Ricochet is having himself a moment in the WWE Universe. Though he doesn't technically become a free agent until 2024, at least according to Sportskeeda, Ricochet is being booked like Paul “Triple H” Levesque is about to lose him to Tony Khan and AEW, elevating the former house show standout to the mid-card championship for the first time since 2019 and actually giving the former Lucha Underground star the Intercontinental Championship for a 98 day run from March through June.

Though he isn't quite the favorite to unseat Roman Reigns or anything like that, Las Vegas would surely still put that on someone like The Rock, Cody Rhodes, or even Sami Zayn, Ricochet also hasn't fallen back into obscurity following his loss to GUNTHER either, as he was booked for a spot in the inaugural SmackDown World Cup and actually won it all, securing himself a rematch with the leader of Imperium for the first time since they duked it out on SmackDown in a three-minute squash on June 24th, 2022.

Now GUNTHER, he isn't too worried about the potential rubber match in his series with Ricochet; GUNTHER has the 2-0 series lead, Imperium by his side, and unless Braun Strowman pulls up and disrupts the contest in a major way – which, frankly, will probably happen – things are looking pretty good for the former NXT UK Champion to retain his strap, as he detailed to Cathy Kelley after SmackDown.

“How am I gonna prepare?” GUNTHER asked. “I beat Ricochet twice, so that question should go to him. How is he going to prepare? I don’t have to prove anything, I carry this, the grand pre of this great sport. Ricochet, I think, is one of the most gifted athletes I’ve ever seen in my life, but the real difference-maker is, he’s got a weak character. He’s a little boy, and he’s full of himself. And he’s only in this for his own good. I am a man who is in for the greater good, for the honor of this great sport. I am the WWE Intercontinental Champion, and to me, the mat is sacred.”

Well hey, speaking of Ricochet, what doe she have to say on the subject? Fortunately, Kelley caught up with him too, for the SmackDown LowDown.

Ricochet is ready for his biggest challenge yet in the WWE Universe.

Afforded a chance to address his massive victory over Santos Escobar and the entirety of Legado Del Fantasma, Ricochet explained just how momentous the occasion was in his professional wrestling career.

“This is huge,” Ricochet said. “I mean, this is huge, the first, inaugural SmackDown World Cup Champion. No, this is great. I mean, this is a huge victory for Ricochet. This is a huge, monumental, momentum-shifting victory for Ricochet, if you will. I mean, since the moment that it was announced, since the moment I was put into the tournament, I told everybody, I told everybody that nothing is gonna stop me from winning this, not my friend Ali, not a monster, not anybody was going to stop me from winning and look exactly who is holding this big, beautiful golden trophy, it’s me.”

Shifting his attention to GUNTHER, Ricochet let it be known just how important this forthcoming match is to him and how ready he is to overcome the Austrian behemoth in order to get back what's rightfully his.

“And it’s so funny because this all started my whole story. This whole road began the day that I lost the Intercontinental Championship. So it's funny that all roads lead back to that. This all started the day that Gunther beat me and he took my Intercontinental Championship. But now because of this, I finally get my rematch, the rematch that I was for, for some reason never given to in the first place. But it doesn’t matter because I told everybody that I will earn my shot, and that is exactly what I did. So Gunther, I hope you’re ready because I promise you the result of last time, see, it’s not gonna be the same this time. GUNTHER, I’m different now. This time you will not be the one walking away with the Intercontinental Title. No, it’ll be me, the one in the ring. It will be me that won the victory, it will be me, the one holding the Intercontinental Championship over my head. So I hope you’re ready, but for now, I’m gonna cherish this. I’m gonna embellish this moment, and I’m gonna hold onto this because I don’t wanna look too far ahead. I’m always one to enjoy what’s going on right now, to stop and smell the roses. And these roses are golden.”

Will GUNTHER take things to 3-0 over his much smaller but more dynamically athletic foe? Or will Ricochet overcome his much larger opponent to become a two-time Intercontinental Champion? If Stowman choo-choos his way into the equation, the odds go up considerably.