Drew McIntyre Talks WrestleMania 36, Brock Lesnar & Being the Champion People Need


This 12 months’s WrestleMania goes to be in contrast to something WWE followers have seen earlier than.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has prohibited followers from attending the “Showcase of the Immortals” or any WWE stay exhibits main as much as the occasion. Traveling, which includes lots of WWE Superstars’ time, is nearly non-existent because the performers stay residence till they’re known as upon.

Drew McIntyre is a kind of WWE Superstars, and he is residence rather more than he is used to. During the pandemic, he is been in a position to spend time together with his spouse and cats and construct his personal health club in his storage, one thing that he is been speaking about doing for years.

But he additionally plans to make use of this time for different actions.

“I spend a lot of time in the gym, but there’s only so much time you can spend there. [Me and my wife] watch quite a bit of television, like to go on walks when I have the time. We try to find the local trails in the area and go on adventures. That’s how we pass the time,” McIntyre advised Newsweek. “Most recently I’ve been thinking either getting back into video games – I used to love Resident Evil as a kid, hope that’s still a thing – and two, my guitar has been sitting up there for eight years untouched. So maybe I’ll bring that out and start getting good again and start a band. Not the three-man band, something fresh.”

McIntyre may also have this time to consider his journey to WrestleMania 36, which is an particularly distinctive one. After his debut on WWE tv in 2007, there was lots of boasting from the upper ups about his skills, suggesting he was going to be a future star. That’s lots of strain for a 22-year-old. Unfortunately, McIntyre did not stay as much as his potential and he was lower from the corporate.

After spending years on the unbiased circuit, McIntyre would return to the WWE by way of the NXT model after which to Monday Night RAW, the place he is now set to tackle Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.

Newsweek caught up with the WWE Superstar to speak about his journey to his match with Brock Lesnar, his emotions on this 12 months’s WrestleMania and the way he is dealing with the change in format.

Note: This interview has been edited calmly for readability and size.

Drew McIntyre Talks WrestleMania 36, Brock Lesnar & Being the Champion People Need
Drew McIntyre holds Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship on Monday Night RAW WWE

This 12 months’s WrestleMania is in contrast to something you have skilled. How are you feeling going into your match?

I’m feeling good, I’m staying optimistic. Obviously the way in which issues shook out I’m dissatisfied. It’s not the way in which I envisioned after I was a child, being in an enormous stadium with 1000’s of individuals going loopy; which much more surprising is that they most likely would have been behind me on this match for the title with Brock [Lesnar]. And having everyone near me with the ability to share in that second, having that change was a bit disappointing. But as soon as I obtained that out of my system I appeared on the larger image and realized this is not only a Drew factor or a WWE factor, it is a world factor. With what is going on on proper now WWE is without doubt one of the few locations pushing ahead and making an attempt to present individuals an escape with authentic content material and to sit up for one thing. The indisputable fact that we’re pushing forward to get WrestleMania prepared and to have me within the largest match of that present, to present the world that escape is a large deal for me. And it doesn’t matter what, though like I mentioned it is not how I pictured it, this WrestleMania will not be forgotten. It shall be remembered, and I need to be remembered because the man who gained on this historic WrestleMania.

A 12 months in the past you confronted Roman Reigns at WrestleMania and now you are each preventing for the highest titles of your respective manufacturers. How was it working with him and seeing the place you each at the moment are?

It’s loopy. To watch Roman go from an FCW developmental… I bear in mind one in all his earliest matches after I went right down to FCW, and I used to be about 25 on the time so round 9 years in the past. And I used to be in a tag match with him and the trainers advised me to control this man, he will be good. But I did not notice how good he would turn into and the way far he would go. I used to be away from the corporate for just a few years and got here again and had the chance to be round him and work with him. And I used to be “wow this guy has advanced faster than anyone I’ve been around.” I used to be studying from him though I’ve been round loads longer than him, and I used to be truly studying from Roman.

So I used to be like “ok this guy really gets it.” Obviously it is in his blood and he is such an exceptional performer and chief I can be taught a factor or two about this man. I used to be the large feud for him getting back from his sickness, and we obtained lots of time to work collectively and he was serving to me out to discover ways to be a top-level WWE Superstar. And one 12 months later it is loopy that I obtained to eradicate him final from the Royal Rumble and now we’re each going for our respective titles. If I could be a champion like Roman has been it is one thing to be pleased with.

Anything particularly Roman would train you about performing on the prime stage?

Yeah there’s lots of nuances that he mastered. Lots of people can get good at this job and get a crowd to react. And after I say react I imply clap their palms for that exact second or match and have individuals really invested and care about you. The room feels totally different if you stroll into it, that is a real top-level famous person. Like I mentioned, though he hasn’t been doing it so long as myself, lots of people round on the time [felt] it was in his blood and he obtained it in a short time. And it is about the way you current your self as that top-level famous person It labored for therefore most of the legends on this enterprise, and he was a sponge the entire approach. He obtained the chance to work with lots of guys who aren’t round anymore, and to have that data that was handed onto him handed onto me, he was prepared to show.

Your highway again to the WWE and to WrestleMania is in contrast to anybody else, and it began with NXT. What was it wish to be there even if you had been already a reputation?

Being in NXT was what I needed to do. It was by alternative. It was Triple H’s imaginative and prescient for me to return to NXT and his NXT model. That was the one place I used to be prepared to return to, and simply because I’ve been gone for awhile. I did not re-sign with TNA. New Japan was on my thoughts. Had it not [been] for a 40-minute cellphone name with Triple H, throughout that decision he mentioned lots of optimistic issues. He was keeping track of me. He was very proud that I used to be lastly residing as much as my potential and what himself and Mr. McMahon noticed in me all these years in the past. But throughout that decision I made my emotions very clear that I needed to be in NXT, and he made it clear that was his ideas, to reintroduce me to the WWE and present them who Drew is now.

The NXT followers are the hardcore followers. They know what I’ve completed outdoors the corporate, in order that was an excellent place to reintroduce Drew however on the similar time be a pacesetter and train everyone round me the issues that I did effectively and to not make the identical errors that I did. So I actually thrived and liked to be a champion and chief down there earlier than I obtained despatched to RAW.

Alongside Wrestlemania, NXT Takeover: Tampa has additionally modified. Takeovers are at all times an enormous for the expertise of NXT. How do you’re feeling about seeing that modified?

I’m positive they really feel the identical: somewhat dissatisfied that it is not taking place as they envisioned it, however once more very proud to present the individuals one thing to sit up for. Takeovers are one thing I sit up for personally. Every match they at all times knock it out of the park. Everybody who’s fortunate sufficient to be on a Takeover realizes that they’re very fortunate as a result of there are such a lot of individuals on the PC. When I used to be there, I used to be there for a 12 months, and after I was injured I used to be taking place there to work with Shawn Michaels. I might meet about 200-300 individuals each time I used to be down there. So many individuals on the PC it is unbelievable, and for those who’re fortunate sufficient to get on a Takeover you have earned it and deserve it. I do know these guys give it a 110 p.c at each Takeover. And I consider they’ll do [the Takeover matches] on Wednesdays, and I do know they’ll knock it out of the park and I’m excited.

On the subject of NXT, it is getting its first illustration at WrestleMania with the Rhea Ripley and Charlotte match. What’s it wish to see that and to have the black and gold model go to the “big leagues” so to talk?

It’s superior, but it surely’s not like the way it was once. Like going from FCW to RAW or SmackDown. That was transferring to the “big leagues” since you had been in a warehouse coaching. With NXT you are within the Performance Center for one, which is an insane multi-million greenback facility that has the whole lot you’ll be able to probably think about. And NXT has a present each week on USA, after which you have got Takeover the way in which it’s now. So it is not such an enormous soar the way in which it was once. It was once not realizing how it’ll be and leaping into the deep finish. Now you are prepared for if you’re dropped within the deep finish and the viewers is aware of the character. But there’s a distinction from getting a possibility on RAW or SmackDown with an even bigger viewers to being on WrestleMania.

I do know for Rhea Ripley. She’s younger however she’s been doing this for a really very long time. She’s figured herself out and remained true to herself and is over with the group. She found out this distinctive character, and he or she’s within the ring with Charlotte and they’re each phenomenal athletes. That’s a match I’m trying ahead to. I do not need to be following that match. I’m simply kidding, I’m going to major occasion [laughs].

Your WrestleMania second is not what you envisioned and there are just a few Superstars who will really feel the identical approach. How are you dealing with that, and what recommendation do you have got for others?

I’ve been excited about this. It got here to me as I used to be speaking in a previous interview. After cooling off and placing the stamp on an 18-year profession, changing into WWE Champion, the primary British WWE Champion. How is it going to be sitting in that ring, doubtlessly, on my own with the title? And the way in which I described it earlier was, you have got your second with the group, adrenaline is pumping excessive, you go to the again, everyone seems to be there. You go to the locker room, everyone seems to be there. You get congratulations and ultimately everybody leaves and you are going to come down and after I’m final, I’m the final one to go away the locker room. And after I lastly get to that resort room and also you’re along with your important different, in my case my spouse, and at last when you’re alone, that is when the actual feelings come out. And I can think about this explicit state of affairs being one thing like that. Like you get a peek at you if you’re away from the general public. I’m not probably the most emotional particular person on this planet, however after profitable the Royal Rumble I obtained emotional as a result of it was such an enormous second for me. And I get a flash of the whole lot I’ve been by way of to this stage.

But this time, within the ring on my own, you are actually going to get a glimpse of what occurs after we get again to the resort. And the resort room closes and also you’re staring on the title and I do know lots of different individuals are going to be nervous about their entrance and the way they react afterwards, celebrating, and so forth, however that is what I might say. Do what you at all times do, chill out, be within the second and the cameras are going to choose the whole lot up, so simply faux you are in that resort room afterwards and simply let the world in, and no matter actual emotion comes out, comes out.

How is it having Brock Lesnar be that final impediment for you?

This is one thing I envisioned in my head after I was gone from WWE, and I’ve advised this story just a few occasions and I hold telling it as a result of it is true and it does not even really feel actual that it is taking place.

When I used to be outdoors the corporate I did lots of visualizing and preparation of precisely the place I need to go and get there. And one factor I assumed after I was outdoors the WWE was “which is the biggest possible match I could be in wrestling right now?” It can be Brock Lesnar. He’s a killer, a particular attraction within the WWE and solely used for particular events. That can be the match.

The stage? WrestleMania, clearly, it is the largest present on this planet. What would I’ve to do to stroll into WrestleMania and look plausible in opposition to Brock Lesnar? One, I’ve to get as huge as potential as a result of anybody who stands in entrance of Brock Lesnar, together with me on the time, would look ridiculous in entrance of the common fan. If you are a WWE fan you have got a specific favourite and also you need them to wrestle Brock and you may get pleasure from it. But for those who’re an out of doors fan, only a informal particular person off the road who does not watch WWE, to have a look at a picture of Brock Lesnar and myself and go “woo wow look at these two big guys.” That’s section one.

Two, he is so intense within the ring and is an insane athlete. I’ve to maintain up with him. I’ve to up my depth, and I used to be already identified for being intense and aggressive, however I needed to up that much more. OK that is one other factor I’ve to work on.

Three, there’s that Paul Heyman man by his facet. One of one of the best talkers of all-time. I higher get higher at verbalizing myself on the mic and on the digital camera. Those are the issues I utilized in my head.

OK program. I get a match at WrestleMania in opposition to Brock Lesnar. So outdoors the corporate I’ll be prepared for that match, another alternative that comes my approach, as a result of that is the final word aim I’ve had. So I’ve been coaching for this match for about 5 years now. And it is truly materializing the imaginative and prescient in my head, which is insane to me. And I inform those who possibly I ought to have envisioned one thing larger like being the primary Scottish President of America or one thing, as a result of that is how I pictured it and it is taking place.

Drew McIntyre Talks WrestleMania 36, Brock Lesnar & Being the Champion People Need
Drew McIntyre and Brock Lesnar have a face-to-face on an episode of Monday Night RAW. WWE

What does this match imply to you and your profession, and what ought to the followers anticipate?

It’s not what I anticipated however I’m previous that now. I’m simply very proud to be part of one thing so huge, and hopefully the world will be capable to watch and get their thoughts off of what is going on on proper now. And the concept I could be a champion throughout this time is an enormous deal for me.

There have been down occasions in WWE. There have been wrestlers like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Diesel who had been champions when there have been powerful occasions for WWE. But this isn’t only a down time for WWE, it is a down time for the world. And I need to be that champion, be that optimistic story that places a smile on individuals’s faces. If I can win that title and inform that 19-year journey and inform that story and the construct up I obtained to inform that story, I could be that man on the finish of the evening who can put a smile on their faces. That would imply the world to me. That can be my second. And after we’re all again collectively and I get to boost that title, that shall be our wrestling second.

WrestleMania 36 will happen on two nights on Saturday April four and Sunday, April 5.