Title Match Set For 8/12 WWE SmackDown

WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther will defend his title on next week's episode of "SmackDown". Shinsuke Nakamura earned a title shot by defeating Gunther's cohort Ludwig Kaiser on Friday's "SmackDown", pinning him after hitting the Kinshasa.

It was the third match between Nakamura and Kaiser in recent weeks. Nakamura scored another decisive pinfall victory on the July 8 episode of "SmackDown". Kaiser got a measure of revenge two weeks later. He took advantage of a ringside distraction by Gunther and planted Nakamura with a DDT to score the upset win. The three encounters with Nakamura are the only singles matches for Kaiser since he was called up to the main roster alongside Gunther.

Gunther has been a dominant force on "SmackDown" since he was called up to WWE's main roster in April. He defeated Ricochet to win the Intercontinental Championship on the June 10 episode of "SmackDown". Since then, Gunther has notched only one televised title defense. He defeated Ricochet in a rematch on the June 24 episode of "SmackDown".

Prior to his call-up to WWE's main roster, Gunther had a brief run on "NXT", culminating in a championship match against "NXT" Champion Bron Breakker in early April. The move to the U.S. came after a lengthy run as the top star on "NXT UK".

Gunther (as WALTER) made his WWE debut in January 2019 at the NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool event. He went on to win the "NXT UK" Championship and held the title for 870 days before losing it to Ilja Dragunov last August at NXT TakeOver 36.

Nakamura is a former two-time Intercontinental Champion. His most recent reign lasted more than 180 days. However, its length was overshadowed by a lack of title defenses. Nakamura defended the title only once after winning the gold last August. His reign came to an end at the hands of Sami Zayn on the February 11 episode of "SamckDown".

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