Drew McIntyre

Drew McIntyre

FINALLY!!! The WWE is coming home to Norfolk after two long years. SevenVenues is proud to announce that the first ever Friday Night SmackDown Live on FOX for the Hampton Roads area will take place at the wrestling historic Norfolk Scope, Friday November 12th.

Its pure excitement at its finest. There is no better rush for true wrestling fans than to see wrestling live and in person. Knowing that it is being broadcast live all over the world adds to the thrill of the night.

Several of the amazing matches scheduled include: Former WWE World Champion Drew McIntyre and former RAW Tag Team Champions the Viking Raiders taking on current Universal Champion Roman Reigns and current SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos.

Former WWE Women’s Grand Slam Champion Sasha Banks will wrestle another former WWE Women’s Grand Slam Champion and current SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair.

Some of the great SmackDown superstars set to see action are: King Woods, Kofi Kingston, Happy Corbin, Natalya and so many more. The only place to be Friday night November 12th is at the Norfolk Scope.

You can get your tickets now at https://www.sevenvenues.com/events/detail/wwe-friday-night-smackdown

Former WWE World Champion Drew McIntyre spoke exclusively with us a few days ago.

Yiorgo: Why should people come to Friday Night SmackDown? What should they expect to see and do there?

Drew McIntyre: I am very excited to get back to Norfolk, and I know the fans are very excited for us to return because Norfolk has such passionate, passionate WWE fans. The fans attending can expect that they are going to have an evening they will never forget. Those that know, I don’t have to tell you how exciting and interactive it is live. For those that are new fans or lapsed fans, this is the show to get you back into things. With WWE we have something for everybody. From the youngest kids to the oldest adults, for the young at heart. We are not just for males. Forty percent of our audience are females. Our female wrestlers are so talented and well represented on our roster. Our show is such a spectacle and interactive product. You are truly a part of the show. There is such a back and forth between the superstars and the fans. Plus you may get yourself on television.

Y: About six months ago your first book “A Chosen Destiny: My story” was released. Why did you decide to write it and what are you hoping those who read it get out of it?

DM: It was not a case of me deciding to write a book. I am not so egotistical that I thought the world needs that 35 year old Scottish wrestler’s story. A third party reached out to WWE and asked them since Drew is very open with his story with his ups and downs with not just his career but his life, we really think he could help people with his story. Would he be willing for us to put a book together? WWE brought it to me, my wife and I sat down and we talked about it and we said absolutely let's do this. I’m not going to hold back, I’m going to be completely open with the object being: wrestling is what I do, that’s the foundation of the book, but it’s more about the lessons i’ve learned and showing everybody, hey you may have come through some difficult times, things are going to get dark but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m trying to tell everybody whatever your dreams are, the crazier they are, trust me you can truly achieve them.

Y: What is a story that is in the book that you are most proud of?

DM: A story I am proud of is telling my mother’s story. My mom Angela was my hero. I started appreciating her when I got a bit older. She was afflicted with a rare genetic disorder that kicked in her early 20’s. She essentially lost the balance portion of her brain. It ceased to exist. It’s called cerebellum metaxium and she was told basically, you will never have a normal life, you will never have kids. Your brain is going to deteriorate to the point that you will be non-functioning as a human being anymore.

She saw the best doctors, neurologists all across the UK and got it somewhat stabilized. She was told she would not have any kids. She met my dad, got pregnant with me, was advised not to have me, she said I don’t care, I would rather die. She had me then had my brother. Growing up she did everything every other mother would do even though she could not balance herself and was in a wheelchair a lot of the time. She did absolutely everything: made our dinner, cleaned the house, did the laundry, nothing held her back, all the way to the point that she had cancer, she never complained and she always said that somebody else had it worse off than she did. I truly had a superhero for a mother. So to tell her story in book form, it’s going to immortalize her and that’s the coolest thing.

Y: Tell us the story behind the Claymore sword, since its named Angela after your mom.

DM: It was not my idea to be honest. They wanted to name the sword and I assumed I would have to name it something stereotypical like Bloody Bonnie. It was Mr. McMahon that said, “What’s your mother’s name?” He knew her story. I said Angela, and he said, “That’s exactly the sword’s name.” As soon as he said it, I said that is exactly thes word’s name. It’s really cool because every time I hear Drew and Angela heading to the ring, or I hit a spot kick, Angela will start getting revenge on everybody and to hear my mom’s name on WWE programming is really cool.

Y: It’s also very obvious in all of your interviews that you love your wife Kaitlyn very much and you give her a lot of credit for supporting you.

DM: These days I don’t really play a character on TV, I play me, and we link it to my real story, real ups and downs that the fans have watched my entire career including getting fired, hitting rock bottom. The reason I was able to come back wasn’t just my knowledge of wrestling, it was also the fact that Kaitlyn stood by my side. I achieved so much more as a person and together we got me back on track to reach my potential.

Y: What was it like growing up in Ayr and Prestwick, who were the American wrestlers that you enjoyed watching and what made you decide at such a young age to become a pro wrestler?

DM: I was a big fan of Bret “The Hit Man” Hart when I was a kid and my dad likes to tell the story that I was about 6 years old when I got the family together for a family meeting and I announced to my mom and dad and my brother who is one year younger than me, that one day, I am going to be a WWE wrestler. They were like ok sure. Kids say the darndest things. Like one day I am going to play professional football (European soccer) or be an astronaut or be a wrestler. Obviously you get older and get more serious but I never deviated from the plan. I used to go over to my cousin's house, they were 10 years older and my brother and I used to hide behind the sofa when they were watching wrestling. It was almost forbidden for us to watch. It was always so captivating, these larger than life characters, I just knew from the moment I laid eyes on it, something told me, that’s what you got to do. I spent my childhood trying to figure out how to possibly do it. I sent away to America for all the inside secrets to wrestling books when I was 9-10 years old, I would read about the backstage workings. Finally when I was 15 my mother let me go to the one wrestling school in the UK that was a 24 hour round trip. I lived in Scotland and it was 12 hours there to do my training then 12 hours back. I did it as often as I could afford and I was completely obsessed with making it happen. At 16 years old I started the Scottish wrestling scene and we started putting on shows. We had an adult help us out because there is only so much a 16 year old could do. I would train the guys with what I was learning in England then put on shows. Eventually, I am 21 years old. I am very fortunate that I got my degree from the university in criminology and was signed by the WWE the same year. I am the first Scotchman signed by WWE.

Y: What are some fond memories from your times at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW)?

DM: I was on board for about six months when WWE ended their working relationship with OVW so my OVW memories are brief. I got there and it just so happened that the WWE writers were there my first week. They were looking at some of the talent that were on the WWE roster and they needed a body to get in the ring so they just said, “Hey kid, do you mind jumping in with this guy to show what he’s got?” I was just a body and I got in there, rolled around, cut a little promo. I guess the timing was right because Wade Berrett was getting in after me. By the time he arrived, I was already competing on Smackdown at 22 years old, and I had just arrived in America so I didn't spend too much time in OVW. I went to FCW in Florida. I came back off the road because there was so much I still needed to learn about the American style, working the cameras, the WWE style etc. When I was in FCW, that’s when I truly learned. There was Steve Keirn, Dr. Tom Prichard, Billy Kidman, Norman Smiley and to help with my speaking ability which was non existing at the time, one of the best ever, Dusty Rhodes. You can’t help but learn from those guys. That was way much more fun than I was supposed to have. That was truly my college right there.

Y: You have worked the Independent pro wrestling scene all over the world and have seen them first hand up close and personal. What advice can you give upcoming talent working for the Independents whose goal is to work for a major promotion?

DM: First of all I would say get your reps in and keep working shows and start thinking outside the box. Watch WWE and all other major promotions and see what they got and what makes you different then everybody that you see on the screen right now.

How can I stand out? It’s not the same as it used to be. I’m 6’5” and 370 lbs. You don’t have to be that size anymore. As long as you are unique and stand out, are different and have the passion to give it everything, you will get your opportunity. Keep doing those reps and keep your buzz going. Social media is such a big tool these days and if you use it correctly you can really get some serious buzz going. When I was released from WWE, I used social media to take the whole world with me, rebuild my name, re-educate the people to who I was. If you use it the right way, think outside the box, work your butt off, you truly can achieve your dream.

Y: Can you pick a couple of WrestleMania memories, such as winning the World Title for the first time and competing in your first WrestleMania and share them with us?

DM: Winning my first World Title at WrestleMania was obviously a very unique situation. It was at the height of the pandemic, no fans were there, and beating Brock Lesner in five minutes. Competing in my first Wrestlemania, I remember walking out in front of the fans, at 24 years old as the Intercontinental champion, the same title Bret Hart used to have when I was a kid, looking around and seeing 80,000 people in the stadium. I’m the Intercontinental Champion at 24 and about to wrestle there. I can still close my eyes and see that moment.

Y: Who are some of your favorite opponents to work with that you know you will tear the house down?

DM: Ohh (exhaling), I got a few there. Seth Rollins is one, Roman Reigns is one, but if I was going to pick somebody that I know I can tear the house down with, take the match and show a new or lapsed fan, would be myself and Sheamus because when we get in there together, we do not hold back whatsoever. Whatever you think you know about wrestling, if you start to question it, we have known each other for 20 years, we are not afraid to lay it in. We have that chemistry because of that history and our relationship.

Y: Can you share a fun story about Sheamus?

DM: Ha ha, there are so many of them. If you ask him this question, he would take this opportunity to say horrible things about me. That’s the kind of friend he is. He has always been like a big brother to me through my entire life. Always looked out for me my entire life. I always like to say that we met when I was 19 and he was 43 years old, but seriously he is a little bit older than me. A good memory for him and I, without throwing him under the bus like he would do to me, is the night I won the Intercontinental title, he beat John Cena to become WWE champion and we both sat in the hotel room afterwards, taking it all in. After doing the Independents together, coming up together, in Florida Championship Wrestling developmental together, we are both sitting in the hotel room together, looking at each other, with the IC title and the World title saying, what’s going on, we were just wrestling each other in Europe and suddenly we are Intercontinental Champion and World Champion. This is absolutely insane. That’s really a good memory.

Y: Why did you never give up following your dream?

DM: I would be lying if I didn’t say I questioned myself, but the truth is when I sat down and looked at myself in the mirror all those times, there was still that voice in the back of my head that said, this is what you are always going to do. Don’t know how yet, but you are going to show the world you can do this. Thankfully, I had Kaitlyn, my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, by my side saying, “I believe in you.” So because of her lifting me up and knowing inside I had so much more to give then the world had seen in my first run, I was able to get out there and as time went on, grow my confidence, be around everybody and they believed more in me then I believed in myself at the beginning. As a leader back in the UK, they lifted me up, my wife lifted me up and everyone else’s belief in me allowed me to believe in myself.

Yiorgo is an arts, entertainment and sports writer. A stage, TV and movie actor, he is also a sports entertainer, educator, motivational speaker, writer, storyteller and columnist.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.