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Scots wrestler Drew McIntyre wins WWE Royal Rumble match

© Massimo Insabato/Shutterstock Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre

Scots wrestler Drew McIntyre has earned a match at WrestleMania after winning WWE’s Royal Rumble.

The Ayrshire-born grappler outlasted 30 other men in the famous elimination match to earn a title shot at the company’s biggest event of the year.

McIntyre, Drew Galloway outside of the ring, eliminated some of the WWE’s biggest stars including current champion Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

McIntyre dedicated the win to his wife, saying: “I can’t find the words, there are literally no words.

“The past 18 years, the past 12 years in America, every up, every down. Every single second of it is worth it for that moment.

“I threw Roman out, I heard 40,000 people react the way they reacted and I’m going to WrestleMania.

“The first person that came to mind was my wife, the fans don’t really think about it but when you’re on the road we’re away from our family all the time. They endure as much as we do and we give so much of ourselves to the fans.

“We give it willingly, this is our dream, and they’re the ones holding the fort at home. This one’s for her and I’m going to WrestleMania.”

Originally from Prestwick, McIntyre worked his way up through various promotions in Scotland and the UK, including Glasgow’s Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW).

He joined WWE in 2007, becoming chairman Vince McMahon’s ‘chosen one’ in 2009 and eventually the Intercontinental Champion.

He had matches with legends such as Matt Hardy and The Undertaker before slipping down the card and leaving for a return to the independent scene in 2014.

Such was his success back in ICW, and eventually with TNA, he was re-signed to the WWE in 2017 and soon became the then developmental brand NXT’s men’s champion.

He made the move back to Monday Night Raw in 2018 and was tag team champion with Dolph Ziggler.

The 34-year-old is the first Scot to win the Royal Rumble and could become the first ever British WWE Champion should he triumph at WrestleMania.

A video from a Scots bar of the moment he won has gone viral, and many stars of the wrestling world have shared their admiration for McIntyre.

ICW founder Mark Dallas tweeted: “Wow. Well in brother. Couldn’t be happier or prouder. Congratulations Drew.”

Fellow Scots wrestler Joe Hendry tweeted: “Drew is the hardest working wrestler I’ve ever met. He makes everyone around him better and always makes time to give advice and guidance to others. A leader!

“He just proved that hard work dedication and persistence will pay off! There’s no one that deserves it more.”

Elsewhere at the event, Charlotte Flair won the women’s Royal Rumble match, which included Scot Nikki Cross.

Daniel Bryan was defeated by ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt in a strap match for the Universal title, Bayley retained the SmackDown women’s title against Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch successfully defended the Raw women’s title against Asuka. Roman Reigns also defeated Baron Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere match.