McIntyre was gaining the support of the fans before the move to the performance center, something new to the usually heel McIntyre. McIntyre spoke with Vicente Beltrán of ViBe & Wrestling where he talked about his transition from heel to face at the beginning of the year. He said there wasn't a specific moment where his character changed, but he remembered when the crowd turned in his favor.
"The point when people started kind of cheering because I wasn't doing anything particular that a good guy would generally do," McIntyre said. "There was no particular moment where, you know, I saved a good guy in trouble or saved the girl from the tracks before the train hit her. It was just like I started showing a little more of myself on the microphone, I guess, and people started responding because in real life, you know, I'm not the serious guy that I was for a while, I can be serious very serious, but there's a lot more to me.
"I'm silly, sarcastic, I like to have a good time, but in the end when I get in the ring everybody knows Drew McIntyre kicks butt, and I noticed that people started to cheer a few months before the Royal Rumble when, I remember one (moment) in particular it stands out to me, is at Madison Square Garden."
McIntyre said his positive reaction during a match at WWE's spiritual home preceded the rest of the fans getting behind him.
"I walked out, and I think you can tell a lot about how the Garden reacts to a superstar. I walked out, and I was against No Way Jose I remember, and I think I was out first and just the way people reacted I was like, 'hmm.' I got to the ring looking around, Jose made his entrance, they were still kind of quiet during his entrance, which was unusual because it's such an entertaining entrance, and he leaned into me and went, 'Are you Stone Cold Steve Austin tonight?' I said, 'I don't know, that's really weird,' because the reaction of the fans was very bizarre, but it's very telling how the Garden reacts. It's like they're ahead of the curve.
"Then, sure enough, as the weeks passed, and I started showing more of my personality, the rest of the fans around America, and around the world I could see on social media, started responding the same. Go down all the way to upping Brock out of the Royal Rumble when I won the Rumble, and I think that's when things really switched from bad to good."
McIntyre is scheduled to defend the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins at Money In The Bank this Sunday, May 10. He said fans have thrown out many names as potential title challengers, but he has a phenomenal opponent in mind.
"People have mentioned, referred names like Randy (Orton) and Edge so far, like Jinder (Mahal), I want him to go on a winning streak first before we even consider it. Somebody that's not there right now, hopefully he can dig himself out from the ground, but AJ Styles is somebody that's certainly up there. He's a performer that, you know, he's one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time. When I first started training when I was 15 and he was, like, on top of the independent world, I used to study his tapes like crazy. I was like, 'Man, I'm going to be like AJ Styles,' and then I kept getting taller and kept getting bigger and I was like, 'Okay, I'm not going to be like AJ Styles, but he's really cool to watch.'
"Then I was in WWE for years, he was obviously outside the company. He came to WWE when I was outside the company with the same company he was with, and then I came back to WWE (but) we're both on different shows, so we kept on like passing ships in the night. We never really had that opportunity to have a singles match and we made a triple threat one time with himself, myself and Randy Orton, which the match was awesome and I know if myself and AJ got the chance to go out there, not only would it be like awesome story wise, but obviously the matches would be phenomenal."
McIntyre will defend the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins at WWE Money In The Bank. New subscribers can sign up for the WWE Network today by clicking here and get their first month for free, which includes WWE Money In The Bank this Sunday.
Vicente Beltrán contributed to this article.