If you ask his imminent challenger, however, he will insist that Big E is facing the “real” Apollo Crews for the very first time.
After failing to capture the workhorse title from Big E in several attempts, a frustrated Apollo began to feel disrespected when the champion wanted him to step aside to make way for other would-be challengers. As a result, he lost control and unleashing a vicious steel step assault on the titleholder before eventually dropping the unforgiving implement out of the ring and on top of The Powerhouse of Positivity. The attack was so vicious that Big E was taken out on a stretcher.
Apollo Crews soon emerged wearing new colors of wealth, dominance and power of his ancestors and explained that he was now bringing the “real” Apollo Crews. Channeling his powerful Nigerian routes, he said that he showed Big E the steel after he defied him and that he would show anyone else the same.
The following week, flanked by his imposing Royal Guard that had been protectors of his family’s wealth for generations, Crews demanded that The Powerhouse of Positivity give him a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship and promised the titleholder would fall at his feet.
On the March 12 edition of SmackDown, Big E returned from his injury and called out his attacker for an Intercontinental Title Match right there and then. When Crews didn’t emerge, Big E went on to defend the title in an Open Challenge against Sami Zayn.
Moments after the victory, however, his brash adversary unleashed another vicious attack from behind. Then in a WWE Network Exclusive, Crews went on to inform the WWE Universe that he would accept the challenge for an Intercontinental Title Match at WWE Fastlane.
Find out who emerges with the Intercontinental Title as The Road to WrestleMania reaches WWE Fastlane, streaming live Sunday, March 21, beginning at 7 ET/4 PT on Peacock and WWE Network.