Current WWE superstar and former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre recently sat down for an interview on an episode of Rasslin’ with Brandon F. Walker.
The host mentions that he had recently talked with Bobby Lashley and that Lashley said that McIntyre was responsible for challenging the RAW locker room to have more physical matches when he became WWE Champion. McIntyre was asked if this was true.
“I never knew he said that, so it’s pretty cool that he said something nice about me,” admitted McIntyre. “But, yeah. I’m always challenging our roster to step up, and I had been since before I won the title. But my big thing was not directly telling everybody, you know, do as I say, not as I do. I tried to lead through my actions and I made sure every single time I was in the ring, and I always wrestled this way, but in particular now the WWE Champion is out there and he is laying everything in and he is bringing this believable style. And if you’re in the ring with him you have to be able to step up to his standard, because if you don’t step up to my standard in that ring then I’ll eat you alive, quite frankly, inside that ring.
“And it has brought the best out of a lot of people that I have wrestled. It’s the same when you’re watching a Sheamus match, a Lashley match, a Drew McIntyre match, you know we’re going to bring the fight. Especially in that Performance Center when there are no fans there to kind of cover up some superstars whose games were not exactly on point. There was some daylight between other holes that you had to make sure all of your stuff was effective, snug, and believable for the people who watch wrestling in general, but especially for the new fans who are watching boxing and UFC, and they turn on WWE for the first time and it’s in the Performance Center. You better have your stuff down really well, and turn it up. Because realistically also, you’re only wrestling one day a week now. It’s not four days a week, 52 weeks a year anymore. You get time to recover. You’re two grown ass men. Go out there and make them believe. That’s my mentality, and if it trickled down from the top then that’s fantastic, and it’s really cool that Bobby said that.”
While on the topic of Bobby Lashley, McIntyre discussed their match at WrestleMania. He was asked what it was like to perform in front of fans for the first time in over a year, and how it was dealing with weather delays.
“Unbelievable,” described McIntyre. “Obviously you mention the buildup to it was interesting. We almost got rained out at times and I was trying to keep myself motivated and in the right frame of mind. But at the same time, just seeing the weather going on, and people being asked to leave the stadium [then to] come back inside, oh my goodness. Last year I’m fighting for the title and there is a worldwide pandemic, and this year I’m fighting for the title and we’re about to get rained out, there must be some kind of jinx. And as it gets closer to showtime and finally we start on time, we’re on the stage and I was actually supposed to be at the front of the stage, but somebody was standing in my spot. And I went, ‘Yes, perfect. I want to blend into the background.’ So, I kind of hid during the anthem as best as I could, because I didn’t want to look up and didn’t want to feel the crowd until it was time for my entrance, because I knew I was the first one walking out.
“So, I was very conscious of staying as small as I could at 6’5” legit, in the background and all I would do is look up and watch the anthem. I didn’t look at the crowd, obviously I could hear them, and the people around me were excited, the fellow superstars were jumping around and making noise. But I tried my best to drown everything out. Because I was like, ‘Nope, nope. I’ve waited one year, one month, and one day, and I’m the first one out here. I’m not experiencing it until I walk out for my entrance.’ So, I head to the back, I’m the first one through the back, and I hear, ‘Drew, there is a 40-minute delay.’ That’s when everyone is walking past me, fist bumps all-around, you know, ‘Start them off right big man,’ and, ‘Let’s do this,’ you know, ‘You’ve earned this moment,’ and, ‘Kill the show.’ Just person after person, and through my head and my fist is up, just anger in my eyes, [thinking], ’40-minute delay…’ So that was interesting, that 40 minutes.”
McIntyre also talked about seeing Bobby Lashley backstage during those 40 minutes. McIntyre said they were both pacing around waiting for the delay before someone randomly sent him to do an interview with MVP and Lashley.
“Lashley was just ready to go and was pacing like a maniac,” recalled McIntyre. “I saw him across the hallway when I came to the back out of gorilla position, just pacing like a madman. And I was full of all kids of emotion and just went off to a corner and started pacing, it barely lasted five minutes before someone was grabbing me saying, ‘We need you to come this way right now, you may have to do an interview.’ I was like, ‘Okay, where do you want me to go?’ They said, ‘Right there.’ And I was Lashley and MVP talking to each other and I went, ‘Okay!’ And walked right into frame and we started just going with the flow. And just talking about how we felt in that moment and just started talking from the gut.”
When talking about the fans being allowed at WrestleMania, McIntyre admitted he was nervous about how they would react to him. He said fans like new things, and he wasn’t sure if they had moved on from him. But that all that anxiety faded away when he heard the reaction from the crowd.
“[When] I came out it kind of occurred to me before I walked through the curtain that there was a lot of Drew content last year, I wonder how they’ll react,” confessed McIntyre. “I’d been a good guy this whole time, but we’ll see. In the past when people have kind of been in the fans faces for a long time they go, ‘Okay, we like this guy. He’s cool. But what’s the new thing I want to check out?’ And that new thing was Lashley at the time, he was on the rise. He’d finally reached the top. He was where I was at a year prior, and I had constantly been in the title scene for a year and a half now, how are [the fans] going to react? And that kind of goes through your head real quick before you walk out.
“And to walk out and hear the big cheer, and hear the big response, I decided on the fly to do the 3-2-1 with the crowd live before I stuck the sword in the stage, which was really cool. You know, walking down [the ramp] you can see me get emotional and almost teary-eyed, almost actually crying to be honest, before I got in the ring. . . It was just such a great night for everybody.”
After experiencing such a powerful moment with fans after waiting over a year, McIntyre was asked if it was difficult to go back to having no fans on the very next episode of Monday Night Raw. McIntyre said it was somewhat hard, but that he had already mentally prepared for it.
“Yes and no,” shared McIntyre. “I mean, I had mentally prepared myself that it was a treat, and that WrestleMania is special and [the fact] that we do have that many fans in the times we are living in right now, and that this is special.”
With Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship title being announced for Hell In A Cell, McIntyre is asked if he thinks his feud with Lashley could become the best rivalry of his career. McIntyre says he does think the feud has the potential to become his best, but that the top spot is currently occupied by another current WWE legend.
“Yeah, I really do,” affirmed McIntyre. “Thus far I think it’s Randy Orton. We spent four months with each other and that was my ultimate test of, ‘Can I step up to Randy Orton’s level on the microphone, in the ring as a storyteller, and can I hang with the best in the game?’ And that was such an important development and stage for me, keeping up with Randy and proving myself, and cementing myself at the top of the mountain. But Lashley and I are so similar and are at similar levels, and are trying to pull each other up through our work. And every time we get in there together it is easy. We know we can lay it in to each other any way we want. We can make people question do we like each other. And at times, we don’t. You can tell just by watching our matches sometimes on Monday Night Raw. You know, you can put us in there with not as much time as a WrestleMania, but you know you’re going to get a hard-hitting and exciting match for the duration of Lashley vs. McIntyre together. And keeping that storyline progressing, and adding wrinkles, like Braun Strowman, in keeps things interesting.”
You can listen to the interview in full HERE.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Rasslin’ with Brandon F. Walker with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.