When Drew McIntyre first signed with WWE in 2007, he was just 21-years-old so you can excuse him for having a bit of a party boy mindset back then. He said he needed his WWE firing in 2014 in order to mature and become the person and performer he is today. He was asked about that change in mindset by Wrestling Inc.'s Akhilesh Gannavarapu on a WWE media call.
"What's changed from my first stint is that I don't take anything for granted," stated McIntyre. "I'm a lot more mature and I don't have negativity in my life. Partying isn't as important to me anymore like it was when I was younger. I focus very much on the job and my goals and dreams...
"They say opportunity is everything you've got. I didn't realize that the first time around because I had lost perspective."
After being on the indie circuit and in Impact Wrestling, McIntyre had an opportunity to return to WWE which he accepted. But he didn't join WWE right away and spent a year in NXT before re-joining the main roster.
He explained his reasoning behind wanting to go to NXT first.
"I had a lot of conversations with Triple H and I made it clear if I come back, I would like to go to NXT," admitted McIntyre.
McIntyre then said he's worked in many companies, and countries, around the world and NXT is a place that needs his wealth of experience in order to help mold the younger wrestlers.
"You need those experienced leaders because that makes a difference in the product," said McIntyre. "NXT had lost a couple of people and I felt I could really make a difference going in there."
We'll never know if McIntyre would have become the present version of himself had he not left WWE in 2014. He admitted as much and said he needed that time away to gain perspective.
"It would have been very hard to grow if I hadn't stepped outside the WWE bubble and gain a clear perspective on everything," stated McIntyre. "I was already comfortable talking but that wasn't my strong suit.
"I think I would have done okay but I don't think I would be where I'm at. I certainly wouldn't be as comfortable as I am now to get more opportunities."