Drew McIntyre is preparing for one of the biggest PPV matches of his career on Sunday, August 23rd. On that night, McIntyre defends his WWE Championship against Randy Orton, one of the top stars in the company for nearly two decades. Orton and McIntyre have a long, but somewhat limited, history together having first wrestled each other back in 2011. All told, however, the two have only shared the ring 20 times (including untelevised events) throughout the years, and that number is comprised of only three singles matches.
ComicBook.com had the chance to speak with McIntyre earlier this week about his history with Orton and their match at SummerSlam. Today, we have more from our conversation with McIntyre, including some more thoughts on Orton, a possible WWE Draft, and his dream matches.
As mentioned, McIntyre first wrestled Orton back in 2011. In McIntyre's opinion, how is Orton a different performer today than he was then?
"He was so good back then, but I think now I'm even more so," McIntyre told us. "Aside being more seasoned, he knows exactly who he, which is weird because he was so good back then. He didn't seem like he was playing a character. I just think he was really good at playing the character back then with all the stern looks and jaw clenches and slow talking. It felt like, okay, that's what I have to do. I think now he's very relaxed. He knows exactly who he is. The scary thing is he was that good and one of the best in the world back then. Now, like I say, without trying, he's one of the best and when he's on fire, which he is right now, he's pretty much untouchable, but I assure everybody I love the challenge...I love that challenge to finally step-up to somebody's level like a Randy Orton and a Randy Orton on fire."
There have been reportedly discussions over the last several months about holding another WWE Draft to reorganize the Raw and SmackDown rosters once again. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the draft on a number of occasions. If another WWE Draft were to be held, we asked McIntyre who he would like to see join him on the Raw brand.
"There's a few guys," McIntyre responded. "Like, Cesaro is on my list of never had a match ever. I'd love to have a big match with him. Braun Strowman and I have never had a big, significant singles match. I think that could be interesting. It's not so often you pay and you see two larger than life superstars going at it, but two that can actually move around I think would make for a very interesting match-up.
"It would be Sheamus over there. Him and I go way back to when I was about 18, 19 years old, he was about 43. He was a little bit older (laughs). We've got that big brother, little brother relationship. We both get signed in the same day, came to America together, developmental together. The night I won the IC title, he won the heavyweight title. Obviously his career ascended from there, mine went on the down slope until I got fired. I returned, he'd come down a little bit and then I exploded into the main event scene while he's still trying to find his way back there. I think there's a very interesting jealous older brother with little brother storyline that's got a lot of real footage, a lot of real depth that fans would get behind, especially Scotland versus Ireland beating the crap out of each other. That would be great. We could definitely do that one in the bar again."
One rivalry for McIntyre that was reportedly in the works recently involved his former 3MB stable mate, Jinder Mahal. However, Mahal's recent return was delayed due to a knee injury. We asked McIntyre if he could envision a possible championship feud with Jinder.
"Yep. 100%. The same things I said about Sheamus apply to Jinder also," McIntyre said. "I just want everything to be as real as possible for the fans to get invested. Even at first, they're not too sure about it or skeptical about it, that they find themselves getting invested in Jinder and I. He's one of my best friends in the world. We met when I moved back to Tampa when I was about 25 years old. We started hanging out for a couple of years before 3MB was even formed. We got closer during that period. He was there to support me during some difficult times in my personal life that we very much would involve in a storyline to take it to that next level.
"I'm very comfortable, my life's an open book that's been on the public display since I was 21. He (Jinder) was one of the groomsmen at my wedding and we're still training with each other to this day. I think he posted a picture from his gym the other day, actually, of how close we are. I think the environment we're in right now, like I mentioned, telling deeper stories and developing those characters and having more layers to our stories and characters, this would be the perfect environment to do it in. Sometimes when the arenas of fans are unsure with something initially they might crap all over it and they'll give it a chance, but in this environment they're kind of forced to listen to that story and I think people would truly get invested in a Jinder-McIntyre story."
Monday night during Raw, we saw Ric Flair get involved in McIntyre's feud with Randy Orton. That was actually a topic we approached McIntyre about earlier in the day on Monday during our conversation with him. Flair had recently spoken about wanting to get involved in the match in Orton's corner, and that's exactly what we saw happen on Raw.
With McIntyre growing up a big wrestling fans having someone like Flair involved in his program with Orton is certainly very exciting. We asked him, as a fan and now a wrestler, who are some names from the past that he would book himself into a championship feud with if he could go back in time?0comments
"Shawn Michaels jumps out," McIntyre said. "Triple H 2000, 2001 kinda time jumps out. Then I'd probably have to go for my favorite, I was a big Bret Hart fan growing up. I became buddies with him when I became an adult, which is crazy. Just wrote a piece for Nattie's column in the Calgary Sun to wish him a happy birthday. She only asked like three people to do it and it was pretty cool being involved with that. When I toured Germany with them and I was IC champion and had a crazy time hearing all the stories about how wild it used to be in Germany for him and still was during that tour. Yeah, I'd love to have had a feud with that man in his prime and really have some good 15-minute matches with him. So that would have been a lot of fun."
Don't miss Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton at WWE SummerSlam on August 23rd. The show will stream live and on demand on the WWE Network. You can see McIntyre each and every week on Monday Night Raw on the USA Network.