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Sami Zayn Ends GUNTHER’s Legendary Reign as WWE Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania 40

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Sami Zayn ended the longest Intercontinental Championship reign in WWE history as he defeated GUNTHER at WrestleMania 40. The heated match was built around Sami Zayn’s underdog status as an outmatched challenger competing against an unmatchable champion.

Despite many fans clamoring for Sami Zayn to get his big moment at WrestleMania, Zayn entered the WWE Intercontinental Championship match as a challenger against GUNTHER.

GUNTHER has been historically unstoppable as WWE Intercontinental champion, holding the title longer than anybody in history while stacking one impressive win on another. Easily the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time, GUNTHER’s days with the secondary championship are numbered–not only because of the law of averages–but also because he is destined for a world championship.

When Zayn and Owens dethroned historic tag team champions The Usos, WWE leaned into Sami Zayn’s eternal moniker as the underdog from the underground. Zayn scratched fought and clawed his way to a victory on the March 11 broadcast of WWE Raw.

The April 15 broadcast of WWE Raw will air from Zayn’s home country of Montreal, where he suffered a defeat to Roman Reigns for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship last year. WWE’s next international Premium Live Event, Backlash, will emanate from France, creating celebratory environments for the new king of the Intercontinental Championship division.

In an era of long-term storytelling and slow-burning heel turns, Zayn’s next feud could be against Chad Gable, adding more depth to the Zayn-GUNTHER matchup as WrestleMania 40 rewrote history with Sami Zayn’s triumph against GUNTHER.

Rachel Adams

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