5 Longest WWE Intercontinental Title Reigns Of All Time
The Intercontinental Title was conceived way back in 1979 and is one of WWE’s oldest active championships, second only to the WWE World Title. The reigning Intercontinental Champion, Gunther defeated both Sheamus and Drew McIntyre in a hard-hitting triple threat encounter at WrestleMania 39 and also turned back Xavier Woods’s challenge on the April 21, SmackDown.
The Intercontinental Champion is enjoying the fifth-longest IC title reign in WWE history and could well be the wrestler to finally end The Honky Tonk Man’s longstanding, three-decade record reign as the longest IC titleholder in company history.
This feature looks back on the five longest Intercontinental title reigns of all time.
#5 Gunther – June 10, 2022 – Present (315 days*)
The reigning, defending Intercontinental Champion, Gunther is enjoying the longest IC title reign in decades. The current champion terminated Ricochet’s title run on the June 10, SmackDown and has successfully defended the strap against all comers ever since, most recently on the April 21, SmackDown versus Xavier Woods.
Gunther’s most significant title defences occurred at Clash of the Castle opposite arch-rival, Sheamus and against both Sheamus and Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania in scorching battles which stole the show at each event.
Few would bet against Gunther moving up this list in the coming months as the record for the longest IC title reign of all time is firmly in his sights.
#4 Don Muraco – January 22, 1983 – February 11, 1984 (384 days)
‘The Rock’ Don Muraco was one of the top names in the WWF’s upper mid-card throughout the 1980s. It was no surprise therefore that Muraco lifted the Intercontinental Title on two occasions. He beat former WWWF Champion, Pedro Morales in June 1981 before dropping the strap back to Morales that November in a bloody Texas Death Match.
He wrested the gold back from Morales again in January 1983. This time however his title reign would stretch all the way through till February 1984.
Throughout that period ‘The Rock’ defeated such luminaries as WWE Hall of Famers, Bob Backlund, Rocky Johnson and ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka. It was against Snuka, where ‘Superfly’ nailed Muraco with the famous splash off of a Steel Cage in Madison Square Garden on October 17, 1983. Muraco retained on that occasion, but he finally dropped the belt to Tito Santana on February 11, 1984, ending his lengthy title run at 384 days. At the time that was the second-longest IC title reign ever.
#3 ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage – February 8, 1986 – March 29, 1987 (413 days)
‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage burst onto the scene in the WWF in June 1985 and by October he had begun an exciting feud with Intercontinental Champion, Tito Santana. He finally upended Santana for the strap on February 8, 1986 and held the gold for a mammoth 413 days.
Savage defended the gold against a wide array of top stars in thrilling matches such as George Steele, Bruno Sammartino and The Junkyard Dog. He was finally defeated by Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat in a classic match-up at WrestleMania III.
Savage’s exciting collisions as IC titleholder did not go unnoticed and he was chosen as Hulk Hogan’s successor as WWF Champion and company figurehead the following year.
At 413 days, Savage’s reign fell just 11 days short of the then-record that had been set several years prior.
#2 Pedro Morales – November 23, 1981 – January 22, 1983 (424 days)
Former WWWF Champion, Pedro Morales won two Intercontinental Championships. His first reign commenced on December 8, 1980, when he defeated Ken Patera. With this victory, Morales became the first man in WWF history to win the Triple Crown (World, IC & Tag Team Title).
The WWE Hall of Famer traded the strap with Don Muraco over the next two years. His second reign lasted a mammoth 424 days, before ‘The Rock’ terminated his title run for a second time. Morales’s second title run, at the time, was the longest reigning Intercontinental Title reign in the belt’s near four-year history.
Morales also holds the distinction of being Intercontinental Champion for more days than any other wrestler. Given his cumulative 617 days as champion span just two reigns makes the feat all the more remarkable.
#1 Honky Tonk Man – June 2, 1987 – August 29, 1988 (453 days)
The Honky Tonk Man is the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time. He usurped Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat for the title in a colossal upset on June 2, 1987, when Steamboat’s original opponent Butch Reed no showed a live event.
He became a huge draw as flocks of WWF fans attended WWF events, willing any challenger to dethrone the champion. The molten hot crowd heat that accompanied The Honky Tonk Man’s title defences is now the stuff of legend.
After a 453-day title reign, The Honky Tonk Man was forced to defend the gold against a mystery opponent at SummerSlam 1988. His original challenger, Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake had been side-lined in storyline with a fictional injury.
The Ultimate Warrior was the surprise opponent and squashed The Honky Ton Man in 31 seconds to end the longest and greatest IC Championship reign of all time.
You can watch these Intercontinental Title reigns exclusively on the WWE Network.