The main event of tonight's WWE SmackDown was the anticipated battle for the Intercontinental Championship between Champion Gunther and his challenger Shinsuke Nakamura. Earlier in the night, a video played that showcased the prestige of the Intercontinental Championship, and you just knew Shinsuke and Gunther were going to put on a fantastic match. That turned out to be the case, as the two delivered a phenomenal match that showed just how stellar these two stars are. After a hard-hitting match that left both in some pain, it was Gunther who would get the win and retain his Intercontinental Championship.
After some maneuvering and a taunt from Nakamura, the two stars traded holds, but Gunther got Nakamura into the corner for a chop. Nakamura dodged it and hit Gunther with big kicks and then followed with more kicks to the Champ's legs and knee. He eventually knocked him down and was clearly doing some damage to Gunther, but then met a big boot from the Champion.
Two uppercuts followed and then a chop leveled Nakamura, and Gunther followed it up with a Boston Crab. Gunther then turned it into an STF but Nakamura broke it up by grasping the ropes. Gunther hit another uppercut but Nakamura came back with strikes of his own. More kicks rocked Gunther and then Nakamura went for the armbar, but Gunther blocked and tried to get the challenger's shoulders to the mat.
Gunther stomped on the challenger but Nakamura went for the cover and then caught Gunther on the side of the head. More punches followed and then a kick to the back of the neck and the arm rocked the Champ. More kicks connected with Gunther's chest and then he covered the Champion but Gunther kicked out. Gunther blocked a throw and then hit a lethal chop. Then he put the challenger on the top turnbuckle and chopped to the chest before putting pressure on Nakamura's legs and back.
Gunther hit a German Suplex but he was still clearly hurting on his right arm. Gunther tried to lift Nakamura but he couldn't make it happen, though he kicked Nakamura back down to the mat. Gunther went up top and tried to hit a Splash but Nakamura caught him in the Triangle on the bad arm. Gunther still got him up but then Nakamura went for the arm again. Gunther then picked him up with his good arm and hit a Suplex.
Nakamura then caught Gunther with a knee to the chin and went for the cover, but he kicked out. Then Nakamura hit more knees to the back of the neck and then hit kicks to the jaw and chin. Nakamura then brought down Gunther and got in Kaiser's face. Gunther then hit a huge dropkick on the challenger as he made his way back into the ring. Nakamura landed on his feet and hit a big kick to the back of the neck and then set up for the Kinshasa, but Gunther clotheslined him and went for the cover only for Nakamura to kick out at 2.
Gunther chopped the challenger and then locked in a Sleeper Hold but Nakamura kept fighting and got out of the hold. He grabbed the hurt arm and wrenched it several times but Gunther hit a dropkick to take back control. A powerbomb followed and that was it for the challenger. Gunther retained his Intercontinental Championship.
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments and as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!