The WWE 24 special takes a look at McIntyre’s journey to the WWE Title, and his big win over Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 earlier this year. McIntyre gave GQ UK a look at the days leading up to the WrestleMania 36 tapings, and the big event itself. He was asked about changing his diet & fitness for the match, but noted that he doesn’t change anything while preparing for big events. He talked about eating as much as possible to maintain size and energy, like Lesnar.
“When it comes to diet and fitness I don’t change anything in the run up to a big pay-per-view event,” Drew said. “I get why people turn it up before WrestleMania because they want to look good – and people will always remember how you looked – but I’m not a big fan of that. I’m not really good at it either. My philosophy is to look good all year round, rather than look decent and then look really good for WrestleMania.
“I eat as much as possible, and Brock Lesnar is much the same, to maintain the size and energy. I work with a meal prep company who’ll send me meals every week and that’s how I supplement my diet because my metabolism is so high. If I don’t eat enough I drop weight like crazy. I want to look big and intimidating rather than like a body builder: I’ve got to be functional, especially when wrestling someone like Brock Lesnar, who is just an absolute giant freak of nature. He’s big and fast and strong, everything you could possibly think of. He’s a proven WWE champion and two times UFC champion – he’s the baddest of the bad. I want to be as big as possible but maintain my speed and be known as the bigger, more athletic guy. The only person who could take down Brock Lesnar.”
The McIntyre vs. Lesnar match was taped on Thursday, March 26 at the WWE Performance Center. He talked about how he actually listened to Lesnar’s theme song in the car on the way to the Performance Center. He also mentioned how his wife was unable to attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I drove to the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. With the situation and the way things were, nobody else could come in the building, so my wife couldn’t even come with me to watch,” Drew said. “I had my gear bag and my new ring jacket that I was going to wear for WrestleMania, which was specially made. In the car I was listening to a mix of Oasis, Guns N’ Roses and Johnny Cash.
“I actually listened to Brock’s theme music: I normally listen to it when I’m struggling on my heaviest sets in the gym and suddenly I’d be able to squat more than I ever have in my life. I’ve done that for years.”
Regarding the actual match, Drew recalled how he was so in the zone that the referee had to nudge him to get his attention.
“I go up to 100% as soon as my music hits and I’m in the zone, everything is easy from then on. There was no one in the world but me and Brock at that time,” Drew recalled. “He came into the ring and I stared him down. I wasn’t listening to anyone, not even the referee. He had to push me and get my attention a couple times because I was so in the zone and thinking to myself: ‘This is it. This is a real fight and I’m going to fight Brock Lesnar for the title.’
“You’re coming up against someone who is 6ft 3in, legitimately 250lbs. He’s been such a high level athlete his entire life. Everyone knows what he did in the UFC. I remember when Braun Strowman kneed him hard in the head and he stood up and dropped him with one punch – make sure to google that. My favourite part is the visual of me and Brock face-to-face and I’m looking down on him. People were thinking, ‘Oh, my goodness. Look at Drew besides Brock.’ I knew he was a dangerous man but I was going to do whatever it took to become WWE champion and I did.”
After the big WWE Title win over Lesnar, Drew said he noticed the complete silence, but still had the huge rush of emotions as he had the private moment with the WWE Title. He also talked about speaking to the fans in the camera after the match.
“When I won, the feeling of fighting Brock goes away and I’m just thinking: ‘Holy crap. I did it. I’m the WWE Champion.’ There wasn’t a sold out audience roaring my name, it was complete silence,” Drew recalled. “Usually when you win something the only time you get a moment’s silence is when you get back to the hotel. On this occasion there were no people going crazy, but it was a huge rush of emotions as I had this private moment with the title. I was just staring at it and thinking of everything I’ve been through.
“I clicked back to reality and saw Brock lying there and thought I better do something. The first thing I did was crawl to the floor camera and said thank you. It was a thank you to all the fans for tuning in to WrestleMania during this difficult time as an escape, but more importantly to my family, who are the reasons I became champion. Whatever you think about wrestling and WWE, all the stars have to align, management have to believe you represent the fans and the fans have to choose you. At some point along the way to WrestleMania the fans decided, ‘This is our guy,’ and I wanted to make sure they knew I appreciated that.”
Drew McIntyre also revealed that he watched the WrestleMania 36 match with Lesnar that Sunday night, while his family in the UK joined him via Zoom call. His wife watched with him and presented the WWE Title belt to him.
“My match at WrestleMania aired on the Sunday night and it started at around midnight in the UK. I was on a Zoom call with all of my family and it was unbelievable to see their reactions,” he said. “They stayed up so late to watch it. My wife presented me with the title, which was cool. Then I just sat there and thought: ‘This is real. I’m WWE champion. It’s finally happened.’ I couldn’t have slept even if I wanted to.
“I got word that the two trending topics on the BBC website were ‘Queen gives speech’ and ‘WWE wrestler Drew McIntyre becomes first ever British champion.’ I heard the audio of the broadcast and it was all just so surreal to me. Realistically, I’m a kid from a small town in Scotland who had this crazy dream of making it into WWE and heard his whole life, ‘Why would you be the first Scotsman ever signed?’, never mind first to ever win the title. I just kept believing, had a lot of bumps on the way, and it finally happened. To see everyone back home talking about it meant the world to me, especially during these difficult times. It gave them something to talk about when they were stuck indoors. It gave them something to smile about. I can’t wait until I can travel to the UK and see everyone back home. Hopefully my story has inspired people.”