When the curtains fell on WWE's first pay-per-view of 2020, it was Drew McIntyre who stood tall in the ring, pointing his finger at the iconic WrestleMania logo. The Scottish wrestler eliminated bookies favourite Roman Reigns to win the Men's Royal Rumble match and thereby earned the right to headline WrestleMania 2020. And this isn't the end yet. Rather, we reckon this is the beginning of a glorious 2020 for Drew McIntyre.
WWE Royal Rumble 2018: I cheered for Shinsuke Nakamura.— Sayan Mazumder (@SayanMa74334498) January 27, 2020
WWE Royal Rumble 2019: I literally started screaming when Becky Lynch replaced Lana.
WWE Royal Rumble 2020: When Drew McIntyre claymore kicked Brock Lesnar, I immediately knew it's his time this year.#RoyalRumble pic.twitter.com/7GewaTf48q
Drew McIntyre had to endure a lot of struggle to get to this point in his career. This is probably his biggest moment in WWE, YET!
Once touted as one of Vince McMahon's favourite, McIntyre did not have an easy sailing in the wrestling business. Back in 2007, when Drew McIntyre was just making his WWE debut, the creatives saw potential in the then 22-year-old. A premature push followed where he quickly captured his first title in the company, beating John Morrison for the Intercontinental Championship. And just like any other premature push, McIntyre soon came crashing down on the floor after he failed to get going with the WWE Universe. What followed was a string of failed storylines and his stocks gradually hit rock-bottom.
McIntyre then aligned himself with Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal to form the '3-Man Band' (widely known as 3MB). Well, they failed to connect with the audience too and soon turned jobbers, until his eventual release.
As Drew McIntyre himself stated, "I would say I was just slightly more obsessed than the average kid." The Scottish wrestler was far from done. His release from WWE came as a blessing in disguise, allowing McIntyre to shine on the independent scene. Gone were the days of a slim and slender Drew. What we got was a revamped and a more muscular version of Drew McIntyre. Or should we say Drew Galloway (his name on the independent circuit).
He made his indie wrestling return with Insane Championship Wrestling in his hometown (Scotland) in 2014. Galloway was soon all over the independent scene, appearing in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, Preston City Wrestling, Ring of Honor and EVOLVE among other promotions. He joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Galloway won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in 2016 and had numerous successful feuds in the company.
Despite all the success, Drew Galloway was not satisfied. How could he be? WWE was still left to be conquered.
And with that in mind, Drew parted ways with TNA in 2017. Within two months, he found himself back with WWE. But instead of being thrust back into RAW or SmackDown, Drew McIntyre (yes, his WWE name) returned to NXT. He got to work on his character with a smaller audience and develop his skills. Naturally, McIntyre thrived in NXT, capturing the NXT Championship in August 2017. From his successful NXT run, it became evident that WWE had big plans for McIntyre. However, judging from past mistakes, they took things slow.
He returned to RAW in 2018 as a heel, aligning himself with Dolph Ziggler. A Tag Team Championship run with Ziggler followed, but once again it started to feel like WWE just didn't know how to use Drew McIntyre. Despite all the skills and the charisma possessed by the Scottish wrestler, it almost felt like McIntyre got lost in the sea of top superstars in WWE (remember Braun Strowman).
Fast forward to 2020, Drew McIntyre somehow became a crowd favourite once again. He embarked on a winning streak throughout the weeks leading up to Royal Rumble 2020. He notably beat Randy Orton and AJ Styles in a triple-threat match to establish himself as a firm favourite for the Royal Rumble match. Not only did he win the match, but he did so in quite a dominating fashion. He eliminated Brock Lesnar, who by the way, was tossing out superstars for fun until that point.
The WWE Universe knew that by letting him eliminate Brock Lesnar, WWE is ready to push him for real this time. But they couldn't get into drive mode until he actually won the match. And that's exactly what he did. McIntyre delivered a devastating Claymore Kick and out went Reigns. Finally, McIntyre was a Royal Rumble winner. He battled the odds for this very moment and boy, did the WWE Universe cherish it!
A pub in Glasgow Scotland reacting to Drew McIntyre’s Rumble win— Fightful Wrestling (@FightfulWrestle) January 27, 2020
We know that winning the Royal Rumble doesn't guarantee you a WWE Championship or a successful year thereafter. Well, there are several things that could wrong (remember Shinsuke Nakamura). But it just feels like Drew's time has come to win the top prize, to main event WrestleMania and maybe even go on to become the face of the company. The sky's the limit!