WWE champion Drew McIntyre spoke to Comicbook.com to talk all things pro-wrestling, including his previous history with his upcoming SummerSlam opponent, Randy Orton. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
On connecting with an audience during the time of COVID-19:
No champion has ever been in this position before (working through a pandemic), but I feel like I’m the man that’s prepared for the job considering my career of ups and downs and lessons learned,” McIntyre said. “I guess as the leader, as WWE champion, it was my job from the get-go, from the moment I won the title at WrestleMania, to start finding new ways to reach the audience at home and show the rest of the roster, like, ‘Hey, I know you’ve been taught a certain way. A lot of you haven’t been outside of WWE and you feel like you have to do things a certain way to reach the people at home, like ignoring the camera. But these are uncertain times, so we’ve got to try things. We’ve got to throw things against the wall and see what sticks, because we’ve never been in this position before.
His previous history with Randy Orton:
I was around Randy Orton back in the day when he wasn’t exactly the most pleasant person. I’m not saying he’s a pleasant person right now, but he certainly wasn’t at one point. I was one of the young kids walking on eggshells around him and I’m certainly going to sound off about exactly how I feel about Randy Orton in the past and in the present and what I plan to do to him at SummerSlam.
His match against Orton from a Raw earlier this year:
The one particular moment, I think it was honestly, it was the Triple Threat (Raw, January 13 this year) and the chop spot we had basically, and everyone keeps talking to me about the chop spot with Randy and I. And that was just on the fly. That wasn’t planned. We didn’t plan to go in there and talk trash to each other. We chopped, and I chop him harder, then the ringing in his ear and he pokes me in the eye before I had another one. That was just out there. That was just two guys feeling it. I think that’s what’s missing a lot of the time is just going out there and just seeing what happens naturally. All of a sudden if the crowd, you kind of go with how the crowd are responding, and that dictates where you go sometimes. But if you’re confident in your abilities, you’ve been doing this awhile, you get a good feel of this game, you don’t need a crowd there. You can still go out and feel it and get the feeling on the microphone in the ring. Randy and I are going to go out there and figure it out as we go.
How he hopes fans will perceive him after the match with Orton:
The truth is, I’m still in a position where I need to be building. I’m still a new character for a lot of people who are tuning in for the first time and the fact I’m going to be across from someone like Randy Orton, I’m going to have to work up to his level. Someone who’s tuning in for the first time, a new pair of eyes, they’re not wondering, ‘Oh, who’s this guy that’s the champion? Okay, this is Randy Orton. I recognize this guy. Who’s this guy?’ Then when I stand up and keep up with Randy Orton, they’re like, ‘Okay. I like this guy. I understand this guy, I relate to this guy. I’m going to keep tuning in to check out this guy.’ So that’s what I’m most excited about, is the build towards SummerSlam, getting on another level as a character, especially another level as a champion. I know the match itself will be great and I hope it’s not one and done because I think this has a lot of legs for a story perspective to really take me to that next level.