After Seth Rollins experienced a meltdown post-Survivor Series due to CM Punk’s surprising return to WWE, it appeared those two were heading for a clash. While that might still be the case, the latest episode of Raw revealed a new concern for the World Heavyweight Champion: Gunther.
As Rollins feigned like he was going to forfeit his title due to a knee injury, he was confronted by the Intercontinental Champion, who expressed dubious remorse for Rollins’ plight. Once The Visionary revealed that he wasn’t giving up his title, Gunther put Rollins on notice, saying that after he won the Royal Rumble this Saturday, the Ring General was going after Rollins’ crown.
Later, Gunther appeared on Raw Talk and reiterated his future intentions.
Intercontinental Champion @Gunther_AUT awaits the Men's #RoyalRumble match this Saturday AND a championship defense against @TrueKofi next week on #WWERaw!#RAWTalk— WWE (@WWE) January 23, 2024
▶️ @peacock pic.twitter.com/pPJ1cPTKR2
“I’m going to win the Royal Rumble, and I’m going to challenge Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania,” Gunther said.
Regardless of what happens at the Royal Rumble, Gunther will defend his Intercontinental title next week on Raw against Kofi Kingston, who, in recent weeks, has been a thorn in the side of Gunther’s mates in Imperium.
On the special “Day 1” episode of Monday Night Raw on Jan. 1, Giovanni Vinci hit his head hard on the mat after a dropkick by Kingston. Then, on the final episode of Raw before the Rumble, Kingston and Xavier Woods took it to Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser. Though the match ended in a double countout, The New Day got the better of Imperium by putting each man through a table near WWE’s production area.
While none of this is lost on Gunther, the I.C. Champ was still dismissive of his next challenger.
“Kofi has been an annoyance for Imperium in the last weeks,” said Gunther. “He took (Giovanni) Vinci out. He created chaos in the match with (Ludwig) Kaiser. So, if he really thinks he’s the man that should step up and challenge the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time, good for him.”