As of Monday night it was made official, Ryback will defend his Intercontinental Championship at Night of Champions against Kevin Owens.
Now the Intercontinental Championship has historically been known as a championship for the workhorse. A championship that would guarantee a great match on any given night. A championship reserved for the very best technicians in the WWE. A championship that deserves to be held by a man who embodies everything it stands for; and that man is Kevin Owens.
Of course, for Owens to become Intercontinental Champion, he must end the rather forgettable reign of Ryback.
Ryback’s reign as Intercontinental Champion has been marred by circumstances that have for the most part been out of his control. First of all the unfortunate timing of his staph infection, and of course the questionable booking and title defences against The Miz and The Big Show. However, this writer has been sceptical of “The Big Guy” as Intercontinental Champion from the night he won it in the Elimination Chamber, some four months ago.
To put it bluntly, Ryback was never going to be the man to bring prestige back to the Intercontinental Championship. Although he has improved greatly, both in the ring and on the mic, and is more than capable of having good matches, just look at his match at Battleground with Bray Wyatt and his last two matches with Seth Rollins. He just isn’t the workhorse the Intercontinental Championship so sorely needs. WWE needs to cut its losses and give the strap to the man who truly deserves it.
Kevin Owens is the whole package. He is one of the very best performers in the world, let alone the WWE, and even has “The Hitman” himself Bret Hart stating he is the best thing going in professional wrestling. Not only is he phenomenal in the ring, but his promos and ability on the mic are on another level. How a man who has encapsulated the respect of the IWC can get the ‘smarks’ of NXT to boo him incessantly before NXT Takeover Brooklyn is a true testament to his creativity and skill on the mic.
What’s more, for all intents and purposes Kevin Owens should be contending for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; but for one reason or another, he isn’t. Which is why he is the perfect Intercontinental Champion, and is THE man to bring prestige back to the championship. Having Owens as Intercontinental Champion will leave wrestling fans salivating at the mouth with potential feuds. Just imagine the matches and rivalries Owens could have with the Dolph Zigglers, the Cesaros and the Daniel Bryans of the WWE.
However, PWP’s Eron Ramadonov made a compelling argument in his most recent article that Randy Orton should be the man to help lift the Intercontinental Championship out of obscurity, much like John Cena did with the United States Championship. Although this strategy of having an established star ‘take a step down’ worked superbly with Cena and the US Championship, this writer believes there is a more effective way of making the Intercontinental Championship relevant once again.
If the WWE truly wants to build the Intercontinental Championship, they need to do so by having a fresh face, in the form of the brash and arrogant Kevin Owens, defeat the so called ‘old guard’, ironically similar to Orton’s legend killer gimmick, and launch him into superstardom. Something that Daniel Bryan believes the WWE is failing to do.
Whilst promoting WWE 2K16 in Saudi Arabia, Bryan spoke with The National and spoke passionately about how Steve Austin being on the cover of the game was highlighting a much larger issue.
“One of the things I think it shows is that we have not really created enough new stars, to where we put new stars on the front of the video game, so that should be the overall bigger concern. We need to not just rely on people from the past. There is almost this mentality these stars are bigger than the current stars, and they keep going with the mentality when the guys now are every bit as good as the guys from before, it is just they need to be given the platform.”
WWE needs to create new stars, and there is only one way to do it. WWE needs to pull the trigger with its new talent and stop relying on the already established names on the roster. The perfect place to start is having one of these new guys to restore the Intercontinental Championship to its former glory; and Kevin Owens is the man to do so.