There’s no doubt that Drew McIntyre has been protected on the main roster this year. By pairing him with Dolph Ziggler, WWE put the Scottish Terminator in a position where he can always look impressive in victory or defeat, while Dolph is there to take the falls in any match they happen to lose.
So does the data bear that out? I decided to find out by combing through the full list of his matches on Raw and pay-per-view (PPV) on the main roster in 2018.
Drew McIntyre has wrestled in 28 matches on Raw and PPV since he was called up from NXT in April 2018. He’s been victorious in 16 of those matches.
Here is the full list of the 12 matches where he was not victorious, along with the relevant details of his loss.
- June 4 - Dolph Ziggler was eliminated from a Tag Team Battle Royal by Tyler Breeze, which meant Drew was also eliminated.
- July 2 - Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins defeated McIntyre and Ziggler by disqualification when The Revival interfered and attacked Reigns.
- July 16 - Reigns pinned Finn Balor via spear to win a triple threat match that also included McIntyre.
- July 23 - Balor defeated McIntyre by disqualification after interference from Ziggler.
- July 23 - Balor and Rollins defeated McIntyre and Ziggler by pinfall after a Rollins stomp on Ziggler.
- July 30 - Rollins defeated McIntyre by disqualification after interference from Ziggler.
- August 27 - Strowman and Reigns defeated McIntyre and Ziggler by disqualification after an extended double-team beatdown on Roman that Braun just watched from the apron.
- October 6 - The Shield defeated Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler by pinfall with Dirty Deeds from Dean Ambrose on Ziggler.
- October 15 - Rollins defeated McIntyre by count out.
- October 15 - The Shield defeated Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler by pinfall with a triple powerbomb on Ziggler.
- October 22 - The Shield defeated Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler by pinfall with Dirty Deeds from Ambrose on Ziggler.
- November 19 - Corbin, Lashley, & McIntyre vs. Strowman, Elias, & Balor presumably went to a No Contest, shortly after McIntyre was eliminated by disqualification after attacking Strowman with a steel chair.
When you add it all up, the finishes to Drew McIntyre’s 12 non-victories can be classified in the following way:
- 5 disqualifications
- 4 pinfalls taken by Dolph Ziggler
- 1 over the top rope elimination taken by Ziggler
- 1 pinfall taken by Finn Balor
- 1 count out
I also looked through McIntyre’s 16 victories to see if there was any elimination match where his team won but he took a pinfall, and I found zero examples.
This means that Drew McIntyre has never been pinned on Raw or PPV ever since he was called up to the main roster in April 2018.
When WWE announced the upcoming match at TLC on Dec. 16 between Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin, I was scratching my head on why that match was saved for PPV and given a major stipulation, rather than given the quick squash treatment on an episode of Raw. It seems to me that Strowman versus McIntyre is an obvious match that has much stronger fan interest behind it. Considering how averse Vince McMahon is to booking Strowman to take pinfalls, perhaps WWE is avoiding it because they don’t want either Drew or Braun to take the fall. McIntyre still hasn’t even wrestled a singles match on PPV this year, so it’s really not clear what the timetable is on pushing him to the top of the card.
Drew McIntyre has been protected to such an extent that Vince McMahon simply refuses to pin his shoulders to the mat. What do you think about his booking, Cagesiders? Is the former 3MB star being positioned as the guy who will eventually take out Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship?