Drew McIntyre outlasted Sheamus, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Kofi Kingston in an Elimination Chamber match at the same-titled pay-per-view on Sunday to retain the WWE Championship. But he didn't leave the event with the belt.
The Miz cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase and secured an easy victory over the exhausted champion to close out the show.
Between the grueling Chamber match and an attack by Bobby Lashley, McIntyre had nothing left in the tank to fend off The A-Lister. And that overshadowed an incredible performance from the now-former champion to successfully defend his title.
Sheamus appeared poised to eliminate McIntyre after hitting him with the Brogue Kick inside the chamber. However, Styles came off the top rope and caught The Celtic Warrior with the Phenomenal Forearm.
That left McIntyre and Styles as the last two stars remaining. Just as he did with Sheamus, The Phenomenal One looked to put the Scot away with his signature move.
However, The Scottish Warrior caught him with a Claymore Kick on the way down and went on to claim victory.
Shortly after his win, McIntyre was brutally beaten down by Lashley, who lost the United States Championship earlier in the night.
In the weeks prior to Elimination Chamber, it looked as though McIntyre would be tasked with defending the WWE title in a singles match against Sheamus after his former friend turned on him.
After McIntyre beat Goldberg at the Royal Rumble to retain the WWE title, Sheamus took him out with a Brogue Kick the next night on Raw, and the Scot vowed to beat him at Elimination Chamber. Instead, WWE called an audible.
On the Feb. 8 edition of Raw, WWE official Adam Pearce opened the show by announcing McIntyre would put the belt on the line against five former WWE champions in an Elimination Chamber match.
Shane McMahon made his return to WWE programming after months away to applaud Pearce's decision, although it seemed as though it was actually Shane-O-Mac's decision and the official was simply doing what he was told.
Sheamus didn't take kindly to his singles title match being taken away, and McIntyre was surprised by the decision but took it in stride and acknowledged that the WWE champion has to expect the unexpected on The Road to WrestleMania.
At Elimination Chamber, McIntyre had to deal with multiple Superstars who he has had rivalries with during his reign. In addition to his new feud with Sheamus, McIntyre renewed his issues with the likes of Orton and Styles.
The Scottish Warrior had multiple PPV matches against Orton in the summer and fall, and he even dropped the WWE title to The Viper at Hell in a Cell in October but won it back shortly thereafter.
McIntyre also retained the title against Styles in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs match at TLC in December.
All of the aforementioned Superstars had revenge on their minds against McIntyre, while Hardy and Kingston were trying to position themselves for one more WWE title run as well.
In the end, McIntyre overcame the odds and beat five of the best wrestlers WWE has to offer. But one problem with being the champ is that there will always be a target on your back, especially when somebody is holding the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Instead of McIntyre, The Miz is now poised to enter WrestleMania 37 with the WWE Championship.
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