We are under one week away from the WWE Championship match that is certainly polarizing to say the least. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre who has missed the last two weeks with Covid-19, will defend his championship against Goldberg. Goldberg made his return at Legends Night and challenged Drew as the show went off the air which saw Goldberg shove Drew to the ground.
Now WWE is faced with choices and the question is which choice do they go with? Do they have Drew continue to build himself like a star, adding another notable name to his historic 365 day run? Another option is having Goldberg take the title, in hopes to bring in casual fans for Raw on the Road To WrestleMania, and then having him lose a big WrestleMania match in Tampa, Fl. It appears that Goldberg is a least favorable option of these two however could help provide a casual viewership spark that could help on the Road To WrestleMania.
Let's take a look at what many who are reading this would consider their least favorite option and that's Goldberg defeating Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship. The first thing we need to do in booking this is to protect Drew in his loss, to continue to setup a big match for him at WrestleMania. For that to happen we need a personal feud to get him so enraged that it becomes more of a focus than the title itself. That is easy to do in this case as we just look back to Fastlane 2017 with Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.
You can have Sheamus intentionally cost Drew much like Jericho did Owens but for the reasons being out of jealousy. On the night you could have two ways to get this feud sped up quickly, either have Sheamus lose earlier in the night and Drew make an offhanded comment to him before his match. This enrages Sheamus who is already pissed off he lost and he fully turns heel and costs Drew the championship. The other way to do this is by having Sheamus turn heel without his intentions fully known yet and then Drew attacking Sheamus during his entrance into the Royal Rumble match, not allowing Sheamus the chance to win the Rumble.
Either way it's very clear you can easily build a personal feud with Drew McIntyre that gives him reason and purpose on the Road To WrestleMania. The next PPV is Elimination Chamber, so you can hold off a singles match at that event as well by having them both in the Chamber match. A Raw Chamber match would also bridge the need for having the champion on the show every week or month. The winner of the match to go on to face Goldberg, let's go ahead and jump back to Goldberg now.
Goldberg makes quick work of Drew after the Sheamus heel turn and hoists the title once again on the Road To WrestleMania. He wouldn't have to work the Elimination Chamber event as that show is all about setting up the number one contender with multiple main eventers. You could have Miz cash-in his briefcase for a match with Goldberg at Fastlane proclaiming he wants to win the title and go to WrestleMania the WWE Champion once again. You could even have something as simple as the WWE Champion and Chamber winner have a contact signing at Fastlane.
Who would enter the Elimination Chamber event if Goldberg were champion? Bobby Lashley, Keith Lee, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Mustafa Ali, and Randy Orton. Ali regains a spot once taken from him and gets a featured match under his belt. Bobby Lashley who is no longer the US Champion is in a big spot to finally main event WrestleMania for the WWE Title. Drew and Sheamus are their simply to continue their feud but are both main event talents. Then you have Randy Orton and Keith Lee.
Randy Orton having to vanquish The Fiend and overcome hell itself on the way to win the WWE Championship getting him to a 15th title reign, one away from Ric Flair's record would be a great story. Especially as the legend killer would have to refocus his sights on an unstoppable legend in Goldberg. However it's quite possible we get the final meeting between Randy Orton and The Fiend at WrestleMania so that's no lock but is certainly a match Vince McMahon would book to headline such a big show.
Then there is a guy that the world would get behind to take down Goldberg in Tampa in front of thousands of fans. Keith Lee could go from loss to Drew McIntyre in the biggest match of his career, to final 4 of the Royal Rumble, to winner of Elimination Chamber and then defeating Goldberg for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. This would help push the guy to the moon and even setup a ready made feud with Drew McIntyre after who would want his title back and having beat Lee head to head would have reason.
We have to remember that WrestleMania will likely be the first WWE event with fans back in attendance and it'll likely be in the tens of thousands of fans. There is a chance that Vince will want to book the biggest potential matches he can. So let's say they go the route of having the Royal Rumble winner challenge for the Championship. You could still run a three match feud with Sheamus and Drew that concludes at WrestleMania, you could still have Orton or Lee as potential winners.
So with a major Royal Rumble winner I'd say a name like John Cena would be one to watch. Cena is tied with Flair with sixteen world title reigns and having to beat Goldberg for the record would be a major match in itself. The marquee would be huge and you could have them sign a contract as a major attraction on the Road To WrestleMania. So whether it's Orton, Lee or Cena Goldberg winning does make tons of sense due to WrestleMania being an even bigger deal this year.
Ok everyone we've walked through the option of Drew McIntyre losing the title and Goldberg walking into WrestleMania as the WWE Champion. It's ok it really is because as much as Goldberg would make sense due to it being a big match, at a big WrestleMania and Vince is going to want a big marquee it isn't likely. The champion is currently the betting favorite to retain the championship and the WWE has spent the past year, literally, almost an entire 365 days building up Drew McIntyre as a credible, potential star champion.
It feels like that despite everything else in 2020 the WWE got two things absolutely right, Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre. For the first time in a very long time the WWE went all in on building up a new potential babyface star and the fans never turned away from him. He won the Royal Rumble, defeated Brock Lesnar, defeated the likes of Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton and AJ Styles. He has been the absolute man, the up and coming star on Monday Night Raw and I don't see WWE cashing all that in for Goldberg.
Instead I see WWE once again trying to double down on finally making Drew McIntyre a legit star that casual fans want to tune in and see. This match with Goldberg would possibly help with that, fans tune in and see Goldberg take on Drew thinking Goldberg will win and become champion only for Drew to shock them. I know that's silly for some to think but my casual fan brother and law watched the last Raw episode with me and fully believes Goldberg will defeat Drew McIntyre at Royal Rumble.
The question would then become what is the end game for Drew McIntyre rolling into WrestleMania? Again with this being such a massive WrestleMania event, the first show with fans since early 2020 and the first with fans at WrestleMania since 2019, Vince will want it to be huge. The thing that worries me the most about Drew McIntyre retaining the championship is his budding feud with Sheamus.
I'm not sure if Vince would run Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus at THIS WrestleMania unless maybe he has an even bigger match that could headline night 1 of WrestleMania. If WWE is able to bring back a Ronda Rousey or Becky Lynch for a match or a combination of the two of them then Drew vs. Sheamus could be a great co-main event. If they aren't able to bring one of those two in or another major name to help then I don't see this match happening at WrestleMania with Drew as champion.
This could mean however that this gives Drew a two month feud in between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. Let's go back to a name that we stated above with John Cena. If Cena wins the Royal Rumble, it's not likely he will show up every week or month for matches on the way to WrestleMania. So you would need a feud to help move Drew along and continue to build him for his biggest challenge yet. So the Sheamus and Drew potential feud does help with bridging to a potential match with John Cena at WrestleMania.
If you look at the rest of the WWE Raw roster you have very few other names left that Drew McIntyre hasn't already defeated. Another potential name you could return is HHH and have him feud with Drew, however AJ Styles is really wanting that match with him. Then there is a guy that I actually fantasy booked in my prior article to win the Royal Rumble in Edge.
While Edge vs. Drew McIntyre wouldn't be the traditional heel vs. face matchup that WWE would book it does follow another line of thinking WWE likes to use. That is, WWE likes to make stars with stars and you could run a respect angle with the two. Think about the parallels of the two, it took Edge so long to earn the respect backstage to become the guy, he was often overlooked and not being given the spotlight he feels he was ready for, sound familiar? You could book Edge and McIntyre in a tag match together for Fastlane and you could book Edge against someone like The Miz and Drew defending his title in the Elimination Chamber as well to continue to build this match up.
Thus leading us to a major marquee match that as we've established Vince is going to want and giving Drew yet another major win on a grand stage. You could also turn Edge into the ultimate opportunist again and have him become heel. Regardless we have a major match on deck for McIntyre giving him wins against Goldberg, The Elimination Chamber field, a tag match with Edge and then a victory over Edge at WrestleMania to begin his 2021.
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Which of the above options would you prefer? What WWE Championship Match would make you most excited for WrestleMania? Let me know your thoughts @view_raw.