Drew McIntyre Beats Brock Lesnar, Wins 1st-Ever WWE Championship at WrestleMania

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Drew McIntyre beat Brock Lesnar on Night 2 of WrestleMania 36 on Sunday to win the WWE Championship for the first time in his career.

The Scot connected with the Claymore Kick inside the first minute of the match, which wasn't enough to keep Lesnar down.

The champion recovered and took control. He utilized the biggest move in his arsenal, hitting the challenger with three F-5s. McIntyre kicked out on all three occasions, though.

Lesnar lined up a fourth F-5, but The Scottish Psychopath countered and landed a modified Claymore Kick. Sensing his opportunity, McIntyre wasted little time before delivering two more Claymores for the win. 

The match was originally supposed to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, with no fans in attendance.

McIntyre won the men's Royal Rumble match in January and eliminated Lesnar during that bout after The Beast Incarnate had eliminated 13 Superstars in a row to start. That set the stage for what was a heated and personal rivalry leading up to WrestleMania.

While the Scot broke into WWE with the nickname "The Chosen One," he was never able to reach the top of the company. It wasn't until he was released, reinvented himself on the independent scene and returned to WWE in 2017 that it was clear he was destined for greatness.

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Since his comeback, McIntyre has quickly worked his way through the ranks. He faced Roman Reigns at WrestleMania last year in what was a significant step up for him, and in the weeks leading up to the Rumble, he was clearly being built into a top threat.

He organically got over as a babyface without an obvious turn, and there was little doubt at that point that strapping the rocket to him and putting him in the main event against Lesnar was the right call.

The Beast is one of the most physically impressive and dominant Superstars in WWE history, so it is difficult to find opponents who can believably beat him. That wasn't an issue with the Scot based on his size, look and athleticism.

McIntyre possesses many of the same qualities as Reigns, who has been a favorite pick of WWE's to contest Lesnar over the years. The biggest difference, however, is that fans haven't turned on the Scot since there is no perception that he is being "forced" into a top spot.

WWE went to great lengths to make McIntyre look like a credible threat leading up to WrestleMania, including a segment on Raw that saw him lay Lesnar out with three Claymore Kicks.

Between that and the Royal Rumble, he got the better of The Beast on several occasions ahead of WrestleMania, so the expectation and hope among most WWE fans was seemingly that McIntyre would dethrone the titleholder.

With the win, McIntyre has finally realized his immense potential and become a world champion.

If WWE wants to maintain his momentum and ensure that fans remain on his side, however, the months following WrestleMania will be key.

         

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