Drew McIntyre finally did it. Nearly 13 years after his debut with the WWE, McIntyre finally realized his dream of winning the WWE championship by defeating Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 36. It was a long and winding road for McIntyre, who was once dubbed "The Chosen One" by Vince McMahon before falling out of favor and leaving WWE.
McIntyre topped Lesnar in the main event of the second night of Wrestlemania 36 Sunday night in a brutal match that lasted less than five minutes. Both men kicked out of each other's finishing moves multiple times before McIntyre landed several "claymore kicks" and pinned the dominant champion.
The 34-year-old McIntyre -- whose real name is Andrew Galloway -- reached the pinnacle of the spot after nearly 20 years in the business. The Scotsman kicked around independent wrestling federations in the U.K. for years before finally being noticed by the WWE in 2007. He signed with the company in late 2007 and debuted on SmackDown! He then went to the company's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling for two years for seasoning before earning another call-up to the main roster in 2009.
He was never able to make a major breakthrough and at one point spent almost three years with the Three Man Band, which was essentially a comedy gimmick. It was a booking far below his talent level. McIntyre was release from his contract in June of 2014 and a few weeks later made a surprise appearance with Insane Championship Wrestling in his native Scotland. ICW was a company he'd worked in for years before landing in WWE and it was his first appearance for the company in seven years.
Wrestling under the name Drew Galloway, he also worked in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling while working with ICW and other independent federations. He won the TNA world heavyweight title and had success, but his destiny was always to return to the WWE.
In April of 2017, he returned to WWE, back again as Drew McIntyre. He debuted in NXT and became champion, working his way up the ranks. He finally had a massive breakthrough at the 2020 Royal Rumble, winning the event and eliminating Lesnar along the way. That victory earned him the chance to face Lesnar for the title at Wrestlemania.
Since his first stint with WWE, McIntyre has improved so much. He's bigger, in better shape and uses his strength so much better in the ring. He's also become excellent on the mic, something he definitely improved during his time away from the bright lights. He has always had talent, but he's finally put it all together.
McIntyre could be a star in WWE. The guy has size, strength and charisma. Here's hoping his title reign is a good, new direction for the organization to take with an uber-talented champ.