Drew McIntyre is back in the fold on the WWE main roster in a big way. However, he almost never came back in the first place.
McIntyre had a rebirth under his given name of Drew Galloway on the indies and other companies after being let go from WWE. The news came as a shock to him, but it also lit the fire for him to reinvent himself. A blessing in disguise, as McIntyre would tell Fightful.
"When I got fired that day. I got the phone call, I was a little surprised. I think the person on the phone was a little surprised; the fans were a little surprised. But to be honest, there was no way I could logically transition into anything serious. And I don’t think it would have panned out if I did. I think I had to go away, apply the lessons I learned outside of the nonstop WWE environment. ‘Cause this place never stops. We’re always creating content. It’s very difficult to re-invent yourself, you know, within this world if people know you a certain way," McIntyre said.
Life outside of WWE was something Drew immediately prepared for. It would lead to runs in EVOLVE, Impact, ICW and several other companies that would regain lost buzz after descending down WWE's card in his initial run. It didn't take McIntyre much time to realize what he needed to do.
"So the way I looked at it, I got the call, by the time my girlfriend, now wife, got home, I’d already made the plan," said Drew. "I was going back to Scotland to get my mission statement. I was gonna show the world who I really was and what I could really do. And thankfully things worked out, people gave me a platform to show who I was. And that started as “I’m gonna return to the company no matter what and as a more polished performer.” But, at the time I was building companies around the world, and I really considered “I’d probably never go back to WWE, I’m making a difference.”
After finding such success outside of WWE, McIntyre wasn't too eager to jump back into the fire. However, some well-placed phone call sold him on the return.
"The WWE name sells the product, like Drew Galloway, Drew McIntyre—real name’s Galloway—is what was making a difference to all these companies around the world and do I really want to go back when I’m making such a difference. And it wasn’t until my TNA contract lapsed; my wife and I had to decide our next move that day. I was thinking I was gonna go to New Japan probably ‘cause I really wanted to go there and really wanted to work there. Then I got a call from William Regal, who’s a bit of a mentor of mine, who told me we’d take a call with Triple H. We spoke, and decided the next move was WWE and NXT in particular," said McIntyre,
Drew would go on to be NXT Champion, before getting a call-up to WWE Raw, winning the tag titles, and capping it off with a WrestleMania feud with Roman Reigns.