With WrestleMania just around the corner, Sport360 caught up with Drew McIntyre to discuss his thoughts ahead of the show of shows and his aspirations for the future.
Here’s what he had to say….
Q: What’s the mood like when everyone under the WWE umbrella manages to come together, in this case Dallas? How does it feel to have everyone back together?
Drew: It’s great! It feels like the greatest reunion ever to have everyone at the company back together. It’s also incredible that all the fans from all over the world are going back to the same place and enjoying what we all love the most. Two years ago we had an epic no-one WrestleMania, limited capacity and no-one traveling. But this year we’re getting back to normal with people from all over the world and potentially there will be 100,000 people there every night over the weekend. I am looking forward to.
Q: You’ve been away from the title shot since losing to Lashley, so after WrestleMania, that would be going back to targeting the title?
Draw: Absolutely. That is always the ultimate goal! It’s been so long since I’ve fought for the heavyweight championship, so I’m definitely setting my sights on that. When I was drafted to SmackDown, my eyes were immediately drawn to the Universal Championship. But I understood and I totally agreed to do whatever it takes to get this opportunity. It’s not like Roman would jump up and offer it to me knowing what I’m capable of these days – we all saw what happened at Survivor Series in 2020.
When the whole family got involved, I was crushed and suffocated. He (Roman) is definitely aware of what Drew McIntyre is capable of nowadays compared to our battles in the past. And like I said, I start at the bottom, fight everyone and work my way up.
At this stage in my career, I understand that I don’t need everything. Now I’m a 52 weeks a year product, I’m 36 years old. I have many years left in my career and I’ve just been biding my time, building my wins and biding my moment. We have this big match between Roman and Brock in the title versus title match at WrestleMania and I can assure you I’m keeping an eye on who’s going to win this match because I’m coming for them.
Q: This is going to be your seventh WrestleMania and your Show of Shows resume is pretty damn cool. You were the main eventer with Brock Lesnar, you were the first WWE Superstar to perform in front of fans during the pandemic era when you faced Bobby Lashley. Even a Money in the Bank Ladder match at WrestleMania 26, so you pretty much ticked off everything important to do at WrestleMania. Do you still get that excitement, nervousness and goosebumps during WrestleMania season?
Drew: Yes, sure. I get the excitement and goosebumps for all the weekend shows, even the non-televised ones. So for WrestleMania, what I mentioned before is that we’re going to get back to how WrestleMania was meant to be. I know how many people will be there, I know our most passionate fans are coming from all over the world to come together and bring that energy. I know how loud it’s going to be, so I’m super excited to hear the excitement on the streets and feel the excitement in the arena. I don’t know, since I’ve returned to WWE match-wise, it might seem interesting, I wrestled Roman at my first WrestleMania and I wrestled Lesnar, Lashley and Corbin.
A lot of people might say, “well, they’re not like each other,” but at the same time, the rest of the games were more about the glory and the championships. The fight with the great Roman, a top superstar, and maybe more than the title fights.
But it’s different with Corbin, who tried to take me out earlier this year.
This is personal and I really plan on either taking them out quickly and embarrassing them, or delaying the beating long enough and really embarrassing him. I’ve studied past games like Brett Hart vs Stone Cold or The Undertaker vs Sean Michaels. I studied Vince McMahon against Brett Hart from WrestleMania 26, where it was just a really long, awkward 40 minutes. These are definitely inspirations.
Q: It is only the second anniversary of the first lockdown in much of the world. For many people you will be a symbol of this time thanks to your fantastic title win. I know, emotionally and in terms of the individual moment, maybe it wasn’t the circumstances of the title when you envisioned that moment, or you grew up dreaming about that moment. But it’s quite a legacy considering the mark you leave, isn’t it?
Drew: I’ve talked about it a lot and it’s not what I dreamed of as a kid because who on earth would dream of winning the title and main event at WrestleMania in front of nobody. No one could have predicted the times we would find ourselves in, especially this specific moment, this specific time, this specific weekend when the pandemic was at its peak and everyone around the world was really scared. We didn’t know what was going on. All other sports entertainment companies had closed, but WWE carried on. And I was the main event, you know, I was part of the feel-good story and I was able to distract people from what was going on. And seeing the feedback meant the world to me.
We’ve really made a lot of people happy and I know that because I’ve seen the numbers on social media up 60% compared to last year. I’ve spoken to people countless times now, virtually and in person, and they’ve told me how difficult things have gotten for them and how the escape that WWE offers can literally save people’s lives.
There have been people in tears telling me that this is the stuff that makes me realize how important what we did during that time was and I will never take it back. I was very proud of it. At the end of the day, as WrestleMania comes and goes, people remember those moments from WrestleMania, and if you’re lucky, people will remember it for a few more months. But the product keeps running, the machine keeps pushing. Those moments may end up in a video package, or on the network, or even on Shahid, but the reality is no one will forget WrestleMania, when the world stood still and when Drew McIntyre won the title.
Q: Aside from your own match, which match on the currently confirmed WrestleMania map are you most excited about?
Drew: Well, there are definitely a few. I have my eye on Brock Lesnar Vs Roman Reigns. Of course I want to see who will win this because then I will shoot them.
We also have Charlotte Flair at the event and I know it will be great to see her because she always puts in some great performances on the biggest stage. She’s such an incredible athlete. Then she’s up against Ronda Rousey, who’s an amazing athlete and she’s had success in these big matches too so it’ll be fun to watch.
For “Becky vs. Bianca,” Becky did one of her favorite promos on RAW last Monday, along with Bianca, who has come into her own and is such a superstar.
She is such a phenomenal athlete and together these two will create magic.
Q: Regarding the title unification between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns from WrestleMania Sunday, who do you think we’ll be putting out with both championships? And would you like to compete against the winner of both titles?
Drew: Yeah, whoever wins. I definitely want to play them, but I can’t really predict who will win. I have history with both of them defeating Brock for my first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36, although Roman was always my Kryptonite and I was never able to defeat him. I was close during Survivor Series 2020 Champion vs Champion, but the whistles kicked in when the low blow happened.
But Roman knows what I’m capable of these days.
I look forward to seeing the winner and Brock isn’t the same Brock he was – his cowboy Brock right now is kind of scarier coming out and smiling and enjoying himself. He just destroys everyone and runs into them, and that’s even scarier than angry Brock. I’m excited to see who gets a win and I’ll be watching as a fan like everyone else. At the same time, after the end of the game, I will target anyone standing there with these two titles.
Q: The main event for this year, Reigns Vs. Lesnar. It’s arguably the greatest match of all time and it seems like all other maps have been overshadowed. Do you think you can reach that level and how do you plan to reach that status?
Drew: Yes, I think I can do it. 100%. I could lie and say, “It’s going to be this year,” but it wouldn’t be because of the level of superstars involved, the preparation for the game, and just the years and years and years of justice that both Roman and Brock have . Honestly, no one from all brands can touch that right now. It really is the greatest game we’ve ever seen. Both titles are at stake at the moment. That setup rightfully makes it the greatest match of all time. And if we look at all the attributes of both Superstars, it’s debatable if there’s been a bigger match in the past, but it would be a dumb branding thing to see it as the second-biggest match of all time.
And it can be debated as the greatest season because of the superstars involved because of the titles on the line. Obviously I’m watching with everyone else, but not only, as I said, to find out who the winner is and who I’m aiming at, but also to figure out what I need to do to get to their level, both of them are in there.
The progress I’ve made over the past few years, I’ll keep getting these reps and watching these two superstars study these two superstars and figure out how they got to where they are now.
Q: What does WrestleMania mean to you and what are your expectations for this great event?
Drew: WrestleMania means everything. It’s the biggest show of the year. That’s what we all work towards all year long from the day after WrestleMania, hoping to stay healthy, hoping to be lucky enough to get a match at WrestleMania.
It’s the dream of superstars like me who always wanted to be in WWE as a kid.
I’ve always dreamed of being a part of WrestleMania in some capacity. Everyone, including me, is absolutely thrilled with this year’s WrestleMania.
My expectations of the game are high. I’ve obviously opened my mouth about Corbin and all the horrible things I’m going to do to him, “I’m going to hurt him and I’m going to embarrass him,” but at the same time I could take it second to say something positive about him.
Realistically, he’s 6ft 7ft tall and weighs nearly 300 pounds. As a former soccer player, he is willing to do anything to win. He’s got the experience now that he’s been around for a couple of years and the biggest thing of all is those physical attributes. Aside from being a horrible person for believing in himself as “Happy Corbin” right now, he’s undefeated. There’s a difference in his confidence because he’s on a roll.
His confidence matches his physical ability, although he seems scared of Drew McIntyre and there’s always danger as I proceed with a game plan. I will embarrass him and I also have high expectations after the game.