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Drew McIntyre Beats Goldberg to Retain WWE Championship at 2021 Royal Rumble

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Drew McIntyre beat Goldberg at the 2021 Royal Rumble on Sunday night to retain the WWE Championship.

Goldberg gained the upper hand early after spearing the titleholder through the barricade outside the ring.

WWE @WWE

The match hasn't even started yet and @DMcIntyreWWE has been Speared THROUGH THE BARRICADE! 😱😱😱 #RoyalRumble #WWETitle @Goldberg https://t.co/GTW9Xx8Vsx

Two Spears and the Jackhammer weren't enough to keep the champion down, though. Likewise, one Claymore Kick couldn't take the challenger out.

WWE Universe @WWEUniverse

UPDATE: @DMcIntyreWWE kicked out of @Goldberg's patented SPEAR! #RoyalRumble https://t.co/trh3w7IWlz

The beginning of the end came when McIntyre ducked out of the way of a Spear, with Goldberg hitting the turnbuckle. The Scot immediately followed up with a Claymore Kick for the win.

The two men embraced in a show of respect after the contest, with Goldberg raising the champion's hand.

WWE @WWE

He wanted to take his reign to another level, and @DMcIntyreWWE did JUST THAT by defeating @Goldberg to retain his #WWETitle! #AndStill #RoyalRumble https://t.co/MOeN7kU09w

Sunday's match unexpectedly came together on January 4 when Goldberg made a surprise appearance on the Legends Night edition of Raw following McIntyre's successful title defense against Keith Lee.

He accused the Scot of disrespecting the legends and challenged him to a title match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in order to prove he could stand toe-to-toe with one of the biggest, baddest Superstars in WWE, even at the age of 54.

McIntyre insulted Goldberg, which led to the former universal and world heavyweight champion pushing The Scottish Warrior to the canvas.

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Neither McIntyre nor Goldberg were live on Raw for the next two weeks, as the Scot tested positive for COVID-19. Despite that, he appeared via satellite and accepted the veteran's challenge.

Both men were back in time for the go-home edition of Raw prior to the Rumble. Their interaction was only brief, though, with Goldberg telling McIntyre: "You're next."

They were interrupted by The Miz and John Morrison, but they used that as an opportunity to flex their muscle, as Goldberg speared The A-Lister and McIntyre took out his partner with a Claymore.

McIntyre looked like the favorite entering Sunday's PPV after becoming one of WWE's top full-time stars since winning the men's Rumble match last year.

Even so, there was some belief Goldberg might come through and win the WWE title for the first time, as he beat Kevin Owens for the universal title in March 2017 and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt for the same belt last year.

McIntyre came away with the title still in his possession, though, which suggests there is a strong chance he will enter WrestleMania 37 as the WWE champion.

        

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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