WWEannounced on the June 30, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw that Bad News Barrett had to vacate the Intercontinental Championship due to a shoulder injury suffered the week prior. As a result of the injury, Barrett required surgery and was listed as to being out "a number of months."
The company is promoting a battle royal at this month's Battleground pay-per-view to crown a new champion. With Sheamus, the current United States Champion, being an announced entrant, rumors are once again rampant about WWE possibly unifying their undercard belts. One reader mentioned they believe the Intercontinental Championship belt is cursed. Credited for helping to launch the successful careers of stars such as Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect and The Rock, it's of no secret the prestige and usage of the belt has changed over the years.
In order to examine the so-called "curse" of the Intercontinental Championship, we went back and collected data over the course of the past three years. Workers to hold the title since June 2011 include Ezekiel Jackson, Cody Rhodes, Big Show, Christian, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Wade Barrett, Curtis Axel and Big E.
Is the WWE Intercontinental Championship cursed?
Below is a look at every reign since June 19, 2011, listing the champion, how they won it and how many days they held it:
How he won the title: Ezekiel Jackson beat Wade Barrett at Capitol Punishment in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2011.
Days held: 51
How he won the title: Cody Rhodes hit Cross Rhodes on Ezekiel Jackson in a match taped for the August 12, 2011 episode of Smackdown in Sacramento, CA.
Days held: 236
How he won the title: Big Show beat Cody Rhodes in 5:18 at WrestleMania XXVIII on Sunday, April 1, 2012.
Days held: 28
How he won the title: Cody Rhodes beat Big Show in a Tables match at Extreme Rules 2012 in a tables match at 4:37 on Sunday, April 29, 2012.
Days held: 21
How he won the title: Christian beat Cody Rhodes in 7:25 in a singles match at WWE Over the Limit 2012 on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
Days held: 64
How he won the title: The Miz beat Christian on Raw 1000 in 7:49 on Monday, July 23, 2012.
Days held: 85
How he won the title: Kofi Kingston beat The Miz in a match taped for WWE Main Event on Tuesday, October 16, 2012.
Days held: 74
How he won the title: Wade Barrett beat Kofi Kingston in a match taped for the December 31, 2012 episode of Monday Night Raw on December 29, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Days held: 99
How he won the title: The Miz beat Wade Barrett on the Wrestlemania 29 pre-show on Sunday, April 7, 2013.
Days held: 1
How he won the title: Wade Barrett beat The Miz on the Monday, April 8, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw.
Days held: 69
How he won the title: Curtis Axel beat Wade Barrett and The Miz in 10:36 in a triple threat match at WWE Payback 2013 on Sunday, June 16, 2013.
Days held: 155
How he won the title: Big E (as Big E Langston) beat Curtis Axel on the November 18, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw in Nashville, TN.
Days held: 167
Bad News Barrett:
How he won the title: Bad News Barrett beat Big E in 7:55 at Extreme Rules 2014 on Sunday, May 4, 2014.
Days held: 57
Where does WWE go from here? Is it time to unify the Intercontinental Championship with the United States championship, as suggested by Sheamus?
Or is it time for something else? Is it the belt or the booking of the belt? Is it the fault of the champion?
Feel free to share your comments below...