After last week’s double victory, tonight’s WWE SmackDown was finally going to be the place to decide who Gunther’s WrestleMania 39 challenger would be. The winner would get a shot at Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship, and as there is some baggage between both former Tag partners, it was an incredibly physical match. Unfortunately, Gunther and Imperium were at ringside, and they would end up wrecking the match and attacking McIntyre and Sheamus. That caused the match to end with no winner, but Adam Pearce wasn’t having that, and he would reveal that Gunther will now defend his Title in a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 39.
When the match started, McIntyre stuck out his hand to shake but Sheamus didn’t accept, and they locked up right after. Both would score near falls after a physical battle as Gunther and Imperium looked on. Sheamus would deliver his famous punches to McIntyre but Drew was able to kick out at the last second. Then they hit each other with dual Brogue Kicks, and they ended up both being on the ground as the count started.
.@ScrapDaddyAP makes it official! 👏👏👏
It’s going to be a Triple Threat Match for the #ICTitle at #WrestleMania! @WWESheamus vs. @DMcIntyreWWE vs. @Gunther_AUT!#SmackDown pic.twitter.com/Yg73ic2ak2
— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023
At that point, Gunther got into the ring to wake them up and start goading them a bit, as he wanted an actual challenger after this match. It seemed to work, as they both started to get to their feet, but then things took a turn when Imperium stormed into the ring. They attacked both challengers and therefore caused the match to be stopped, and no winner had been crowned.
That’s when Pearce popped up on the video screen, and he was not going to let this end on another draw or without a winner. Pearce said “Gunther I am left with no choice. I’m making it official. You will defend your Intercontinental Championship in a Triple Threat match against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania!”
As you can imagine, Gunther and Imperium were upset, and McIntyre and Sheamus were soon back on their feet. They didn’t look thrilled, but they also now have a match at WrestleMania. That said, their hopes for that Title just got a lot more complicated now that they will both be in the match.
Both of them have run into Imperium several times, but Sheamus has the most history with Gunther. He’s already faced Gunther in several fantastic matches, including their modern classic at Clash at the Castle. Sheamus has never won the Intercontinental Championship, one of the few things he hasn’t done yet in WWE, so beating Gunther takes on even more meaning for him. He came close before, but this is his chance to even the score.
As for McIntyre, he wants to grab Championship Gold again, and he hasn’t faced Gunther one on one yet either. He’s definitely locked horns with Imperium already though, and he is also looking for some retribution. Whoever does win would also get the better of their former partner, and with McIntyre and Sheamus going back and forth now for a bit, it would be a nice feather in the cap for either star.
You can find the current card for WrestleMania 39 below:
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns (C) vs Cody Rhodes
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (C) vs Rhea Ripley
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Bianca Belair (C) vs Asuka
United States Championship Match: Austin Theory (C) vs John Cena
Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match: Gunther (C) vs Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre
Becky Lynch, Lita, and Trish Stratus vs Damage CTRL
Hell in a Cell Match: Edge vs Finn Balor
Brock Lesnar vs Omos
Fatal Four-Way Tag Team WrestleMania Showcase
Seth Rollins vs Logan Paul
What did you think of the segment and who will be the new Intercontinental Champion? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!