5 Superstars who should answer Seth Rollins’ Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge
Since he defeated The Miz and Finn Bálor in a Triple Threat Match to capture the Intercontinental Title at this year’s WrestleMania, Seth Rollins has committed himself to being a fighting champion to honor the legacy of the prestigious title, held by such prolific competitors as Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Shawn Michaels.
Following The Show of Shows, The Architect has defended his prize on four continents, but Rollins isn’t one to rest on his laurels, and he’s pushing himself even further with the introduction of an Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge, inviting all comers to try their luck against “Monday Night Rollins.”
The Kingslayer has turned back Mojo Rawley and Kevin Owens in back-to-back weeks, meaning that the opportunity still exists for other Superstars to step up. WWE.com chose five Superstars who would be best suited to put the fighting champion through his paces.
When Mojo Rawley answered Seth Rollins’ Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge on Raw in Long Island, N.Y., the “We want Ryder!” chants were deafening — Mojo heard them, Seth heard them and Zack Ryder heard them as well.
Long Island Iced-Z reached the pinnacle of his career at WrestleMania 32, where he scaled a ladder to secure the Intercontinental Championship. Celebrations were short-lived, however, as The Miz defeated Ryder for the coveted prize the following night on Raw thanks to a devious assist from his wife, Maryse.
Since then, Ryder has endured injury and a tragic tag team alliance with Rawley, but his move to Raw in the 2018 Superstar Shake-up presents a fresh start for Zack Daddy. What better way to cement himself as a top player on Team Red than by becoming a two-time Intercontinental Champion? –JAMES WORTMAN
Goldust’s prodigious talents as a personality have understandably made him an increasing fixture in several memorable backstage encounters over the last few years. He’s even resurrected the Old Hollywood vibe that marked his early years (much like “Casablanca,” it still holds up). But it’s been a while since WWE’s Benjamin Button got a chance at a title, and the Open Challenge would provide him an opportunity to turn back the clock and lay hands on the championship whose legacy he helped bolster.
Admittedly, he’s a longshot on the surface: His last big match, against John Cena, ended in disappointment. But as Goldust knows better than anybody, “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. ‘Rocky Balboa,’ 2006.” —ANTHONY BENIGNO
If Seth Rollins is set to prove that the Intercontinental Championship is Raw’s premier title, then there’s no reason why Braun Strowman shouldn’t answer the Open Challenge and tell The Architect to “Get These Hands!” The Monster Among Men decimates everyone in his path — including Universal Champion Brock Lesnar — but he has yet to capture a singles championship. However, answering Rollins’ Open Challenge presents the first-ever Greatest Royal Rumble Match winner with a prime opportunity to dominate the competition on Raw and truly establish the Intercontinental Championship as Raw’s top prize. —KEVIN POWERS
The Modern Day Maharaja tried to turn America into the United States of Mahal through the U.S. Championship. Why not next conquer multiple continents with the Intercontinental Championship? Jinder Mahal has proven himself to be one of WWE’s elite competitors after skyrocketing to the WWE Championship last spring. Answering Seth Rollins’ Open Challenge for one of WWE’s most prestigious titles would aid him in his quest to cement his grand legacy.
Mahal’s power is the perfect counter to Rollins’ high-flying offense, which would surely result in a thrilling match that would have the WWE Universe on the edge of their seats. —BOBBY MELOK
Although the high-flying and always mystifying Rey Mysterio hasn’t been a regular part of WWE since 2014, his recent (and impressive) appearances in this year’s 30-Man Royal Rumble Match and the 50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble Match have had us wondering when we’ll get to see The Ultimate Underdog again.
If an Open Challenge is indeed open to anyone, can you imagine what would happen if Rey returned to battle Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Title? Rey was also a fighting Intercontinental Champion, and he likely sees a lot of himself in the world-beating titleholder. A title clash between these two intensely athletic Superstars would indeed “burn it down.” —J.W.