Matches with Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton

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It has been a year to forget… but not for Drew McIntyre.

The coronavirus pandemic has dominated large parts of 2020 with everyone’s daily lives changing in some way.

McIntyre is a two-time WWE champion

WWE

McIntyre is a two-time WWE champion

Yet WWE has functioned throughout the pandemic behind closed doors since March and McIntyre’s journey to the top started on January 27 when he won the 30-man Royal Rumble match.

Even if he had not been the last man standing, he would have been remembered for eliminating then WWE champion Brock Lesnar with an emphatic Claymore kick.

That would plant the seeds for a two-month feud with The Beast, which culminated in McIntyre defeating him for the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 36.

McIntyre was supposed to lift his first world title in front of 65,000 fans at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, but due to the pandemic, he stood tall in WWE’s Performance Centre with millions watching from home.

Not only did McIntyre live up to Vince McMahon’s declaration – when the WWE chairman publicly tipped him to be a future world champion in 2009 – he also became the first ever British wrestler to hold the gold.

McIntyre beat Lesnar in just five minutes at WrestleMania 36

WWE

McIntyre beat Lesnar in just five minutes at WrestleMania 36

The Scottish Psychopath could have been forgiven if his first world title reign failed to live up to expectations given there was no live crowd to feed off.

However, that was not an issue for McIntyre, who has had several stellar matches this year.

From Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank to Roman Reigns at Survivor Series, McIntyre has been scarily good, while pulling off superb promos.

Drew McIntyre’s best matches of 2020

  • Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins, Money in the Bank
  • Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns, Survivor Series
  • Drew McIntyre vs AJ Styles vs The Miz, TLC
  • Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton, Hell in a Cell
  • Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton, Raw
  • Drew McIntyre vs Brock Lesnar, WrestleMania 36

You can have the world’s best wrestlers, but if they can’t tell a story, they’re all but doomed.

One segment that may not get the recognition it deserves is when McIntyre fought longtime friend Heath Slater on Raw.

Slater had been released by WWE in April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and made a surprise one-off return to Raw in June.

He lost to McIntyre in just 25 seconds and was then beaten up by Dolph Ziggler. McIntyre came to his friend’s aid, before the pair embraced each other with a hug in the ring.

McIntyre has that invaluable skill of making fans invest in whatever he does, even when it involves lesser talents like Slater.

His summer feud with Randy Orton may have gone on for a match too long, but it once again highlighted how big a star he has become.

McIntyre surprisingly lost his title to Orton in a brutal Hell in a Cell match at the namesake pay-per-view in October, but won it back just 22 days later on Raw.

WWE’s creative team has been criticised when a champion loses his title and seems content with just moving on… Kofi Kingston and The Fiend are prime examples (or victims) of that sort of booking.

But not McIntyre, who showed another side to his character with his obsession of going after Orton.

It remains to be seen why WWE took the title off McIntyre… did they realise they had made a mistake and put it back on him in time for Survivor Series? Maybe.

McIntyre and Reigns went to war at Survivor Series

WWE

McIntyre and Reigns went to war at Survivor Series

It was a decision that paid off with a babyface McIntyre and heel Reigns tearing the house down with a Match of the Year contender.

McIntyre lost, but still came out looking strong, and has even teased a rematch with Reigns at WrestleMania.

WWE has struggled to build top babyfaces as world champions since the John Cena days, just ask Reigns, who is now thriving as a bad guy.

But it is fair to say they have finally found one in McIntyre, who looks set to stay at the top of the card for years to come.





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