Dean Ambrose will put his Intercontinental Championship on the line at WrestleMania 33, as the Lunatic Fringe looks overcome the test of Baron Corbin in a bid to retain the gold.
The Lone Wolf made his main roster debut at WrestleMania 32 in which he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and will he will set his sights on making it back-to-back wins at the showcase of immortals and win his first title in the WWE.
We got our first glimpse into this rivalry in late January as Baron Corbin laid down the mark by taking out Ambrose with the End of Days, after the Lunatic Fringe fell to defeat to AJ Styles as the things heated up ahead of the Elimination Chamber.
Corbin has made an impressive start to 2017 and he continued his strong run by picking up a big victory over Styles, Ambrose and The Miz in a Fatal 4 Way match in early February, as Corbin looked to claim the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber.
However, Corbin could not carry that form into the Elimination Chamber, as he became the first man to be eliminated in the main event after being caught in a roll up by Dean Ambrose.
The Lone Wolf responded with an attack on the Intercontinental Champion by launching him through one of the pods and hit him with End of Days, allowing The Miz to score the pin and eliminate Ambrose from the match.
That was not enough payback for Corbin as he would continue his path of destruction on Smackdown by blindsiding Ambrose on the entrance way. Despite the champion’s best attempts to fight back, he suffered a Deep Six into the electrical equipment.
Despite suffering two attacks from Corbin, Ambrose is not a man to back down from a fight and scored some revenge over the former NXT Superstar on the 21 February edition of Smackdown by eliminating him from a No.1 Contenders Battle Royal.
However once again, Corbin would blindside the Intercontinental Champion to hit him with the End of Days on the outside, to cost Ambrose a WWE title match at WrestleMania.
The Lunatic Fringe finally had enough of Corbin’s blindsides and called out Corbin the next week on Smackdown. However, Corbin sent a message via the titantron saying they will do it on his terms, as he planned to continue punishing Ambrose for costing him the WWE title.
Seven days later, Ambrose knew Corbin would not come to ring if he called him out so instead the Lunatic Fringe headed backstage looking for a fight with the Lone Wolf.
However once again, Ambrose fell victim to an attack from Corbin who assaulted the Intercontinental Champion with a steel pipe, before pinning him down to the ground using a forklift, crushing Ambrose’s chest.
Two weeks later, Ambrose made a grand entrance to Smackdown in a forklift to accept Corbin’s challenge to a match at WrestleMania distracting him from his match, allowing Randy Orton to hit an RKO on Corbin for the win.
After weeks of assaults from the Lone Wolf, Ambrose finally got one over Corbin to cost him the match against the Viper, before Ambrose picked up the pieces to hit Corbin with Dirty Deeds.
Dean Ambrose against Baron Corbin has the most under-rated rivalry coming into WrestleMania 33 and I have a feeling that this Intercontinental Championship affair could be a decent match.
I am disappointed we won’t be getting any mutli-man Ladder match at WrestleMania this year, but this match could yet get a No DQ or Street Fight stipulation, which I feel the card is in desperate need of.
Corbin may have won the 2016 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but lacklustre fueds against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger have not really helped his cause that he can become a main event player in the WWE.
However, Corbin is having a strong start to 2017 and this rivalry against Dean Ambrose seems to be getting the best out of him. Ambrose will just be as eager to win as Corbin is, with the Lunatic Fringe having yet to pick up a singles win at the showcase of immortals.
I reckon this could go either way, but it seems WWE officials are very high on Corbin to win this one. I think to continuing pushing him as the next big heel on Smackdown, we have to see a new Intercontinental Champion crowned in Orlando.
Winner: Baron Corbin