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Drew McIntrye's Road to WrestleMania

Pro Wrestling

Drew McIntrye’s Road to WrestleMania

How the Scottish Psychopath went from Chosen One, to joke, to WrestleMania main eventer.

Drew McIntyre was born Andrew McLean Galloway IV in June of 1985 in Scotland, where he was raised. As with most professional wrestlers, he took interest in the sport from an early age. McIntyre has said that as a kid he loved Bret Hart. He enjoyed the bigger guys as well, but as he said about Bret, “I liked stories as a kid, and they were telling stories in the ring”.

He began training to wrestle as a teenager and started working local promotions at 17 years old. While he had a bit of a lackluster run wins wise in British Championship Wrestling, he quickly got the attention of fans. By 2004, still in his teenage years, Galloway found himself in a match with Marty Jannetty and actually picking up a win against the Honky Tonk Man. Fans started to rally behind him as he started a major feud in Irish Whip Wrestling (IWW) with a local favorite. The feud culminated in a street fight on a card including such individuals as Vampiro and Jody Fleisch.

In 2006, at 21 years old, Galloway would find himself holding two titles, one being the Heavyweight Championship from IWW, the other being the Insane Championship Wrestling’s Heavyweight Championship; holding the latter for an impressive 280 days. He had to drop the IWW title early due to an overloaded wrestling schedule, as well as getting his masters in criminology at the time as well. However, despite that he still wrestled in other promotions as well, including the English promotion All Star Wrestling.

Galloway signed with WWE in 2007 where he adopted the in ring name we know and love, Drew McIntyre. He debuted on SmackDown, defeating Zack Ryder. However, just months later, McIntyre shifted to developmental. McIntyre would stay there for about a year and a half before coming back up and re-debuting on the blue brand as a heel, quickly landing himself in a feud with R-Truth.

McIntyre was dubbed ‘The Chosen One’ when Mr. McMahon had introduced him during his debut as someone who was GOING to win the WWE World Championship, that he was GOING to be successful. He sported a much different appearance than we know today, not dying his hair, often wearing it in a ponytail and having a more clean cut look, often wearing suits when he wasn’t in the ring.

His feud with R-Truth went well, and he had a strong showing at that year’s Survivor Series, won the Intercontinental Championship from John Morrison at TLC, and had a couple successful title defenses on SmackDown. He also did not lose any televised matches until February the next year. And despite not qualifying for the Money in the Bank ladder match, McMahon was able to get Drew into the match.

Which is why it was so weird when he lost the match. He seemed like the obvious winner given the plot at the time — he was The Chosen One, and despite McMahon needing to give him a little boost into the match, he was in a strong position and viewed as a serious threat. However, from here on out McIntyre started to flounder about the mid-card.

He lost his title in May and began feuding with Matt Hardy and Kofi Kingston, as well as General Manager Teddy Long. These feuds sustained McIntyre through the rest of 2010. However, toward the back half of the year, McIntyre and unlikely ally Cody Rhodes found themselves on the same end of Matt Hardy’s rage, prompting the two to form a tag team. The two of them teamed up and together captured the Tag Team Championship.

Drew and Cody held the titles for a month before they were snatched right out for their hands. The short title reign was extremely indicative of things to come for McIntyre. From backstage plot lines such as trying to woo Kelly Kelly to in ring matches, McIntyre just could not get a solid win in 2011. Creative just didn’t know what to do with McIntyre and stuck him in the bigger matches, such as the traditional Survivor Series elimination match and the Royal Rumble match in 2011. He never really received any promising wins or breakout moments.

He went over to Raw later that year where he lost immediately to Kofi and would soon only be showing up in house shows and dark matches. The Chosen One had all been forgotten. WWE may have released him sooner if it had not been for 3MB.

3MB, or Three Man Band, was a small faction consisting of Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, and Drew McIntyre. As one might be able to tell by the name, they were a band. Many segments involved them complaining about not being booked for certain events, shredding away on air guitars, or other things bands might do other than actually ever perform music. It was mostly a heel jobber faction. Hornswoggle would later join as well.

Fans were mixed on 3MB. There were some who very much liked the trio and some who, while not hating it, were a bit bored with the bit after a year. The group was showing up weekly and was a standard part of WWE’s programming. Which is why when Drew McIntyre was released from his contract without any hint that anything was wrong, everyone was extremely confused.

Sure, Drew had not achieved the standards that Vince McMahon had set up for him, but it felt like part of the blame was to fall not on McIntyre but creative. He had ended up just getting caught up in a round of layoffs and claims that he was as surprised as everyone else when he got the call.

However, McIntyre set out to prove to himself that he was better than who WWE thought he was. So he went back to the indie scene and hit the ground running. Drew (now back to using the surname Galloway) joined TNA in 2015, standing up as a ‘man of the people’. While it isn’t an unusual gimmick in wrestling, Galloway was pushed forward well with it, cutting his ‘Stand Up’ promo shortly after debuting on TNA. In his TNA career, he ended up holding the promotion’s main title twice. 

TNA usually allows their wrestlers the ability to hop around between promotions, which Drew took full advantage of. He fought in the International Wrestling Federation where he took on Tommaso Ciampa, Brian Cage, and Uhaa Nation (now known as Apollo Crews). He also wrestled in AAA for a short period of time, teaming up with Angelico against the likes of Johnny Mundo, Blue Demon, Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy and others. Galloway jumped between multiple other promotions as well, going from country to country. 

In short, The Chosen One had indeed been chosen well by Vince McMahon. The problem seems to have not been with Drew, but with WWE. 

In 2017, Drew returned to WWE (and became McIntyre again) where he wrestled in NXT. He became NXT Champion, but his reign was cut short by Andrade.. Drew would pop up on Raw in 2018, hopping between feuds, starting to mirror exactly what had happened to him during his first WWE run. He was a mid-carder who played henchmen to Shane McMahon, he teamed up with Ziggler and Strowman, and he was thrown over to a team with Corbin and Lashley. 

Fans of McIntyre were worried that his return to WWE was resulting in the same exact thing that happened all those years before. That WWE had not seen those four years of success on the indies, or worse, just didn’t care. Or that creative just had no idea what to do with him.

Finally we come to the 2020, with McIntyre being off air for a while then reappearing to smash jobbers before going on to win the Royal Rumble. The narratives in other articles around McIntyre loosely follow the theme of “is prophecy of the Chosen One finally going to be fulfilled?”, which is not really a fair way of looking at it. The proper take is “will WWE not screw over what all other promotions have recognized as amazing talent?”. Hopefully they won’t.

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