Drew McIntyre on facing his longtime friend Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam, how both men matured from their partying days earlier in their WWE careers, scripted promos versus improvised promos, UFO’s, his wild zombie movie pitch, how Hollywood’s perception of pro wrestlers has changed

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

ET Canada interview with Drew McIntyre
Host: ET Canada’s Shakiel Mahjouri
Interview available via ETCanada.com

Drew McIntyre on the Pentagon releasing UFO footage: “I’m just surprised that no one is really reacting to it. I guess, 2020 and 2021 have been so insane that the idea of the Pentagon saying, ‘Here’s proof of UFOs, that we literally cannot explain doing maneuvers that are unexplainable.’ But everybody is so concerned about everything else going on, that it’s just getting brushed under the table, which surprises me most.”

Additional inspiration to prove how good his friend Jinder Mahal is: “Maybe subconsciously I want to make sure, just because of how close we are, we both come out looking as good as possible. But I look at it that way for every single match I’m in. It doesn’t matter who I’m in the ring with, I want to make sure people leave saying, ‘Wow, that was a lot better than I thought it was going to be.’ Hopefully, they go in thinking ‘This is going to be good,’ but for some reason, if they have it in their head — Perhaps like on Monday Night Raw, I was wrestling with Jinder’s associates, Veer and Shanky, who have very limited experience it’s my responsibility to make sure that people watch that match and go, ‘Oh, wow, OK, these guys have got something.’ — We highlight the positives, perhaps hide the negatives a little bit. And with the match with Jinder, I’m excited to show just how much he has grown over the past few years. When he won the title, it was a huge opportunity. I do think he did a good job with it, but it came out of nowhere. And I think that’s why nobody really accepted it to the level of they’ve accepted mine. He’s growing so much in the ring over the years, but also confidence-wise and thinking as a top-level performer-wise. And we’re going to show that for sure on Saturday at SummerSlam.”

Drew on him and Mahal reflecting on their roads to redemption: Yeah, just talking about how crazy things are now. Perhaps we make jokes about, ‘If only we had this mindset when we were in 3MB.’ When we were out partying and drinking and living the gimmick all the time. We’re fake rock stars, but we’re acting like real rock stars out if the ring. If we got our stuff together and started working out and having this positive attitude we have now, it could have been done sooner. But I see it as a journey that happens for a reason. All the ups and downs made us who we are today and we can laugh and joke about it now. But we both are very fortunate, happy, and proud to be able to get to the level where we’re facing each other on this huge show, SummerSlam. This is this year’s WrestleMania. It’s going to be wild. Over 40,000 people losing their minds. The fact I’m facing one of my best friends is pretty crazy.”

Drew and Jinder road stories: “Most of the stuff that we got up to I wish I could forget. It was wild. I guess you do that in your twenties, but yeah, it was just a lot of nights out. A lot of being a kid. A lot of growing up that had to be done and thankfully, during both our times away from WWE, we had a hard look at ourselves in the mirror and knew we had to make some changes. Thankfully, both of us made those positive changes. We encourage people today, listen, ‘Sometimes you are going to make silly mistakes.’ During that time, I was also going through a lot of personal issues. I kind of was at some dark places. I was in, you know, some difficult places. It didn’t even seem there was a light at the end of the tunnel. But I tell everyone out there, trust me, no matter how dire the times get, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. You just got to keep believing. You’ve got to keep fighting. You’ve got to cut the negative stuff out of your life. And trust me, you’ll get there.”

McIntyre’s recipe to a great WWE storyline: “Making it as real as possible. If it’s real to you, if you can invest and if you believe in it, 100 percent it’s going to come across to the fans and they’re going to feel it. That’s always been the case throughout history. No matter how the storyline is, even if it’s not based in reality, I’ll try and find something that is true to me so I can focus on the truth and bring the truth to the story. But if it can be 100 percent legitimate, if we can lean into real stories, if we can make people feel like, ‘Well, I know the rest of it. I don’t know about that, but this is real.’ For example, like John Cena and Roman Reigns last week on the microphone, they’re going at each other hard. They’re hitting each other with lines that perhaps the other person is not expecting because they want to make people think, ‘Oh, my goodness, they’re going off on each other right now. This is real. The rest, I don’t know. But they’re really going at each other for real in that microphone. That’s going to make me more invested in the match, in the story.’ And that’s what it’s all about in the end, is making the fans say, ‘I have to see this.'”

Drew McIntyre’s experiences with scripted versus improvised promos: “I think the best is a marriage of both that you mentioned. I think if you read it off the paper, then that’s on you. You should not just take somebody’s words and try and recite them word for word because it’s not going to be real. It’s going to come across as fake. People are going to see it in your tone, in your eyes. If they don’t feel it, then you’re just wasting TV time and wasting your opportunity. If you’re able to work with the writer and get your voice, you’ve got to stay within the confines of the story. You can’t just go out there, just do whatever you want. Go into business for yourself and not match the storyline that you’re in. You do have to match what you’re doing that week with whatever the long-term goal is. So you get with your writer. ‘OK, this is the story. This is what we’re trying to get to. This is what we’re trying to convey tonight.’ For me personally, once I know that much, I get an idea in my head. Perhaps the finish. Ideally, I like to go out there and just kind of see how the crowd is responding. I’m very interactive. I like to go back and forth with the audience. Sometimes I’ll do stuff that people go, ‘Oh, obviously they planned and whatever.’ This week on Raw, for example, I did a thing where I raised my hand and I had everyone raise their hands with me. Like ‘Who thinks Jinder is going to win?’ And I looked around. ‘Who thinks Drew is going to win?’ And everyone raised their hands with me and like, ‘Survey says, you’re screwed.’ I knew I was going to get to ‘You’re screwed.’ I didn’t know I was going to do the hand thing. It just felt right when I was out there. I love having back and forth with the fans so much. I think people would be surprised how little is planned sometimes on a microphone.”

Drew McIntyre’s outside of the ring advice to other WWE wrestlers: “I would say just learn as much as you possibly can and take advantage of every opportunity you’re given. I see stuff like this when I talk about the interviews. This isn’t work. This has never been work. This is my entire life dream to be a part of WWE. I get the chance to talk about myself, talk about WWE, represent the company. That’s a dream. And for the newer superstars, any chance you get, push people. ‘Here’s a little interview here I can do. A little local market there.’ Get the reps and prove yourself outside the ring because one day when you get that big chance on TV, you’re going to get the big chance for the interviews. You have to be ready. You have to be able to represent yourself for the company, the correct manner. And remember, it’s not a frickin’ job. This is literally the easiest thing in the world because it should be a fantasy we’re living right now. That’s how I feel. I talk to my friends back in Scotland. They’re working real jobs. They’re nine to five. They put the work in and they’re really hardworking and I admire them for it. This is a dream. So do what you can to prove yourself outside the ring and get more opportunities. And then you get to do the really cool stuff. Like when I get to do the charity work or do the children’s hospital visits or the Make-A-Wish, or Special Olympics. When you start getting the chance to do that stuff. Then you’re like, ‘This is what it’s all about.’ The in-ring stuff is cool, but there’s so much more outside the ring.”

How WWE and pro-wrestling are perceived in Hollywood today compared to twenty years ago: “I mean, it’s interesting you say. Ratings-wise, I never really get into that because TV is so different now, the streaming platforms, etc. WWE is still top of the cable basically every week. But yeah the difference now, the respect level, I think wrestling is seeing a lot more differently than it used to be. It’s not seen as the lowbrow form of entertainment people used to look down on. People understand. Now, the WWE is a huge global company. 800 million holds 180 countries, 20 different languages, over a billion social media followers. And some of our talent are going out there outside the company proving how talented the performers are. Like you look at The Rock [Dwayne Johnson]. Unbelievable. A top Hollywood actor, made billions of dollars in his movies, has his own company. And then you mentioned Cena is branching out. Now, Batista is the one that surprised me the most. He’s so quiet in real life. But he went out there and worked on his craft and he’s a genuinely good actor and he takes it so seriously. And they have shown themselves are capable of so much more than has been everyone’s perception. Big bumb meatheads. If you take the time to look at most of our roster, everyone’s basically got a degree. We’ve got a few Ph. Ds. I have a criminology degree. We’re all educated these days. So if you take a second to look at it, you realize, ‘Oh, they’re not just big dumb meatheads. They’re actually talented in many ways.'”

Drew McIntyre’s pitch for a starring horror role “I’m a big horror fan and I always pitch this… If they ever remake ‘Braveheart’, I like ‘Braveheart 2’ because, you know, Batista has a new zombie movie. Zombies are still the rage. I was like, ‘Alright, what if at the end of ‘Braveheart’, William Wallace got killed. He was hung, drawn, and quartered, his body parts spread across the U.K. His head at London Bridge. Somebody takes his body parts, puts them back together. He rises up a Zombie Wallace and wreaks havoc on the English in ‘Braveheart 2: The Rise of Wallace’, I’m your guy.”

On his book “Yeah, I brought this up earlier and it’s the book. I basically covered what it talks about. The idea behind the book was just to inspire people. Chase your dreams and know that no matter how dark times get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Just got to start becoming accountable to that person in the mirror. Trust me, I wake up every day, look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I’m going to give it my all today.’ If I can look at myself at the end of the day, back in the mirror, and say, ‘I gave it my all today,’ things will work out. It’s written not just for wrestling fans, for everybody. The wrestling business is explained. It’s broken down. It’s simplified and hopefully helps a few people out there. And that’s really what it’s all about, just to inspire and help everybody.”


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