The reason for the "ghost" tournament was to raise the prestige of the Intercontinental very early and not put it behind the 8 ball per say like it would've been if it was just awarded to Patterson. Doing the tournament cover story it help raise the ire of the title right from the outset in the eyes of most fans and those who paid attention to wrestling at the time and nobody questioned it. This could never happend with how frequently the WWE does Network specials instead just letting house shows be house shows.
Though at this point not many people are aware of the quality that Patterson's title afforded the belt, but there was a different type of optimism surrounding the title then what surrounds the title now. There is no doubt that Patterson has a lasting legacy on this business because he was in the right place at the right time and is a hero of Intercontinental Championships long and continuing history in the WWE.