With everything going on lately, and the rushed nature of Drew McIntyre’s WrestleMania match against Brock Lesnar, it’s easy to not notice how he’s only the second person to achieve an obscure mark that the WWE isn’t celebrating or even mentioned.
With his defeat of Brock Lesnar, McIntyre became the second person to defeat the WWE World Heavyweight Champion after eliminating said champion in the Royal Rumble.
That person was Hulk Hogan in 1989.
We’re accustomed to the winner of the Royal Rumble challenging the world champion at WrestleMania, but it wasn’t always this way. Prior to the WWE adopting this change in 1993, it was simply a unique battle royal where the WWE’s top stars strutted their stuff and storylines were born or moved forward amidst the bodies.
During this time, the champion would often take part in the Royal Rumble, and in 1989 Randy Savage was the WWE champion and part of the Mega Powers with Hogan. They were in the process of their friendship fracturing, so when their paths crossed and Hogan accidentally eliminated him, their fates were sealed to meet at WrestleMania 5, where Hogan beat Savage to reclaim the title.
It’s something special to be the WWE champion, but to also share a record with the greatest champion in professional wrestling history is something else entirely. It could be a nod to how far the WWE believes Drew McIntyre can go with the championship, but it also flies in the face of them not wanting another huge superstar.
This could be something that comes to a head at some point, but for the moment, let’s ignore that and enjoy the reign of someone that has the ability to be one of the greatest champions in history.
While this is ignored by the WWE and may be largely unknown to many fans, it’s a cool piece of history the two share, and may be something the WWE will eventually bring to light during McIntyre’s championship reign.
Whether they focus on this factoid or not, there’s no doubt that Drew McIntyre. Is a deserving champion, and it’s be really cool if he’s allowed to have great matches instead of the four-hit wonder at WrestleMania and really show off his ability.
This is the WWE’s chance to admit they really screwed up by forcing quick, half-baked matches on us, especially at WrestleMania or any other pay-per-views as has become their habit.
McIntyre can be what Vince McMahon hoped Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns could be, and he can be dominant for years. Let’s hope this is the WWE turning the corner.
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