Drew McIntyre spoke with Wrasslinews before his upcoming match against WWE Champion Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania 37. During the conversation, McIntyre discussed facing Lashley this year and how it compares to wrestling Brock Lesnar at last year’s ‘Mania. The former champion also talked about The Hurt Business and if he’d want to be the opening match at WrestleMania.
At last year’s show, McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar to capture the WWE Championship. Going into this year’s PPV, McIntyre again finds himself as the challenger, but is his mindset any different?
“Last year, I was going up against Brock [Lesnar], I was looking to prove to everyone across the world and prove to myself that I belonged at the top of the card, and there is no bigger superstar in history, essentially, and more dominant than Brock Lesnar,” McIntyre said. “And I was able to pull off that win in five minutes to show that I belonged!
“And this year, I spent a year basically as WWE Champion in all these big matches, worked extremely hard in the ring and out of the ring, but I don’t take this match lightly. I know Lashley has been working a long time and in the ring and out of the ring, he’s an absolute beast of a man, and I am treating it as seriously as you can possibly treat a match. Just like last year, as confident as I am, I’m not gonna go diving in there, looking for [claymore kicks] within the first minute because I’m sure Lashley is gonna strategy a game plan to catch some submission. Grab my foot or something as I throw it at his face. So yeah, I am treating him with the utmost respect, regardless of my game plan.”
Although, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin look to be out of The Hurt Business, McIntyre says he’ll keep an eye out for any new members potentially showing up when he faces Lashley.
“I’ll be on my toes,” McIntyre stated. “After Monday, you know, I brought the fight to the locker room because people weren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to possibly take me out and get the match at WrestleMania. But there was, obviously — Ali attacked me from behind. I’m sure there’s a lot of superstars on SmackDown after Corbin jumped me, as well. Possibly NXT! Possibly outside the company! There’ll be a lot of superstars looking to take Lashley up on his offer!
“Pretty sure I can see some cars swarming around outside my house right now! Looking to take Drew McIntyre to get a match at WrestleMania. [Laughs] I’ll be on my toes, even in my entrance. As I mentioned, I’m gonna be trying to control my emotions with all the fans there. You might see me kinda looking over my shoulder because who knows? Until that bell rings, the people might be looking to take me out and take my match!”
While most WWE Superstars would like the opportunity to close WrestleMania, McIntyre noted opening this year’s event could be just as sweet.
“I mean, I would be happy opening the show or closing the show,” McIntyre admitted. “This year is so unique in the sense that the last match — every match at WrestleMania is a main event. Let’s be realistic, if you’re on WrestleMania, you’re in a main event, but when you’re fighting for the championship, generally it’s cool to close the show.
“This is such a unique WrestleMania, without having the fans there for an entire year, that first reaction is gonna be so so special. So that’s why I said if I finish last, the last match — that’s phenomenal! That’s fantastic! That’s tradition! But if I’m in the opening match it’s just as big because if you get to walk out in that first match and get the crowd full of energy and all those pent-up reactions that we’ve been keeping inside for a year, that’s gonna be special too, so, either way I’m happy!”
WrestleMania is on April 10 and 11 at 8 pm ET, streaming on Peacock (for those in the U.S.) and the WWE Network (everywhere else).
You can check out McIntyre’s interview in the video below.