April 29’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown featured what has come to be a by-rote trope in pro wrestling: a contract signing scene.
Wrestling fans can expect that the wrestlers on either side of the table will inevitably engage in a verbal exchange or some fisticuffs before the ink is dry. It was a given that Monday Night Raw tag team champions RK-Broand Friday Night SmackDown equivalents the Usos would exchange words and punches when they signed for their upcoming WrestleMania Backlash bout. However, former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre unexpectedly interjected himself into the action.
McIntyre attacks Reigns
The seeds of this turn of events were sewn on a previous episode, when McIntyre seemingly made peace with former rival Randy Orton. McIntyre told Orton and his tag team partner Riddle that he supported anyone who was willing to stand up to the Bloodline.
On April 29, McIntyre made good on his word and appeared alongside RK-Bro. When WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns entered the scene to support cousins Jey and Jimmy Uso, McIntyre attacked. Reigns ended up taking a belly-to-belly throw from the heavyweight ‘Scottish Warrior’. Reigns shook it off, looking stunned as he exited alongside the Usos.
The Scottish Warrior and Tribal Chief’s History
This isn’t the first encounter between the two titans. In 2020, they engaged in a short feud leading into a match at that year’s installment of Survivor Series. At the time, McIntyre was WWE Champion and WWE’s top babyface. He won the belt from Brock Lesnar at the crowdless WrestleMania 36. McIntyre’s reign continued into WWE’s ThunderDome era. While McIntyre delivered impressively physical and technical bouts against opponents like Orton, Sheamus, Bobby Lashley and Keith Lee during WWE’s time at AmWay Center, a stigma still hangs about his two WWE Championship wins. Despite being a bout machine and the top babyface for most of 2020, McIntyre was the champion who reigned over an empty building.
After wrapping up a midcard feud with Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss, he is now once again setting his sights on Reigns. Pursuing the Undisputed championship could be the reset that McIntyre needs.
As for Reigns, his ‘Tribal Chief’ character is on top of the world at the moment after claiming the Undisputed title at WrestleMania 38. McIntyre’s attack showed Reigns in a vulnerable moment. With his size and power, McIntyre is a credible challenger for Reigns. He sorely needs one with Brock Lesnar’s momentary absence.
Where is This Heading?
After the dustup at the contract signing, World Wrestling Entertainment officially declared that the Bloodline will be facing RK-Bro and McIntyre at May 8’s WrestleMania Backlash. The six man tag match will be Reigns’s and McIntyre’s first match opposite each other in two years, and surely the opening salvo of a one-on-one rivalry between them.
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