X-Pac, 1,2,360 – Episode 49
Release Date: August 10, 2017
Recap By: Chris Gaspare
Top Newsworthy Items
– Drew McIntyre is taking classes with Shawn Michaels but can’t really say much about them.
– McIntyre claims NXT writers work with talent to incorporate ideas and verbiage into promos.
– McIntyre praised Gabe Sapolsky, who he says is currently working with NXT creative.
McIntyre talks his time in FCW compared to NXT
X-Pac is joined by TK Trinidad, Denise, Jimbo, and Bill Hanstock from Uproxx.com.
The interview with Drew McIntyre started immediately. He said that he’s more than willing to do any show WWE would want him to do. He wants people to “think of [him] as the John Cena of NXT.” He was asked what the differences between FCW and NXT are. McIntyre actually started in OVW for six months before they moved to Florida, which he compared to moving from black and white to color. He was in FCW about a year and a half and learned a lot from the likes of Dr. Tom Prichard, Dusty Rhodes, Steve Keirn, and Billy Kidman.
Drew feels now that NXT is not developmental anymore, and during shake-ups, they shouldn’t use the language of “moving up” or “moving down” because he thinks it looks at NXT as a step down when it’s not. He also thinks NXT should stay one hour each week because he thinks fans are more interested in the performers when they don’t see them every week.
McIntyre on his time on the independent circuit, working with different wrestling styles, and his mark out moments
He was next asked about his “reinvention” on the independent scene. He said that William Regal and Fit Finlay prepared him well for life outside of WWE. He returned to ICW and helped attendance boost and got to participate in the England wrestling boom. “It’s one thing to be a cog in a huge machine, but another to feel like you are changing the business.” He felt like he had finally arrived on the independent scene when he participated in PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles against Mike Bailey who was an “unbelievable” talent. There’s nobody he regrets not wrestling on the independent scene because he has the opportunity to wrestle A.J. Styles in WWE now.
He was asked about wrestling styles, and he said that WWE has never told anybody to “hold back.” He feels the WWE style is just something that “makes sense,” and he tried to take the lessons of that style back to Europe with him. He said the storytelling of the WWE style, whether it’s a six-minute match or longer match, is a good lesson to learn. He thinks he works better with smaller flyers, but he likes brawling and other styles as well. X-Pac told him that Scott Hall used to say he sold for everyone so he could work with everyone, and McIntyre agreed that that’s the right way to look at it.
McIntyre also mentioned that he’s taking classes with Shawn Michaels at the Performance Center, but he didn’t know how much he could say about the classes themselves. He said he’s learned a lot from Michaels, who despite his reputation, everyone simply calls “Shawn” now. He said that two other big mark-out moments for him was traveling with Bret Hart on a European tour when he was Intercontinental Champion and being given free rein to cut a promo in Europe and include his parents in the promo.
McIntyre on his first run in WWE and his return
McIntyre said that despite so many people wanting to see him cast in a more serious role, he thought his stint with 3MB was a “fun time.” He was only ever frustrated when they had nothing for him in-between “The Chosen One” period and the 3MB period. After their more serious singles runs, he would even like to see 3MB reunite one day. He feels his time on the indie scene is where he “found [himself] as a performer and a man.” He learned different aspects of the business side of companies, creating a brand and self-promoting, etc. When he received the call from WWE he thought, “This is my chance.” He is still a fan after all these years, and he takes his accomplishments seriously, even if it’s moving up on the PWI 500 list. He said “the moment you become comfortable is the moment you’re screwed.”
He was hesitant to discuss what wrestlers he likes to watch outside of WWE, but he finally offered up Kenny Omega, who he thinks is incredible. He worked with other guys like Ricochet and Will Ospreay and thinks they get a bad rap. He thinks people only see highlights of their work and makes judgments, but “they know exactly what they’re doing” in the ring.
McIntyre on his TNA run, his NXT promos, and who he’d like to work with
X-Pac and McIntyre discussed physical health and the physicals that need passed to work in WWE now. McIntyre said it is extensive and covers heart, lungs, knees, shoulders, impact tests, and stress tests. X-Pac said that most of the guys from the Attitude Era would not be able to work in WWE today with how rigorous the testing is. This led to them talking about Jinder Mahal, who McIntyre is happy for. He said Jinder is “busting his a**” and “nobody touches him” when it comes to his diet.
He was asked about TNA, and he said initially he didn’t want to go there and be on television because he was doing so well on the independent circuit, but he said they kept their promise to “keep [him] as a top player” while he was there. He said ultimately that he had “a great time there.” The contract came too late for him to consider their offer, but he said the split was mutual and there are no hard feelings.
He said that his career thus far, from working resorts in Europe while breaking in to his first run to his time on the independents has prepared him for this time in WWE. He was asked about his new theme music, and he said that it “fits” him better in terms of the his entrance and mannerisms than his old song, but he still loves the old theme too.
Drew put over Matt Riddle and Chris Hero who he worked with in Evolve. He also put over Gabe Sapolsky, who he said now is working with creative in NXT. He said Sapolsky is “great” to work with and put him in “fantastic stories” in Evolve. He also said that NXT gives him an opportunity to be him to the point where the writers work with him on verbiage and take input and ideas from him on his character and promos.
Drew was made to go to speech classes to help with his accent during his first run, and he said they “taught [him] what [he] already knew” and simply made him pay attention to those things more. In the future, if he wins the title, he would love to work with Roderick Strong, Johnny Gargano, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and the Velveteen Dream, who he put over a lot by saying he’s “advanced more than he should be” at his age and “bumps like Mr. Perfect.”
Score and Review (7/10)
This was a solid enough interview show. The questions asked by the group were apt, if a little disjointed, and they even tried to push McIntyre a little, but understandably, he would dodge some questions. In answering the questions he thought wouldn’t possibly get him heat, he was honest, humble, and good-natured throughout. McIntyre came across as a good guy in the interview, and his fans and general NXT followers will appreciate the interview, but don’t look for anything too juicy or controversial.
00:00: McIntyre talks his time in FCW compared to NXT
13:03: McIntyre on his time on the independent circuit, working with different wrestling styles, and his mark out moments
29:27: McIntyre on his first run in WWE and his return
41:44: McIntyre on his TNA run, his NXT promos, and who he’d like to work with
Chris Gaspare is a teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW Saturday Night episode and quickly rented as many NWA and WWF VHS tapes he could find in local stores. He also attended Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and early ECW shows in Philadelphia, which really kicked his fandom into high gear. He lapsed in the mid-2000s, but returned to the wrestling fold a few years ago.