News for next week’s WWE Smackdown

Mar 4, 2023 - by Staff

The WrestleMania 39 challenger for WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER will be decided next Friday’s SmackDown.

WWE has announced a Fatal 5 Way to determine the new #1 contender to the WWE Intercontinental Title with Karrion Kross vs. Kofi Kingston vs. LA Knight vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre. The winner will go on to challenge The Ring General on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

Tonight’s SmackDown saw McIntyre come to the ring and call GUNTHER out, one week after he made it clear he wanted the title shot at WrestleMania. Sheamus came out instead, lashing out at his Brawling Bro because McIntyre knew how bad he wanted to win the title. Things got heated between McIntyre and Sheamus until LA Knight interrupted and knocked them both for failing against GUNTHER before, then declaring that you can’t have a LA WrestleMania without LA Knight, yeah. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods then interrupted, and took shots at Knight. This brought out Karrion Kross and Scarlett, and Knight took advantage of the distraction to knock Kingston out of the ring, then to fight Woods off and send him to the floor as well. Sheamus knocked Knight to the floor, but then turned around to McIntyre staring him down. Sheamus and McIntyre had a few words and McIntyre backed off, but then ran the ring and dove out, taking Knight and The New Day down at ringside. Kross then attacked Sheamus, sending him into the ring post, then to the floor. Kross ended the segment by standing tall in the middle of the ring and tapping his watch. Kayla Braxton later interviewed GUNTHER backstage, and he said it was an absolute disgrace that a man like him has been kept waiting by so-called leadership in Adam Pearce, and with one month away he still has not identified the man who will challenge him at WrestleMania. Braxton asked the leader of Imperium if he was concerned based on what happened earlier, but he said the only thing he’s concerned about is not having a worthy opponent at WrestleMania to do battle for the title, for this precious sport, and for the legacy of The Ring General on the greatest stage of all.

It’s been rumored that GUNTHER will defend in a Triple Threat at WrestleMania against McIntyre and Sheamus, so there may be some sort of swerve next Friday. McIntyre vs. GUNTHER in a singles match was also rumored at one point.

Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs. The Viking Raiders was also announced for next week’s SmackDown.

Strowman, Ricochet, Erik and Ivar did not appear on tonight’s SmackDown, but last week’s show opened with Strowman, Ricochet and Madcap Moss coming up short against Imperium in six-man action. After the match, The Viking Raiders attacked McIntyre, who had come to ringside to watch GUNTHER during the six-man. Sheamus also ran down for the post-match brawl and Strowman saved him from The Vikings. Ricochet then ran the ring and flew out to take Erik and Ivar down on the floor. Sheamus and McIntyre then knocked The Vikings over the barrier into the crowd, and that left Sheamus, McIntyre, Ricochet and Strowman to regroup in the ring and hit the corners to pose as fans cheered them on. Now next week’s show will feature Erik and Ivar vs. Strowman and Ricochet, who have been teaming for a few weeks now.

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