Drew McIntyre wanted to go to NXT before returning to the main roster.
McIntyre was anointed "The Chosen One" by Vince McMahon in 2009. However, by 2011, McIntyre had fallen out of favor on-screen and off. He was released from the company in 2014. Following a successful run on the Independent scene, which included stints in EVOLVE, TNA, and PWG, McIntyre was re-hired in April 2017. Instead of returning to the main roster and picking up where he left off, McIntyre went to NXT.
Speaking to Sky Sports, McIntyre revealed that it was his decision to work start in NXT.
"I didn't see any other avenue than going to NXT first," he said. "My wife and I were talking about the possibilities of Japan and being a free agent, and during this period I had a conversation with Triple H and I let him know my feelings - I said 'If I come back I feel like I should go to NXT first.'"
McIntyre went on to say, "I felt as though I could make a difference to NXT as one individual can make a difference there, as I had done for so many different companies when I wasn't with WWE. So I didn't see any other route than through NXT and being a leader there and, when was the time was right, moving on to Monday Night Raw."
McIntyre would spend in a year in NXT, winning the NXT Title at TakeOver: Brooklyn III. He lost the title at TakeOver: War Games in November to Andrade "Cien" Almas. During the bout, he suffered a torn bicep, which sidelined him heading into 2019. McIntyre would not return to NXT following the loss, making his main roster re-debut on Apr. 16. He currently holds the Raw Tag Team Titles with Dolph Ziggler.