SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Drew McIntyre talked with USA Today about his WrestleMania 36 match against Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title this weekend, his first WWE Title match. The following are key highlights…
•His attitude regarding the odd circumstances of WrestleMania this year: “My biggest thing is I want to make sure that we give everyone a show (that), like you said, they’re not going to forget. This is a WrestleMania that is so unique, people need an escape right now so I’m proud that we’re still pushing forward and giving everyone WrestleMania. It allows us performers an opportunity to keep everyone entertained during such difficult times, to be creative and think outside the box… I see it as just exciting, an opportunity to show how good we really are, how creative we can really be.”
•On the creativity needed to compensate for the lack of live fans in attendance: “When it comes to WrestleMania, we have some unique matches: A.J. Styles (versus) Undertaker in the Boneyard Match, I’m sure will be crazy. There’s a ‘Firefly Funhouse’ match (between John Cena and Bray Wyatt). We’ll have multiple different closed sets. It’s gonna be all over the place. It’s gonna be like ‘WWE presents ‘Mortal Kombat.” But then you get Drew McIntyre, somebody who’s not afraid to fight, not afraid to hit and be hit, and you’ve got Brock Lesnar, one of the baddest people to walk the planet Earth, former two-time UFC Champion. The story’s pretty easy there: We’re two big guys, we’re (each) planning to win, we’re going to drop bombs. And usually the crowd would be going crazy, you couldn’t really hear the physicality. This time, the physicality is going to come through the screen. Everyone at home is going to feel it and hopefully get lost in the moment regarding my story, and hopefully we can take them on a ride of pure physicality. … I’ve been very happy with the way we’ve built it. We don’t need a complex story. Sometimes I think we do over-complicate things. If you tune in for the first time, you’ve the missed maybe three weeks prior, you know what’s going on: we see Drew McIntyre, Brock Lesnar, two big guys, two guys that like to fight, two guys fighting for the title, very simple.
•On his path to his first WWE Title match: “Yeah, it’s going to be a heck of a book, possibly a movie adaptation one day. But I don’t think me finally getting the WWE title shot after such a crazy journey with so many stops and starts and highs and lows and lows and really lows, fighting all the way to the top from the lowest of lows, I don’t know if that would be suitable to my story if I just won the Royal Rumble. I went to WrestleMania in front of everybody and then I won the title, so that’s just not my story. Like, the Drew McIntyre always goes straight for a little while, then it takes a dramatic left, then it takes a dramatic right, then we get lost on the way for a little while. So if it went exactly to plan, it wouldn’t be the Drew McIntyre story. So the fact that things finally worked out for me, I tell the world, ‘I’ve been doing this for 19 years. I’ve taken all the most difficult situations and I overcame them. I’m ready to not just be a top guy in WWE, I’m ready to be the top guy in WWE. There’s nothing you can present me that I can’t handle,’ and then this happens, I still feel exactly the same. This is more than fitting for my story because it never was going to go to plan and I am ready to be WWE Champion. I want to lead the WWE during this time. I want to be the reason people tune in. They’re looking for entertainment, they’re looking for an escape during these times. To see me on the screen as champion, bringing a smile to their face every week, is my goal right now.
Check out the full interview including his thoughts on the delay in the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and his thoughts on Davey Boy Smith getting in this year. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE
(Keller’s Analysis: Drew’s story has been unpredictable in some ways, but he practically wrote it himself also. By that, I mean when his first WWE run ended in part due to immaturity issues on his part, he spoke with me on my podcast about how he intended to bounce back. He laid out his path, and he has followed up on it and landed right where he intended. In those respects, his story is inspirational. It’s noteworthy he sees it as possibly the subject of a book or movie adaptation some day. I’m really curious what he and Lesnar came up with in terms of compensating for the lack of crowd. I’m still torn on whether it’s ultimately the right move for Drew to win the title under these circumstances. A lot depends on the stories they want to tell after WrestleMania.)