With Wrestlemania 27 just a few days away, Sport.co.uk catches up with WWE superstar Drew McIntyre, to share his thoughts on the companies premiere event and his meteoric rise through the ranks over the last eighteen months.
We’re just a week away from Wrestlemania 27 Drew, how much are you looking forward to the event?
Drew: Well, put it this way - more than Christmas. I was there last year, just the week long build up to the events itself it’s an absolute phenomenon. There is nothing like Wrestlemania, it’s like the World Cup, the Super Bowel and the World Series all rolled into one and it’s unbelievable. This year it’s in Atlanta, and we’ll spend the week meeting fans at Axcess, which is an amazing event before the big show on Sunday. (lets out a little whoo)...I am very excited.
Is there is a different kind of buzz in WWE around Wrestlemania time?
Oh yeah everyone’s on their A game right now. Obviously everyone is on the their A game all year round, but when Wrestlemania rolls around everyone get’s their A ++ game. Everybody just wants to be on that show and put on their best performance of the year. It’s like an end of season night for us, as everything boils down to what happens at Wrestlemania. Only difference is that our next season stars the night after and the cycle begins again.
The card this year is headlined by the massive Undertaker vs Triple H match. What’s your take on this epic showdown?
The same as everyone really. It’s the kind of match where I don’t look at it as a performer but as a fan too. I just sit there and take it all in - the match is that big. It’s so exciting and is being given so much hype and the two guys haven’t even touched each other yet. Just seeing them talking about each other, going back and forth everyone is just saying “Whoa, I want to see this match! It was the same last year when Taker took on Shawn Michaels, the whole locker-room was in awe of the match. Everyone was meant to be working but we couldn’t keep our eyes off the ring. No one was talking or anything and was the most amazing match I’ve ever seen in my life. This year’s event has every chance on doing the same.
Is it strange for you to be surrounded by all these legends of the industry?
It’s incredible, when I first showed-up my initial reaction was ‘oh my god’. Here are these superstars I’ve been watching all my life and now I’m working with them. You’re so intimidated seeing guys like The Undertaker and Vince McMahon but you have to remember, that Taker is now a co-worker and Vince is now your boss. The intimidation goes out the window and you remind yourself that this is now your job. It’s pretty cool though.
Another legend that will be in Atlanta is The Rock in as guest host - what’s it’s like seeing the People’s Champions back in WWE?
It’s amazing to see what he’s achieved since he left the company, and his star power is off the chart. His star power in WWE has stayed the same too, when he came back he just walked into the ring and had the crowd eating out the palm of his hand for twenty-five minutes, like he’d never been away, and now he’s gaining a new fans base from the new generation of fans. He’s a one in a trillion and it’s incredible to have him back.
What about past Wrestlemania’s, what are your memories of the event growing-up?
Well number one would be the Iron Man match between Shawn Michaels and Bert Hart from Wrestlemania 12, that was my favourite match growing-up. Wrestlemania 10, was good too, with the ladder match between Michaels and Razor Ramon and the Bret Hart Owen Hart contest. I was a massive Bret Hart fan as a kid so those two stick out for me.
I get the feeling that Bret Hart is a bit of a hero of yours, what was it like having him return last year?
It was unbelievable and even more unbelievable that I got to talk to him and get advice from him. I had this picture taken too, of me and the Intercontinental belt, Bret and his wife to be, that he printed out and he signed for me as a gift. It’s now on my wall at home and takes pride of place.
That must rank alongside one your highlights so far in your WWE career, but if you had to pick your favourite moment so far what would it be?
(pauses.......) There are so many to choose from as just being in the WWE is a highlight, whether it be the Intercontinental reign or winning the tag tiles. But I go for a more recent one which was competing in the Elimination Chamber at the pay-per-view in February.
The match itself was so well received and I’ve had fans and peers come to me and say what a good match it was Drew, you were out of control in that match. It’s where I want to be too, competing for a World Title against guys like Edge and (Rey) Mysterio - who finished the match it was sure to be one of the matches of the year. And for me personally I was very proud of my performance and I’ve never had an adrenaline rush after a match like I did after the Chamber.
How do you prepare for something like he Elimination Chamber?
You can’t really, the only way to prepare is to go outside and flip around on concrete - which I’m not going to do. You just have to accept the fact that there’s steel grate and your’e going to get hurt. I was very tired and beat-up after that match.
In that match you came across a familiar face in Wade Barrett, who you’ve known for a long time. What’s it like seeing the two of you in the WWE and would you to do a direct programme with him in the future?
Totally, myself Sheamus and Wade we all signed at the same time and had been fighting for years on the British circuit and it’s pretty cool that we’ve all found ourselves in the WWE. With Wade being the king of factions, it be neat to form another one in the company with Sheamus too, there’d be absolutely no one who can stop us. We’d take down the WWE. And if there ever was a match between the the three of us, that would be an all out war.
Sheamus of course became the first Irish World Champion. But the race is on to be the first British champ and we’ve heard Wade has been going round saying it’s going to be him!
Not a chance, I’ll be getting that before him. We both definitely going to do it, but we’ve got a friendly competition going on to see who can be the first. Whoever it is, we’ll shake hands toast the better man over a drink, but upto that point it’s war.
We also hear that you are a bit of a footy fan and support Glasgow Rangers?
That’s right, big fan of Glasgow Rangers and they’ve always been my team. I love the old firm games and the passion they bring. Hopefully me being a blue doesn’t divide Scotland as I love the whole country but I’m Rangers through and through.
Must be pretty pleased with the League Cup win over the weekend then?
I haven't checked this weekend, as I haven’t spoken to my Dad in a week or so, so please enlighten me on what happened...
Rangers beat Celtic in the Cup Final....
Fantastic! I’m actually walking around with my hands in the air right now! Wade did tell me about the big brawl with McCoist, who was my favourite player of all time and Lennon and I read all about that. Doesn’t surprise me though, especially Lennon - bet he started it!
Back to wrestling then, this week also sees the release of the new WWE All Stars game. What’s it like seeing yourself as an video game character?
I wasn’t even aware I was in it until we actually played it. I heard about the game, when the developers first came to a show and we all had a play of an early version of it. They told us it’s a game that anyone can pick-up and play and there’s not too many specifics to it and it is a lot of fun. So we thought it would be guys like John Cena and Randy Orton and the big established guys. So I played it and it had the Warriors, the Hogans and the Savages on it, and then I went through the roster and I saw I was there. Which was brilliant and I have an in-built storyline with Roddy Piper which is really cool.
Finally then, what’s the best thing about being a WWE superstar?
The best thing for me, is just being a WWE superstar. It’s a dream come true to be here and I’ve not even scratched the surface of what I want to achieve in is company.
WrestleMania will be coming your way live on Sunday April 3 at midnight (Monday morning) only on Sky Box Office and on Sky Box Office HD.
The WWE will present seven RAW shows and three SmackDown events in April in venues across the nation, kicking off in Glasgow on April 13, 2011. For further information please visit wwe.com.