Drew McIntyre is a former WWE Champion and one of the top stars in the company but his greatest success has come during his second tenure with the company.
McIntyre was released by WWE in 2014 and says his road back began with an honest assessment of himself.
“I got fired,” McIntyre told Mark Andrews on My Love Letter To Wrestling. “For me, yeah, I mean, that was that big difference-maker. That was absolutely essential for me to take an honest look at myself. I’ve been in WWE for so long, I’ve been so many ups and downs personally, and obviously, professionally, things weren’t going well and I just never imagined a world where I wasn’t in WWE. I just assumed I’d be there forever in some capacity, even if it was a comedic role like I was in at the time and that I wasn’t particularly happy with. And it took getting fired to look in the mirror and say, ‘Oh, this was kind of on me’.
“I wasn’t giving it my all,” McIntyre continued. “I wasn’t being honest with myself and looking at my weak areas where I could improve. And obviously, some big personal things happened that pushed me over the edge when it came to the partying and the drinking and the likes, but still, I wasn’t doing anything to try and get better mentally. I, for sure – so that’s the time I honestly looked at myself and said, ‘okay, that’s what you’ve always wanted to do, I can’t imagine working any other job. How are you going to go about showing the world what you’re truly capable of, and that’s being the number one wrestler on the planet?”
Drew McIntyre returned to WWE in 2017 as part of its NXT brand. McIntyre was called up to the main roster one year later after he had recovered from a torn biceps. Even after making his way back to WWE’s main roster, McIntyre said it took time to build trust with backstage officials.
“You’ve got to build that trust with management from match, after match, after match, promo, after promo, after promo,” McIntyre explained. “You build the trust over time where you can get a little bit more leeway and to do what you think is right, go with your gut. And it was definitely around the time where the crowd started getting behind me. I started doing the countdown again – that, I started getting a little more leeway of, ‘Hey, go out there and kind of say what feels right. Here’s a guideline, here’s what we’re trying to get across’. There’s a collaboration, which it should be, and inject yourself into there and that’s when people really started responding and I got to be myself.
“I believe the moment it started was, I had a cage match with The Fiend, I believe. He needed an opponent. Whoever he was wrestling that night wasn’t able to wrestle that night. They weren’t cleared. So, Vince (McMahon) has suggested, ‘Hey, throw Drew in there and give him the microphone before the match.’ I believe Paul Heyman was in charge of RAW at the time and made sure the right people were watching when I went out, just to buy time when they were making the cage. And I started just cutting a little promo being myself, messing around with the ladies in the crowd, especially if they’re with guys, and just having a laugh. And I could see people who were leaving turning around and coming back to see what was going on. I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve got their attention. I’ll have a laugh at their expense’.
“I didn’t think much of it, I was just having fun,” Drew McIntyre concluded. “But the right people saw it and said, ‘Great, we need to put that Drew on TV’. And from there, I’ve just been working hard to build that trust to where we’re at right to where I feel like I could go out kind of do what feels right. Go with my gut. Know my time. Know the story. Know what we’re trying to achieve. Stay within the confines, not going into business for myself, but know what’s right for Drew. Because I am Drew and they know that I know myself and my character now.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit My Love Letter To Wrestling with ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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