Friday, April 19

Every Intercontinental Title Match Of Gunther’s WWE Career, Ranked

After all is said and done with Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship reign, he can easily be placed in the top ranking for champions of that belt. Now having passed The Honky Tonk Man who held the longest reign at 454 days, a reign that most fans never thought was going to be surpassed, Gunther takes the record as the longest single reign with the championship.



RELATED: Gunther Becomes The Longest-Reigning Intercontinental Champion In History

Gunther has done an amazing job at bringing the IC Title back to the relevance it had when WWE legends like Randy Savage or Ricky Steamboat held it, showcasing it as the workhorse belt and the stepping stone to a World Championship. With that incredibly long period of time as champ, Gunther has defended the belt 15 times plus the match where he captured the belt, and this is a definitive ranking on every match he has had with the belt on the line.

UPDATE: 2023/11/11 07:30 EST BY ETHAN SCHLABAUGH

Ever since Gunther was able to break the historical record that The Honky Tonk Man was once able to hold as the single longest reign with the Intercontinental Championship, the champion has been able to put on a couple more absolutely amazing matches against the likes of Tommaso Ciampa and Bronson Reed. With Gunther’s reign still being as dominant as ever and his matches only seemingly getting better each time, no one exactly knows when he will drop the title and who the person to beat him will be. Plus, with the announcement that Gunther will be defending his title against The Miz at Survivor Series this year, marking the first PLE match for Gunther since his defense against Drew McIntyre at SummerSlam, what better time to keep updated on his reign?


18 Madcap Moss Was An Undeserving Challenger

SmackDown (02/17/23)

Length

10:20

Location

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

Gunther’s eighth title defense goes down as his worst as Madcap Moss is easily the most undeserving challenger to Gunther’s reign. Nothing against Moss as he has been improving quite a bit, it just was a match that didn’t have much going on and nobody thought Gunther had a chance of losing.

With an ending being so predictable it does tend to hurt the match a bit and as most fans aren’t super behind Moss, it made for a skippable contest. Here is to hoping that if these two have a rematch anytime, it goes better than the first contest.

17 Matt Riddle Has No Steam Going Into His Challenge

Money In The Bank (07/01/23)

Length

7:44

Location

London, England

Means Of Victory

Leglock

Money in the Bank marked the fourth premium live event and twelfth title defense for Gunther. The challenger was Matt Riddle who was in the midst of having a feud with Imperium leading into the show.

After weeks of fighting with the faction, Riddle entered the match with a leg injury due to the attacks. The contest between Gunther and Riddle mostly saw Gunther highlight that injury with Riddle getting a few hope spots here and there. The match did see a decent finish with Gunther using that injured leg to his advantage via a leglock.

16 Ricochet’s Rematch With Gunther Was Quick

SmackDown (06/24/22)

Length

3:10

Location

Austin, Texas

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

Just 14 days after beating Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship, Gunther made his first defense of the belt against the former champion. Officially entering the territory of good matches, Gunther vs. Ricochet has always delivered, but there was one major thing holding this match back.

Much like Madcap Moss and Gunther were later on, no one expected Gunther to lose the belt just a couple of weeks after winning it. Every title reign of Gunther’s has been dominant and long, so Ricochet winning was out of anyone’s mind.

15 Gunther Won The Intercontinental Title From Ricochet

SmackDown (06/10/22)

Length

8:35

Location

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

Now the better match easily goes to the night Gunther captured the IC Title. Ricochet’s most recent title matches were against names like Shanky, Jinder Mahal, and Los Lotharios (Humberto & Angel Garza) after a streak of the title only being defended on weekly television.

RELATED: WWE Superstar Gunther’s Body Transformation Over The Years, Told In Photos

Gunther seemed like the first big challenger for Ricochet to face, and the result saw Gunther dominate and capture his first main roster championship. The victory came just two months into Gunther’s time on the main roster.

14 Drew McIntyre Returned To WWE In A Huge Way

SummerSlam (08/05/23)

Length

13:40

Location

Detroit, Michigan

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

After beating Matt Riddle at Money in the Bank, Drew McIntyre made his return to the company after some rumors of contract negotiations not working out. The Scottish Warrior challenged Gunther by attacking him after the match.

This came after the amazing triple threat at WrestleMania, so fans were eager, to say the least for this match. It sadly did disappoint as it was a decent match but far from what fans were expecting from the two. Then again, a decent Gunther match still rates higher than most good matches from other wrestlers.

13 Ricochet’s Final Shot At Gunther Was Their Best Match

SmackDown (12/16/22)

Length

21:29

Location

Rosemont, Illinois

Means Of Victory

Last Symphony

The third and final (so far) match against Ricochet came a few months after Gunther defended his IC Title at Clash at the Castle in September, breaking the long streak of the belt not appearing on PLEs. Due to having worked a few matches against each other now, Ricochet and Gunther gelled together better than ever before.

The match was hyped up during the night receiving a couple of video packages promoting the upcoming defense. Most fans tend to agree this is the pair’s best match as Cagematch rates it an 8.92 out of 10.

12 Gunther Battled The Legendary Luchadore Rey Mysterio

SmackDown (11/04/22)

Length

18:18

Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Means Of Victory

Clothesline

Gunther’s fifth title defense came at the expense of WWE Hall of Famer, Rey Mysterio. While this match didn’t stand out as blatantly amazing or anything, there was no way that Mysterio and Gunther weren’t going to put on a solid match.

This can be argued back and forth on whether Ricochet vs. Gunther 3 was better or not, they are pretty close as both challengers wrestle similar styles and are good competition for a style like Gunther’s. With Mysterio now in the United States Title picture, it seems unlikely fans will get a rematch between these two anytime soon.

11 Gunther Slayed The Giant Braun Strowman

SmackDown (01/13/23)

Length

17:29

Location

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

Gunther is amazing at working with his competition to bring out the best of them, and this match against Braun Strowman showcases that better than most as this is one of Strowman’s best matches ever. This match showcased someone who makes Gunther look small and has the Ring General as the sort of underdog in the match.

Plus the visual of seeing a man the size of Braun Strowman get lifted in the air and slammed down via a Powerbomb is just unbelievable and makes for a great demonstration of Gunther’s prowess.

10 Sheamus’ Rematch On Smackdown Was Also Great

SmackDown (10/07/22)

Length

18:18

Location

Worcester, Massachusetts

Means Of Victory

Shillelagh Strike

A match between Sheamus and Gunther seems like it will never disappoint, but this did come right after their Clash at the Castle match which really just made this stand out as the inferior bout.

One thing this match maybe did better than the match in Wales did, was the drama of thinking Sheamus was going to get that big victory. It seemed possible due to Sheamus not getting it done prior, but now he knew what he was facing and possibly had the counters to squeeze out a victory.

9 Gunther Put Down Shinsuke Nakamura

SmackDown (08/12/22)

Length

14:20

Location

Raleigh, North Carolina

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

Gunther’s second title defense came against a previous Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura. Now much like Strowman later on, Gunther really brought out the best in Nakamura who at the time was seemingly coasting through his run with WWE.

RELATED: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About WWE Wrestler Gunther’s Time On The Indies

Of course, Nakamura has all the ability to be an amazing wrestler, something he has shown countless times before. This also marked the first excellent showing Gunther had on the main roster as he was mostly working tag matches with Ludwig Kaiser or the decent Ricochet bouts.

8 Mustafa Ali Had A Showcase Against Gunther In Front Of Arab Fans

Night Of Champions (05/27/23)

Length

9:00

Location

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

One of the shorter PLE matches that Gunther has had, still way past delivered when he faced Mustafa Ali in Saudi Arabia in their almost nine-minute match. Ali earned the right to face Gunther when he won a battle royal on an episode of Raw.

The match has earned decent to good ratings from fans and critics, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter being one to give the match three and three-quarter stars. Similar to Strowman, this could easily be ranked as Ali’s best match on the main roster.

7 Xavier Woods Had A Rare Singles Title Match

SmackDown (05/27/23)

Length

10:35

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Means Of Victory

Sleeper Hold

As tiring as it is to repeat this phrase, Gunther helped Xavier Woods have one of his best singles matches in the WWE. That says a lot about Gunther as a champion as Woods has been putting on amazing work since his formation of The New Day alongside Big E and Kofi Kingston.

Their match on SmackDown had fans behind Woods 100% as this was another name that people wanted to see get a big win. The two also had amazing moments where they made it really seem that a title change was going to happen.

6 Tommaso Ciampa Reminded Everyone How Good He Was

Raw (10/02/23)

Length

22:53

Location

San Jose, California

Means Of Victory

Referee’s Decision/Sleeper Hold

Tommaso Ciampa embarked on a short feud against Imperium once he started helping Chad Gable and Otis of the Alpha Academy to stand against the trio. Ciampa and Alpha Academy picked up a win against Imperium on Raw leading to Ciampa beating both Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser separately on Raw over the following weeks.

As a reward, Ciampa got an Intercontinental Championship match against Gunther which saw the two men go to town on each other with brutal chops, dropkicks, and more. The match main-evented the show and saw Gunther pick up a victory via the referee’s decision.

5 Chad Gable Beat The Champ (Sort Of)

Raw (08/21/23)

Length

13:09

Location

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Means Of Victory

Count Out Loss

The month prior to this match, Chad Gable had an amazing fight against Gunther on Raw but was a non-title match. This defense marked the first time Gunther was defending on Raw since moving brands with the belt.

Chad Gable also made history as he was the first man to beat Gunther since his arrival on the main roster. The victory was via count-out, so the title did not change hands. The visual of Gable making it to the ring while Gunther could not, was a spectacle nonetheless.

4 Gunther’s WrestleMania Debut Was One Of The Best Ever

WrestleMania 39 Night 2 (04/02/23)

Length

16:40

Location

Inglewood, California

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb To McIntyre

Gunther’s WrestleMania debut came in a triple threat match featuring the at-the-time partners, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. Sheamus was getting his third attempt at Gunther for the belt after his amazing first two matches against the Ring General.

RELATED: Why Gunther Is The Best Intercontinental Champion Of All Time (& 5 Better Alternatives)

Famously Dave Meltzer from WON gave this match one of the first five-star WrestleMania ratings since Hart vs. Austin at WrestleMania 13. Most fans walked away in agreement that this was the best showing for night 2 of the event.

3 Bronson Reed Has His Best Main Roster WWE Match

Raw (10/23/2023)

Length

12:39

Location

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Means Of Victory

Powerbomb

Bronson Reed earned the right to participate in a triple threat to determine a number one contender for Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship after picking up victories over Chad Gable, Otis, and Cedric Alexander on episodes of Monday Night Raw. The triple threat featuring Reed, Chad Gable, and Ricochet which saw Reed score the win over Ricochet.

Reed and Gunther then met on the following episode of Raw and had a classic big-man match, easily one of the best on free television. Despite the result of Gunther retaining seeming fairly obvious, these two threw everything they had at each other and Gunther’s facial expression after each big move failed to keep Reed down sold the match tenfold.

2 Chad Gable’s Rematch Was Far Better

Raw (09/04/23)

Length

15:50

Location

Charlotte, North Carolina

Means Of Victory

Lariat

The match that solidified Gunther as the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time was his second title defense against Chad Gable. After Gable managed to beat Gunther via count-out the previous defense, he was given a second chance on Raw.

For the first time while holding the belt, Gunther main-evented the show. The two men put on one of Gunther’s best matches ever and easily Gable’s best match. There were multiple times that it seemed certain that Gunther wasn’t going to break the record and Gable was going to finally climb that massive mountain that is Gunther’s reign.

1 Sheamus Solidified His WWE Legacy At Clash At The Castle

Clash At The Castle (09/03/22)

Length

19:33

Location

Cardiff, Wales

Means Of Victory

Lariat

Even with the two matches against Chad Gable and the WrestleMania triple threat, Clash at the Castle still features the hands-down best Gunther IC Title match. Sheamus was targeting Gunther as the IC belt is the only thing stopping Sheamus from being a Grand Slam Champion.

The two men beat the living hell out of each other in what has been rated a match-of-the-year contender for 2022. This fight was so good, it was what made the WWE keep pairing Sheamus and Gunther up throughout the year leading to WrestleMania 39.

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