Let’s be clear, Drew McIntyre is one of the best all-around performers in the WWE. He’s very close to a 5-Tool Wrestler.
Finn Balor is an amazing in-ring wrestler with an undeniable following and energy. With those two headed for a match at WWE TLC, the expectations were high. Unfortunately, the match was trash. Everything about it was bad. With an athletic powerhouse like McIntyre against a smaller, athletic and explosive performer like Balor, the booking could have been far more dynamic.
Instead, we were given a passively scripted scrap with an unsatisfying ending.
McIntyre had the advantage most of the match until Balor caught him between the ring apron and the side of the ring. That wasn’t even as cool as it sounded.
Balor was in the ring in recovery with a battered McIntyre outside the ring when Dolph Ziggler appeared from the timekeeper area to deliver a superkick to the Scotish Psycho. Ziggler attempted to grab a chair to smash McIntyre, but the tactics were countered.
McIntyre would carry the chair into the ring to use on Balor. The latter responded with a dropkick that slammed the chair against McIntyre and set him up perfectly for the Coup de Grace. Balor hit on his finishing move and got the pinfall victory.
Aside from the overly conservative booking throughout the match, the ending was perplexing. Why put Balor over against McIntyre? While Balor has a promising future, McIntyre deserves to be on a rocket ship straight to the top of the WWE’s internal power rankings.
He nearly checks all of the boxes and at 33 years old, he’s still young enough to have longevity as a main-event attraction. It’s difficult to understand what the WWE is doing with him. His feud with McIntyre appeared to end prematurely. It had some Diesel-Shawn Michaels qualities.
To compound things, McIntyre is now being made to put over a star he’s already surpassed–while he’s still on the rise himself. Everything about this match was wrong.