WWE's Royal Rumble event saw Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre both win Rumble matches for the first time in their careers. But according to Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, neither were originally booked to win in Houston. Meltzer said the original plan was for Reigns to win, earning a Universal Championship match against "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, while Shayna Baszler would win the women's match and resume her feud with Becky Lynch that started back at Survivor Series. The change was made once the creative team started putting things together for the WrestleMania 36 card.
"This is confirmed that Shayna Baszler and Roman Reigns were scheduled to win the two Royal Rumbles," Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Live. "And then as they were trying to decide what was going to happen for WrestleMania, the decision was made to go with Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre. I had not heard Shayna was going to win, I just assumed that from a lot of different things. And Roman, I just figured Roman for Bray Wyatt."
Meltzer added that the plan for WrestleMania's two world championship matches is McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar and Reigns vs. Wyatt. A match with "The Beast" already seems like the obvious pick for McIntyre, given he was the one to eliminate Lesnar from the Rumble match. Meanwhile the company still has roughly two months and two pay-per-view events (Super ShowDown and Elimination Chamber) to set up a feud between "The Fiend" and "The Big Dog."
McIntyre has already started hyping up a match with Lesnar.
"What I hold against him is the fact he's got our title. We need that title on TV. We need it in the live events. That's a very important part of RAW, and I want it back," McIntyre said in an interview with Bleacher Report shortly after Sunday's win. "And I think he's seen me coming. I think Paul [Heyman, Brock's advocate] has been keeping them away from me because he's seen me coming. There's nobody that really wants to get in the ring with him. But I match him for size, I match him for speed, and not only that, I match him for experience--and I'm not sitting at home all the time, chilling out.
"Once-in-a-lifetime athlete that he is, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve, and I can match up in every other area. And as soon as he makes a mistake, which he does, just not very often, I will exploit it, and I'll win that title if I get that opportunity," he added.
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