clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

GUNTHER breaks WWE Intercontinental title record while setting an example as champion

The Ring General’s record-setting reign speaks volumes about the performer.

When I became a wrestling fan in 1985, long title reigns were the norm. So when the Honky Tonk Man set the record for WWE’s longest Intercontinental title reign, I thought it wouldn’t be long before someone surpassed his mark. But over the next 35 years, everyone from Bret Hart to The Rock to Cody Rhodes came and went without ever getting close.

And then along came GUNTHER.

After he won the Intercontinental Championship in June of 2022, I speculated that GUNTHER might threaten men like Randy Savage and the Honky Tonk Man and their place in history concerning the IC title. Following another successful title defense, this time against Chad Gable on Raw, the Ring General cleared the final hurdle on his road to breaking Honky Tonk’s record.

Going into Raw, it was suggested here and by fans online that this record-setting run is part of WWE’s attempt to reshape its history books, with the success of Roman Reigns, the Usos, and Bianca Belair as proof. But, respectfully, I’ve learned in recent months that the only records WWE is interested in breaking are at the box office. If that coincides with rewriting their championship history, that’s a bonus, especially if it’s something they can market.

Instead, what GUNTHER and his run represent are how invested WWE is in the Austrian mauler and how they see him as a vital performer.

In the past, I’ve spoken glowingly about GUNTHER’S professionalism and dedication, which includes moving to America and reshaping his name and image. But even after winning the IC crown, he never stopped evolving, working diligently to improve what once was his weakest area: his promos. Such commitment and integrity, in and out of the ring, is refreshing in an era when others mock the business or become expelled for their conduct.

Despite pro wrestling being a performance and not an actual sport, I still believe in championships and long title reigns because they say something about the men and women chosen to carry them. And what this run says about GUNTHER is that he is a rising star and prominent fixture in WWE whose dedication makes him someone who can be relied on.

Congratulations on making history, GUNTHER. You earned it.

Most of all, thank you for your professionalism. It’s appreciated.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats