Why WWE Drafted Drew McIntyre To SmackDown

Backstage notes on why Drew McIntyre went from Raw to SmackDown in the 2021 WWE Draft...

Drew McIntyre WWE SmackDown
WWE

Drew McIntyre was sent from Raw to SmackDown as part of the 2021 WWE Draft last week, joining the promotion's most-watched show as the first pick of the roster reshuffle's second round and fifth overall.

This was done to give Universal Champion Roman Reigns fresh competition on Friday nights. Per Dave Meltzer in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE plan on establishing McIntyre as Reigns' major rival around December, presumably after the Scot loses to WWE Champion Big E at Crown Jewel 2021 on 21 October.

Reigns is currently feuding with Brock Lesnar on SmackDown. That feud will reach the ring at Crown Jewel, where the duo will contest the Universal Championship, though Meltzer notes that the rivalry will stretch beyond that show as well.

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The 2021 WWE Draft left Reigns short of competition for SmackDown's top prize. Having run through most viable opponents, many of whom have now been sent to Raw, Roman at least has the McIntyre feud in his future.

McIntyre held the WWE Champions for two reigns spanning 310 days in 2020 and 2021, with those runs broken up by a short Randy Orton reign last December. He emerged as Big E's next potential title challenger on last week's Raw - and the match is now official for Crown Jewel.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.