It has been reported via PWInsider that GUNTHER, who is the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of the 21st century, is currently listed as the #1 heel on the Raw roster, and it appears that HHH has big plans for “The Ring General”.
While he will face Mustafa Ali, who won a battle royal to earn the opportunity to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship, at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia, chances are GUNTHER will retain and will then need a new program to work. Here are three picks for who that program should be with.
Who should GUNTHER face?
Damian Priest: The Judgment Day has been crushing it weekly, whether they’re on SmackDown or their new exclusive home on Raw. During a guest appearance on WWE After the Bell with Corey Graves, Priest mentioned that the faction is ready to move on from past rivalries, and now they’re focused on winning championships.
“We’ve talked about it (winning championships), and we haven’t really attacked that side of the business yet, but I think we’re there now.” Following Priest’s fantastic performance against Bad Bunny at WWE Backlash, one would assume that he has earned a significant push. Standing at 6-foot-5, Priest can stand eye-to-eye with GUNTHER while Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio focus on preventing Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci from causing trouble.
Matt Riddle: Recently, there have been some seeds planted on Raw for this feud, and I am here for it. Matt Riddle and GUNTHER are incredible workers that have the ability to appear as though they are really trying to knock their opponents out.
There is a built-in history between these two, as they met seven times in 2017 while competing for WXW, Progress, and EVOLVE. The heated rivalry would spill over into 2018 when the pair would face off in a tag team match for Pro Wrestling Guerilla. The WWE even sent Riddle back to NXT for a cup of coffee to team with MSK to face Imperium during the 2022 New Year’s Evil show.
It would make a lot of sense to revisit this feud now that GUNTHER has been positioned as an indestructible menace while Riddle continues to move up the card.
Shinsuke Nakamura: “The King of Strong Style” vs “The Ring General”, part 2. How could these two NOT face each other one more time now that they are sharing a home on Monday Night Raw? In late 2022, these two hard-hitting stars competed in several matches on the house show tour and were even given a little over 14 minutes of TV time during the Aug. 12, 2022 episode of SmackDown.
Based on how much HHH trusts Nakamura and GUNTHER, it would not be too far-fetched to believe that the duo could be placed in a high-profile, successful program with each other. There have been rumors that GUNTHER may be a future challenger for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, so dropping the belt to a fan favorite, such as Nakamura, would be the ideal way to maintain the importance of the Intercontinental Title in the fan’s eyes.