DATELINE – SEPT. 1, 1979 – “RIO DE JANIERO”
Pat Patterson is crowned the first World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental champion.
Patterson became the first champion as a result of defeating Ted DiBiase to win the WWF North American Heavyweight belt on June 19, 1979 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Vince McMahon, realizing several other federations had versions of a “north American title”, decides to give a new and unique name to the company’s secondary championship.
Patterson is then christened the inaugural champion by ‘defeating’ Johnny Rodz in a fictional tournament final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to unify the North American Heavyweight Championship with the fictional South American Heavyweight Championship to create the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship.