Barrett plucks Intercontinental strap on the final Raw of 2012
Last Updated: 01/01/13 6:33pm
Barrett: new Intercontinental Champion
Wade Barrett ended 2012 with a bang by scooping the Intercontinental Championship on the New Year's Eve edition of Monday Night Raw.
The British Brawler defeated Kofi Kingston in a cracking contest to snare the belt, which he also enjoyed a stint with in 2011, following his unsuccessful attempt to seize it at WWE TLC.
Barrett was handed his title opportunity courtesy of Raw's Champions Challenge stipulation, which cited that each WWE strap holder would put their gold on the line against an opponent of their choosing.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro successfully defended his championship in a match with WWE legend Sgt Slaughter, while tag team titlists Team Hell No - Daniel Bryan and Kane - kept their belts intact by conquering 3MB members Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show elected to put his strap up for grabs against Ricardo Rodriguez, but his decimation of the Mexican ring announcer was swiftly interrupted by Alberto Del Rio, who rushed to the ring to aid his stricken friend.
Eve, meanwhile, maintained her Divas gong after her scheduled opponent, Mae Young, failed to show up, but the gold holder was soon the victim of an attack by Kaitlyn, whose hunt for the butterfly belt has been continually stymied by the champion.
WWE titlist CM Punk remains on the injured list, however, and had his personal physician state that he would be unable to defend his championship on next week's Raw in a TLC match against Ryback.
But chairman of the board Vince McMahon told the Second City Saint that he would undergo a thorough examination by WWE officials before there was any chance of the match being annulled - and that if it was Punk's comrade, Paul Heyman, would compete in his place.
Sheamus' ding-dong with Mr Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler ended in a disqualification victory for the Irishman after he was assaulted by the Shield, but the Celtic Warrior got his own back later in the evening when, with the help of Ryback and Randy Orton, he forced the rogue trio to scarper in fear.
Plus, after John Cena's interview on MizTV was interrupted by Team Rhodes Scholars, the Chain Gang Solider banded with the Miz to defeat Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow in tag action.
For more rough-and-tumble, tune into WWE Smackdown, 10pm, Friday, Sky Sports 2 HD.