As Gunther continues his dominant run on Friday Night SmackDown, one wrestling veteran has tipped the star to go right to the top of the company.
After an NXT United Kingdom Championship reign which lasted a staggering 870 days, and numerous eye-catching in-ring performances, Gunther arrived on SmackDown on April 8th 2022.
Since his debut on the blue brand the Ring General has embarked on an impressive unbeaten run which has seen him claim the Intercontinental Championship. Gunther’s most recent title defence came at WWE Clash At The Castle where he defeated Sheamus in what many have called WWE’s match of the year.
Following their brawl in Cardiff, the pair renewed hostilities back on SmackDown as Imperium and the Brawling Brutes went to war.
Speaking on Smack Talk, wrestling veteran Dutch Mantell gave his thoughts on the rivalry, while urging WWE to protect Gunther at all costs.
“Ain’t not a dime in those guys! There is money in Gunther. Keep him alive. And I think Sheamus, you know, him and Gunther went at it one time, but at the end, Sheamus was not even seen. That’s why he went backward, and I think Gunther went a little bit backward because you’ve got to protect assets like that. You just can’t throw him out there.”
Mantell went on to question the wisdom of putting Sheamus and Gunther in the tag team match on SmackDown, commenting that it did little to enhance either man.
“To me, you just can’t throw them out there in a six-man tag and expect them to keep their steam because there was nothing for him to keep his steam on here. I’m talking from a booking point of view. That’s what I’m thinking. But you’re right; when they got into the ring, it got electric because they remembered Clash at the Castle. What a match they had! I mean, a brutal match, but this didn’t even come close to it.”
In closing the former WWE personality reiterated his claim that the pair may have even gone backwards as a result of the match, adding that he wanted to see more.
“Well, I’m a big Gunther fan, and I wanted more from him, and the same for the Sheamus fans,” Mantell continued. “They want more from him, but they don’t get it. I don’t think they really gave their fanbase enough. So you like matches because of their work. I like matches over the drama, over the intrigue, over where it can go, and I think this actually sent both Sheamus and Gunther; they didn’t go back far. Let’s say they didn’t go back, but they didn’t advance.”
Speaking in the post-Clash At The Castle press conference, Gunther was full of praise for his Irish rival calling the former World Champion a legend. The giant Austrian went on to claim that Sheamus doesn’t get the respect that he deserves.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.