WWE Royal Rumble 2012: Rhodes vs. Gabriel for the IC Title Needs to Happen

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2012

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Cape Town Native Justin Gabriel during during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Last week on SmackDown, Justin Gabriel came to the rescue as Hornswoggle was taking a beating at the hands of Cody Rhodes.

Rhodes accepted Gabriel's challenge to a non-title match, and Rhodes got the win. The match was a good showing for both men—even though it was shorter than I would have liked.

I have been waiting for WWE to find something for Gabriel to do, and I think a feud with Rhodes over the Intercontinental Title is the best move.

Rhodes has been IC champion for around six months and has not defended the title as much as some would like. This feud would give him a chance to prove he is a fighting champion and give Gabriel the chance to finally break out.

These are two young, talented stars who have the ability to steal the show given the right circumstances. Rhodes is a little more mat-based while Gabriel is a high flyer, but they can both complement each other because they have a similar skill set.

Rhodes is no stranger to jumping from the ropes and Gabriel has been known to ground his opponents from time to time. They really would mesh very well when you look at it from a logistical standpoint.

Ever since the Corre disbanded, Gabriel has been stagnant in WWE. In the past few weeks he has helped Hornswoggle, but I think this match with Rhodes could lead to something greater.

There is still one week before the Rumble, which means the match could still be set between now and then.

Gabriel is someone who has a lot of potential, and giving him a boost with a mid-card title feud might just put him over the top. The fans seem to like Gabriel for the most part, and they always get on their feet when he is going to perform his trademark 450 splash. He is still somewhat monotone on the mic, but that changes with time and practice and his in-ring ability is better than average given his experience level.

He is a former tag team champion and when he was with Nexus, his 450 splash put down more top stars than anyone else in the group.

I think WWE just needs to give him a chance to succeed on his own and he will surprise them by being better than they expected him to be.

I hope this week on SmackDown Gabriel makes some kind of challenge to Rhodes because the Rumble is a card with only two title matches so far and Rhodes has not had a feud since he and Booker last faced.

What do you think—should Gabriel get a chance at the IC title at the Rumble?