The Intercontinental Championship is one of the most prestigious titles in sports entertainment. Dozens of Hall of Famers, including Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Pat Patterson, have held the prize.
Kevin Owens and Big E challenged the champion, but they were unsuccessful. The Nigerian Superstar has been on a roll lately, and it would take a minor miracle to dethrone him. With the monstrous Azeez by his side, it seems that he will hold the championship for a long time. Who can stop Apollo Crews and his sidekick?
Luckily, SmackDown boasts an incredibly talented roster that also includes former Intercontinental Champions.
Let's look at five stars who could dethrone Apollo Crews to become the next Intercontinental Champion.
#5 Kevin Owens can be the next Intercontinental Champion
This one is a no-brainer: Kevin Owens has been a thorn in Crews' side for the past month. Take Sami Zayn and Commander Azeez out of the equation and Owens would be the current Intercontinental Champion.
However, KO lost to Zayn at Hell in a Cell in a high-stakes match. Following the loss, the former Universal Champion announced he was taking a break from wrestling. Recent reports suggest that his absence is storyline-related.
When Owens returns from hiatus, WWE may extend his program with the Master Strategist, but targeting the Intercontinental Champion is the best option. After all, the Prizefighter does have a bone to pick with Crews.
There is one massive obstacle in Owens' path to the Intercontinental Championship: Commander Azeez, who pinned KO last week after hitting the Nigerian Nail. If he can neutralize the giant, then his path to the title becomes more apparent.
The Prizefighter is a two-time Intercontinental Champion. Therefore, he is well aware of the honor, prestige and responsibility the title carries. However, in recent months, KO has fallen down the pecking order, weakening his claim for the championship.
The Canadian star needs to pick up some steam and redeem himself. The Intercontinental title made stars like The Miz and Seth Rollins more relevant. It will do the same for the gifted Kevin Owens.
Defeating Crews will add another title to his resume and create fresh opportunities for KO. For example, he can re-ignite his rivalry with Zayn over the championship or start a new one with Otis or Baron Corbin.