Drew McIntyre won the 202o Royal Rumble on January 26, 2020, which ensured him a World Championship match at Wrestlemania 36. McIntyre ended up beating Brock Lesnar in the main event of Night 2, however, it was in front of no fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WWE fans returned on July 16, 2021, during an episode of Smackdown. ‘Money In The Bank’ was the first WWE Pay-Per-View that included fans since WrestleMania 37 Night 1 and 2, happening July 18, 2021. During an interview with CBS Sports, Drew McIntyre discussed fans returning and what the reaction felt like to him.

“I remember that particular time. It was amazing that the fans stayed so positive for such a long time and the only way we could gauge it was social media. Generally, they are the harshest critics. So they were positive for such a long time until, I think I had wrestled with Lashley a couple of times,” McIntyre continued.

“Even though it had technically only been maybe two matches, it felt like it’d be going on for a long time. Perhaps we didn’t do as many interesting things as we could and should have done to keep fans invested. I think they were just over that particular storyline. By the time fans were coming back, there was still a bit of a feeling like we’d had a lot of Drew in our face, which we had.

“Realistically, we had Drew McIntyre at the top of the card for a year and a half, which in today’s day and age might as well be 20 years with the short attention spans that people have. I was aware of that fully when the crowds were coming back, especially at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. So as soon as I got the opportunity to cover for all earlier in the night, I had the money in the bag. If you go back and watch it, you hear the initial reaction,” McIntyre continued. “When I appeared, I was just glad to hear the noise. Like, there was a lot of cheers, but also some boos mixed in there as well.”

Drew McIntyre explained why he decided to drop the ‘Story Time with Drew’ segments on TV once the fans returned.

“If you watch the duration of the promo, I was back to being just regular Drew. I wasn’t trying any outside-the-box things like, ‘Story Time with Drew’. I instantly dropped that crap the second fans came back because I knew it wasn’t gonna work with a live audience. You could hear them cheering by the end of the interview,” McIntyre recalled. “From that moment forward, I kept with what I know works, what brought me to the dance as a main-event player, which is just me with the volume turned up. I had fun on the rest of my time on Raw with a live audience being there. Outside of the title scene, fans really started paying attention again, and the move to Smackdown was like a whole fresh coat of paint all over again. That was the kind of rebirth again of Drew McIntyre.”

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