Few Superstars could benefit from a fresh start better than Apollo Crews, who has made a double-edged name for himself as a Superstar with limitless potential and limited accolades to show for it. Fittingly enough, Crews earned the chance for just such a reset by winning the appropriately-named “Fresh Start Battle Royal” to earn an Intercontinental Title Match against Dean Ambrose.
He didn’t exactly run through a field of also-rans to do it, either: Finn Bálor and Baron Corbin were the big-name contestants in the melee, but all of Crews’ opponents had displayed flashes of brilliance throughout 2018, from championship reigns (The B-Team) to viral sensations (Titus O’Neil) to impressive Open Challenge appearances (Tyler Breeze and Mojo Rawley). Even the still-winless Curt Hawkins had a claim to fame, and to a man, they were all hungry to reach the next level.
And almost to a man, they were eliminated by Crews. Apollo notched eight tosses in the bout before Corbin took over and thinned the field by tossing Bálor, Zack Ryder (fighting hard in what was, remarkably, his first Raw match of the year) and, finally, Hawkins. Crews picked up right where he left off, though, earning the victory by catching the surging Corbin with two step-up enziguiris to notch his final elimination.
The Intercontinental Title has long been considered the championship of the workhorses or the proverbial next-guy-up. Apollo Crews has been both of those for a while; perhaps this is the night his number finally gets called.