It needs to be for the WWE Championship, though.
With the aftermath of WWE’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in the rear-view mirror, the road to WrestleMania 37 nears ever closer, with approximately forth days to go before the annual Showcase of the Immortals. With only two matches officially confirmed for the two-night spectacle on April 10th and 11th, those being Roman Reigns’ Universal Championship and Sasha Banks’ SmackDown Women’s Championship defences against 2021 Royal Rumble winners Edge and Bianca Belair, respectively, Raw needs an equally as strong matchup to combat SmackDown’s star-studded championship affairs.
If Elimination Chamber’s conclusion was anything to go by, we could have that match in the form of Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley.
You see, McIntyre successfully defended the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber Match to close off the night, defeating Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston, and Sheamus to cement another day in his second stint with the title. An alright match overall, but there was something missing. All five of those men had been former WWE Champions. Missing from this equation was a certain member of The Hurt Business, the saving grace of Monday night wrestling television. That man, of course, was Bobby Lashley, but it wasn’t until after the match where he made his presence felt.
Lashley, who had dropped his United States Championship earlier in the evening in a thrilling Triple Threat Match that also included John Morrison, ambushed ‘The Scottish Warrior’ following his victory. This subsequently resulted in the end of McIntyre’s title run, as The Miz cashed in his 2020 Money in the Bank briefcase to end his second reign on top at 97 days. Had it not been for the work of ‘The Almighty’, we could be sitting here with Drew still as the top guy in WWE.
The story is there for a legitimately standout contest between two of WWE’s biggest and beefiest boys. Drew has been carrying WWE on his back for some time now, really since he won the 2020 Royal Rumble well over a year ago. He’s gone above and beyond to prove his worth to the higher powers, so much so that he’s not fallen away from the main event scene since. He very easily could have. Shinsuke Nakamura won the 2018 Rumble, lost his ‘Mania title match to AJ Styles, becoming obsessed with dick kicks in the process, and was then part of a meaningless, albeit enjoyable, SmackDown Tag Team Championships match at the following year’s WrestleMania. Finn Balor, meanwhile, became the inaugural Universal Champion at SummerSlam 2016, but failed to ever recover from his forced vacating of the title after suffering a shoulder injury in the title win vs. Seth Rollins. He was stuck in the mid-card scene, and now finds himself back in NXT doing some of his best work. It’s just not on the quote-on-quote main roster. This easily could have been the same fate for Drew McIntyre.
Just think of some of the names Drew has beaten since January 2020. Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Keith Lee, Goldberg, AJ Styles; some of the company’s all-time greats have succumbed to the Claymore Kick. Why? Because WWE believe in Drew McIntyre’s abilities to be their next top guy.
That’s where Bobby Lashley fits in perfectly. He provides a serious threat to Drew. If Lashley being the one to cost Drew his championship a week ago didn’t already prove this for you, then nothing will I’m afraid. For the first time since his stellar work in IMPACT Wrestling, Bobby Lashley can be taken seriously. His work alongside MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin over the past few months has been incredible. People care about him again. They’re invested in big Bob. His in-ring work as of late has been superb, and while he’s not the greatest promo (thankfully, he’s got MVP as his mouthpiece), he still managed to verbally eviscerate The Miz on the post-Elimination Chamber edition of Raw.
What’s now intriguing is that Bobby is scheduled to challenge for ‘The A-Lister’s’ WWE Championship on tonight’s episode. Funnily enough, Drew McIntyre is also set for his first appearance since dropping the title on the very same episode. How convenient. Of course, WWE could very easily have Drew cost Lashley the title so that we can all tuck into The Miz vs. Bad Bunny as our WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, but, and I’m not overexaggerating here, I’d rather watch every season of Love Island back to back. It hurts to even type that.
Drew and Bobby have done battle before, of course. They had an alright WWE Championship clash at Backlash this past June, a match many have forgotten about because of THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER between Edge and Randy Orton (clearly, WWE officials have never seen Kaden Garrick vs. Lord Michael of Graham but okay). Furthermore, their Knockouts and Submissions Only Match over the IMPACT World Championship at the 2016 Slammiversary pay-per-view was also a superb contest that saw Lashley dethrone the then-Drew Galloway. Despite the match stipulation perfectly suiting Lashley, given his MMA background, Drew more than held his own against the superior submission specialist.
Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania would be a fine match in itself, but it needs that extra bit of hype in the form of the WWE Championship. You can make the argument that having McIntyre repeatedly coming in and out of championship reigns makes his first title win feel a tad meaningless now (if he does regain the strap at WrestleMania, it would be his third title reign in a year), but as far as WWE’s current landscape is confirmed, there isn’t a better candidate for the WWE Championship match at The Show of Shows.
The Miz is merely a transitional WWE Champion. Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley has to be the WWE Championship contest at this year’s WrestleMania, one way or another.
WWE WrestleMania 37 goes down on Saturday, April 10th, and Sunday, April 11th, live on the WWE Network. Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge for the WWE Universal Championship, and Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship have been confirmed at the time of writing.