WWE Championship, and seemed set to become Mr. Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 24.
However, Hardy was found guilty of a wellness policy violation and was given a 60-day suspensiona few weeks before WrestleMania. As a result, WWE removed Hardy from the Money in the Bank match.
Additionally, he ended his 189-day Intercontinental title reign when Chris Jericho beat him on the March 10, 2008 episode of RAW just before the suspension took effect.