Gunther is off the heels of defeating Xavier Woods on SmackDown to retain his Intercontinental Championship and continue his reign of 316+ days as champion.
Gunther won the Intercontinental Championship against Ricochet on the June 10th edition of SmackDown last year and hasn’t let go of the title since.
Bringing prestige back to the championship, he had “Match of the Year” in 2022, retaining against “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus at Clash at the Castle, WWE’s first premium live event in Wales. And most recently, retained against both Sheamus and Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania last month.
Gunther’s victims during this reign also include Shinsuke Nakamura, Rey Mysterio, Braun Strowman, and Madcap Moss. Being the first Austrian as Intercontinetal Champion, and as dominant as Gunther has been, this begs the question: Who can beat Gunther and halt his Intercontinental Championship run?
LA Knight: Fans love him, he can talk, and he has the look of a WWE superstar. Championships have eluded LA Knight thus far in his career, but the WWE Universe would get behind a title run. The Intercontinental Championship could be his speed, as a world championship run might have passed him by due to being 40-years-old and the nature of the company now with one world champion.
Bobby Lashley: With the Draft coming up soon, Lashley has been stuck competing for the United States Championship on Raw. Lashley and Gunther have never competed against one naother and Lashley is the guy who can elevate Gunther’s career in a loss. Seeing Gunther compete against another main event star could give Gunther the ability to move up to the next level. You could also accomplish this with Seth “Freakin” Rollins.
Damian Priest: Priest hasn’t had a chance to seek his teeth into anything with Judgment Day. He’s the only one to be left off the WrestleMania card this year with Finn Balor, Rhea Ripley, and Dominik Mysterio all being in high-key matches at the Show of Shows. Priest needs a championship and ending Gunther’s reign would be well overdue. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Imperium versus Judgment Day?
Bron Breakker: The Draft will elevate NXT talent to the main roster. Gunther has made the Intercontinental Championship what it once was: the next step to the world championship. Gunther was only on the main roster for two months before winning the Intercontinental Championship. After Breakker lost the NXT Championship to Carmelo Hayes, it’s obvious he is main roster bound. Fast track a new star by Breakker taking down Gunther.
Big E: If his neck heals properly, we could see Big E challenge for Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship. After Xavier Woods tried ending Gunther’s run, The New Day versus Imperium could already be written in the stars. Big E emerged as the big star from the beloved trio and fans would love this redemption story for Big E battling back from a potential career-ending broken neck to Intercontinental Champion.
While it appears Gunther is on another level, there are challengers built for him to lose this historic Intercontinental Championship reign to. There’s several people on the roster capable of carrying the prestige of the championship. But as discussed this past week on the Drop the Mike Wrestling Podcast, it might be a long time until Gunther loses to anyone, so get prepared for a Roman Reigns esque championship run.
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