We had the chance to sit down with the first ever British WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre this week.
McIntyre was promoting his match against Dolph Ziggler at this week’s ‘The Horror Show At Extreme Rules’ PPV to the worldwide media, including Hooked On Wrestling.
Clearly, WWE see the Scot as their figurehead now as champion and main spokesperson in recent months. But it wasn’t always this way. McIntyre made it clear that he believes his WWE release was the making of him as a man and a leader.
The champion said of his initial WWE stint and subsequent world tour:
“I was still young, still dumb and I was still ‘hanging out’. I wasn’t focusing 100% on work, because it wasn’t work, it was my dream job. I should’ve been giving it more. I think I just had to live life a little bit and become the man I am today.
Most people know my story; all the ups and downs I’ve been through and getting fired. I learned to never give up, to be accountable to the person in the mirror and really giving it my all. Stepping up as a leader to multiple companies across the world helped me to become the man I am today, and to lead the WWE… during a pandemic. I think without the journey I’ve been on, I wouldn’t be able to be the representative for the company that I am today. So, in short, I was once a boy. Now I’m a man.“
Clearly, like many before him. It took stepping away from WWE to really illustrate the potential he had if he could find the work ethic and focus to go with it, then success would follow. And follow it has.
He also touched on his relationship with Triple H and how it changed between his two stints:
“Way different. Like we speak on the same level now, as adults, very clear. I was still such a fan that I was just so nervous to speak to anybody that I admired growing up. We didn’t really have much of a relationship, he tried to help me where he could but that was pretty much the extent of it. Now I just want to learn constantly and there’s nobody better to learn from.
He’s been in the ring and now transitioned into the office; I’m trying to learn everything about the company, not just the in-ring aspect of it. He’s somebody who’s such a great teacher and I look to him as a mentor but also a friend. And we speak, as I say, on the same level now so that’s the biggest difference, as opposed to being an intimidated fan when I was younger and working for WWE.”
You can watch Drew McIntyre defending his WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler this Sunday at ‘The Horror Show at Extreme Rules’, on the WWE Network.