Intercontinental title holder Wade Barrett now knows he must survive a Triple Threat Match with Fandango and the Miz if he hopes to leave WWE Payback with his championship belt in tact.
The bare-knuckled brawler, whose win-loss record has been far from impressive since he regained his championship title in April, will hope to gain redemption against two of the sport's superstars who have both pinned him in non-title competition in recent weeks.
Both challengers will meanwhile look to June 16th as their chance to upend Barrett when it matters most, with the championship gold the tantalising prize.
Although Triple Threat Matches often result in two competitors unofficially teaming up to weaken the third, it's hard to guess who will favour working with who this time around. All three have already been at each others throats in the build-up, and will all struggle to accept assistance.
The trouble began in May, when Fandango abandoned Barrett in a Tag Team Match against The Miz and Chris Jericho, choosing instead to dance at ringside with Summer Rae.
Since then, the ballroom brawler scored a pin-fall victory over Barrett on Raw, though much of that accomplishment was owed to the bout’s “Awesome” guest referee, who couldn’t help but get involved when the opportunity presented itself.
More recently, The Miz overcame The Barrett Barrage on the June 3 edition of Raw, but again, the conclusion was far from decisive, thanks to a musical distraction provided by Fandango.
With animosity pointing in all directions, the only guarantee is that all three will not be short on motivation: the Miz undoubtedly wants to prove to the WWE Universe that he is capable of a long-term Intercontinental Championship reign after his last spell at the top lasted just 24 hours, while Fandango, a relative newcomer to the scene, who already made WWE history when he won his debut match on 'The grandest stage of them all', will be facing his first official title bout.
Meanwhile, the ever-dangerous titleholder, Barrett, despite being in possession of arguably WWE’s most lethal strike, the Bull Hammer, has seemingly taken a back seat to both of his challengers: The Miz has done nothing but turn heads since returning to the ring last month, while Fandango has quickly become one of the WWE’s most prominent superstars. The champ will have a point to prove after being snubbed in relation to all the attention given to his challengers.
It also remains to be seen as to whether anyone will be able to rely on their 'finisher' in the context of a Triple Threat Match. Will The Miz be able to nullify one competitor long enough to pull-off the Figure-Four Leglock on the other? Can Fandango scale the turnbuckles and drop his mighty leg drop unhindered? At first glance, the advantage in this category appears to go to Barrett, whose Bull Hammer is delivered with lightning speed.
All will be revealed when the three meet in nine days time.
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