WWE Royal Rumble: Drew McIntyre opens up about rejoining WWE, praises UK Performance Center
Drew McIntyre has been a force to be reckoned with in the promotion with a lengthy run with the NXT Championship and a number of brilliant matches on the main roster.
Life has truly come full circle for Drew McIntyre in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The Scottish wrestler joined the company in 2009 and was straight away thrust into the spotlight as the ‘Chosen One’. However, the pressure proved too much for McIntyre as he was unable to win over the fans and a lacklustre run in the mid-card finally resulted in his release from the promotion in 2014.
That could have been the end of the dream for him but he kept competing in independent promotions and over the next two years, became one of the biggest names outside WWE. Multiple stints with Evolve Wrestling and Impact Wrestling made him a well-known figure in the wrestling circuit and when his former employers offered him a contract in 2017, the Scotsman joined NXT as a huge acquisition.
Since then, he has been a force to be reckoned with in the promotion with a lengthy run with the NXT Championship and a number of brilliant matches on the main roster. With WWE Royal Rumble on the horizon, McIntyre reminisced about his earlier stint and what changed since leaving the company.
“The thing that has changed since my first stint with the company is my mentality. I was young when I first came but now I am more mature and I know what matters more to me. I am also much more focused on my goals and that is quite important for me as earlier, I feel that I lost perspective and that was no something that worked in my favour,” he told Hindustan Times in a media conference call.
While wrestlers like McIntyre were brought straight to the United States for their training, WWE has now decided to set up performance centers all around the world. The United Kingdom became the first place to get their own performance center and Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for WWE Triple H confirmed that the company is looking at India as one of the future venues.
When asked about the development, McIntyre said that the biggest issue for young wrestlers is the culture shock after coming from the United Kingdom and with the center in London providing top-notch facilities to the newcomers, it will be a huge help for them to get prepared for the business.
“The culture in America is very different from what we have in the United Kingdom. So, for any wrestler moving to this country, it is a huge shock. With the performance center in London, the talent there will be introduced to the different aspects of this business and it will surely be a huge help,” he said.
McIntyre was a part of the NXT brand when it was still trying to find its place in the WWE hierarchy. Although it was launched as a developmental ground, it was able to establish itself as a solid third brand and as a prominent alumnus, McIntyre could not hide his happiness when asked about the brand.
“NXT has evolved greatly over the last few years. When I joined, there were smaller shows and it had to adjust with regularly losing the top stars to the main roster. But now, there are so many international shows and NXT has truly transformed into a third show. Right now, when a wrestler moves to RAW or SmackDown, they no longer move up in the hierarchy. In my option, they move across,” he explained.