WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER's WrestleMania 40 Challenger Determined

The road to victory in any number one contender's match is fraught with challenges and tonight's six-man gauntlet to determine GUNTHER's challenger for the Intercontinental Championship on "WWE Raw" was certainly no different. 


Entering third after Ricochet beat JD McDonagh first and "Big" Bronson Reed knocked off Ricochet thereafter, Sami Zayn got past all of Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Chad Gable to punch his ticket to WrestleMania where he will try to end GUNTHER's historic Intercontinental Championship reign, now at more than 640 days.

Ricochet entered first and was able to take out McDonagh with a Shooting Star Press before Reed entered next and looked to be all business. Despite a surprise Tope Suicida from Ricochet right out of the gate, Reed quickly took control, hit a running senton, and ended Ricochet's run with a Tsunami. From there, Zayn looked to be in trouble when Reed had him perched on the top rope but he was able to counter into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb to get the win. Reed went the sore loser route, however, attacking Zayn after the match and hitting a Tsunami before leaving the ring area as Nakamura entered the match.


No strangers to each other, Nakamura and Zayn traded offense and a flurry of signature moves before Zayn was able to get a handle on things, knocking off Nakamura with a Helluva Kick. Gable was every bit the good sport, allowing Zayn to get to his feet before their finale began, and that may have cost him in the end, as a series of German Suplexes and Ankle Locks wasn't enough, with Zayn reversing his final Ankle Lock attempt into a roll-up for the win. GUNTHER and Zayn have only faced each other in a televised singles match one time previously, with "The Ring General" prevailing on an episode of "WWE Raw" in June of 2023.