WWE: The Top 7 Contenders for Christian's Intercontinental Title

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2012

WWE: The Top 7 Contenders for Christian's Intercontinental Title

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    Last Sunday at WWE Over the Limit, Christian made his shocking return to the company by entering a People Power battle royal, where the winner would be granted a shot at either the Intercontinental or United States Championship. Rest assured, it was Captain Charisma who prevailed and chose to face Santino Marella for his star-spangled prize later in the evening.

    Later in the show, Christian came across Cody Rhodes backstage talking trash about the former World Heavyweight Champion, thus persuading Christian to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship instead. Low and behold, it was Captain Charisma holding the prestigious Intercontinental title gold high above his head that night at Over the Limit.

    Now that Christian has finally graced us with his presence, who will be first to step up and challenge him for his newly won Intercontinental Championship?

Cody Rhodes

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    Of course, the obvious contender would have to be the former Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes. He wasn't given much time to prepare for his impromptu title defense against Christian, which eventually cost him in the end.

    At Over the Limit, these two in-ring warriors were able to have a solid match together that showed the true chemistry Christian and Rhodes truly have together inside the squared circle. After witnessing that bout, I'm highly anticipating a rematch between these two in the very near future.

    Although Rhodes cryptically posted "Time off" on his Twitter one day removed from the pay-per-view, he'll still be making an appearance on Friday's SmackDown to address his title loss and Christian himself. Rhodes is also entitled to his rightful rematch for the title, so a future contest between the two isn't at all out of the question. 

The Miz

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    Over the course of the past year, The Miz has seen his career slowly spiral downward to the point there's hardly any hope he can resurrect it. Following recent losses to Santino Marella and Brodus Clay, it's evident Miz's stock in WWE has dropped big time since losing the WWE Championship.

    However, a move over to the SmackDown brand could certainly benefit him, especially giving him the airtime he desperately needs in order to be re-exposed to the WWE Universe. While it may be too soon to get the former reality star back into the World title picture, placing him in the mid-card with Christian would be the perfect fit for Miz.

    Although they've been in the same company together for the past three years, Miz and Christian have yet to engage in a one-on-one matchup. Not only that, a feud with Captain Charisma would certainly be an entertaining one.

    It's been nearly five years since Miz has been a part of the blue brand, so what better way to make an impact than to feud with an established veteran such as Christian? 

Jack Swagger

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    Since making his debut in late 2008, Jack Swagger has found himself bouncing all over the card as of late. From mid-card, skyrocketing to main event and now in the tag team division, Swagger has yet to find himself a suitable place for himself to fit into.

    To this day, I still find his ECW title reign from three years ago to be the most successful run he's had so far. One of the feuds he engaged in down in the Land of Extreme was with none other than Christian, who had just made his return to the company at the time and was looking for the perfect opponent to contend with.

    These two had a handful of great encounters throughout the first half of 2009, and I've been waiting for a rematch ever since. Targeting Christian and his Intercontinental Championship could very well make the All-American American relevant once again.

Dolph Ziggler

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    Much like he's current tag team partner Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler has been greatly misused all year long by losing a number of matches he shouldn't be competing in to begin with. It was only a few months ago that he was headlining the Royal Rumble pay-per-view with WWE Champion CM Punk, yet couldn't even pick up a victory over Brodus Clay.

    Just this past Sunday at Over the Limit, Ziggler fell victim to WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. Hopefully, this loss will make him realize he's better off alone without Swagger and Vickie, and off to SmackDown he will go.

    To my knowledge, I believe Ziggler and Christian have only faced off once (possibly twice) before two years ago, so one can only imagine the type of match these bleached blonde Superstars could pull off today. Throw in the Intercontinental Championship and you've got yourself a dream feud waiting to happen. 

Drew McIntyre

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    Upon his WWE arrival in late 2009 , Drew McIntyre was billed as a future World Heavyweight Champion from the get go. Now, here we are three years later, and McIntyre has yet to accomplish anything noteworthy outside of his five-month long Intercontinental Championship reign.

    McIntyre is easily one of the most underrated stars on the roster today, but he is consistently held back by management after an incident with his ex-wife Tiffany two years ago. He's embarked on a major losing streak over the last year, and he has showed no real signs of progression.

    However, SmackDown's mid-card heels are certainly lacking at the moment, and there's no better time than the present for McIntyre to rise once again. He and Christian were involved in quite a few entertaining matches in singles competition during the summer of 2010, so repeating history this upcoming season could revitalize the electric action the blue brand has been lacking as of late.  

Wade Barrett

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    Although he might be sidelined at the moment, Wade Barrett is not a Superstar to be overlooked, as his major potential and amazing talents both on the mic and in the ring have been proven over the last two years.

    When Barrett eventually does return from his arm injury suffered back in February, expect the Englishman to make an enormous splash that won't bid well for the rest of the locker room.

    Ever since their first and only encounter to date on an edition of WWE NXT in April 2010, I've been eagerly anticipating a rematch between Christian and Wade Barrett inside the squared circle. However, due to Christian's heel turn last year, the two foreigners instead became allies rather than rivals while feuding with Sheamus.

    Now that Captain Charisma has once again embraced the WWE Universe, there's a major possibility we could be seeing this rivalry come to fruition sooner rather than later. May I mind you that Barrett holds an Intercontinental Championship reign to his credit, and he would do anything to get that prestigious gold around his waist yet again. 

Daniel Bryan

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    Throughout all of last summer, I had my fingers crossed we'd be seeing a rivalry erupt between Christian and Daniel Bryan going into the fall, given the fact Christian was heel at the time while Daniel Bryan was still a face. In an anticlimactic manner, we were given the first ever meeting between the two on an August edition of SmackDown, and Christian pulled out the victory in under 10 minutes.

    From the moment Daniel Bryan turned heel earlier this year, I had a strong feeling he'd be imitating Christian's antics during his absence. I'm not saying Bryan "stole" Christian's character, but they both had two very similar gimmicks to say the least.

    Now that the roles have been swapped, my hope of finally seeing just "one more match" from these two in-ring generals has grown stronger by the day. Since the American Dragon was unsuccessful in capturing the WWE Championship from CM Punk last Sunday at Over the Limit, targeting Christian for his prestigious Intercontinental Championship could be the next big thing.

    Which one of these sinful seven could be the next No. 1 contender for Christian's Intercontinental Championship? Or will another SmackDown rise to the occasion in hopes of dethroning Captain Charisma as champ?

    Drop a comment below with your thoughts on my list as well anyone else you believe might be next in line for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship. As always, your criticism and overall feedback on my latest piece is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

    GSM out.



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