WWE May Have Altered WrestleMania 40 Match Plans

We are merely a month away from WrestleMania 40 and there are a ton of matches and storylines being built up for the Showcase of The Immortals. However, it appears one particular match might have changed.

During last night’s WWE RAW, it was revealed that there would be a Gauntlet match next week to determine who will challenge Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER at WrestleMania.

The announced participants include Ricochet, Chad Gable, Sami Zayn, Bronson Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura, and JD McDonagh. Interestingly, the inclusion of McDonagh and Reed seems to have surprised fans as they were not initially planned for the match. WWE has been teasing several of the listed names as potential challengers for GUNTHER, adding an element of unpredictability to the upcoming Gauntlet match.

Last week, WWE hinted at R-Truth and The Miz as potential challengers for GUNTHER’s Intercontinental Championship, but both were notably absent from the recent announcement of the Gauntlet match on RAW. This development was discussed on Wrestling Observer Radio, with Dave Meltzer noting the intriguing absence of The Miz and R-Truth, who were prominently featured in the buildup the previous week.

“The interesting thing is if you remember last week when they were building this up, two of the key guys they were building up for this were The Miz and R-Truth and they were nowhere to be seen.”

Bryan Alvarez pointed out that The Miz and R-Truth were indeed present on the show but in a segment playing video games, not involved in the Gauntlet match. Dave Meltzer suggested that the initial plan might have been to feature Miz and Truth.

However, the decision could have shifted towards emphasizing better in-ring performers, evident in the inclusion of wrestlers like Ricochet and JD McDonagh, who have seemingly emerged unexpectedly into the spotlight.

I think the deal must have been that they were gonna go with them and then they just decided, whatever they’re gonna do, they want better wrestlers. Because you can see they loaded it up with Ricochet who hasn’t been around, JD who came from nowhere.”

The current direction in WWE strongly suggests that Sami Zayn and/or Chad Gable are being heavily teased as potential challengers for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania. The Gauntlet match next week will likely play a significant role in determining who ultimately steps up to face GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Title on the grand stage at WrestleMania.