Drew McIntyre Is The Only British WWE Champion In History

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Hamish Woodward

Drew McIntyre made history on at WrestleMania 36 when he became the first British wrestler to become WWE Champion.

He won the legendary championship in 2020 from Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania, albeit in front of zero fans due to COVID 19.

With his victory, he became the first ever Briton to hold a World Championship in the WWE (not counting the women’s title). In the 60-year history of the title, many British stars had challenged for the WWE Championship. However, they had always fallen at the final hurdle, and the title seemed destined to stay out of Albion.

Drew McIntyre did not fail in his quest. With his mighty sword “Angela” by his side, he conquered the beast to become King of the land of Titans.

The Scot had quite the journey to becoming a champion. He eliminated WWE Champion Brock Lesnar in the 2020 Royal Rumble match, going on to win the entire thing. He then challenged “The Beast” in the WrestleMania 36 main event for the title, making history as both the first British Royal Rumble winner and first British WWE Champion.

The lack of crowds spoiled his time as champion somewhat. Due to the pandemic, his title win had exactly zero fans in attendance. However, Drew McIntyre made the best of the awful situation he was put into.

He defended the title against Big Show, Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton before shockingly losing the belt to Orton at Hell in a Cell 2020.

On 16 November episode of Raw, Drew McIntyre regained the WWE Championship after defeating Randy Orton in a no disqualification match. This marked his second WWE title reign and booked a champion vs champion match against Roman Reigns at Survivor Series, which McIntyre would go on to lose.

He lost his second and so far final WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber 2021 when The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. The title soon went to Bobby Lashley, who McIntyre was unfortunate to lose to at WrestleMania 37.

Drew McIntyre failed to win world title gold twice more, both times in the UK. At Clash at the Castle 2022 in Cardiff, Solo Sikoa made sure the Scot lost to Roman Reigns in the main event. Two years later in his hometown of Glasgow, CM Punk was the thorn in his side as Damian Priest left the city as the World Heavyweight champion.

Perhaps he is not destined for another reign, but Drew McIntyre remains the only Briton to win the WWE Championship.

Bit he shouldn’t have been.

Others British Wrestlers Should Have Been WWE Champion

While Drew McIntyre is the first and only (so far) British WWE Champion, there have been countless top stars in history who could have taken on that mantel. These include:

William Regal – The former WWE and AEW star came close to becoming WWE Champion in 2008. He was on the cusp of a main event run as the Raw General Manager and a feud with Triple H over the WWE Championship, but drug issues derailed his push and cost him his one shot at being the first British WWE Champion.

Wade Barrett – The Nexus leader and current WWE Commentator seemed destined to win the WWE Championship in 2010. He won a title shot by winning the NXT Game show and with the might of the Nexus behind him, he seemed certain to hold the title. Sadly, John Cena had to win and ruined the group’s momentum. Barrett never got near to his previous success and retired in 2016, with John Cena burying Wade Barrett being the main cause of his failure to become WWE Champion.

British Bulldog – One of the most popular British stars in WWE history is Davey Boy Smith AKA The British Bulldog. As part of a tag team with Dynamite Kid, he became one of the best tag teams in WWE history but never managed to become WWE Champion. He did come second in the 1995 Royal Rumble match, being eliminated by the winner, Shawn Michaels.

PAC – Former NXT Champion PAC, AKA Neville, had all the talent to become WWE Champion but never got backed enough by WWE management. He came close to beating Seth Rollins in 2015 for the title, with one of the best false finishes of all time.

Dynamite Kid – the innovative cruiserweight wrestler innovated the junior heavyweight style still used in Japan and is considered one of the greatest British wrestlers of all time. Like his former partner British Bulldog, he also never got to taste world championship gold in the WWE.

Billy Robinson – The iconic legend of wrestling is known worldwide as one of the best of all time, even though his spell in the WWE was short. He is most famous in Japan for helping create the “strong style” that became famous with Antonio Inoki, with his influence felt to this day.

He challenged for the WWE Championship only once in his career. He wrestled then-WWE Champion Bob Backlund in a match in 1982 for the championship, with the bout ending in a 60 minute draw and the title reverted back to Backlund.

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