Drew McIntyre Is Ready To (Claymore) Kickstart His Next Reign At WWE SummerSlam 2023

Drew McIntyre Is Ready To (Claymore) Kickstart His Next Reign At WWE SummerSlam 2023

It’s a late afternoon in London’s O2 Arena and Intercontinental champion Walter “Gunther” Hahn just defeated Matt Riddle to retain his status at Money in The Bank 2023. As he celebrates before the crowd of cheers and boos, a sword slicing sound erupts through the venue. It’s a familiar sound that fans hadn’t heard in three months. Horns blare and out walks a soon-to-be opponent whose return elates the crowd: Andrew “Drew McIntyre” Galloway. McIntyre enters the ring, Claymore Kicks Gunther, and holds up the Intercontinental Championship belt, signaling his aim for the top spot.

“The response everybody had and the good feeling reminded me of the connection I’ve built with a lot of the fans out there who were standing up for me and wondering what was going on with my future,” Drew told VIBE weeks after that moment on July 1. The Scottish Warrior was last seen at Wrestlemania 39 in April. He competed in a triple threat match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Gunther and Sheamus, and its finish saw him powerbombed and pinned by Gunther. 

While his SummerSlam match against Gunther at Detroit’s Ford Field on Aug. 5 is exciting based on their names alone, McIntyre regrets not adding more layers to the story.

“I wish we had more time to build it a little bit,” Drew said. “The good thing is I know people are just excited about the idea of Gunther versus Drew McIntyre, so that’s helpful that people want to see the match to begin with. You don’t have to build to make them want to see it. He needs an opponent that’s a genuine threat and I need an opponent that is interesting and different that people want to see.”

“And he is such a force right now. Doesn’t need much storytelling to tell [King] Kong versus Godzilla.” Drew believes that Gunther is full of himself, and doesn’t realize just who the man is that will stand before him come SummerSlam. 

“I’m Drew McIntyre, the same guy that has beat Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Goldberg, and a list of opponents. You’re about to get a wake-up call and you might not get to break Honky Tonk Man’s [longest Intercontinental Championship] record because old Drew McIntyre is looking for his moment with a title in front of fans.”

The Ayr, Scotland native was on top of the world two years ago. He’d won the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble match, defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE championship in the main event of Wrestlemania 36, and successfully defended his title against Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, and Randy Orton multiple times. Orton bested him in a Hell In A Cell match in October 2020, but Big Drew quickly regained his championship two weeks later on Monday Night Raw

Unfortunately, all of this took place during the global pandemic when fans were watching shows and premium live events on virtual screens. Then came Clash At The Castle in September 2022, where he took on WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Leati Joseph “Roman Reigns” Anoa’i. He was on the verge of pinning Reigns and being crowned champion once again until Reigns’ cousin Solo Sikoa emerged and pulled the referee out of the ring right before he could count to three.

McIntyre has not received a proper rematch for the championship, but he isn’t looking at pursuing the Intercontinental Title, a mid-card championship he held almost 14 years ago, as a demotion. “It wouldn’t matter what title it was, it would not feel like a demotion to me because my goal would be to elevate it when I got my hands on it,” he explained. “It could be argued the IC title means just as much [as the World Heavyweight Championship], if not more, right now because of what Gunther has done with it.”

Gunther is a formidable foe for a variety of reasons, but one lethal aspect of his offense is the chops he delivers to opponents’ chests. However, as we have seen in their battles at Survivor Series 2019, Royal Rumble 2023, and Wrestlemania 39, McIntyre has bested him in their back-and-forth chop battles. He doesn’t think too much of it besides trying to inflict pain on his opponent. 

“It’s not really a trick,” McIntyre said. “In wrestling, if something looks painful, it’s probably painful. It’s just who happens to hit harder is the case with the chop. There’s little techniques you can use, but realistically it’s just who hits the hardest. He’s got those big shovel hands but so do I.”

Naturally, fans assume that he wants to return to the mountaintop and hold world championship gold. However, McIntyre is focused on the title he will be contending for on Aug. 5 and handling business on Monday Night Raw

“My focus is Raw now that I’m on Raw. With the Roman thing, just when you think it must be at its end, there’s another layer [that] comes into it,” he said. “Things happened the way they happened. And I think McIntyre’s period with Roman is done for now certainly, unless something comes up storyline-wise and makes complete sense, I just can’t see it right now.”

With a Royal Rumble victory, dominant world title reigns, and a Wrestlemania main event, one wonders what else Drew McIntyre might want to accomplish. At this point, the powerhouse is simply focused on keeping his stories engaging. 

“I think just staying on the path I’m on right now,” Drew said. “I just want to make sure I get interesting compelling stories. It’s cool coming out and getting the cheer; people are happy to see Drew, but I’ve always wanted to be in something interesting to get you emotionally invested as well.”

“I want to make sure we keep evolving, keep adding layers to the character, keep doing all the cool things I get to do outside the ring and get that title reign in front of fans finally,” he continued.

What’s on Drew McIntyre’s playlist as he prepares for war against Gunther? “My playlist has such variety,” Drew began. “I’ve got things you’d expect like rock music, especially eighties, nineties rock music. I’ve got country. I live in Nashville now; I suddenly got into outlaw country with Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams and all that. R&B, Hip-Hop. My brother and I listened to Dre’s [Chronic] 2001 and Eminem to pieces when we were kids.”

It would be easy to hope that the chain Snoop Dogg gave him this past Wrestlemania brings him the same fortune that the legendary rapper’s long-running career has, but Drew McIntyre’s got no interest in luck leading the way. Just chops, fists, and Claymore Kicking his way through the door like he has for the last few years. 

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