Throughout its history, the WWE Intercontinental Title has been a stepping stone to the WWE Championship. That isn't the case so much nowadays as the Intercontinental Championship stands on its own more than leads to a direct path to the WWE Championship.
Jeff Jarrett is a six-time Intercontinental Champion who never held the WWE Title. And though he held it in an era where the belt was looked at as more of a stepping stone, he believes the addition of so many titles across the world has hurt the aura of the Intercontinental Title.
“It’s like getting a No.1 song way back, that was really something special. Now today, the methods of the distribution, it doesn’t quite carry the same cachet," Jarrett told The Sun. “That Intercontinental Title will always be that logical progression, stepping stone if you will, but nowadays we can pick up our phone and watch wrestling instantly. Years ago in WWF, and yes you had WCW and some other organizations, but there was only one main one and that’s what you watched. WCW had the US Title and then others in Japan and Mexico that were stepping stones to a world championship.”
He continued, "Nowadays due to the method of distribution you can watch so much content that is original from independent promotions all across the world, so there are so many more belts and titles that, in essence, it brings the overall championship aura down. In WWE, you have the WWE Title and the Universal Championship that didn’t exist years ago. The IC Title has always been and always will be a unique belt with the lineage that goes with. But it all depends on the champion and it always has. You are looking at the greatest of all-time, and do you know why I was the greatest of all-time? Because I told you that I’m the greatest of all-time. But it is just a different era.”
The Intercontinental Championship is currently held by Braun Strowman, marking his first reign with the Title. Strowman defeated Shinsuke Nakamura on the Jan. 31 episode of WWE SmackDown. It is the first singles title he's held in WWE.