WWE SmackDown is on a roll for introducing new things this year. It recently got its new home on the Fox network and decided to revamp certain things to get rejuvenated. These changes were long overdue, especially when the ratings had started to depreciate sharply. WWE has had the motto of ‘Why change it, if it ain’t break’, which frankly has been the major reason for the recent fall in its viewership.
Also, with all the new competition from the rival All Elite Wrestling promotion, WWE perhaps started to feel that fans were slowly turning towards AEW as they were getting bored with the same old WWE storylines. Whatever be the reason, we are just glad that finally, we get to see some major changes in what has been an extremely redundant approach from WWE’s end.
After a new Universal Championship belt with a blue accent changing from the earlier red one, WWE decided to continue and designed a brand new Intercontinental Championship belt. The Universal Championship got what we can say a minor facelift as the essence of the belt remained the same.
What changed was the accent which turned from red to blue as SmackDown’s Bray ‘The Fiend’ Wyatt won it from Raw’s Seth Rollins at the Crown Jewel. But what we saw with the Intercontinental Championship belt, it won’t be wrong to grade the change to be that of night and day. The change was not as subtle as with the Universal Championship. It was huge and it was evident.
It was the third segment of the Survivor Series go-home edition of WWE SmackDown, we saw the current Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn coming to the ring. Sami Zayn was carrying something with himself in what appeared to be a sack. They decided first to thrash King Corbin. It was because Corbin and Zayn had a brief altercation backstage just before they were going to walk out to the stage for this segment.
After bad-mouthing Corbin to the fullest, Zayn revealed that he was carrying a gift in the sack he had been lugging around till now, for the champion Shinsuke Nakamura. He then revealed the brand-new Intercontinental Championship. He said that Nakamura was going to use this belt for the Championship at SmackDown.
The belt which was being used till now was the classic design of the Intercontinental Championship title belt. The design was dated back to the mid-1980s which had already been replaced once during the Attitude Era. It was Cody Rhodes, the current All Elite Wrestling executive, and star, who revived and reintroduced the belt at the 2011 Hell in a Cell event. Now it is for the second time that the design has been replaced and will be stored in WWE’s vault.
The King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura will be seen sporting the new revamped InterContinental belt at WWE SmackDown from now on. And the belt is all set to experience its own little journey gracing different champions for the next few years before it too will be ditched for a newer design.