By Goose Mahler, Associate Editor
Well, it only took the WWE 1 year, 3 months to listen to me.
Not that they pay me to bash them; far from it. I wrote a column back on 1.11.2019 practically begging Vince McMahon and his creative forces to push one Drew McIntyre.
Fast forward to EmptySeatMania 1, I mean WrestleMania 36, to big for one night. Night 2 Main event with the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs the Royal Rumble winner Drew McIntyre. The F5 vs the Claymore. Suplex City vs Claymore County. Whatever nickname you want to throw at this The Chosen One was finally getting his first Heavyweight Championship match.
Drew did not disappoint at all. After being on the receiving end of a couple suplexes and four F5’s, 4 Claymore kicks by McIntyre earned him the WWE Heavyweight Championship. The glance into the camera as McIntyre held the belt was worthy of a standing ovation.
Before the victory could be celebrated, 20 minutes after the match, Big Show came out of nowhere and challenged McIntyre. The Scot didn’t let down and defeated the Big Show during his 6.342nd heel turn.
I was on Twitter watching Raw and people were livid that the WWE threw a challenge at Drew right after his big win. I was one of those people because my first thought was, what the hell did Big Show do to earn a title shot? My second thought was this is brilliant for Drew!
Bear with me here because I know a lot of fans my not understand why Big Show challenging a worn-out McIntyre who took suplexes and F5’s was a good idea.
Take a guy running on pure adrenaline and have him face one of the biggest athletes in the world on a whim. McIntyre doesn’t just beat the Big Show, he body slams and claymore kicks the Big Show right back to NetFlix. This solidifies that the WWE picked the right guy to hopefully guide Raw into the future.
It might be shortsighted, but how many wrestlers can say they beat both Brock Lesnar and The Big Show on the same night, let alone their career? Not many, but Drew did. This makes him start his championship reign off looking like a world beater. To me, this not only was brilliant, it was earned.
McIntyre since returning to the WWE has been near the top of the card. Maybe not championship matches, but he’s fought The Shield, Reigns, Rollins, Ambrose, among others. He didn’t bitch about not getting title shots, he came out every Monday Night and PPV and performed at a top level. You have to remember this is a guy at one point the WWE released and he worked his tail off to get back in the game.
The determination Drew brought upon his return is second to none. He didn’t half ass any win or any loss. He didn’t hang his head being a second to Ziggler, Strowman or Shane McMahon. He came out did his job. In the end the result is he got rewarded with the fans cheering for him and winning the big one on the biggest stage of the year.
Yes, I wish Drew got the chance to do this in front of a hundred thousand fans. But instead, McIntyre embraced the situation we are in and gives us hope. He’s becoming the new People’s Champion. He fights for the fans under any circumstance. You might not like him, he might not be your favorite wrestler, but he is the perfect chose for this role right now.
Listen to his post Mania interviews and ask yourself, when was the last time we had a WWE champ that is this humble? When was the last time other wrestlers whether heel or face openly embraced the new champ like this? Can you remember the last WWE champ that wore his emotions on his sleeve? It’s hard to think of one if any.
This is not to undermine the fact that Braun Strowman got his first Universal Championship win. Albeit two years too late. But Braun lacks one thing that Drew has. A bigger connection with the fans. That’s not to say fans won’t or don’t embrace Braun. But I think that embrace would have been stronger should he have dethroned Lesnar in his initial attempt. It didn’t happen for Braun, but it did for Drew and that is where he has a step up on Strowman.
If the WWE books Drew the right way, we might get the best of Lashley as a heel challenger. We should see Andrade ascend to challenge McIntyre and get out of the rut of facing the same trio of wrestlers week in and week out. We might even get a Lesnar rematch down the line, although, I think I speak for many fans that we are all over the part time wrestlers as champ’s phase of our wrestling watching.
What Drew brings to the table as a new face everyday champ is fresh blood in a stale picture brought on by Vince and his obsession with having a part time champion. The way Drew has been going we are getting an all-out champ that will defend until the end against all comers and that opens the door for new challengers and feud’s we haven’t seen yet.
I’m happy that the WWE chose to put the belt on Drew. I personally think it’s a year overdue. However, I think with the way Drew has conducted himself since the Rumble and post Mania, we have a good reason to hope for the best for wrestling’s future. I believe the future is in the right hands with McIntyre.
Any way you look at it, the WWE did something right, and you all know it pains me to say that out loud. I’ve been a McIntyre mark since his TNA run. I enjoyed his return to NXT. I say, sit back, grab a cold one, and let’s enjoy the ride to Claymore County that McIntyre is about to take us on.
Until next week, here’s a big standing ovation for all our health care workers and those on the frontline during these tough times. Thank you from the wrestling community!