On Night Two of WrestleMania 37, Apollo Crews challenged Big E for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. This was a unique match-up, to say the least. Granted, Crews and Big E have fought each other multiple times in the past. In each encounter, Crews failed to win gold. However, this WrestleMania showdown was held under a unique stipulation: a Nigerian Drum Fight. To fit the match’s namesake, various instruments and weapons were placed around the ring. To many fans, this was the challenger’s final opportunity to become a singles champion once more.
Apollo Crews and Big E began by striking each other with kendo sticks, an exchange the champion got the better of. However, it didn’t take long for instruments, including a gong, to become involved. Crews soon assumed control, planting Big E with a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron, before attempting to incapacitate him with steel ring steps like he did several weeks prior. Big E fought back, but Crews regained control with a vicious kendo stick assault. Crews attempted a frog splash through the table, only to go crashing through it. It seemed like all was lost for the challenger.
— WWE (@WWE) April 12, 2021
That was, until Crews received some unexpected help. After Big E hit the Big Ending, he was suddenly attacked by a giant assailant in green garb; this individual was formerly known on RAW Underground as Dabba-Kato. This allowed Crews to cover Big E for a monumental WrestleMania victory. Following a brutal match, it was Apollo Crews that stood tall as the new Intercontinental Champion, though not without assistance.
Going into this showdown between Apollo Crews and Big E, fans and wrestling media speculated as to the rules of a Nigerian Drum Fight. However, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter provided its own insight. According to the WOL, the bout would be contested as a No Disqualification Match. What would make it unique is that the strikes would be so loud that they would sound, “like a drum.” In addition, Crews himself explained that there would be “no rules, no limitations,” adding to the idea that this would be akin to a No DQ Match. These rules would work in the challenger’s favor, as tonight’s match proved.
Now that Apollo Crews is the new WWE Intercontinental Champion, it’s safe to say that the Superstar descended from “Nigerian royalty” will have a colossal target on his back. This goes far beyond Big E, too, though it’s fair to assume that the former titleholder will be among the first in line. One may consider Shinsuke Nakamura as a potential challenger, not only due to his own run-ins with Crews but the fact that he was one of the final two men in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on the WrestleMania edition of SmackDown; this match would go on to be won by Jey Uso, who may throw down his own challenge in the future. These are just a few possibilities that the new champion is likely to contend with. However, with a new heavy by his side, Apollo Crews may have the edge.
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