Wrestler Drew McIntyre on why the WWE is an important form of escapism
In WWE, 2020 has so far been the year of Drew McIntyre. The brawlling 6'5" Scotsman dramatically forced himself into the mainevent picture by winning the Royal Rumble match in January, ensuring him a WWE Title opportunity at WrestleMania versus the reigning champion, Brock Lesnar.
As one of the few live entertainment shows continuing to broadcast across the world during the current global health pandemic, rarely has there been so many eyeballs on WWE as a helpful form of escapism.
This year, for the first time ever, WWE's biggest show of the year, WrestleMania, will take place over two days (April 4 and 5) live without a crowd from company's Performance Centre facility in Florida, and available to stream on the WWE Network.
Ahead of the show we spoke to Drew McIntyre about being in the main event of WrestleMania and the impact WWE is having on continuing to operate during these troubling times:
What are your lasting thoughts looking back on Royal Rumble 2020?
DM: Not only did I eliminate Brock Lesnar when he was peak ‘Beast Brock Lesnar’, running rough shot over everybody, but I also won the Royal Rumble by eliminating my last year’s rival Roman Reigns.
It’s just crazy to think of the journey I have been on, knowing how much work has been put in over 18 years, I now finally have the opportunity to fight for the WWE Title, and against Brock Lesnar in the main event at WrestleMania.
How important is entertainment as a form of escapism, now more than ever?
DM: Everybody needs to lay low for a little while, and whatever keeps you entertained within your house is absolutely essential. That’s why I’m so proud of what we're doing with the WWE right now. We can provide everybody with some unique content, some unique entertainment to take their mind of things. We will do what we can for as long as we can to take people’s mind of things. Maybe you want to learn the guitar? Maybe you’re reading that book you never quite got finished last year? Maybe its to watch WWE content, all I'm saying is stick at it right now because it’s for the good of everybody.
If you win, you will become the first-ever British WWE Champion. How does that feel?
DM: I don’t think there are quite the words for it. I had visions for how it would go in the stadium [NOTE: WrestleMania was originally scheduled to be hosted at the Raymond James stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida], but right now, looking at the bigger picture, this can be a moment of escape for everybody. Becoming the first British Champion, hopefully will make people feel something on a deeper level and that is very important to me too.
Why should people around the world tune-in to WrestleMania?
DM: It's always a spectacle, and this year we’ve got some big matches. Roman Reigns is fighting Goldberg for the Universal Title; Edge has returned after nine years and is in a bitter personal rivalry with Randy Orton; but, more importantly, Drew McIntyre is finally at the pinnacle of his 18 year quest for the WWE Championship.
All I have to do is beat Brock Lesnar. I’m going to need as many people as possible watching and sending out positive energy to take down The Beast. It’s going to be a huge night, I hope everybody can tune-in, and I really hope that it gives everybody a few hours of entertainment over the 4th and 5th of April.