Ahead of WrestleMania 37, Drew McIntyre tells us what to expect, and talks about his love for Indian fans and admiration for Virat Kohli
The much-awaited pay-per-view event by the WWE, WrestleMania 37, will take place this weekend! The two-day event is being hosted at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida, and will be the first WWE event to have limited number of ticketed fans in attendance during these pandemic times.
WrestleMania 37 features the likes of Braun Strowman, Shane McMahon, Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Dana Brooke, Rhea Ripley, Sasha Banks, Bianca Blair and many other stars. However, one of the most anticipated matches is the WWE Championship Match between Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre. In an exclusive interview with Indulge, Drew McIntyre spoke about the upcoming match, the story behind his 'Claymore' kick, his love for Indian fans, and admiration of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.
What are your plans for the WWE Championship Match at WrestleMania 37?
I am excited, I am excited about WrestleMania 37 and I am excited about facing Lashley. I don't like the manner in which he has dealt with being a champion. But realistically if you had to look at both our journeys, we had to really work hard to get to where we are today. When we were both younger we got huge opportunities, but we both had to leave the company to truly find ourselves. We worked very hard to make our way back, and had to start at the bottom to rise back and make our way to the main event the WWE Championship. He is an absolute beast. He is big and strong, and is a high-level MMA fighter. There are not many superstars who are as physical as Lashley or like Drew McIntyre. This match will be a bit of a throwback (and will remind viewers) of the heavyweight matches from the earlier days of WWE. You will see two heavyweights (referring to himself and Lashley), we are not going to be doing slow, holding onto each other or plodding along slowly. We are athletic heavyweights, and we are going to be moving around, we will be showing spectacular athletic moves, I cannot wait, and I am going to win, of course!
Tell us about your 'Claymore' kick... How did you work on that move?
It's a funny story about how it came to be. At the end of my first WWE run I was part of this fake rock group 3MB. We didn't have any songs, and we didn't play any instruments, but we wore tight leather pants. They weren't really comfortable and they didn't leave any room for kicks, these would split if you were trying to move too much. I was running to deliver a manoeuvre in a match and I lifted my leg to kick the opponent in his face and I realised that my pant would split if I didn't lift my other leg, so lifted both legs and kicked my opponent in the face, landed awkwardly and hit my head and it looked silly. And when I went backstage someone told me it's a very good manoeuvre if you don't hurt yourself, so I watched it again and perfected it. The best thing that came from 3MB because of the tight leather pants was the Claymore kick.
Earlier this year you tested positive for COVID-19, how did that impact you mentally and physically?
I was very lucky with regards to the symptoms. I had very minimal effects, I just had fatigue and loss of smell. I am grateful that WWE allowed me to talk about it on television. I was the first person to speak about it and tell the truth. I essentially live like a hermit in my house, my gym is in the garage, my food is delivered to the house, I wear a mask and follow social distancing, and still I got it. So I wanted people to know that they have to follow the regulations. I am glad that the WWE with its processes in place caught my condition early before I went out and passed it on to others. I am just waiting to get vaccinated. I want to see my family, I haven’t seen them over a year now.
This is going to be an epic WrestleMania considering that live audience will be back in the stadium after over a year’s break, and during these pandemic times. Are you excited?
We have 25,000 fans and they are back in the arena, and they are going to sound like 400,000 fans and I cannot wait to hear the noise! I can’t wait for everyone to watch the event, especially around the world, particularly in India. When fans will watch us, I hope they will feel we are getting back to the normal. Hopefully we can travel again, and I can come to India and have a show there. I thank everyone to the support, and I wouldn’t be where I am without their support. India has such an unbelievably huge fan base. I thank them for helping us get through the last year. Without their support and belief in us, we couldn’t have been where we are right now. I have never been to India, Jinder Mahal is one of my best friends, and I have heard stories from him about all the cool places in India. I love Indian food and I want to visit India and meet all my fans. I have started to learn more about cricket and when I was trying to be the leader in the locker room, I remembered Virat Kohli the captain of the Indian cricket team. He sounds a lot like myself, I am learning more about the kind of leader he is, the respect he commands and how he gets attention wherever he goes. He is someone I look up to.
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Watch the full video interview here
Fans can watch WrestleMania 37, a two-night event, LIVE on SONY TEN 1 (English) and SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) channels on April 11 and April 12, 2021 from 5.30 am IST