By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On WWE returning to the UK for Clash at the Castle: “When I say that I dreamt of moments when I was a kid, I dreamt of main eventing WrestleMania and all these big moments that seemed attainable. In my mind they were attainable but nobody else believed that I could do it, coming from Scotland to the WWE. But the idea of main eventing a UK stadium show the level of SummerSlam 1992 didn’t seem possible because they didn’t run UK stadium shows. This is something I actively talked about, actively pursued and actively asked questions about for years, especially when I became WWE Champion. I had a lot more media going around at the time, especially high-profile media, and I mentioned it all the frigging time. Thankfully I guess that there were some talks going on behind closed doors that I didn’t know about. It got to a point where I talked about it so much that someone had to say to me ‘Do you know something you shouldn’t know?’ I said ‘Nope, I know nothing. I have just got certain goals that I have been pushing for a while. You do what you are doing and I will do what I am doing and hopefully this will work out.’ Thankfully it did work out, I got involved in the process eventually and it is happening now. I would love to take the credit for it but it’s the unsung heroes behind closed doors that work in WWE that make these things happen. The problem with it being that if it did happen and nobody cared and nobody bought tickets for it, they kind of needed a public scapegoat. The fans would go ‘McIntyre you were wrong you idiot!’ The blame would fall here so I am happy that it worked out and happier, proud that I am main eventing and fighting for the title in the first stadium show in the UK in 30 years.”
Whether the UK could host a WrestleMania in the future: “Yeah, I can’t see why not. I’m not going to talk about numbers that I have heard at the moment until they are official, but we have seen the numbers that have been released, just the demand for the tickets broke records initially. Right now, we are on course for some big, big numbers from a business perspective. But people watching and tuning into Clash at the Castle and seeing the live audience, how loud and rowdy and crazy they are with the chants we have seen in the past with Raw and SmackDown that have come from the UK. I know a lot of people are going to go ‘Why don’t we do a WrestleMania here?’ It’s gonna be crazy, imagine those wild UK fans and people coming from all across the world joining in the passion, the atmosphere and the inanity of the UK fans.”
On Drew McIntyre’s accent changing: “Everyone else on earth has heard Scottish accents in the past or has heard what Scotland tends to say when I talk. Every single person in Scotland has the thickest accent on planet earth, even though we only speak English. Even though people have said to me multiple times when I first got here ‘You speak really good English.’ Well I fricking hope so, it is the only language that I talk. We have these extremely thick accents, we mumble, most of us, and we use a lot of slang. I had to really work on it to the point where Vince McMahon told me when I was 24 ‘We are going to have to get you elocution lessons Drew.’ After I gave him this passionate speech about my ideas and what I want to do for the company. That was the retort ‘I think we are going to have to get you elocution lessons.’ So I worked on it and I spent a lot of time learning to slow down, especially my time away from WWE. I learned how to make myself understood in these kind interviews and on the microphone, get comfortable in those situations, because I know how important it is. When I finally honed it and I finally felt good about myself and the world was saying ‘Man, Drew is a really confident talker and has improved that area of his game.’ I had Scotland to bring me back down to earth [Thick Scottish accent] ‘Why are you talking like that? Why are you talking like this now?’ That’s why, because you can’t understand us! I’m so proud to be from Scotland, but nobody understands us, so I have to soften the accent to make it a little less harsh.”
On the reinvention of Drew McIntyre: “Oh there are a lot of steps. Thankfully I have a book available called Chosen Destiny, which is out now. Step one, as my wife reminded me, wasn’t just ‘I’m going to take over the wrestling world outside of WWE and redefine what it means to be an independent wrestler. ‘ I’d like to say that, and I did say that, but my wife reminded me that I was full of anxiety and uncertainty. I had been in WWE for a long time, but never had any significant matches, significant interviews, because I always read from the script line by line. I was very nervous, but I did believe that this is something that I was meant to do. I did believe that I could go out there and make a name for myself and reinvent Drew McIntyre/Drew Galloway. Right away I knew I had to go back to Scotland to get my mission statement out to ICW, Insane Championship Wrestling, where all my friends were that I started with. Business was on the upswing there, they had their biggest show in the UK. It was 1,500 people there and it was three weeks after I got released. I told the promoter Mark Dallas that everyone is contacting me, why are you not contacting me? He said I thought my friend would be upset that he was fired so I wanted to give him a moment before I tried to book him on a wrestling show.’
“I said that I appreciated that, but I want to be on the show in three weeks and I want to keep it a secret. So, you know, he sorted out the travel and we kept it a secret between three people. I showed up in Scotland, there is a famous clip online where I spoke for 20 full minutes unscripted and said everything that I was feeling at the time. It got such an insane response afterwards, it felt so good to get it out, it felt so good to be myself and I said some bold comments in there. ‘I’m going to show you the real Drew Galloway, take over the world as far as I’m concerned and put ICW on the map. This little company is going to take over the world.’ A lot of people watched it and went ‘Oh my God look at this guy. This is incredible, he is going to do some big things.’ Including Mick Foley, who went on Stone Cold’s podcast and talked about me, he texted Triple H and said, ‘You need to keep an eye on Drew.’. Then there were the other people who watched me in 3MB and said ‘This guy is out of his mind. He’s not going to do anything.’ But that was phase one, I have literally looked myself in the mirror and said that was a tough past few years in WWE professionally and especially personally, in the end it is on you for not getting the help you needed personally but also working as hard as you could professionally.
“You would have been happy to be the water boy at one point, you forgot why you came here, you lost perspective, never let that happen again. I worked as hard as I could, left no stone unturned and only being accountable to one person and one person only, social media. I’m kidding, I don’t listen to fricking social media, ever. Everyone out there, don’t listen to social media. The person in the mirror is the only person I listened to, aside from the wife. There were other areas that I still had to work on, the partying wasn’t gone yet and I was still burning the candle at both ends. But I took every booking that I could and was lucky enough that people believed me and gave me a platform to apply my craft and learn to become a leader, get confident in the ring, get confident on the microphone and build myself to a place where I was ready. The guy that was faking it and until he made it in the beginning everybody believed in, finally believed in himself and became what Vince and Triple H saw all those years ago.
“I finally became the Drew that I could be. Once, I’m not talking about professionally, I broke my neck that one time, I had to sit at home for the first time in my life for eight weeks. I had the come to Jesus talk with my wife and we talked about partying and going out and how I am giving it my all but I’m not giving it my all. I said you know what, you are right. As successful as I am right now, my brother referred to me as a verb. ‘Do a Drew. Leave WWE and become more successful.’ Which was very cool. I still had a way to go, I looked in the mirror and looked at my body and said ‘You could step into the ring with Brock Lesnar right now. The biggest attraction at the time and people would go “He could beat Brock”‘ You got to work on the body, you got to cut out the negative stuff. So, I cut out the partying that I was doing all the time. Within a few months of changing my diet up and changing my training up, my body changed dramatically. I then saw myself in the mirror and I went ‘That’s the guy who is ready to take on the world.’ I figured it would be Japan, but I took the phone call from Triple H, and then I knew it was time to go back to WWE.”