WWE star Drew McIntyre sees potential world title win as validation for family’s two decades of sacrifice

Written by on March 26, 2024

Drew McIntyre is a two-time WWE champion but WrestleMania 40 might as well be his first shot at a world title. McIntyre challenges world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins at Night 2 of WrestleMania on April 7. It’s a match that means more than any other in McIntyre’s career.

McIntyre and many others will tell you he is “100%” doing the best work of his career right now. He’s been given free creative reign of his character under WWE’s new regime. The result is a nuanced, layered Scotsman with legitimate gripes. He’s sharp, passionate and quick-witted. 

“I’m fueled in a way I haven’t felt in a long time,” McIntyre told CBS Sports. “I really have to point back to my independent run where I truly found myself. I was truly relaxed and I wasn’t worried about anything except telling my truth. Over the past few years as a smiling swordsman, I’m very proud of the work I did but there was also a line I couldn’t cross. There were certain ways things were always done. We had to stay within those limitations. Right now it feels like there are no limitations.

“If you have an idea you go for it. If it succeeds it’s on you. If it fails it’s on you. That’s all I’ve ever asked for my entire career is to let it fall on me,” he said.

Check out the full interview with Drew McIntyre below.

McIntyre is holding his own with WWE’s best talkers on a phenomenal roster with the likes of CM Punk, The Rock, Cody Rhodes, Roman Reigns and LA Knight. Punk has been the victim of some particularly hilarious McIntyre barbs. But do not let McIntyre’s sharp tongue fool you. He marches into WrestleMania 40 with heavy steps, determined to do right by his family.

“That’s kind of everything to me,” McIntyre said. “…Seeing things like my dad getting older and how many things I’ve missed over the years.

“I was back (in Scotland) for a wedding. My buddy Blair was getting married. I always see my close family and friends when I can, but I had seen people who were friends who I had not seen in 20 years. I’ve been gone for legitimately 17 years from Scotland to growing up in America. I was part of WWE. It hit me. ‘Wow, I’ve missed a lot. I feel kind of guilty about it.’”

McIntyre’s trip home was sobering. Professional wrestling can be a selfish pursuit filled with long weeks away from children, spouses, parents, siblings and friends. McIntyre knows this, but his recent homecoming showed him how his career aspirations had blinded him.

“My mindset used to be about my sacrifices,” McIntyre said. “I’m the one on the road all the time. I’m the one taking all the bumps and running myself into the ground. I’m very appreciative of it and this was always the dream. This is what I was willing to do and I’m very fortunate to live the life I live because of my job. 

“I got to the point where I realized this was their sacrifice,” he said. “They gave up their son, their nephew, their brother, and their uncle who has missed so many important events because he’s chasing his dream and they encourage me to chase my dream. I really started wising up to that and I felt very guilty.”

McIntyre’s family will fly from Scotland to Philadelphia for WrestleMania 40. If McIntyre has it his way, he’ll place the world heavyweight championship in his father’s hands in front of 60,000 WWE fans.

“I want to give my family that title. I want to give my dad that title,” McIntyre said. “I want to put that title in his hands and say, ‘Here it is. This is what it was all about since I was five years old and you would constantly be telling my brother and I to stop wrestling around the bedroom. … I finally have it and I can finally give it to you and I can finally say, ‘Hey, I did it. I’m the champion of the world.’”

Winning the world heavyweight title at WrestleMania 40 might as well be his inauguration. McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar to become WWE champion in the main event of WrestleMania 36 in 2020. Winning the company’s most prestigious title in the main event of its biggest annual event is the pinnacle of success. Sadly, his big moment played to crickets in the empty WWE Performance Center. The country was locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic and there wasn’t a fan in sight. 

“That’s a moment I missed but a moment I’ve accepted because of the times we were living in,” McIntyre said. “How important it was to be the champion for everybody else. It wasn’t really for me. Neither was the second one.”

McIntyre is grateful the company trusted him to lead through uncertain times. But he’d be lying to say it was the moment he envisioned as a child. The pandemic stole something from everyone. WrestleMania 40 is McIntyre’s chance to take back his dream.

“But this one moment will kind of be for me,” McIntyre said. “There’ll be some family there so hopefully I don’t freakin’ lose. It’ll be for them and their sacrifice. It’ll be for the fans who stuck by me this whole time. And it will be for CM Punk, the man made of glass.”

The post WWE star Drew McIntyre sees potential world title win as validation for family’s two decades of sacrifice first appeared on CBS Sports.

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