Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Result: Roman Reigns wins with a Guillotine, but Drew McIntyre never taps
Grade: A, This match was great, and I continue to be impressed with Roman Reigns’ greatness on PPV. Drew McIntyre stepped up. Big ups to him.
The match between the Universal Champion and WWE Champion felt like the one with the most personal stakes, and it absolutely delivered. It honestly even exceeded my expectations in terms of the intensity and length of the match, and it was especially good to see Drew McIntyre deliver a truly top-tier performance.
Because this match was all about McIntyre. Everyone knows Reigns’ place at the top of the table and that he’s the main star, but we needed to see McIntyre’s response to Reigns’ and Paul Heyman’s incredibly insulting words about McIntyre.
And he responded both in the context of the match by kicking out of two Spears and potentially even having the match won without a referee bump and Jey Uso’s interference, but also in the context of his own quality of wrestling.
McIntyre’s selling was exquisite. The timing of his counters blew me away, too. That transition from the Spear into the Kimura was golden, and we saw a quality of wrestling from Drew that we haven’t seen since his final NXT Title defense against Andrade “Cien” Almas in Fall 2017. That’s not to say McIntyre hasn’t had great matches this year, such as his bout with Seth Rollins, but his work with Randy Orton didn’t enable him to showcase his best.
Wrestling with Roman Reigns challenged McIntyre to meet the best and after struggling in the promos section, McIntyre knocked it out of the park in the ring. While I think the finish of the match was overdone, I also think that’s fine for a Pay Per View as big as Survivor Series and a match involving wrestlers WWE wants to put over as “attractions” in McIntyre and Reigns. So if we frame it in that light, it all makes sense.