Current AEW talent and executive vice President Cody Rhodes has held the WWE Intercontinental Title when he was with WWE. In fact, Rhodes was the one who brought back the classic white strap IC belt during his title reign in 2011.
On the last episode of SmackDown, current Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura was presented with a new Intercontinental belt by Sami Zayn. This is the first time the design has been changed since Rhodes did it.
On Twitter, a user mused that the change in title design was done at least partially because of the fact that Rhodes is no longer with the WWE. Rhodes responded that the change was not likely influenced by him in any way.
“Probably just time for a change,” wrote Rhodes.
“I’m sure this one will have great moments/wrestlers attached to it just like the older one,” he added.
Back in 2013, Rhodes talked about his effort to bring back the white strap Intercontinental title design. According to Rhodes, the design change was his idea and he initially paid for the title out of his own pocket.
“I paid for the title to be recreated. I was refunded, heavily refunded, but I paid to show it to the man and said, ‘Listen, this will get a reaction, that you might not think it will and here’s why,’ you know?” said Rhodes.
Rhodes held the Intercontinental Championship in the WWE twice. The first time he won it was back in 2011, it was then that he brought back the white strap. Nakamura, who currently holds the Intercontinental title, is set to participate in a Champion vs. Champion triple threat match during Survivor Series. He will be squaring off against the current US Champion AJ Styles and the NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong.