Since joining WWE, Gunther has been nothing short of dominant. The Ring General first burst onto the scene at the first-ever NXT UK Takeover event, confronting then-NXT UK Champion Pete Dunne after his successful defense against Joe Coffey. This set up a championship clash between the two titans of the European wrestling scene at NXT Takeover: New York, which resulted in Gunther walking away with the gold. He held that championship for a historic 870 days, shattering Dunne’s record of 685 days. After dropping the title in a rare singles loss to Ilja Dragunov, Gunther moved on to the US-based NXT, where he had a brief run before joining the WWE’s main roster.
It only took Gunther two months to pick up main roster gold, as he defeated Ricochet to capture the WWE Intercontinental Title in June 2022. It has been pure supremacy for the leader of Imperium since, as he has put on hard-hitting and critically-acclaimed defenses against the likes of Sheamus and Rey Mysterio in the subsequent months.
As of February 9th, Gunther has cemented himself as the longest-reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion of the 21st century. Gunther’s 245+ days with the gold has put him ahead of the reigns of Shelton Benjamin (244), Cody Rhodes (233), Randy Orton (209), and Shinsuke Nakamura (201).
This is the latest achievement in an already-stacked year for Gunther. The heavyweight opened the year with a record-breaking showing at WWE Royal Rumble, entering the multi-man battle royal as the first entrant and lasting all the way until the final two. His 71-minute performance marks the longest time a WWE superstar has spent in a Royal Rumble match.
Reports have indicated that Gunther will continue to reign with the WWE Intercontinental Championship until WWE WrestleMania 39. The Austrian is reportedly scheduled to defend his prize against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre in a triple threat match at the showcase of the immortals.
Gunther competes on WWE SmackDown, which debuts a new episode tonight at 8 PM ET on FOX.