The Intercontinental Championship ladder match went to the most unlikely candidate at WrestleMania. Zack Ryder, after years of toiling in the undercard or worse, climbed the ladder to win the belt in one of the bigger upset victories in recent memory.
This match was set up by the fact that everybody hates Kevin Owens. The reigning Intercontinental champion refused to give a fair fight to the likes of Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Miz, and as a result Stephanie McMahon just threw him in a ladder match with everyone, including a few other names to fill out the match.
Owens and Zayn have years of bad blood between them, and sure enough, they immediately started trading blows in the ring to start this match. Miz was the first one to set up a ladder, and he got knocked onto the mat with the ladder on his chest. Shortly afterwards, Owens threw Zayn into a leaned-over ladder with a mean backbody drop.
Ryder, Ziggler and Stardust tried climbing towards the belt, but neither man got far before getting pushed off the ring. Zayn hit a crazy dive to the outside on the other three guys and immediately nailed Owens with his tornado DDT through the ropes. He tried scaling the ladder next before Sin Cara pulled him off.
Ziggler started running wild with a handful of superkicks, clearing the ring and setting himself up to climb the ladder. Owens pushed him off and both men took each other out with simultaneous superkicks.
Stardust made his mark on the match with his own specialized ladder, decorated in polka dots in honor of the late Dusty Rhodes.
Owens hit a huge turnbuckle splash on Zayn, who happened to be laying on a ladder. It did not look pleasant for either man. Owens recovered and took out Miz with the Pop-up Powerbomb. Ryder finished the job on Miz with an elbow drop from the top of a ladder.
Eventually Ziggler crawled his way up towards the belt, but Owens grabbed him and hit a powerbomb in midair. Sin Cara was next at the top, only for Owens to shove him off. Sin Cara went flying through the air and right onto Stardust on the outside, folding a ladder in half.
The match moved to Owens and Zayn both at the top, trading forearms and punches. Owens got Zayn down with a poke to the eyes, but Zayn refused to give up and planted Owens with an exploder suplex onto a sitting ladder. With the ring cleared, Zayn made his way to the top, only for Miz to show up and foil him.
Miz seemingly had the belt won, but waited too long and let Ryder push him off. Ryder pulled down the belt to become the improbable new Intercontinental champion.
* * *
Young Fans: Kids tell us about their favorite wrestlers and finishing moves
Be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel for highlight videos, features, analysis and more