At Cyber Sunday, Jeff Hardy is in quite the unenviable position. He will be defending the Intercontinental Championship, but won't know his opponent until match time. WWE fans will vote for Hardy's opponent, and the three choices are all former champions: Carlito, Shelton Benjamin and Johnny Nitro.
One of the challengers, however, is in familiar territory. At Taboo Tuesday in 2004, the fans chose Shelton Benjamin to face Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship; Shelton went on to defeat Y2J to claim the gold. The advantage definitely lies with the challengers in this situation, something Shelton easily summed up.
"In a match like this, the champion doesn't know who to prepare for…but the challengers do," Shelton said. "Preparing for me is a task in itself. Add in two other possible opponents and Jeff Hardy is at a big disadvantage."
Benjamin hopes to exploit that advantage at Cyber Sunday, and would love nothing more than to win Intercontinental gold for the fourth time.
"Without a doubt, that is my plan, my goal, my destiny," he smugly stated. "(Taboo Tuesday 2004) was a pivotal moment in my career; it was my first singles championship. It would be a great way to start a new year as Intercontinental Champion."
And of course, Benjamin has one big reason why you should vote for him.
"Shelton Benjamin will put on a show the fans won't believe, much like I do every time I step into the ring. No one can do what I do in there, and if the fans want the most exciting match possible, they should vote for me."
On the other side is the champion, who is at a distinct disadvantage. Since Hardy doesn't know if he'll be facing Benjamin, Carlito or Nitro, one might think it would be hard to prepare for this match; however, Hardy has a strategy.
"I have to pretty much study all three opponents," the champion surmised. "I know their styles, because I've seen them in the ring many times. I know what they're capable of, so I think I'll be ready."
If given his own choice, Hardy would choose the "coolest" match-up of the three.
"Ideally, I'd like to face Carlito," he told WWE.com. "We're very similar, but I have never faced him before, so it would be new and exciting territory."
Will Hardy or Benjamin get their wish, or will Johnny Nitro be the one who gets a chance to regain the gold? Only you the WWE fans can decide.
Cast your vote for Hardy's opponent at Cyber Sunday
Title History: Intercontinental Championship