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Why the Time is Right for WWE to Finally Push Drew McIntyre – By Jake Thomas

It’s not easy finding wrestlers who have been earmarked for success on WWE TV like Drew McIntyre. Despite having everything that would make a top star in WWE such as height, a unique look, wrestling ability and decent promo skills, McIntyre can’t get a look in when it comes to the World Title scene on RAW or Smackdown (WWE or Universal Title would be considered a World Title). As of the writing of this article, McIntyre hasn’t been spotted on WWE TV since losing to Ricochet on RAW in the first round of the King of the Ring and is reportedly suffering from some sort of injury/illness. Frustratingly for McIntyre fans like myself, despite being earmarked for a big push upon his return to the main roster, it seems WWE refuses to pull the trigger and go all in on McIntyre. The question is, why?

McIntyre has had more ups and downs in WWE than a guy of his talent should. Personally signed by Vince McMahon and dubbed “The Chosen One” on Smackdown in 2009, McMahon promised that Drew McIntyre would be a future World Champion. What happened in the next few years would be the complete opposite, with McIntyre instead going on to languish in the lower-card after an IC and Tag Team Title run in 2010, before forming the infamous trio known as “3MB” with Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater in 2012. In a huge shock to most fans, McIntyre would then be released in 2014 despite featuring prominently with 3MB at the time. Everyone understood the talent of McIntyre, so him being released seemed like an example of wasted potential. McIntyre, not complacent with ending his WWE career like that, would return in 2017 after dominating the indies and win the NXT Title. He would then be called up to RAW in 2018, and despite multiple claims from wrestling insiders that McIntyre is set for a huge push and a World Title run, it hasn’t happened yet.

This article isn’t to say McIntyre has been buried or hasn’t been pushed upon his return, quite the opposite. Although he hasn’t been booked as strongly as he was in 2018, McIntyre has been made to consistently look strong throughout his current run. He rarely loses singles matches and if so, not clean, made to look like an upset or to a big star like Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins. Not to mention he holds multiple victories over Dean Ambrose in the lead up to Wrestlemania 35, as well as a pinfall victory over Rollins three weeks before he would beat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. It seems WWE appreciates the talent that McIntyre is, pushing him towards that main event slot, but get cold feet about going all the way.

There have been many times where it has looked like McIntyre was about to reach true top star status before failing to get over the last hurdle. Throughout 2018, it was rumoured multiple times that McIntyre would move into the Universal Title picture, but nothing seemed to eventuate. In what seemed like the beginning of a monster push, McIntyre was given an almost squash match win over Kurt Angle, beating him with the ankle lock, before becoming a sole survivor at Survivor Series and destroying Ziggler to end their partnership. Instead of pushing him to the moon after this, Ziggler would beat McIntyre, giving him his first loss on the main roster before Finn Balor would beat McIntyre at TLC.

A wrestler shouldn’t win every single match they wrestle in, but instead of launching into a full program with Ziggler that should’ve resulted in a decisive one and done win for McIntyre, WWE overcomplicated something simple. While they got there in the end with McIntyre beating Ziggler in a Steel Cage match on RAW, it cooled off McIntyre whilst sacrificing him for Balor’s push towards Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Ideally, Balor wouldn’t have even been involved with McIntyre, instead allowing two superstars that both needed wins to stay away from each other. Sometimes two superstars both desperately need to win feuds to keep up momentum and this was an example of that.

I don’t think that McIntyre should’ve beaten Reigns at Wrestlemania. A sizeable amount of people were hoping for this result, believing it could’ve launched McIntyre into becoming a top guy. They’re probably right in saying it would’ve helped him greatly, but I think it was impossible to ignore the story of a returning Roman Reigns getting his first singles win after beating cancer. Plus, McIntyre got the rub of working with a superstar like Reigns at Wrestlemania. When you think of who Reigns has faced at Mania since The Shield disbanded (Triple H, Lesnar, Rollins, Undertaker, Cena), the fact that McIntyre was granted that match shows how highly he is rated by the higher ups in the WWE.

However, I will argue that his booking post Mania deserves a closer look. He definitely should’ve picked up a win against Reigns in their next big match, which he didn’t, instead losing at Stomping Grounds whilst Shane McMahon, on the other hand, was given a victory over Reigns at Super ShowDown. I’m not a Shane hater at all, but at the very least I think McIntyre probably should’ve beaten Reigns at Stomping Grounds. Furthermore, Reigns still would’ve gotten his win back over both Shane and McIntyre at Extreme Rules with The Undertaker. There is no problem with that. McIntyre still gets a win, but faces no shame in losing to two future Hall of Famers.

I like Jinder Mahal more than a lot of people and I’m truly happy he got to achieve his dream being WWE Champion in 2017. Not many get to hold even a championship in the WWE, let alone the WWE Title. But even a self-proclaimed Jinder Mahal fan can admit that him holding the WWE Championship before Drew McIntyre just isn’t right. If you had to ask any fan back in 2012 about which wrestler in 3MB is most likey to be a World Champion, it’s more than likely many of them would’ve chosen Drew McIntyre.

Where do they go from here do you ask? What’s next? Will WWE pull the trigger on McIntyre?

If I had to sum up the article in this short paragraph and give a clear answer, I’d say yes. While I thought he might win KOTR or MITB, there is still loads of time for McIntyre to impose himself as a top guy in WWE. With the WWE draft coming up this month, now is the perfect time to get Drew on the right path again. There are rumours McIntyre will go into a rivalry with Rollins upon his return, but I can’t see it being for the title (which should give you some insight into how I think Hell in a Cell is going to end). Although if I were the WWE, I wouldn’t wait too long to give McIntyre a World Championship run. The guy is simply too talented to miss the boat on. He deserves an opportunity to show he can be one of the best.

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If you made it this far, my next article will be another Power of Numbers, this time looking at two groups who succeed in the past decade. If you have any suggestions for any future groups/wrestlers I should analyse, give me a buzz below or email me at jake.thomas.tjr@gmail.com. Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments. Thanks for reading!