For the second year running the Intercontinental Championship will be defended in a Ladder match at WrestleMania, as Kevin Owens looks to defy the odds and retain the gold.
On February 15, Kevin Owens ended a two-month wait to get his hands back on the Intercontinental Championship with victory in a Fatal 5 Way but he would soon realise he would become a number one target from many a superstar.
KO would not have long to celebrate though as he would make his first defence of his new won title just six days later at FastLane but he held off the challenge of Dolph Ziggler to keep hold of the gold.
However, the challenges would get bigger for the Intercontinental Champion as he squared up against Big Show on Smackdown but Owens managed to knock of the World’s Largest Athlete with a countout victory.
Big Show would get revenge with a countout victory of his own the next week on Raw, while a victory for The Miz over former No.1 Contender Dolph Ziggler saw him stake his claim for a future title shot.
While Ziggler would exact revenge with a win over The Miz three days later on Smackdown, things were about to get worse for Kevin Owens went he went face-to-face with a familiar enemy from NXT.
As if a victory over Neville was not enough for Owens, the Intercontinental Champion would launch a post-match attack on the Englishman but a run from NXT superstar Sami Zayn saw Owens come to blows with his former NXT rival.
Sami Zayn would reveal on MizTV on the following Smackdown that he is here to stay on the main roster and wants to take down Owens and take his Intercontinental Championship.
Miz took a shot at Zayn saying he can’t expect to walk in here and demand a title shot but after Zayn told Miz his best days are n behind him, the two men came to blows.
Zayn would team with former NXT ally Neville to score the win over The Mix and Kevin Owens, after the Intercontinental Champion walked out on his partner.
As The Miz saw his momentum slide after back-to-back defeats to Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler, Neville’s quest to become Intercontinental Champion was halted after the former NXT champions suffered a serious injury in a match with Chris Jericho.
It was one down for Kevin Owens but he still had Ziggler, Zayn and The Miz all eyeing his title and although it appeared he promised them a No. 1 Contenders Triple Threat match, KO had a trick up his sleeve.
Owens did give us a No. 1 Contenders Triple Threat match but it was in face a match between Sin Cara, Stardust and Zack Ryder. Owens found himself a target from all six men after causing a DQ by attacking Ryder.
Owens would soon learn that his plan backfired as Stephanie McMahon revealed he will defend his Intercontinental Championship against all six men in a Ladder match on the grandest stage.
Ziggler and Zayn would build some momentum ten days before WrestleMania with a tag team win over Owens and The Miz on Smackdown, after Miz attacked the champion who tried to walk out on him again.
However after the match, a seven man fight would erupt as Ryder, Cara and Stardust would join the action and in an unlikely turn of events, it would be the Long Island Iced Z who would stand tall.
Kevin Owens would get a taste of his own medicine in six-man Tag Team action on te final Raw before WrestleMania as KO’s partners The Miz and Stardust walked out on him, allowing the trio of Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara and Sai Zayn pick up the win.
I think WWE have missed the ball with this one. I feel a Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn match for the Intercontinental Championship would have been a much better option, with a ladder match for the United States Championship.
Nevertheless, multi-man Ladder matches on the grandest stage have always been exciting and there will be plenty of high-risk moves, big spots and probably a few Sin Cara botches as well.
In my opinion, Stardust, The Miz, Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler and Sin Cara are just there to make up the numbers with only two of the participants – Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn – being potential winners.
My pick is for Kevin Owens to overcome the odds and retain the Intercontinental Championship as I don’t think they will put a title on Zayn that quick after being called up to the main roster.
Winner: Kevin Owens