He’s done it again – Gunther has had another five-star classic match in the WWE.
The Austrian superstar defended his Intercontinental Championship at WWE’s Summerslam 2023 pay per view, aiming to keep his title en route to breaking the Honky Tonk Man’s historic record.
At the time of the event, Gunther only had 32 days left to beat the WWE Hall of Fame’s record for the longest Intercontinental title reign – but he had to contend with Drew McIntyre if he wanted to keep his reign alive.
The Scot returned from a hiatus at Money in the Bank 2023 to confront Gunther in London following the Austrians’ victory over Matt Riddle.
Their battle came at Summerslam 2023, and ended up being another five-star classic for Gunther vs Drew McIntyre.
Gunther vs Drew McIntyre
For the first time in a long time, Gunther seemed to have an actual threat to his Intercontinental Championship.
For over 400 days, he has defended his title with relative ease (outside of two five star matches with Sheamus and Drew McIntyre).
However, his one-on-one encounter with Drew McIntyre saw fear in Gunther’s eyes for the first time, as he lost the physical battle to the 6 foot 5 Scotsman.
For the first time, Drew McIntyre had the physical edge over Gunther. He knocked him down a few times, and we saw the fear on the face of the champion for the first time in his reign.
The pair traded huge hits throughout the match, with chop battles becoming a regular occurrence in the match.
McIntyre’s job was clear – hit the Claymore kick and pin the champion, while Gunther sought to slowly wear down the challenger until he succumbed to his powerbomb.
This didn’t work, as McIntyre kicked out of everything Gunther had for him, and looked ready to end the legendary title reign before Gunther could break the record.
Gunther didn’t win the match – he survived. It took a fall from the top rope from McIntyre, followed by a splash, clothesline and powerbomb to finally put away the former WWE Champion to retain his Intercontinental Championship.
This match will go down as another five-star classic from Gunther, and the third of his legendary title reign.
If Dave Meltzer does rate it five-stars, it will also be the second five-star bout of Drew McIntyre’s career – the last being his bout with Gunther and Sheamus at WrestleMania 39.