Drew McIntyre Comments on Winning the WWE Royal Rumble, Eliminating Brock Lesnar, Wrestlemania, More

Drew McIntyre finally lived up to the moniker that he got all the way back in 2009 as the “chosen one” in WWE, when he won the Men’s Royal Rumble match this past Sunday. McIntyre sat down with Bleacher Report to discuss how much winning the Royal Rumble meant to him.

“It’s the biggest deal. I’ve been struggling to find the words, but the only way I can do it is to say that this is simply a dream come true. This is my life’s work. I’ve always wanted to be a wrestler since I was four years old. I sent away to America for something called ‘The Secrets of Pro Wrestling’ when I was 11 years old and kept them in a briefcase because I had to keep the secrets from everybody as I trained. When I was 14, everyone told me, ‘Wrestling is an American thing.’ Well, I was the first-ever Scotsman signed at 21, and then, I went through some incredible ups, incredible downs, got released.”

“And finally the pieces came together. I’ve found what was missing, which was just being my freaking self and letting everybody in and showing them the real Drew Galloway, which is the real Drew McIntyre. And the pieces are coming together. The perfect time—Rumble season. I’ve won the freaking Rumble. We’re on the road to WrestleMania, and I’ve got Brock Lesnar chasing me.”

McIntyre did not only win the Rumble match this past Sunday, but also eliminated WWE Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar as well.

“I hope the camera caught my face. That probably said everything, because I have no idea how I reacted. But I was in that moment, and just the idea of walking up to the ring and climbing up on the apron and looking at Brock Lesnar, getting in that ring slowly and in my head I was like, ‘I can beat Brock Lesnar, I can take Brock Lesnar no matter what happens. If he shoots at me and comes and tries to take me down, I can beat this man.’ And when he took off those gloves, goosebumps on my arm went up. I was ready to go no matter what happened. And to kick him out of there, that reaction, you just have to watch the footage. That was exactly how I felt in the moment because it was very bloody real.”

McIntyre will now go onto Wrestlemania 36 in Tampa, Fl to face Lesnar for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. McIntyre was asked if he is ready for such a career making match.

“Damn right I am. This is when you’ve got to turn up to a 100. I generally work around a 100, so this is probably where I turn up to 110. I know I’ve got a beast breathing down my neck. There’s nobody in the world like Brock at any sport. And I know he’s coming for me. Some people get upset like, ‘Oh, Brock Lesnar, he doesn’t show up to work and blah blah blah blah.’ I mean, to be fair, he signed a contract where he doesn’t have to. We can’t hold that against him. What I hold against him is the fact he’s got our title. We need that title on TV. We need it in the live events. That’s a very important part of RAW, and I want it back.”

“And I think he’s seen me coming. I think Paul [Heyman, Brock’s advocate] has been keeping them away from me because he’s seen me coming. There’s nobody that really wants to get in the ring with him. But I match him for size, I match him for speed, and not only that, I match him for experience—and I’m not sitting at home all the time, chilling out. Once-in-a-lifetime athlete that he is, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, and I can match up in every other area. And as soon as he makes a mistake, which he does, just not very often, I will exploit it, and I’ll win that title if I get that opportunity.”

Matt’s Musings: The chant of “you deserve it” is one that is often heard inside a wrestling arena, but may never be truer than in Drew McIntyre’s case. Similar to Kofi Kingston the year prior, McIntyre is going to have the entire WWE Universe in his corner when he faces Lesnar at Wrestlemania 36.

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Report on WWE Plans for Charlotte Flair’s WrestleMania Match, Upcoming WWE NXT Appearance

Charlotte Flair won the women’s Royal Rumble match this past Sunday in Houston. Did she really “need” the win? Maybe not, but that’s what happened. On Raw last night in San Antonio, Flair did a promo talking about how she gets to challenge a Women’s Champion for “a championship” at WrestleMania.

There have been reports online about how Flair likely wasn’t going to face Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch again (Becky vs. Shayna Baszler is the rumored plan), nor would she challenge Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title. Bayley will likely face Lacey Evans again or perhaps Sasha Banks if one of them turns face. Maybe it will be a multi-woman match. Anyway, Flair isn’t expected to challenge for the Raw or Smackdown title.

The title that Flair is likely to challenge for at WrestleMania 36 on April 5th is the NXT Women’s Title held by Rhea Ripley. That’s according to PWInsider, who reports that Flair is scheduled to be in Orlando this Wednesday for WWE NXT at Full Sail University in Orlando. Flair is not currently advertised for NXT, but PWInsider is reporting she will be there. It was also mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio that Flair will face Ripley at WrestleMania, so that’s two sources reporting it.

This means some of the expected matches at WrestleMania looks like this:

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre – This is official already.

WWE Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Roman Reigns

Randy Orton vs. Edge

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler

NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair

As I said, only one match is official right now and they have over two months to get there, but those are five of the top matches expected to take place.

Analysis: I think Flair vs. Ripley should be an awesome match at WrestleMania. It does feel like a bit of a step down for Flair to be challenging for the NXT Women’s Title that she held five years ago, but it’s also a way to elevate the NXT brand by using one of last year’s WrestleMania main eventers to make people may more attention to NXT. We all know WWE is trying to elevate NXT by making it feel equal to Raw and Smackdown while also trying to beat AEW Dynamite on Wednesday nights, so perhaps the presence of Flair will help for the next couple of months.

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WWE News: Andrade Suspended 30 Days for Wellness Policy Violation

There’s some bad news for current WWE United States Champion Andrade tonight because he has been suspended 30 days by WWE for a Wellness Policy violation.

The suspension news comes from Pro Wrestling Sheet, who reports that Andrade was informed of the suspension this morning. It is unknown what substance he may have used in order to test positive per WWE’s Wellness Policy.

Andrade’s Wellness Policy violation has not been mentioned on WWE.com or WWE’s Corporate website as of this evening. Perhaps they will do it on Tuesday morning.

Earlier tonight on Raw, Andrade defended the US Title against Andrade in another title match even though Andrade beat Carrillo clean on the Royal Rumble Kickoff show on Sunday. This match ended in a disqualification when Andrade’s manager Zelina Vega jumped on Carrillo. After the match, Carrillo gave Andrade a Hammerlock DDT onto the exposed cement after Carrillo pulled up the mats at ringside. It’s the same thing that Andrade did to Carrillo two months ago on Raw. The payback from Carrillo will likely be used to write out Andrade from WWE storylines for the next 30 days by saying he suffered an injury.

More details on the suspension have been reported by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, who notes that there was a rewrite to Raw’s script because WWE was made aware of Andrade’s suspension earlier today. The original plans would have seen Carrillo in a new storyline, but instead they used Carrillo to write off Andrade by doing the injury angle. It was also mentioned by PWInsider that Andrade plans to go back to Mexico tomorrow.

The PWInsider story added that tonight on Raw was likely Andrade’s last appearance on Raw until at least February 18 and his next possible Raw appearance would be Monday, February 24th in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If the suspension begins on January 28 then that means 30 days would be February 26. Perhaps they will lift the suspension early in order to set up an Andrade match at the Super Showdown PPV on February 27. I’m not sure if they are allowed to do that or what the rules are.

Andrade’s 30 years old. His real name is Manuel (Manny) Oropeza and he is engaged to 10-time WWE Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair.

It is not known how WWE will utilize manager Zelina Vega while Andrade is out selling the injury while he is suspended. Vega could be off TV while Andrade is off as well, or she may be featured in the ring as a wrestler more. Vega is married to WWE superstar Aleister Black, who is also on the Raw brand.

TJR Thoughts: It’s an unfortunate situation. I don’t want to see anybody suspended, but it’s going to happen sometimes. I don’t know if Andrade is using some illegal substance or if he took something by mistake. Who knows? When you look at Andrade he’s obviously in great shape. The hope is he can learn from this and not let it happen again. Andrade has a very bright future in WWE and since they didn’t the US Title off of him, the company must still have expectations for him in the years ahead.

 

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WWE News: Edge’s Return to In-Ring Action, Possible WrestleMania Matches, Raw Announce Team

Here’s some backstage news from last night’s WWE Royal Rumble event.

* Edge is back as a wrestler in WWE after he had an impressive return in the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Edge, who was inducted in WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2012, entered at #21, he got a huge ovation from the crowd and he lasted until the final three men in the main event 30-man Rumble when Roman Reigns eliminated him.

There was a lot of speculation about Edge’s return from Mike Johnson of PWInsider back in October. It was denied by Edge repeatedly on social media, which is common for people in WWE that have a contract.

It was reported by PWInsider today that Edge signed a new contract with WWE after he had talked to All Elite Wrestling as well. Johnson reported that Edge was flown to Houston in a private plane and was hidden backstage last night until he made his entry in the Rumble match.

As for Edge’s future in a WWE ring, Wrestlevotes is reporting that it’s a big money deal for at least three years. Edge is 46 years old (he turns 47 in October), so he’ll be almost 50 years old when it expires. Edge is married to fellow WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix, who had an impressive showing in the women’s Royal Rumble last night. Edge and Beth have two young daughters together.

There are also reports that WWE is filming a documentary about Edge’s return to the ring after he was forced to retire in 2011.

Edge could be wrestling at the next major WWE pay-per-view show Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia on February 27 and he’s already rumored for a match at WrestleMania. More on that below.

Edge is currently advertised for Raw tonight as well. It’s not known if Edge will be assigned to Raw or Smackdown or if he’ll be able to be on either show.

The video of Edge’s return at the Royal Rumble, which you can see above, is at 2.5 million views already on Youtube and also millions more on other social media.

 

Original Royal Rumble Plans and WrestleMania Matches

* The original winners of the Royal Rumble matches last night were different than what we saw play out on television, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer.

Roman Reigns was going to win the men’s Royal Rumble match and Shayna Baszler was going to win the women’s Royal Rumble match. The women’s match was changed to Charlotte Flair over the last two weeks with Meltzer noting that betting money started coming in on Flair when people were likely informed she was going to win.

In McIntyre’s case, it was likely WWE wanting to put him over in a big way by having him eliminate Brock Lesnar in the Royal Rumble match and also win the match by eliminating Reigns at the end.

Here are three of the matches rumored to take place at WrestleMania on Sunday, April 5th in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium according to Meltzer.

– WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Royal Rumble winner Drew McIntyre
– WWE Universal Championship Match: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
– Edge vs. Randy Orton

There are still over two months until WrestleMania, so WWE has plenty of time to set up those matches and build the rest of the card.

 

New Raw Announce Team

There’s been another change to announce team on Raw with Tom Phillips replacing Vic Joseph as the lead play-by-play announcer on Raw. Phillips will team with Jerry Lawler. The new team worked together at the Royal Rumble last night.

It was last October when the announce team was going to be Joseph, Dio Maddin and Lawler, but then they dumped Maddin shortly after that while Lawler remained in the chair.

Phillips was the lead announcer on Smackdown for several years until WWE moved Michael Cole to Smackdown on Fox in October. Phillips worked on NXT UK’s brand for the last few months and now he’s on Raw.

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News: WWE to Return to Saudi Arabia on February 27th with Super Showdown

It was announced by WWE during last night’s Royal Rumble PPV that they will be returning to Saudi Arabia at the end of next month.

WWE Super Showdown 2020 is set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Thursday, February 27th at 12pmET and will air live on the WWE Network. That means it will take place one day before Smackdown on February 28th and there’s also the AEW Revolution pay-per-view on Saturday, February 29th as well.

Super Showdown took place last year in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on June 7th, and featured Goldberg vs. The Undertaker in the main event.

Following Super Showdown, Elimination Chamber will take place on Sunday, March 8th and then WrestleMania is on April 5th.

Matt’s Musings: I am not crazy that the road to Wrestlemania is going through Saudi Arabia this year. Hopefully building towards this event won’t take away from the WrestleMania build too much, and all the Superstars will be able to leave Saudi Arabia without any issues this time.

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