The WWE Championship program for the Monday Night Raw brand at Wrestlemania this year will feature two behemoths locking horns as challenger Drew McIntyre will face champion Bobby Lashley on Night 1 of the two-night event at Raymond James Stadium.
The two men have been the most dominant forces on Raw for the past year and it’s only natural that they’d be paired against each other at the company’s biggest even on Saturday, April 10.
Why are they fighting?
At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in February, then-WWE Champion McIntyre successfully defended his title against five other superstars in the chamber before Lashley viciously attacked him post-match, allowing Money In The Bank briefcase holder The Miz to cash-in his contract on McInytre to become the new champion.
This was all part of an agreement Miz made with MVP, the manager of Lashley’s “Hurt Business” stable, that Lashley would receive a title shot after doing the dirty work for him. On the March 1 episode of Raw, Lashley defeated Miz in a Lumberjack match to become the new WWE champion.
Meanwhile, Drew Mac finished up his side feud with best-friend turned bitter enemy Sheamus before setting Lashley in his crosshairs for Wrestlemania. On Raw just a few weeks back, McIntyre dispatched of Hurt Business members Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in a 2-on-1 handicap match, eventually leading to an enraged Lashley to break the group up altogether and enlist the help of Smackdown star Baron Corbin for help.
This Mania match will actually be the second time the two superstars have fought over the WWE title, with McIntyre defeating Lashley at the Backlash PPV last June.
Real life perspective
Drew McIntyre has, ironically, been the MVP of WWE programming during the pandemic era. And after having the misfortune of not having fans in attendance when toppling Brock Lesnar last year, The Federation wants to make sure that the new face of the company has a big, epic moment in front of actual fans this time around.
And that will (most likely) come against Bobby Lashley, who has the distinction of being just the second black superstar to enter Wrestlemania as WWE champion since The Rock. After a near-decade hiatus, Lashley returned to the company almost three years ago to the day and after all of his hard work and working through some downright “so bad, it’s good” storylines, he finally got his chance to walk around with the big belt.