Drew McIntyre’s climb to the top of WWE has been a long and hard-fought journey, ‘The Scottish’ Psychopath was released from the company in 2014, after being introduced at the beginning of his first run back as Vince McMahon’s ‘Chosen One’ and fading in obscurity. After that, the first Scottish born WWE Champion went on a run on the independents, fine-tuning his skills and gaining a following, while also maturing in the process as well. Drew McIntyre returned to the WWE in 2017 in NXT, having won the NXT Championship later that year. Everything looked well for McIntyre, and when his inevitable call up to the main roster came due, he was paired up with Dolph Ziggler as the move left many fans wondering what would come of the current world champion. Thankfully, fast forward to 2020, and McIntyre was given his biggest opportunity to date: Winning the Royal Rumble and going on to defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.
Drew’s popularity soared in the early months of 2020, as he was able to be himself and just destroy everyone and everything in his path, throwing out Claymore’s for free and getting the crowd behind him in the process. Since McIntyre’s win at WrestleMania against ‘The Beast Incarnate,’ Drew has gone on to defend his WWE Championship successfully against the likes of Big Show, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley and Dolph Ziggler, all of which have been highly entertaining and intensely physical matches. Drew has every right to be proud of his first world title reign, having gone on to hold the belt longer than the duration of all of Roman Reigns’ tenures as champion, and having backed up exactly what he said he was going to do when it came time to get serious. While some can argue that Brock Lesnar has been Drew McIntyre’s biggest opponent to date, the same sentiments can be said in regards to Randy Orton’s current run in the WWE.
Coming off of a red hot bout having been touted as “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever,” Randy Orton defeated Edge at WWE Backlash earlier this summer, as they were embroiled in a very personal feud and sought out to see who was the better of the two. Orton bested the WWE Legend while also leaving the Rated R Superstar shelved for the time being with a tricep injury. While Orton has been known to phone it in at times, demonstrating his lack of interest in certain feuds or programs that he’s been involved in, Randy has been on a seemingly unstoppable path as he’s been churning out A+ promo after promo and delivering on his in-ring work as well. There is no denying that the resurgence of Randy Orton certainly earns him a shot, and possibly even some time with the WWE’s most prized possession, however, would it be wise to end the current reign of Drew McIntyre when he’s been on a tear himself?
As ratings during the COVID era of WWE seemingly decline or remain the same, this is of no fault of the current crop of talent that is on WWE TV week after week. Times are tough, many individuals have lost jobs or have little to no time to invest in the current product (which even without fans in attendance has been rather entertaining). While the lack of fans or inability to attend live events to the pandemic certainly hurts to one’s general interests, having Randy Orton go on to defeat Drew McIntyre at SummerSlam quite possibly may not do ratings any favours. The company has relied on ‘The Viper’ a multitude of times in the past, even when he has been nowhere near as dominant as he has been this year as stated earlier, but if the WWE were to be wise, they’d focus on continuing the build of new stars and extend the reign of the current WWE Champion. Perhaps, as rumours suggest, the feud between Randy Orton and Edge were to continue heading into next year’s WrestleMania, having the WWE Championship may give the rubber match a bit of a spin. Truth be told, however, a feud and a story like that doesn’t always need a world title on the line to be memorable or successful. Randy Orton has not held the WWE Title since his defeat at the hands of Jinder Mahal, he’s flirted with the title as he took on Kofi Kingston during his reign, but it goes to show that Randy doesn’t necessarily need a title in order to be relevant, nor is it a guarantee that he wouldn’t hold himself back as he seemingly has done in the past.
The chase for the WWE Championship once more for Drew McIntyre may sound good to some, however, there is no way to determine whether or not fans are or aren’t (or wouldn’t be) enjoying his current run due to lack of crowd response. There doesn’t seem to be an indication for the beginning of the end for Drew, nor does it seem as though what can be deemed as Drew McIntyre’s year is coming to a close. Drew McIntyre has come back to life, the passion and desire for his love of sports entertainment have been rejuvenated and he has continuously gone on record to prove why he deserves to be positioned in the top spot that he is currently in right now. Not many arguments can be made as to why it makes sense for Drew McIntyre to drop the WWE Championship to Randy Orton, unless of course a bait and switch occurs in which Ric Flair returns to aid The Viper at ringside, the likelihood of that, however, seems rather slim to none. All signs point to Drew McIntyre successfully retaining his WWE Championship at SummerSlam, but a more likely scenario would be to hold off until live crowds return to take the belt off of The Scottish Psychopath, thrusting him back into the chase, allowing him a proper and more receptive championship reign, the one that he should’ve had right now. There’s also the possibility of a massive swerve occurring at the recently announced WWE Payback pay-per-view the following week after SummerSlam, with a rematch and some brass tactics taking place, but we must wait and see what transpires at the biggest party of the summer!