On August 28th, 2009, Drew McIntyre reemerged on WWE‘s SmackDown brand after an initial failed stint two years prior that saw him sent down to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). Less than a month later after his return, WWE chairman Vince McMahon introduced the hard-hitting Scotsman as ‘The Chosen One’. Unfortunately, the destiny of being a future World Champion never quite occurred for Drew, and he found himself ousted from WWE just five years later alongside a plethora of other performers. What he’s accomplished since his first journey ended is truly remarkable.
During his initial run on WWE’s main roster, Drew enjoyed a reign as both the Intercontinental Champion and Tag Team Champion (alongside Cody Rhodes in a tandem known as The Dashing Ones), later aligning himself with Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal a few years later as part of 3MB. While the group were enjoyable for what they were, it wasn’t quite what Scottish wrestling fans had hoped to see from McIntyre in the big leagues, so when he was released in the summer of 2014 alongside such luminaries as Aksana, JTG, and Yoshi Tatsu, Scots were clamouring to see what awaited the master of the Claymore Kick.
Just over a month after being let go from WWE, Drew (now once again known as Drew Galloway) made his return to the promotion he helped build in its early years – Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW). Immediately upon his return, Galloway laid his eyes on the ICW Heavyweight Championship, then held by real-life best friend Jack Jester, a title Drew would go on to win from ‘The Big Ride Machine’ a few months later. Back at the top of ICW, Galloway formed an allegiance with Jester and Red Lightning, alongside a plethora of other associates, known as The Black Label. Together, the group ran roughshod over ICW, and even though Drew lost the title (now a world championship thanks to Drew’s hard work) to Grado in November 2015, the gang remained a core feature in ICW until their dissolution one year later.
Fear & Loathing 9
20 November 2016 pic.twitter.com/oWn49r2N3N
— ICW (@InsaneChampWres) April 2, 2020
It wasn’t just ICW Drew was rebuilding himself in though. Several other promotions in the UK took notice too, as well as some companies over in the States. Galloway found work in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), EVOLVE Wrestling, and IMPACT Wrestling, to name just a few, racking up title after title, including one of his biggest accomplishments to date – the IMPACT World Championship. While also going onto hold the EVOLVE Championship, the Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA) Open The Freedom Gate Championship, and the WhatCulture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) World Championship, amongst other titles, ‘The Scottish Psychopath’ quickly became one of the most sought-after talents in the wrestling spectrum.
Then, it happened. Saturday, April 1st, 2017. Drew Galloway, now again under the alias of Drew McIntyre, was sat in the front row during NXT TakeOver: Orlando.
Still wrestling as Galloway, the Scot would finish up his incredible run on the independent circuit, defeating Jack Jester in a hellacious Barbed Wire Match at ICW’s Barramania III event, while also dropping the WCPW title to the now recently-retired Martin Kirby at their No Regrets event as part of the first annual No Regrets Rumble Match. After going full-time back to WWE as part of their NXT developmental territory (as it still was at this time), McIntyre set his eyes on the NXT Championship of Bobby Roode. Upon him defeating Killian Dain on a summer 2017 episode of NXT, Drew secured his spot in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III. After a Claymore to the jaw of ‘The Glorious One’, we had the first ever Scottish-born NXT Champion.
Sadly, Drew’s reign wasn’t the most memorable, as his victory was overshadowed by the NXT debut of Adam Cole, and he then lost it to Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas just three months later. Even worse, McIntyre suffered a torn biceps during the title defence, putting him on the shelf until the following April. Once he returned to action though, there was a fire lit inside of him, the sort of fire we had never before seen from Drew. Aligning himself with Dolph Ziggler – and, for a short while, Braun Strowman – the newly-inducted (at the time) ICW Hall of Famer went dominated the Raw brand, capturing the Raw Tag Team Championships from The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) at the start of September.
The alliance with Ziggler was an odd one, and it was never clearly explained why ‘The Showoff’ had enlisted the help of Drew McIntyre, so it came as a delight when the pair split by the end of 2018 as we approached the following year’s Royal Rumble event. Even though that wasn’t Drew’s Rumble to win, he made a lasting impression throughout, thanks in part to the sheer size him. A loss to Roman Reigns came at WrestleMania 35 in what was the biggest match for ‘The Big Dog’ following his return from battling leukaemia, however, that did nothing to damper Drew’s momentum. He had faced one of the biggest names in WWE today in a huge singles match on the grandest stage possible – not many can say that (in fact, only three other men can, those being Brock Lesnar, Triple H, and The Undertaker).
A few alliances following WrestleMania came alongside Shane McMahon and Constable Baron Corbin, as did failed performances in both the men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match and the 2019 King of the Ring tournament. As his losing streak on big shows continued, Drew’s luck took a u-turn in early 2020 as he embarked on the exact opposite going into the Royal Rumble, racking up win after win on a mission that culminated with him winning the Royal Rumble Match by last eliminating Roman Reigns. Not only did he win, but he also kicked out WWE Champion Brock Lesnar during the bout, planting the seeds for their championship collision at The Showcase of the Immortals.
Just over ten years after being proclaimed ‘The Chosen One’ by Vince McMahon, that prophecy looks to finally be fulfilled by Drew McIntyre as he heads into WrestleMania 36 on April 5 and 6th to challenge Brock Lesnar for the richest prize in sports entertainment. It may not be how anyone saw it going down, taking place in front of no fans, but there’s no denying this remains a pivotal point in the career of Drew McIntyre, as well as WWE as a whole. A Drew win would make him the first British-born WWE Champion in history.
Can ‘The Scottish Psychopath’ go all the way and forever cement his name in the history books, or will ‘The Beast Incarnate’ claim another victim?
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