It was 2009 when Vince McMahon had called Drew McIntyre, hyping him up week after week on Smackdown. McIntyre came out and feuded with the likes of R-Truth, Finley and Matt Hardy. He then became an Intercontinental Champion after being on the main roster for less than 6 months. It was a title reign of close to another 6 months.
He then moved to tag-team wrestling, teaming up with Cody Rhodes to win the World Tag Team Championships in 2010. That run was short-lived, with McIntyre fading into the wind after that. A small push with 3MB (Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal) didn’t amount to much, with McIntyre leaving the company in June of 2014.
Wrestling fans believed that 3MB would be the lasting legacy of someone who was pinned as a future world champion by McMahon; a vague blimp on what was a 5-year main roster run. It, however, was not the case for Andrew Galloway.
For the next half a decade, a still young Drew Galloway sold out houses, regardless of where he was. He looked like he did not want to be within the confines of the WWE towards the end of his run, and his time within the independent scene was huge in revitalizing the career that looked to be lost at sea.
Wherever Galloway went, championship gold followed. He won the EVOLVE Championship in his first post-WWE match against Chris Hero. Championship reigns in the UK, Australia, the USA and Denmark followed as Galloway moved to bring his career back in a full circle.
Slowly but surely, the name of Drew Galloway started to filter back into the minds of those in Stanford and around the world of professional wrestling. Impact Wrestling called him up, where it was main event feuds and title reigns throughout his time in the impact zone.
ICW was a popular stomping ground for Galloway, winning the World Championship. He held it for almost a year, defending it well over 20 times before losing it to Grado at Fear & Loathing VIII. That match was one of the best in ICW history, selling out the SECC in Scotland, and it was the match that firmly put Galloway back on the map.
As he progressed, his body started to transform for the better. Galloway was by no means in bad shape during any stage of his career, but he moved towards more lean muscle and it just made him look like a beast of a performer. It was a similar transition to that of Jinder Mahal when he came back into the WWE.
Galloway spoke to The Mirror in the UK at the back end of last year, crediting a back injury as the turning point for his career.
“I’ve been working really hard. I got hurt just over a year ago. I was very lucky that it didn’t turn out to be more serious than it was and I avoided surgery. After that I started to cut out all the negatives in my life. I cut out alcohol too”, Drew told The Mirror.
Galloway depended on strength during his final year on the independent scene. Names like his brought more attention to the UK wrestling scene, with companies such as WCPW/Defiant Wreslting and ICW gaining more traction within the US as a result of the matches he put on. That traction saw Galloway go back to the WWE, this time starting on the NXT Brand that had seen the likes of Finn Balor and Adrian Neville/PAC come through from the UK and Japan with flying colors.
From here, it was an upward trajectory that saw the re-debut of Drew McIntyre, as he put on consistent show-stealers against Adam Cole and Andrade “Cien” Almas. An incredible display of wrestling against Bobby Roode saw McIntyre win the NXT Championship, the first man to win it who had previously been on the main roster full-time.
It took a year for McIntyre to ‘graduate’ from NXT to the main roster, debuting alongside Dolph Ziggler during the WWE draft in April. It became apparent very quickly that McIntyre had kept a lot of what brought him back to the WWE, with the mannerisms still very similar to what he would do on the independent scene. It helps that he is 6’5″, 250 pounds of muscle, but he is also incredibly explosive.
It leads on to a huge push as Roman Reigns takes on Leukemia. CageSide Seats and Give Me Sports have both pointed out that McIntyre has competed 28 times in the ring since moving back up to the main roster. Out of those matches, he has won 16. The 12 that McIntyre has lost, he has not taken the pin or been submitted.
This takes us to Survivor Series, where McIntyre stood alongside Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley as the sole survivors against SmackDown Live. Strowman and Lashley have both been linked with potential Universal Championship runs, but it would seem that the man from Ayr, Scotland may get a crack at it too.
There is no denying the talent that Drew McIntyre has, but his transformation between the two WWE runs that he made has turned him from a flop to a star. In every facet of the ring, McIntyre has gone away and come back stronger. His demeanor is working, his workrate is second to none, and his ability to win over a crowd with either cheers or boos makes McIntyre one to watch as we move into 2019.