Former NXT Champion Drew McIntyre was interviewed by SPORTbible to discuss being inducted into the ICW Hall of Fame. McIntyre was the inaugural ICW Heavyweight Champion in 2006, and won the title again in 2014 just months after being released from WWE.
After spending three years in the independent circuit, as well as stints in Impact Wrestling, McIntyre returned to WWE via the NXT brand. Just four months after he was shown on-screen at TakeOver: Orlando during WrestleMania 33 weekend, McIntyre won the NXT Championship from Bobby Roode from TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
McIntyre explained how his absence from WWE from 2014-2017 was what he needed to increase stock in his wrestling career, stating, “I saw being released as an opportunity, and thought ‘Right Drew here you go, you can either be miserable or really show the world what you can do. Take everything you’ve [learned] and apply it.'”
After taking this release as an opportunity, McIntyre explained what he did to become more valuable.
“I applied everything I [learned] and traveled across the world, became the busiest wrestler on the entire planet,” said McIntyre. “I built my brand and during that time I grew up a lot, as a man, but I also learned a lot as a professional – how to be a main event guy, how to conduct myself in every possible way and apply everything I’d learned in WWE. And by the time ICW got to the level it got to, everywhere I went to got to a level that it didn’t need me anymore to keep growing.
“Everyone was ready, all the roster was ready, the company was ready and it was time for me to return home. So it was perfect timing and the perfect opportunity. And then I became NXT champion so it really worked out.”
McIntyre also gave a status on his injury, after injuring his arm during his NXT Championship loss against Andrade “Cien” Almas.
“I’m feeling good,” said McIntyre. “[ICW Hall of Fame] is my first public appearance so when everybody sees me they can judge for themselves if they think I’m ready to be back in the ring because I’ve got my sights set on the world.”
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