Drew McIntyre is headed to the main event of WrestleMania 36, but he was not the original pick to win this year’s 30-Man Royal Rumble match.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Roman Reigns was originally slated to win the Rumble match for the second time. He would have gone on to challenge Bray Wyatt/The Fiend for the Universal title in April, which is still the plan currently.
The reason for the change, which was made in the final weeks heading into the Rumble pay-per-view, was reportedly to create the strongest main events possible for WrestleMania 36, and McIntyre getting the major, career-changing win to set up a program with Brock Lesnar for the WWE title is as big as it gets.
The Observer is also reporting that the individuals responsible for putting together this year’s Men’s Royal Rumble match were Shane McMahon, Jamie Noble, Chris Park (fka Abyss) and Lance Storm. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman had influence early on, which of course featured Lesnar single-handedly eliminating almost half the field.
It was reportedly Vince McMahon’s call to put McIntyre over Roman Reigns at the very end.