The Intercontinental Championship wasn’t even defended at WrestleMania 30, but several WWE superstars will compete for the title at WrestleMania 31. Bad News Barrett will defend his belt in a ladder match, and while most of the contestants haven’t been announced, it’s becoming clear who will have a chance to claim the championship at the biggest pay-per-view of 2015.
Barrett has been the champ since Jan.5, but multiple wrestlers have been in possession of the acutal belt since WWE Fast Lane. Dean Ambrose was disqualified from his IC Title match with Barrett, but he stole the belt at the PPV. On the March 2 edition of “Monday Night Raw,” the belt changed hands between Ambrose, R-Truth, Luke Harper and Dolph Ziggler.
Daniel Bryan never held the belt, but it’s looking more and more like he’ll fight for WWE’s No.2 title at WrestleMania 31. While rumors have persisted that he’ll have a match with a returning heel Sheamus, WWE has been indicating Bryan will be in the ladder match. He pinned Barrett on the Feb. 26 edition of SmackDown, and forced Harper to submit on the following “Raw.”
R-Truth has already been officially added to the match, and Luke Harper is likely to fight for the title that he held for a short time, but they might not have a good chance of winning on the Grandest Stage of Them All. Below is a look at the top four contenders for the Intercontinental Championship, and a prediction for WrestleMania 31.
The former Shield member has a strong chance to win the title. He’s been chasing the belt for a few weeks, and might be the ideal candidate to hold the company’s secondary title. Ambrose is one of the most popular babyfaces in the company, though he might not be ready to have a regular spot in the main event. He could hold the IC Title until he’s ready to take the next step.
A portion of WWE fans might be upset if Bryan wins the title, seemingly placing him in the mid card for an extended period of time. But WWE could be looking to use Bryan’s popularity as a way to elevate the title. John Cena has a good chance to beat Rusev at WrestleMania 31, giving him the United States Championship for the first time in over a decade. Putting the U.S and Intercontinental titles on Cena and Bryan at WrestleMania 31 could help make those belts more important than they have been in years.
Bad News Barrett
The title has lost a lot of its luster in recent years, partially because the championship has changed hands so frequently. Since WrestleMania 30, five different wrestlers have held the Intercontinental Championship for a total of nine separate title reigns. Barrett won the belt back after an injury forced him to give it up last summer. Retaining it at WrestleMania 31 would give him a reign of nearly three months, helping make the title more meaningful.
The IC Title has often been referred to as the “workhorse title,” making Ziggler a perfect candidate to have the belt. He consistently has one of the best matches at each PPV, and he’s one of the most popular babyfaces in the company. It looked like Ziggler might be elevated to the main event scene with his win over The Authority at Survivor Series, but he hasn’t gotten a sustained push. It’d be hard to find many fans that would complain if Ziggler regained the championship, which he held twice in 2014, at WrestleMania 31.
Bad News Barrett retains the Intercontinental Championship.