Drew McIntyre and Sheamus stood in the WWE WrestleMania 39 ring as Ludwig Kaiser demanded the crowd shows respect to the leader of Imperium, GUNTHER. The Ring General stood high atop the ramp as his music hit and the camera slowly panned in on him from far away. He methodically made his way to the sacred mat, Intercontinental Championship around his waist, and jacket blowing in the California wind, as he prepared to do battle in what became one of the most physical matches in WWE WrestleMania history.
Early on, McIntyre and Sheamus worked well as a unit, taking turns chopping GUNTHER’s chest before everything broke down and all three big, European men began wailing on one another. At times, while enjoyable, it was tough to watch as the three took turns trying to burst the blood vessels in each other’s chests. At one point, Sheamus and McIntyre were able to get back on the same page and managed to take GUNTHER down and to the outside where he remained for some time.
Back in the ring, Sheamus and McIntyre exchanged more stiff blows before hitting each other with their respective finishers, only to come up short. Just as McIntyre looked to have the match won and had his frame laid across the body of Sheamus, GUNTHER managed to get to the top rope and hit a splash to break up the pin. From there, GUNTHER made quick work of each man, hitting them with powerbombs before pinning McIntyre for the win.
GUNTHER’s reign will now continue past the 290-day mark as he marches towards breaking the awe-inspiring record of The Honky Tonk Man, who held the Intercontinental title for an impressive 454 days. While it is no lock that GUNTHER will break that record, the door is definitely open. Following an impressive outing at the Royal Rumble, nearly going the distance after entering at number one, it certainly seems GUNTHER has the creative winds at his back as WWE looks to be moving into a very pivotal time for the company.
It’s worth noting that at least one WWE star was supremely impressed with the effort of all three men involved in the bout.
“That may legitimately be my new favorite match,” former WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E wrote on Twitter shortly after GUNTHER picked up the win. High praise.
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