Cambridge University Law Grad Yaz Jung has produced a fascinating interview to commemorate Drew McIntyre becoming the UK’s first-ever WWE World Champion.
Treating Wrestling as an Art-form, the piece contains real insights from Drew Galloway the man, while reflecting on the evolution of British Wrestling in parallel with the U.S.
Featured below is a preview of some interview highlights as Drew goes into rare depth in this seldom found piece of long-form journalism worth a read.
On his release from WWE & working on the indies
“When I was gone from WWE, I had a very clear mission statement in my head what I was going to do. Go back to the UK, and the way I was gonna set things up, I knew the power of social media. I just had a very clear business plan in my head and I wanted to set a new example of what somebody that’s been in my position can do. Most guys that have been let-go, they’ve flown under-the-radar, hoping to get re-signed one day or hoped to get signed somewhere else. I was the exact opposite. I spoke to a few guys. They told me (regarding the independents) ‘You’ll get paid a certain amount at first and you’ll do your WWE gimmick and then you’ll go down in wage, and down in wage and eventually you’ll make an amount you can live on or whatever..’ I said ‘That sounds terrible, that’s no way to live, that’s not my passion..’ and I thought, I’m gonna go out and make myself more marketable, more valuable than ever and its gonna be because I grew it, because of all the lessons I learned. The highs, the lows, everything in-between, that I’ve learned in my career, set me up to go on the journey I’ve gone on. My brother coined the phrase – You’ve become a verb, you’ve done ‘a Drew’ and to watch other guys go out there and just go for it – not necessarily do a Drew — but taking a chance on themselves – it’s really cool to see them believing…”
How to become a well-rounded character
“It’s not always necessarily about just the in-ring stuff. It’s about getting good at everything. To be able to get yourself over, eloquently, adequately, to be understood. I used to have a strong accent. I taught myself not to anymore, so people around the world could understand me better. To get my point across while also being convincing and telling the story with my face, voice and inflections. Then you’ve got to work on the in-ring product. Your presence and everything. You just have to tie everything together and you can have it all. Don’t focus so much on the ‘Oh I’m working so hard in-the-ring, I’ve done ‘this’ move really well, why am I not getting a chance? – Well maybe part of your game has to be brought up. Maybe they’re not gonna tell you why. Maybe you had an opportunity and it got taken away to test you and you flipped out and swore at them or talked sh*t and they heard about it and they thought ‘Well we can’t trust this guy, he’s a bit of a hot-head. What happens if something big comes up at a TV Station or a live interview? What’s he gonna do? Cuss them out and embarrass the company?’ So if you want to be a top guy you have to learn how to do that.”
Who he goes for advice
“Mentor-wise, critique-wise. I always ask Fit Finlay or William Regal. Those are the kind of guys I go to right-away for advice. My biggest critic is myself. I always challenge myself to be better but Fit and Regal are the guys I speak to on the phone if I have a question about anything cause they went through the same journey as me.”
On wrestling scripts and promos changing at the last minute
“No other art-form has that kind of script-change, but that’s what makes wrestling, wrestling. It’s just, you come in to it – you have to know that. We used to do promo classes with Vince McMahon himself, learning how to do that on the fly. If you want to be at the top level you have to be able to adapt. Maybe if you can have it the day before it might be easier! But on the day, so many things can change. It’s the nature of wrestling. It’s always been the nature of wrestling. Like my promos and everything are done on the day. Sometimes, I’ll get to the building and get handed it right before the show. It seems crazy to people…but if you’re in wrestling, you’ve got to know that’s just the way it is and if you want to be at the very top level, you’ve got to be able to learn to do that.”
Check out the complete feature at Medium.com.
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