Since winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36, Drew McIntyre has successfully defended the title against all challengers. From Seth Rollins to Randy Orton to Robert Roode and others, no one has been able to take the championship off the Scottish Psychopath whose reign has surpassed 200 days, making it the longest since AJ Styles had the strap 371 days.
McIntyre reflected on his championship reign and how he would describe it when he joined Busted Open.
"Different, because there's never been a title reign like the one I'm currently on. The night I won the title was the big show, WrestleMania in the PC without fans there. We evolved and figured things out as we went and threw things against the wall," said McIntyre. "Seeing what worked, seeing what didn't work. Bringing in the performers at the Performance Center and treating them as fans. Eventually, making their way into the Thunderdome and the whole time building who I am as a champion and as a character making such a unique environment without fans there and trying to make I come across the way I want to come across, which is somebody that might look like a stereotypical professional wrestler, but is somebody who's like everybody at home, is somebody who's relatable, is somebody who's flog and I think we're achieving that right now. But yeah, it's a different time I'm going through, but I'm enjoying it all."
McIntyre's reign is as unique as any championship reign in WWE history due to the ongoing pandemic and the lack of fans in arenas. But he was asked if there was anything he would have done differently since winning the belt off Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
"Honestly, I don't think so. If I changed anything, I might not be where I'm at and who I am and what exactly I'm doing right now. I said that in my whole career. For the past six months, I will never change one thing about anything, in case the butterfly effects squared me up in some way. So, I've been very happy and proud with everything I've achieved, especially these past few months with the Randy Orton feud," stated McIntyre.
"This has kind of cemented me as a top-level main event performer. Everything that Randy and I have been able to achieve, it's such a rarity. To keep a feud going for three months, these things are obviously going to come to a head at Hell in a Cell, but I've been very proud to keep up with Randy."
McIntyre had a couple of singles matches as well as six-man tag matches against Orton during his first run in WWE in the early 2010s. But both Superstars have evolved since then and they are undoubtedly better versions of themselves than back then.
McIntyre discussed keeping up with The Viper in storylines and in the ring.
"I mean, you got to be on your game in every possible way to try to keep up with someone like Randy Orton. I mean, in general, in the past he wasn't really trying," admitted McIntyre. "He was just so naturally gifted. He was one of the best in the world, but I don't know when it was, but I think it was around the time Edge came back. He suddenly founded his next gear. He was so incredibly motivated and wanted to give it all to his promos, his in-ring game. He wants to go out there and he wants to steal the show every single week and it's a Randy I've never seen before. It motivates me personally, because I know, 'Okay, I got to step up to his level.'
"As long everything comes to a place of truth, as long as I believe what I'm saying and believe what I'm doing, I can keep up with anybody. So, I've been so proud with this particular rivalry with Randy. It started in the PC, if you remember that particular promo with Ric Flair and Randy, that was so long ago now. It's all going to come ahead this Sunday, but Randy has done some cool things with his promos, probably viewed most proud of."
Many consider this version of Randy Orton the best thing going on in WWE and McIntyre was asked how proud he is to be able to work with him.
"Like I said, Randy's a few of them probably the most proud of me being champion and keeping up with not just Randy Orton, but Randy Orton-going-out-there-to-steal-the-show every single night. And everything we've done – the promos, the matches itself – I think the match at SummerSlam, that was your straight wrestling match there, World Heavyweight contest. The way I used to like it, two heavyweights going at it and in the end, both of us not hitting our wrestling moves. I beat him with a wrestling hold, he won the greatest match against Edge. Therefore, it's evenly beat," said McIntyre.
"He takes out the legends heading into Clash of Champions. We have ourselves more of a hardcore match and in the Ambulance Match, we like to make it… Ambulance Matches in the past have been fine, but we wanted it to become the best Ambulance Match ever. We really wanted to tell a compelling story and that's what it's all about – the Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton – just telling the best story in every situation, especially our matches.
"I enjoyed the story. Not everyone loved the fact that the legends got involved, but I thought it was important to the story. They got in and Randy's got an excuse now heading towards Hell in a Cell. When locked inside the cage, it's just Randy and I. It's going to end with one of our finishers and I'm hoping that Drew McIntyre will be standing over, with his hand raised, going over with his finish."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.