Great Ideas That Didn’t Last: WWE’s Intercontinental Cup

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Brian Damage

Throughout the history of pro wrestling bookers and promoters have always tried to come up with new, creative and innovative ideas to generate interest in their product. Some ideas have not only succeeded…but flourished. Others were DOA from the get go. Then there are those ideas which initially were innovative…but for various reasons….faded away. Those are the focus of this latest series of posts titled ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’.

In late December of 2012…Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston to become Intercontinental champion. By January of 2013, Barrett was a champion without a challenger. The WWE came up with an interesting concept to not only elevate Wade Barrett as IC champion…but also elevate the IC title itself and an unknown number one contender to the belt.

Wade-Barrettmain event

The concept was called…the Intercontinental Cup and it would be the focus of the WWE’s new program Main Event on Ion TV. What exactly was the Intercontinental Cup? Well, it was a tournament style event that would take place over the course of several weeks with the winner of the IC Cup declared the new #1 contender to Barrett’s title. Exact details of the matches..if there were any…were never made clear…but the participants in this tourney were.

They included, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Darren Young, Antonio Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and Randy Orton. The winner was to face Barrett on a later date and time. The event was heavily promoted on the Monday’s Raw before the Intercontinental Cup was to begin.

Then that Wednesday…when the tournament was to begin….the show inexplicably didn’t start the IC Cup matches. Instead, a main event match featured Ryback taking on Cesaro. So what the heck happened? Wade Barrett went on Twitter and bragged that he negotiated to get the Cup tournament cancelled. That of course, was just for “kayfabe” purposes…in reality…WWE creative decided to pull the plug on the entire idea.

Bo vs Wade

Their reasoning? They decided to have Wade Barrett continue a feud with the newcomer from NXT…Bo Dallas. Yeah, THAT Bo Dallas…the same Bo Dallas that has been relegated to preliminary matches to this day. In 2013, he was scheduled for a big push against Wade Barrett with the Intercontinental strap on the line. WWE creative decided to move forward with that program and abandoned the IC Cup concept.

What didn’t make sense and still doesn’t…is if you wanted Bo Dallas to be the next in line to Barrett…why not just have Dallas be included in the IC cup tourney? Why scrap an idea that would have elevated everyone involved if done properly?

ic

The reports at the time were that the WWE wanted to make the Intercontinental belt be the focal point of the Main Event show. It would’ve been that show’s version of the WWE World title. Alas, that too never transpired and eventually, Main Event was pulled from Ion TV and made a WWE network exclusive program.

As for the Wade Barrett/Bo Dallas feud…that too fizzled out quickly. Apparently, WWE management felt that Bo was just not ready for the main roster spot and sent back down to NXT to be repackaged. The Intercontinental Cup idea hasn’t been revisited since it was scrapped in 2013. Could it have worked? We may never know.

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