Drew McIntyre punched his ticket to WrestleMania 36 on Sunday night by winning the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble match. The Scottish native arrived as the No. 16 entrant and managed to stop Brock Lesnar’s rampage over the rest of the Rumble by eliminating him with a thunderous Claymore kick. He then went on to eliminate five more wrestlers including Roman Reigns, to secure the victory. The victory is a long time coming for McIntyre, given that he was crowned “The Chosen One” by Vince McMahon back in 2009 only to fizzle out and the midcard and be gone from the company by 2014.
But in the years that followed McIntyre reinvented himself on the independent scene, then built up a following among NXT fans with a dominant babyface run that included a reign as NXT Champion. It took a bit longer than some expected, but Sunday marked McIntyre’s entry into the world championship picture for WWE’s biggest annual event.
Shortly after the show ended McIntyre gave an interview with WWE’s YouTube channel. While he was still dealing with the emotions of the win, he dedicated his performance to his wife.
“This one’s for her…and I’m going to #WrestleMania!”
— WWE (@WWE) January 27, 2020
“I can’t find the words, there’s literally no words,” McIntyre said. “The past 18 years, the past 12 years, every up, every down, every single second, it was worth it for that moment where I threw Roman out and I heard 40,000 people react the way they reacted. I’m going to WrestleMania. The first person that came to mind was my wife, you don’t really think about it when you’re on the road, but we’re away from our family all the time. They endure as much as we do, and we give so much of ourselves to our fans. We give it willingly, this is our dream, and they’re ones holding down the fort at home. This one is for her. And I’m going to WrestleMania.”
Given his face-off with Lesnar after eliminating him, it looks like McIntyre will challenge “The Beast” for his WWE Championship come April 5. But there’s a lot of time between now and then, including two pay-per-view shows in the Super ShowDown (Feb. 27) and Elimination Chamber (March 8).
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