When Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston once again to claim his second Intercontinental Championship, the feud ended shortly after, leaving Barrett without any other challengers.
This past Raw, Barrett won cleanly against Randy Orton, who is expected to turn heel soon.
So who are the top challengers for the Intercontinental Championship?
Here are my top five choices to challenge Wade Barrett next.
Currently, Daniel Bryan is one-half of the WWE Tag Team champions, but sooner or later Team Rhodes Scholars will claim the gold, leaving Bryan without anything to do.
One may think that Bryan should be pushed to one of the World Championships after Team Hell No breaks up, but there’s an issue.
The Rock, CM Punk, Ryback and John Cena have been and will be in the WWE title picture. In the World Heavyweight Championship picture, you have Alberto Del Rio, Big Show and most likely Dolph Ziggler soon.
Therefore, with no obvious choice for Intercontinental Championship challengers, it would be very entertaining to see the two former Nexus members, friends and foes feud with one another over the Intercontinental title, which would bring more prestige to the gold.
Justin Gabriel was a challenger for the United States Championship not long ago, but like others, he was unable to defeat Antonio Cesaro.
With Tyson Kidd out of action for six months to a year, Gabriel needs something to do.
Gabriel is a high-flying superstar who can put on a great match, but unfortunately, due to poor mic skills, he has not been successful as a singles star.
It would seem, then, that if Gabriel receives the opportunity to challenge Wade Barrett in another match of former Nexus members, he would not be very likely to claim this championship, either.
The current United States Championship challenger, like Gabriel, will not be successful in defeating Cesaro.
After the feud is over, Miz should move on and focus on the title he held most recently, the Intercontinental Championship.
Miz and Barrett would have quality promos, as both are very solid on the mic, but their matches would not be bad, either.
The Miz is being pushed as a new babyface, but he wasn’t receiving many matches for a while. Alberto Del Rio, also a new babyface, obviously was pushed very quickly as a top face by winning the World Heavyweight Championship.
If WWE wants the Miz to rise as a babyface in the WWE, another run with the Intercontinental Championship is one way that would work.
Woo woo woo! You know it! Ryder recently ended his YouTube show, which raises a lot of questions as to what his future in WWE holds.
You may not expect him to be a challenger for the Intercontinental Championship, but you also didn’t expect to see Del Rio become World Heavyweight champion, so you never know.
I recently wrote about how Ryder should turn heel or even possibly win the Royal Rumble match, but feuding with Barrett shouldn’t be out of the question.
WWE needs to stop burying Ryder when he is so popular in the social media world, especially since WWE frequently pushes social media in the fans’ faces.
Giving Ryder a championship feud would be his first step back to relevancy.
Feed…me…gold. You may think I am crazy for thinking Ryback should be demoted to challenging for the Intercontinental Championship.
You are probably right, but just like with Daniel Bryan, the World Ttitle pictures may be too crowded for Ryback.
When Ryback was getting the quick push as CM Punk’s challenger to the WWE Championship, there were questions as to whether or not Ryback was ready to be a World champion.
If WWE is still unsure if Ryback is ready, putting a midcard title on him would be a great test. They wouldn’t be putting as much pressure on Ryback to carry the company.
Plus, let’s not forget that Ryback is the third former Nexus member on this list, making yet another ex-Nexus feud.
Some of these challengers may seem random or too high on the card, but that may be what Wade Barrett and the Intercontinental Championship need to be considered more prestigious.
These top challengers would reward us with some interesting feuds, including former friends, which WWE fans would enjoy.
What do you think? Who are your top challengers for the WWE Intercontinental Championship? Please leave your comments, suggestions and thoughts in the section below.
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