On Friday’s edition of WWE SmackDown, Gunther beat Ricochet to win the new Intercontinental Champion.
The organization did right by both guys, giving them a substantial piece of time on the program, and Rico even got to show off some of his high-flying talents before being ruthlessly chopped down by the big Austrian for the title change.
Ricochet’s championship reign was cut short after 98 days by Gunther. Rico won the title after defeating Sami Zayn on the 4 March episode of SmackDown. However, before losing here, he only defended it against lower-tier contenders, including Los Lotharios, Jinder Mahal, and Shanky.
This was the first broadcast Intercontinental title battle since SmackDown on April 22. Ricochet defended his championship against Shanky in a three-and-a-half-minute bout on that card.
This is Gunther’s first WWE main-roster championship. He previously held the NXT UK championship as WALTER for 870 days, from April 5, 2019, to August 22, 2021.
After spending many years in NXT and NXT UK, Gunther was brought up to the main WWE roster in the spring of 2022 and was assigned to the SmackDown brand. Following weeks of squash wins, Gunther partnered with Ludwig Kaiser on the May 27 edition of SmackDown to beat Ricochet and Drew Gulak, paving the way for Friday’s championship fight.
Nobody will object if Gunther is the one who takes Ricochet’s belt. He’s unquestionably a better pick than any of the other candidates mentioned.
WWE will likely arrange a rematch at the following Money in the Bank pay-per-view. If that fails, they might realize how much Rico can contribute to the titular ladder match. Some of the high places he’s capable of weaving in would be a great addition to that display.
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