Images: WWE

Gunther’s opponent for WrestleMania has been confirmed, but came with criticism from fans on social media.

Sami Zayn was successful in a Gauntlet Match on this week’s Raw to earn the Intercontinental Title opportunity, overcoming Bronson Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura and Chad Gable.

However, it was Gable the WWE Universe wished to see emerge victorious and challenge the Ring General in Philadelphia.

The leader of Alpha Academy, who has not yet won a singles championship in WWE, was dedicated to defeating Gunther after their battle on the September 5 edition of Raw.

Gunther earned the win and cemented himself as the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion in WWE history, sending Gable’s daughter into tears with her father unable to achieve glory.

This was Gable’s motivation for a WrestleMania match against the Ring General, proclaiming it meant more to him compared to other superstars.

While he was unsuccessful in his quest for an Intercontinental Title opportunity, it was the right decision for Sami Zayn to earn the shot and here is why.

Gunther vs Sami Zayn is the bigger match

With stars like CM Punk and Brock Lesnar missing WrestleMania, the build for this year’s show has been an uphill battle for WWE.

Plans have changed, matches have been altered and it has left WWE to fill the voids.

With current situations, Sami Zayn competing against Gunther is the bigger match they can produce and that is no disrespect towards Chad Gable.

Zayn is just higher on the pecking order, especially with main eventing last year’s WrestleMania and he was always going to have a prominent position in 2024.

Fans may say Zayn should have been included in the World Heavyweight Championship clash between Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre, but that would create an influx of multi-person matches at WrestleMania.

The Undisputed Tag Team Titles are going to be defended in a Six-Pack Ladder Match, Logan Paul looks likely to put his United States Championship on the line against Randy Orton and Kevin Owens, there is the Night 1 main event with The Rock and Roman Reigns challenging Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins, and the Women’s Tag Team Titles could be up for grabs.

Fans have also pointed out that Gable’s shoulders were not on the mat while he was being pinned and how he could use that to insert himself in the match, but the above statements still apply.

It is best to stay simple and have the one-on-one match with Gunther and Sami Zayn.

Image: WWE’s broadcast of Raw

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Sami Zayn had the better WrestleMania build-up

Sami Zayn for several weeks was unsure of where he would fit in at WrestleMania, one year after main eventing with Kevin Owens and capturing the Undisputed Tag Team Championships.

He faced an enormous amount of adversity, suffering blows from Drew McIntyre and Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn would discuss weekly with Jackie Redmond about wanting to be a champion and having doubts about his path to Philadelphia, while Chad Gable never acknowledged WrestleMania.

Even after his match against Gunther in September, WWE did not follow through with Gable’s momentum and he was being showcased in the lower card. Although Zayn was losing majority of his battles, WrestleMania and his desire to be a champion were still his focal points.

Gable also did not mention Gunther for months and was thrusted into programs with Ivar, The New Day and The Creed Brothers.

If Gunther is going to retain, why should Chad Gable lose?

If the plan is for Gunther to retain at WrestleMania, it would be pointless giving Chad Gable another defeat to the Ring General.

Fans want to see Gable dethrone Gunther and if WWE is not ready to take the Intercontinental Championship off the latter, Sami Zayn is better off being his opponent at WrestleMania.

Zayn does not need to win the Intercontinental Title and should pursue the World Heavyweight Championship post-Philadelphia, assuming Drew McIntyre defeats Seth Rollins.

When the time is right, then Gable can be considered as a name to overcome Gunther and conclude his history-making tenure.

WrestleMania is live on Sunday, April 7 and Monday, April 8 at 9am AEST on BINGE

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