Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Drew McIntyre Wins The 2020 Royal Rumble

There had been some..rumblings...as it were that we may very well see Drew McIntyre win this year's Royal Rumble.

At first I wasn't so sure about that, but as we crept closer to the event it did appear that there was an effort to get the WWE Universe more invested in McIntrye.

Sure enough he pulled it off by eliminating Roman Reigns (who had just eliminated Edge which is important for reasons you'll see in a minute), and the crowd went wild for it.

The reaction was in part due to a couple of things. The first being that we know a Rumble crowd will pop for anyone that eliminates The Big Dog. This was never more evident than when the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX lost its collective mind over RANDAL KEITH ORTON eliminating Roman in 2017.

There is almost literally no other way a crowd in 2017 is happy with an Orton Rumble win than that way. That crowd was so concerned that they were going to see Roman Reigns stand tall that they would sign off on even Orton winning the Rumble.

It was a masterful move by WWE, and they went back to it in order to make sure that a Drew McIntyre Rumble win was embraced as well. They added a new trick though this time, and that was Brock Lesnar.

The use of Brock Lesnar in this year's Rumble was polarizing to say the least. Many thought it was a great change of pace. Many thought it was terrible. I was far closer to the latter than the former, but I was willing to let the entire match play out before making my call.

It turned out in the end that the "Brock Half Of The Rumble" was absolutely worth it. The reaction Drew McIntyre got for eliminating Lesnar was absolutely incredible. What else was impressive to me was that WWE had done a good job "priming the pump" on Drew in the weeks leading up to the Rumble. He began showing a different aspect of his personality, and seemed to draw the crowd in over the last few weeks. For me the most important aspect was he seemed to be looser and more authentic. The constipated in-ring banter disappeared, and he felt more at ease in there.

That aspect was really important because I think had Drew not had some momentum heading into the Rumble this thing doesn't work so well.

Once Brock was eliminated they were more than halfway there with Drew so how they finished was going to be critical.

They handled that masterfully as well. The "threat" of a Roman Reigns Rumble win was lingering in the air which ensured a positive reaction for almost anyone's win.  They also had enough sense to let Roman take the heat for eliminating Edge.

When Edge and Roman were fighting on the apron I really thought Drew would eliminate both, but that runs the risk of irritating the crowd so they had Roman eliminate Edge first. It was subtle, but it was the right move.

In the end Drew got the reaction they desired in large part because they orchestrated a perfect scenario to make it happen. For a company that often gets it wrong with this kind of stuff they absolutely NAILED IT with Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, and most importantly Drew McIntyre at this year's Royal Rumble.