Since WrestleMania, WWE’s first-ever British born WWE champion has, like the champion’s before him, faced a variety of superstars. From the Big Show, Andrade, King Corbin to Seth Rollins. He’s also had to battle a foe no other WWE Champion has had to face, that’s the battle of performing week in and week out without a live crowd full of WWE fans. Regardless of the obstacles, McIntyre has proven to be a fantastic champion, oozing confidence, going above and beyond to connect with the fanbase watching from home, and producing a memorable championship match with Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank.

Now, looking ahead to his next challenger at Backlash, Bobby Lashley, McIntyre took the time to speak to the UK media on a media call last Friday, which SteelChair Magazine had the good fortune of joining. On this call, we discussed his journey back to the WWE and proving legends wrong with his success as champion, and elsewhere on the call, the WWE Champion discussed working with The Undertaker, trying new things during this unique situation, and much more.

Your journey back to the WWE and to the WWE Championship has been well documented, and it’s even led to Hall of Famers like Mick Foley admitting you proved him wrong by becoming more than just a mid-card act. Was that the motivation you had after your WWE departure, proving people wrong, and what does it feel like hearing superstars like Mick Foley say that? 

“Yeah, definitely initially, I had a huge chip on my shoulder. Like, up until we filmed my Chronicle, which is on the WWE Network, I had it in my head that, “Oh yeah, I just hit the ground running. I was confident, things worked out,” which wasn’t the case at all. My wife reminded me as we were filming the Chronicle, I was nervous, you know. I was like, “Oh my goodness, I’ve not had these long matches in a while. I’ve not had serious promos in a while because I was in 3MB. But I do have this huge chip on my shoulder. I do believe in myself that much, and I want to show the world what I’m capable of.”

Mick Foley was one of the first people that reached out to me after I did my mission statement promo in ICW. Actually, I reached out to him. I sent it out to him, and I said, “If you get time, can you have a look at this Mick? Always appreciate your opinion.” Then he reached back out to me and said, “Oh my goodness Drew, where was this guy?” He took the time, which I found out not that long ago, to text Triple H, and he told him that you need to keep an eye on Drew McIntyre/Drew Galloway because this kid’s got something. At the time, he would write about what he liked online and put a lot of people over, and he told me, “I just wanna do something bigger for you.” He really believed in me that much, and he took the time and waited until he was on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast and brought it up on there, which was really cool. I also did Chris Jericho’s podcast, who was someone else that really believed in me and gave me that platform.

Drew McIntyre RR 2020

But like you say, a lot of people saw what I had to say, and I basically said: “I’m gonna become the biggest wrestler in the world, and ICW and Scotland are gonna take over.” And people probably thought that 3MB guy has lost his mind. So it was a good feeling to work really hard and start changing those people’s perceptions of me. I even got to the point where there was no chip on my shoulder. I was confident in myself. If I went back to WWE, that’s fantastic, I have some unfinished business, but if I didn’t, I was genuinely having fun outside the company.

To hear some of my peers, from whatever part of the chain you want to look at, all the way to the top, to hear such positive things about my work ethic and the journey I’ve been on does mean the world to me.”

On his new freedom and being himself on WWE TV:

“Inevitably, it comes down to Vince McMahon being cool with everything, and if it’s working, he’s going to be cool with it. I think a Paul Heyman knows exactly who I am and what I’m capable of, and what I was doing outside of the company and was maybe looking for that opportunity to let me be myself, to allow Mr. McMahon to see that. As well as our writing team, they follow the stuff outside the company, the great people we work with.

But yeah, I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but Paul Heyman reminded me recently that there was a particular promo I did that was a dark match after RAW had finished, it was a cage match. They basically said go buy some time, and I went out and sat on the barricade, and I was just myself, I was Drew Galloway. I interacted with the crowd, and I remember fans stopping and turning around and walking back down cause I was just having fun and being silly. Being the real Drew, being sarcastic, telling jokes that aren’t funny half the time, and that’s the real me. But when the bell rings, they always know I’m gonna kick butt.

I guess that’s part of my charm is that I am a bit goofy and silly at times, but when it comes down to it, I will kick your butt, and I’ve got a relatable story. So it is really cool to be the real me, and like you say, if you looked at the pieces of paper that say words on them before I go out there, I’d be shocked if you found four that actually come out on television because I just speak right from the heart. It comes from Drew. I am Drew. I know Drew because I’m the real Drew, and I get that guidance from people around me to keep bringing the world Drew. Hopefully, it resonates with everybody.”

Working with Undertaker at Extreme Rules 2019:

“I think I found out I was in the match, close to the late minute. I remember when Taker came back; it was one of the few surprises in wrestling because it’s so hard to keep a secret with social media these days. We managed to get right up to Taker appearing. The lights went out when we’re about to give the coast to coast to Roman, I was holding Roman in the corner, the lights came on, and Taker was standing right there. The reaction around the building, the reaction on social media was that of pure shock. So for a start, I was proud that we actually kept a secret for once. And building up to the match, myself, Shane, and Roman were very adamant that we’re gonna give him a match that he deserves after that last match (with Goldberg) that didn’t go particularly well.

In my head, I was thinking, this has been coming a long time for myself. I don’t know how many matches he’s got left in him. I got a few things on my list I really want to accomplish now that I’m back in WWE. Number one was to become champion (shows the WWE title to the screen), got that right here. And off there was getting that big singles match with The Undertaker. I’m all about moments these days rather than just the moves in there. It’s good to have a good match, but it’s all about the story and those moments. And I suggested to Taker the one point where we came face to face in the match, and he was cool with that, and I could hear the crowd rumbling. And at the very end for the finish, he did the throat slash and I appeared up behind him. There were a couple of cool moments.

We had that match. It got received really well. He (Undertaker) was very happy with it, and I might have dropped it in the conversation that there was a certain match we were hoping to have about ten years ago. Now that we’ve been in there together, and you know what I’m capable of these days, and the way I think these days. I think he seems pretty keen that we could do something down the line. Fingers crossed that match happens because I really think we could do something special.”

Drew-Undertaker Extreme Rules

The challenge of working without the fans:

“I mean, obviously, the fans are our number one superstar. They create the atmosphere. You know, WWE is all about innovating. I’m all about innovating and thinking outside of the box. I think from a match perspective, you gotta think about it and change it up, and maybe don’t sit on those slow holds for too long and try to keep the pace going, while also trying to tell your story at the same time. So match wise, it’s definitely required a lot more thinking, and I hit harder because you can hear all the strikes, and I already hit hard, to begin with.

From the promo wise, I think it’s a very good time, if you know your character, to get your character out there and have people invested in you. WWE, at its heart, is all about storytelling and characters, and I think with the attention really on you, like nobody shouting over you. The spotlights on you, and if you’re able to embrace that character, you know who you are. You’re able to educate everybody on exactly who you are, by the time the crowds come back, they’re gonna be caring about you a lot more. And I think people should be taking advantage of this time right now to get those characters over or figuring out what’s the best way to go about the matches to make it more exciting for the viewers at home without that atmosphere.”

Facing Bobby Lashley, and if it’ll be harder than facing Brock Lesnar:

“Um, I don’t get paid by the hour, so hopefully, I can beat him in five minutes too. Lashley is more focused than he’s ever been. He’s a huge guy, a strong guy, a fast guy, and he’s undefeated in the MMA world in Bellator. He’s the kind of Lashley that I’ve been hoping to see on WWE TV. You know, this soap opera wedding stuff, it’s for some people, it’s not for me. The show should be a lot of different entertaining things for everybody, but Bobby Lashley is not that, he’s a killer.

The partnership with MVP and Lashley is the perfect pairing to bring out the real Lashley. He’s been on a different level these past few weeks; I felt it on Monday when we were brawling with each other. I don’t know how anybody’s been in the cage with that man. And I know at Backlash, if Edge and Randy Orton are gonna have the greatest match – sorry, let me get it right. If Edge and Randy Orton are gonna have the greatest “wrestling” match ever, then Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre are gonna have the greatest “fight” ever.”

Drew vs. Lashley Backlash

The opponent he’d face for a UK-based WWE PPV:

“Oooh, that’s a good question. I would just be so excited to have the UK PPV that I would never shut up about it. I shout it from the rooftops every time I can because the UK deserves a PPV the level of SummerSlam ‘92. I know it would sell out, I know it would do incredible, I know it would be such huge news. I don’t understand the logistics that would’ve happened if it was that easy, but we absolutely can and will make it happen. Again, I’ve said it before, I’ll wrestle anybody on our roster, and I’ll wrestle anybody, not on our roster.

I’ve been having this back and forth with Tyson Fury, and according to his latest comments, he’s deadly serious about having a fight with myself. Be it, over here or in the UK, and if it took myself vs. a Fury in a battle of Britain to get the non-wrestling eyes on the WWE product, then I would absolutely do that. Basically, I would do whatever it took to have that PPV.”

On support from the UK media and fans:

“I just wanna thank you. Everybody on the call today, I recognise all your names. I know some of you. I’m friends with some of you. You’ve always had my back. You’re always saying such positive things. And I appreciate you supporting me, and supporting WWE in general, especially pushing us forward, getting stories out there during these times for all the fans in the UK. I can’t thank you’ll enough.

The fans are the reason I’m in this position right now. The fact that it’s happened by me just being Drew Galloway is mental to me, and the fact that people have latched on to my story. I guess I aspire to inspire these days, and it’s cool that’s happening. Thank you, everybody, I appreciate you all. Make sure you check out RAW, SmackDown, and NXT every week, of course. And Backlash on June 14th because I guarantee what everyone thinks about Bobby Lashley and I right now, by June 14th, you’re gonna be very into it, and you’re gonna see a heck, heck of a war.”

Drew McIntyre defends the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley at Backlash on Sunday, June 14th, on the WWE Network.

All images are courtesy of WWE

By Humza Hussain

Humza Hussain is SteelChair Magazine's Interviews editor. He has been a lifelong professional wrestling fan and has conducted interviews with names such as DDP, Aleister Black, and Bayley. He also writes film news, reviews, and interviews!

Leave a Reply