As announced on tonight’s WWE Raw, GUNTHER will defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Chad Gable again next week. The match was announced by GUNTHER during a promo, with Gable coming out to respond before wrestling Ludwig Kaiser. With Otis and Maxxine Dupri in his corner, Gable looked as though he was about to win with a pinfall. However, Giovanni Vinci broke up the pin and the referee called for a DQ. After the match, Imperium brawled with Gable and Otis, with GUNTHER returning to help. When GUNTHER tried landing a powerbomb on Gable, the amateur wrestler was able to counter the move into an ankle lock before Imperium helped the Intercontinental Champion regain control of the situation.
Last week on Raw, Gable actually defeated GUNTHER, albeit by count-out. That still makes Gable the first person to defeat GUNTHER since his WWE main roster debut last year. GUNTHER admitted that fact made him angry on tonight’s episode, but it was enough for Gable to earn another shot at the title. Gable has never held a singles title in WWE, but is a four-time tag champion across the three brands.
Earlier this month, Gable told Haus of Wrestling that he actually didn’t want to wrestle GUNTHER during their first bout of this feud in July. The match was built around Gable needing to last 5 minutes against GUNTHER, and Gable stated that he was in favor of a standard match instead. Thankfully, he got his wish last week and will have an opportunity to do so again next Monday.
In just 11 days, GUNTHER is set to break the record held by The Honky Tonk Man for the longest Intercontinental Championship reign. That means if GUNTHER defeats Gable next week, he will be the one to break the record. On the other hand, Gable could make himself quite the spoiler by bringing an end to the reign, which has lasted more than 400 days. Since winning the title by defeating Ricochet on WWE SmackDown in June 2022, GUNTHER has defended against the likes of Sheamus, Shinsuke Nakamura, Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, Drew McIntyre, and more.
GUNTHER vs. Gable is the second match to be announced on tonight’s Raw. Earlier in the evening, it was made official that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships against Finn Balor and Damien Priest of The Judgment Day at WWE Payback this weekend. With six matches on the card for Saturday, it seems WWE felt better about putting GUNTHER’s title defense on TV next week instead of adding more to this weekend’s PLE.