3 possible candidates who could answer Seth Rollins' IC Title open challenge on Raw tonight

Finally, after months.
Finally, after months.

WWE has announced that Seth Rollins will issue an open challenge for the Intercontinental Championship. It would be the first defence of the belt in months, primarily because Rollins was heavily involved in the drama between the Shield and the short-lived Dogs Of War stable. Back before the summer, Rollins hosted a regular open challenge for the title he won at WrestleMania, beating the likes of Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal in some extremely fun matches on Raw.

He eventually lost the IC belt to Dolph Ziggler in another open challenge before regaining it at SummerSlam, following a series of great matches between the pair. Since Rollins’ second victory, he has scarcely defended the title due to the Shield reunion. The belt will be on the line at TLC when the Kingslayer will take on his former brother, Dean Ambrose. But will Rollins even make it to the pay-per-view with the gold?

There is a possibility that Rollins loses the belt tonight during the open challenge due to shenanigans involving the Lunatic Fringe. The feud between the two has become incredibly personal and does not necessarily need the title, so this could be a way of getting it off the current holder while furthering the story between Rollins and Ambrose. It may happen, it may not happen. Anyway, here are three possible candidates who could answer tonight's IC title open challenge.


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#3 Dolph Ziggler

Once again?
Once again?

What? Dolph Ziggler again? Yes, this match has been done to death for over five months now and while the action has always been good, it has started to become pretty tiresome. However, remember that this is WWE, and this is Raw. The land of rematches and 50/50 booking. WWE has a bad habit of booking matches between wrestlers who have just feuded, examples include Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura. Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler is in danger of following this dreaded pattern.

It could prove to alter the story of the Intercontinental title and transfer it from the Rollins-Ambrose feud to a potential program between Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. The latter is absolutely ready to break out into singles stardom and the Showoff will surely make him look like a million bucks, even more so than he does already. However, open challenges are all about fresh matchups. And this would not be fresh in any way. But always remember, this is Raw.

#2 Bobby Lashley

Lashley could be ready to dominate the upper mid-card of Raw.
Lashley could be ready to dominate the upper mid-card of Raw.

Bobby Lashley turned heel after viciously attacking Kevin Owens’ knee in a post-match beatdown in October, but he has hardly done much of note since then. Maybe he could be the one to challenge Seth Rollins for the title. Lashley faced Rollins in the quarter-finals of the WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel in a five-minute match, a match which he lost deposited dominating for the majority of it. After being one of the survivors in the Men's 5-on-5 match at Survivor Series, the Dominator could be in for a bigger role on Raw.

Lio Rush at ringside has turned Lashley's fortunes around and now he has a definite direction, no matter how irritating his manager is. The Intercontinental Championship could be his next step, a likely one too. Lashley isn't exactly part of any major story, unless he and Finn Balor get into it again tonight. This could be a really good match if given the right amount of time, as evidenced by the few minutes the pair received in Riyadh.

#1 Bray Wyatt

Wyatt returned at Starrcade.
Wyatt returned at Starrcade.

After making his return in front of the live crowd at WWE Starrcade, Bray Wyatt is ready to return to Raw. Hopefully, WWE Creative actually has something for him to do. This may be the best way for him to come back, straight into a match for the Intercontinental Championship against Seth Rollins. Wyatt has had numerous false starts in the WWE, from his feuds with John Cena and the Undertaker to the partnership with Randy Orton, to his latest tag team with Matt Hardy. He has been missing from WWE TV for a couple of months now, more than enough time for his character to be fresh.

The Eater Of Worlds returned during the weekend as a babyface, but he could very well cement his spot as a villain if he answers the open challenge and takes the title from Rollins. It sure would make a huge impact if it does happen. WWE and Bray Wyatt really need to make this impending run count in order to realise the massive potential the former cult leader possesses. Whether he returns tonight or not, it must be worthwhile. However, out of all possible candidates to step up to the IC champ, Wyatt certainly is the most exciting one. Truly buzz(ard)worthy.

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Edited by Sundaresh Kumar
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