Drew McIntyre will face his biggest challenge to date on Sunday when he battles Randy Orton at SummerSlam.
McIntyre has been in a tough position since winning the WWE Title, having to perform in front of no one or Performance Center recruits during his reign.
Speaking to Simon Hannig of Daily DDT, McIntyre gave his assessment on how he's done as champion.
“I’m not one to toot my own horn,” McIntyre said. “Obviously, when I won the WWE title, we’re in unprecedented times. No one’s ever been champion in a pandemic, so it’s kind of figuring it out as I go, but the thing I’ve said before I won the title, and I still fully believe is my journey, all the ups and downs of my career, all the negatives and the positives prepared me to lead the company in any situation. It didn’t matter what situation was presented to me, I would be able to lead this company because of my journey, and then the pandemic hit, and then when it did hit, I felt exactly the same, and I felt I was a man to carry the load, and I don’t crack under pressure, because I’ve been through it all, and I found that exciting, to be honest, I take it as a challenge to find new ways to innovate and adapt, WWE’s always innovating and adapting dramatically, I was always innovating and adapting, and from the first show, when there’s no fans there, I was trying to think of ways to connect with the fans at home, because they weren’t in the arena.”
McIntyre continued, “So the WWE universe is our biggest superstar, number one superstar, we feed off of them, and I was looking right down the camera lens on that first show, trying to connect to everybody home and make that connection since he went there personally and trying to set an example for the rest of the roster that, hey, this is a new time right now, and I’m going to try things, I’m going to throw things against the wall to see if they stick, because there are no wrong answers right now, so let’s just try some stuff, and I wanted to set the examples from the first RAW, but let’s just do whatever it takes, see if the fans react to it, if they like it, cool. If they don’t, then we’ll change it, and we’ll keep trying, we’ll keep adapting, and hopefully I’ve been setting an example to everybody to do that as well. I had a few characters over the past few months really step up and really find themselves, which is awesome; and outside the ring, I’m very proud of my role as WWE brand ambassador, and get to do all the media, trying to get new eyes on the product, and that’s the role I take very seriously. Somebody like Randy Orton, I assure you, is just sitting home, chilling out, counting his money, and he’s not doing all the work. Hey, outside the company is the real responsibilities of a champion, and I’m really proud to say that I do put in the work when it comes to my responsibility as a champion, so hopefully get a high grade.”
McIntyre is built as the man who lost everything, worked hard to return to WWE, and climbed up the ladder to become WWE Champion. Orton is the privileged star who has been handed everything since he debuted in 2002.
McIntyre will get a chance to perform in front of virtual fans on Sunday as that will be the first time he steps foot inside the ThunderDome.
Fightful will have live coverage of WWE SummerSlam beginning at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.