In a recent interview with Mike Johnson of PWInsider, Drew McIntyre discussed working with Randy Orton and Keith Lee, what it’s been like performing inside the WWE ThunderDome, and much more. Here are some of the highlights:
Drew McIntyre on working with Randy Orton and Keith Lee: “I felt comfortable being champion from the second I got it. I felt fully ready, the pieces had fallen into place as a character and as a performer, and I said the whole time, you know, that I was building during those first few months. perhaps my first few opponents, aside maybe Seth, they were kinda building them up before the match they had with me, so I was kind of pulling people up, but I knew myself, I’m a new Champion, I’m still on the rise, I still feel that way right now, I’m still trying to establish myself at the top of the heap, and I saw Randy Orton from a mile away. He’s not just one of the best of all time, he’s Randy Orton, when he’s not trying he’s one of the best of all time, but he’s been firing on all cylinders for the past 5 months or whatever and I looked ahead and went, that’s what I need – I need to step up to Randy Orton’s level – on the microphone, in the ring, as a character.
“You know, like you said already, if I’m Batman he’s The Joker. I never wanted to be Superman – no one can relate to Superman, he’s from a different planet, he’s made of steel, he shoots laser beams from his eyes, he doesn’t sell, brother. So I never wanted to be that. Batman is flawed, Drew Galloway is flawed, I’m like everybody else except I’m a giant guy and I knew Randy was my Joker and I’m happy with the work we’ve done. I’ve been able to step up and go to Randy’s level and swim with him because if I can’t swim with Randy Orton I don’t deserve to be WWE Champion. Then you get someone as talented as Keith Lee, getting in the mix, that’s really exciting for me because he is so, so talented. I’m excited for him to get an opportunity, I’m excited to see where the story goes, and we’ve got a big match tonight, we’re big guys and we can move and I guarantee people are going be blown away.
On what it’s been like performing inside the WWE ThunderDome: “Yeah, it’s a big difference-maker. It has that kinda, big feel that you expect from WWE as a viewer and as a performer. Not that I didn’t have the butterflies in the PC, I certainly did and always do, but I especially have them here. Right now I’m just getting into the zone, getting ready for Raw as I always do and man, the entrances are something else. When I first came out, on the first Raw in the ThunderDome and I raised the Title and freaking fire started going off around me and pyro going off around me, you know I’m still a wrestling fan at heart, I’m just standing there trying to keep a straight face, but in my head, I am marking the hell out, man this is really freaking cool.
“And then when it comes to the matches themselves and the atmosphere, I’ve been able to see faces react but also hearing and feeling them in the arena. When Randy and I were in that match it was such a difference-maker for the emotion and that’s kind of what Randy and I are about, is telling the story, and you really need that feedback from the crowd to kinda dictate where you’re going and feel that emotion. It made such a difference during that match, again we’re feeling things out as we go, maybe my initial promo I realized that the reactions weren’t quite going to be from a live crowd, we have a slight delay, it kinda threw me off but we tweaked it a bit, we figured it out. I did a promo last week and OK, we’ll figure that issue out and it’s a figuring out process every step we go, you know we progress and our team are so unbelievable and they’re making us look like stars, it feels closer to what you would expect with WWE with the pyro and the lights and those drones flying overhead, so we feel good.”