5 Wrestlers Who Could Replace Drew McIntyre At Royal Rumble 2021

Who's next? Maybe?

The Fiend vs Goldberg
Source: WWE

Goldberg returned to RAW on Legends Night to challenge WWE Champion Drew McIntyre to a match at the upcoming Royal Rumble event. Unfortunately, since then McIntyre has tested positive for COVID-19 – we wish him a speedy recovery – and so the Rumble plans are in jeopardy.

In the case that the champion cannot compete at the event, we’ve come up with some stand-ins that could potentially put on a good show with Goldberg in his place.

 

5. The Fiend

Goldberg vs The Fiend
Source: WWE

The last time we saw ‘The Fiend’ was at WWE’s December event TLC, where he was burned alive by Randy Orton (happy holidays, everyone). The last time we saw ‘The Fiend’ in the ring with Goldberg, a different type of murder occurred – Bill crushed the aura of ‘The Fiend’ by beating Wyatt in three minutes.

Well, he hammered the final nail in the coffin anyway, arguably the actual death occurred at Hell in a Cell 2019 (no, I won’t get over it). Unbelievably, the Goldberg match happened less than a year ago, and so it is prime time for Bray to achieve a measure of revenge.

‘Fiend’ could beat Goldberg in three minutes, or they could go for a longer bout – though they may want to avoid going too long since Bray will need to save his energy since he’ll hopefully be winning the men’s Rumble later in the night. Either way, Bray could and should get his win back to look dominant heading into WrestleMania.

 

4. Randy Orton

Randy Orton
Source: WWE

The way in which Goldberg initially challenged Drew to a match was rather bizarre, he claimed the young champion had been disrespecting the legends on RAW’s Legends’ Night, when in fact it was Randy Orton that had been calling the old men old. He threatened Ric Flair, taunted Mark Henry and made Big Show cry. Surely Goldberg’s time would be better spent putting this disrespectful (relatively) young hooligan in his place?

Admittedly, I don’t think Randy Orton versus Bill Goldberg in the year 2021 would be a fantastic match, but at least it would make sense from a storyline perspective. Goldberg could humble Orton, or Randy could transition from legend insulter back to ‘Legend Killer’ for one night only.

 

3. Big E

Big E
Source: WWE

Since Big E was separated from his New Day teammates in the 2020 draft, he has been on a dominant singles run, even capturing the Intercontinental Championship in December. Big E has previously stated that his opponent for a dream match would be Goldberg, so this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for E.

There’s no better time to have this dream match than now, while Big E is riding high. He could beat Goldberg at the Rumble in a ‘two big men hitting big moves and being big’ type match that have been frequent in Goldberg’s return run. Then he could go on to defend his IC Title at WrestleMania – possibly against former champion Sami Zayn in more of a ‘workhorse’ match befitting the Intercontinental Championship’s legacy, to show that he can do it all.

 

2. Matt Riddle

Matt Riddle
Source: WWE

It’s been over a year since the ‘King of Bros’ was publicly critical of Goldberg and Undertaker’s match at Super Showdown, with Riddle calling out Bill especially on his poor wrestling. Despite this, WWE have done nothing with the two men’s fairly public heat. This is a good opportunity to fix that.

This would just be a fun exhibition match to show what Riddle can do; one that would hopefully intrigue the more casual fans as well as those who know the two men’s history.

Riddle could withstand Goldberg’s powerful offence and hit back with some strong style strikes of his own, all while trying to wrestle Bill to the ground and submit him, only for Goldberg to continually power out. Inevitably Goldberg would win to put the younger athlete in his place, but what’s more important is that Riddle would get to show off his skills at a major event.

 

1. Keith Lee

Keith Lee
Keith Lee

Big E Vs Goldberg would certainly be a fantastic display of, in E’s words, “big meaty men slapping meat”, but there is a bigger, meatier man that could take Drew’s place, and that is ‘Limitless’ Keith Lee. This would truly be an epic clash of big dudes destroying each other with powerful moves. Lee could surprise Goldberg with his agility, and Bill is also deceptively quick when he’s charging in for a Spear.

Speaking of, another reason to match up the two men – aside from them both being enormous – is their shared arsenal of moves; Lee frequently uses his own Fireman’s Carry version of Goldberg’s Jackhammer, and his Pounce could be the perfect counter to a missed Spear. The match would undoubtedly be a lot of fun and is certainly a situation where it’s appropriate to end with the newcomer’s hand being raised and respect being shown by the legend.

Ultimately, we hope Drew is able to make the match, but if he isn’t then any of these men would be a fine replacement. But who knows, maybe Goldberg will beat whoever he faces, then win the Rumble, then beat Roman for the Universal Championship at ‘Mania to help truly cement 2021 as 2020: part 2.

READ NEXT: Why Drew McIntyre Must Defeat Goldberg At Royal Rumble 2021

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