Ranking Most Likely Superstars to Beat Drew McIntyre for WWE Championship

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2020

Ranking Most Likely Superstars to Beat Drew McIntyre for WWE Championship

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The year 2020 has been a lot of things, but for Drew McIntyre, it's been one of triumph over adversity.

    The Scot started the year by winning the men's Royal Rumble match and then dethroning Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 to win the WWE Championship in April.

    Throughout his reign, McIntyre has taken down Big Show, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton and more.

    In some ways, it seems he may just be getting started, but his time will come to an end at some point.

    When it does, who are the most likely Superstars to take down the Scot and become the next WWE champion? Let's rank 10 possible options.

10. King Corbin

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Triple H has already spoken about a WWE draft in the works for sometime in the fall, but he hasn't committed to any specific date.

    That means anyone has a chance to square off against McIntyre sometime in the near future.

    King Corbin may seem like an odd choice at first, but he has a lot of what it takes to become champion.

    Not only is he a former United States titleholder, King of the Ring winner, Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner and the man who retired Kurt Angle, he's also one of the tallest on the roster and a heat magnet.

    The Lone Wolf and McIntyre fought each other in the short-lived brand-to-brand exchange in May, which could also prove WWE sees Corbin close to the Scot's level.

    Corbin has been garnering a lot of praise for being a natural heel, and it will be a shock if he doesn't win a world title at some point. Perhaps that time will start when McIntyre drops it.

9. AJ Styles

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    Credit: WWE.com

    AJ Styles is only slightly above Corbin on this list because he's already made it to the mountain top. Once you've climbed that, it's easier to do it again and again.

    The Phenomenal One is currently also on SmackDown, after moving over from Raw in May. The reason for his switch was a clash with then-Raw executive director Paul Heyman. That is a position he no longer holds, meaning nothing should hold Styles back from rejoining the red brand.

    He's also no longer intercontinental champion, which frees him up to set his sights on McIntyre's title.

    Since it requires a draft trade and no one else beating Styles to the punch, he's still ranked low, but it's doubtful anyone would complain if he was the next WWE champion.

8. Kevin Owens

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Absolutely nothing has happened yet to indicate Kevin Owens is even gunning for the WWE Championship or set for any interactions with McIntyre in the coming months.

    Still, he's a former universal champion and a viable threat to anyone at any time. He's also someone who could turn into the most vicious heel on the roster if needed.

    KO ranks higher than Corbin and Styles because he's already on Raw, but he's still low on the list due to him being used more as a midcarder these days than a main event player.

    All it will take is WWE deciding to change that perception, though. Until then, Owens seems more likely to win the United States Championship than the WWE title.

7. Sheamus

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sheamus might be on SmackDown, just like Corbin and Styles, but he stands a better chance at winning winning the WWE title because of his personal connections to McIntyre.

    The Celtic Warrior has been close friends with the Scot for years and that relationship would make for a great feud. It would also be a shame if he doesn't get a shot at the title somewhere down the line.

    McIntyre would probably have no problems dropping the title to his friend and WWE has illustrated a trust in the Irishman to be world champion on several occasions.

    What holds him back from being higher on this list, though, is that Sheamus has stated multiple times that one of his main goals left in his career is winning the Intercontinental Championship, which means he would need to stay with SmackDown.

6. Aleister Black

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It is too early in Aleister Black's heel turn to get a proper projection of where he is heading, but his attack on Kevin Owens during Monday's Raw appears to indicate an upward trajectory.

    The Dutchman is a former NXT champion who has been booked rather strongly throughout his WWE career. He's taken some losses, but he's also had a good win average for the last four years.

    Black may be one of those who feuds with Owens and some others for a few months before setting his sights on the biggest and baddest Raw has to offer.

    No one is immune to a Black Mass—not even McIntyre. If The Dutch Destroyer can nail that in a future title match, he could get the upset win and ascend the throne on Monday nights.

5. Keith Lee

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Just as Sheamus is friends with McIntyre, WWE has already driven home the point that Keith Lee is his buddy, too.

    The former NXT champion debuted on Monday's Raw by fighting on the Scot's behalf against Randy Orton, skipping the usual squash matches and going straight to the main event scene.

    There's a strong chance WWE pushes him down the card after his clash with The Viper at Payback on Sunday, aiming to build him back up to the top level over time so people can watch his rise, which should be inevitable, considering how talented he is.

    Once The Limitless One is ready, a match against McIntyre—even if it's babyface vs. babyface—could be a big sell.

4. Braun Strowman

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    Credit: WWE.com

    McIntyre was able to slay The Beast Incarnate at WrestleMania 36, but how would he fare against The Monster Among Men?

    Once Braun Strowman is done feuding with Bray Wyatt and has likely been humbled by Roman Reigns, he should be eligible to move to Raw in the draft. That could give him some fresh feuds.

    Now that he has broken a glass ceiling by winning the universal title, he has the honor of always being able to call himself a former world champion. That can go a long way in making sure WWE doesn't forget he can be top-star material.

    As one of the biggest and most imposing threats in WWE, he's one of the few people who could overpower McIntyre without fans calling it into question.

3. 'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It may seem outlandish to put universal champion Bray Wyatt on this list, but there's a method to the madness.

    Unless there is a less predictable plan in place, it seems WWE's intention is to put the belt on Roman Reigns sooner rather than later. That may come as quickly as Payback on Sunday.

    If the upcoming draft happens after The Big Dog becomes champion, that frees up Wyatt to move to Raw. A character like The Fiend is better suited to the red brand and its later time slot.

    If McIntyre is able to continue his stride as Raw's resident superhero, it could take a villain like The Fiend to take him down.

2. Brock Lesnar

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    Credit: WWE.com

    If the way Reigns returned at SummerSlam proves anything, it's that WWE hasn't changed at all during the pandemic where prioritizing big names and tossing others aside is concerned.

    Strowman bailed the company out at the 11th hour and filled the gap left by Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 36 but still had to drop the title to Bray Wyatt, who will likely soon lose it to The Big Dog.

    With that in mind, how could Brock Lesnar not be on this list?

    Time and again, WWE has given The Beast Incarnate the top title, even if he's not going to be around for months on end. Vince McMahon has also cited Lesnar's absence as one of the reasons why ratings are down, rather than admitting it's a combination of many factors like bad storytelling.

    WWE appears to have convinced itself The Beast is a guaranteed success machine when he's champion and there is rarely a better option. At any moment, it could beg Lesnar to come back and take the title from McIntyre, which would be a sad day.

1. Randy Orton

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Just because Randy Orton lost at SummerSlam doesn't mean he's out of the title hunt for good.

    McIntyre offered The Viper a rematch during Monday's Raw, but the heel attacked the Scot instead with several punts to the head.

    Once he's healed, the WWE champion will come for revenge. He may interfere in Orton's match against Keith Lee at Payback to set up a rematch at Clash of Champions in September.

    All The Viper would need, though, is one quick RKO from nowhere to claim a 14th world title.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.