Since his return to WWE in 2017, Drew McIntyre has shared the ring with wrestling legends including the Undertaker and Goldberg. Even though his main event run has propelled him to working with bigger stars, the Scottish Warrior is no stranger to wrestling Hall of Famers.
Speaking with Ryan Satin on Out of Character, McIntyre detailed his experience wrestling Ricky Steamboat during 2009 house show tours.
“It was absolute insanity. He only had a few matches [when he came back],” McIntyre said. “It was basically myself and Jericho that had a couple of matches each with him. That’s just insane to think of. One of them, I remember being in the ring, and it was one of the ten shows we used to do in the New York area. It was a sold out crowd but a limited crowd, maybe like a thousand people or whatever there. It was so cool, calm, collected. I don’t take arm drags also, like I’ve never been one to take a good arm drag. I always go over awkwardly. It never looks good, so I always tell people that I do not take arm drags. When I was wrestling Ricky Steamboat, I was taking freakin’ arm drags. The best arm drags in my life.
“I remember at FCW one time about a year or two later after I wrestled Ricky, I was with his son, and I made a joke, ‘I remember back in the day when I used to wrestle your dad.’ It was literally the year before.”
While they only worked together for a couple of months, the former WWE Champion says he took a big lesson away from wrestling the Dragon.
“Like I just mentioned, relax,” McIntyre said. “He was just so, so relaxed. It really took me a back just like being in certain situations where you probably shouldn’t be relaxed with this young kid trying to turn you into a pretzel and being overly stiff. He was just so relaxed in his demeanor and the way he was when he out there, and the crowd were still with him because he so in the moment, so present with them, and I was thinking so much about not messing up and like, in my own little bubble that that’s why they weren’t responding to me. It took me again a long time to figure that out.”
That lesson ended up being a perfect sequel to a major piece of advice that the Deadman once gave a young McIntyre.
“This is a lesson the Undertaker told me: stop playing the wrestler and be the wrestler,” McIntyre said. “I was out there so concerned about the things I might do and not messing up. If you looked at my eyes you can see I’m just not in the moment. I’m not present. I’m not part of this match. It’s very obvious. It was very obvious to the crowd that Ricky was relaxed, he was part of [the match], he believed in himself so they believed in him.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Out of Character with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.