On January 31st, ‘The Scottish Psychopath’ will return from quarantine to defend his WWE championship against Bill Goldberg. Despite the almighty groan from the WWE Universe following Goldberg’s challenge on RAW’s Legends Night, this is quite possibly the biggest match of McIntyre’s career to date. Yes, even bigger than his WrestleMania main event against Brock Lesnar.
In spite of the pandemic, WWE did all they could to build Drew McIntyre as ‘the guy’ in 2020. Not only did he outlast 29 other superstars in the Royal Rumble, but he slayed a who’s who of the main roster to prove to the few remaining doubters that he belonged. Although, it still doesn’t feel like Drew has lived up to the prophecy set in place when he was anointed as ‘The Chosen One’.
Perhaps it’s the lack of a live audience that has hindered Drew McIntyre from fully achieving the same status as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt, or maybe I’m just not seeing what everyone else is, but to me, there’s a crowning moment still waiting to take place. The scheduled match against Goldberg could very well be the opportunity Drew McIntyre needs to ascend to megastardom.
Aside from the minority of fans that believe that Attitude Era stars should still be going over today’s roster, the general consensus is that Drew has to Claymore Goldberg out of title contention, for good. In past championship matches, Goldberg has undermined rising stars like Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt, doing the same to Drew McIntyre would undo a lot of hard work put into making him one of the shining stars of the brand. It’d be tough for WWE to claw back the momentum Drew has going for him if they used him for another of Goldberg’s cheap two/three month title reigns.
Seeing as a large portion of the fanbase are so resentful of Goldberg, and are half expecting WWE to do the dirty on Drew, then a victory over the former WCW flag-bearer would not only be massive for the career of McIntyre but also the industry as a whole. It would symbolise that WWE are finally ready to move on from a past generation and allow Drew to evolve into an icon of his own era. Some might call this a passing of the torch, something that WWE fans have been seeking since John Cena bested The Rock at WrestleMania 29.
Even though the likes of Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns are very much considered at the top of the WWE food chain, there hasn’t necessarily been a defining moment where a superstar of the past ‘hands over’ fame and status to any of today’s main eventers. At least not on a big stage like the Royal Rumble. For a household name like Goldberg, who has controversially been an equally big part of this era as he was his own, to take a clean loss at the hands of Drew McIntyre, would signify the transition that fans have been hoping for.
Whichever way you look at the 2021 Royal Rumble WWE title match, there is one superstar that has to win and one that absolutely has to lose. There’s a lot riding on this encounter; a career and a generation. Don’t mess this up, WWE.
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