According to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the plan for Drew McIntyre vs. Goldberg at the 2021 Royal Rumble was made days in advance on Monday Night Raw.
During the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer noted that the company had the WWE Championship Match in the works a far back as the morning of January 2 but managed to keep it secret until the conclusion of the January 4, Monday Night Raw:
“The Goldberg thing, so Bill Goldberg and Drew McIntyre is going to be the main event of the Royal Rumble. So this was decided on Saturday [January 2]. So if you’re wondering why Bill did all this buildup with Roman Reigns if he’s going to wrestle Drew McIntyre and it’s like, that is your answer. It wasn’t a swerve. It wasn’t to throw people off. It was because they had nobody ready for anything. So yeah, the Goldberg decision was made on Saturday and if you’re wondering why it came out of nowhere, it’s because it came out of nowhere.”
Goldberg’s appearance on Raw sent social media into a frenzy as people harked back to WWE Super Showdown on February 27, 2020, when he defeated The Fiend to capture the WWE Universal Championship to the chagrin of all.
Dave Melter harked back to that bout in his belief that he cannot see Goldberg prevailing this time around:
“The thing is, in Bill Goldberg vs. Drew McIntyre, I cannot fathom, though anything can happen in WWE in this day and age, I cannot imagine Bill Goldberg winning this match. I just think that it’s not his time, plus he did the thing last year where he was supposed to lose and then Vince changed his mind. And this was one of those things where everyone went, ‘oh my god, we could do Bill Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania so let’s just have Bill Goldberg beat The Fiend’. Because what’s going to be bigger, Bill Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns or The Fiend vs. Roman Reigns.”
The news comes fresh off of the back of Goldberg’s recent comments in which he stated that Roman Reigns was next, with ‘The Head of the Table’ responding that he chose his challengers on his own time.
While many will expect a new WWE Champion on January 31, WWE have several ways they can go with the end of this bout in order keep both Goldberg and the popular champion looking strong ranging from run-ins to set-up WrestleMania, to another failed cash-in should they decide to take those avenues and keep the title on Drew McIntyre.
His match against ‘The Scottish Psychopath’ will fulfill one of Goldberg’s guaranteed two bouts per-year contract, which he still has one more of until his deal expires.