DATELINE – SEPT. 1, 1979 – “RIO DE JANIERO”
Pat Patterson is crowned the first WWF Intercontinental champion.
Patterson became the first champion as a result of defeating Ted DiBiase to win the World Wrestling Federation 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.