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Opinion

Is The Writing On The Wall For Drew McIntyre?

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Drew McIntyre WWE NXT Championship

On Saturday, November 18th, 2017, at NXT Takeover: War Games, Drew McIntyre lost the NXT championship to Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Near the end of the match, McIntyre suffered a torn bicep which would keep him out for months. As of this writing, it has been over four months since McIntyre has been out of action. His return to WWE was much heralded because of what he achieved in WWE previously, not to mention his accomplishments post-WWE on the independents and in TNA. When he initially came into the company, he was dubbed ‘The Chosen One;’ what did that mean for Drew? It meant that much was expected from the then 23-year-old Scotsman. His character and push changed over time, however. It seemed like the need to push this young, strong and talented performer faded and he became forgettable.

It wasn’t always this way, however. He was highly touted and heralded for having all the qualities of a champion. He was a tall, fit, fresh-faced, clean-shaven Scotsman that was quickly pushed as a mid-card champion, facing the best the division had to offer including Matt Hardy, Christian, and Sheamus. In fact, at one time he was a tag team champion alongside ‘Dashing’ Cody Rhodes. He was being mixed in with another young talent that was equally dedicated to being the best they could be as part of the Smackdown brand.

When he was moved to Raw it seemed as though any upward trajectory completely stalled. He was rarely seen, appearing mostly in dark matches. His push continued to decline and it was perplexing to see. After his time on Raw dwindled, McIntyre was moved to WWE’s developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling. At that time FCW was in the midst of being rebranded as NXT, and he was added to a tournament to determine the first ever NXT champion. He wasn’t successful, but that didn’t mean the company didn’t have other plans for McIntyre.

After a short time in NXT, he returned to Raw to form a new alliance with Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal in 3MB. As part of 3MB, McIntyre did what was asked of him, and for that, he should be commended. However, with each loss and each head-scratching exchange with Hornswoggle, Drew was made to look silly. It became less about being a talented in-ring character that had fantastic matches against Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, and Dolph Ziggler; that character was a distant memory and it was replaced with someone that was a comic relief heel persona.

A few months after competing in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX, it was announced that Drew was released from his contract on June 12th, 2014. While competing for WWE is the dream for many, it was time for McIntyre to walk away and re-emerge in a position he could be happy with. The 23-year-old neophyte was gone and in his place was a grizzled 28-year old that needed to showcase just how good he was. When a credible character is then made to look comedic, regaining that serious tone can be a challenge. He needed to be in a different environment where he could show that he was every bit as good as he ever was before. He also began using his given name, becoming Drew Galloway once again.

He competed for promotions such as ICW, Evolve, House of Glory, and arguably the second largest promotion in North America in TNA, now Impact Wrestling. His time in TNA, while short-lived, was meaningful as he competed for multiple championships. He also competed for Pro Wrestling Guerilla in front of smaller crowds, but that didn’t matter because it was all about his passion. Competing for multiple promotions after departing WWE also allowed him to show his growth as a wrestler and a performer.

That all changed once again when, at NXT Takeover: Orlando the day before Wrestlemania, Galloway was shown in the crowd, announced once again as Drew McIntyre, much to the excitement of those in attendance. Would this mean exactly what fans had hoped it would mean? And indeed, after the event went off the air it was made official that he had returned to the promotion. The return meant a new opportunity and a fresh start to his career in WWE. During his time away, McIntyre developed a variety of skills, including his ability to strike with precision. It also appeared as though he had gained more muscle mass, and it was clear that his time away meant a rekindled passion for the business, and a desire to regain his place at the top of the promotion. The comedy act was gone after it had been such a disappointing end to his time in WWE. McIntyre returned with a fire and a passion that reflected the person he had become.

“Yeah, I’m great…. it’s obviously not ideal, I became NXT Champion, I came back and I was flying high and I showed the world Drew Galloway/Drew McIntyre was ready to be the flag bearer, was ready to take on the responsibility I wasn’t ready for the first time, and then I got hurt and I lost the title. That wasn’t ideal, I was obviously pretty upset at first, but then I came home, I sat with my wife and evaluated things and I realized I hadn’t had this time off in 17 years that I’ve been wrestling.

This is the first time I’ve had three months off in my entire career. I’ve had the chance to sit down, reflect, take a look at how I can better myself and I’ve really come up some good ideas. If I was a champion and I was able to take myself to the level I was able to take myself to before, the way I’m thinking now, the way I’m going to come back now, I’ll be a whole different animal and anyone who is in that building can take one look at me and see if I’m ready to return because I’ve got my sights on New Orleans.”

– Drew McIntyre discussing his injury and current recovery– 2/18/18

Though a veteran of seventeen years, Drew is not going to rest on his laurels and has learned from each experience, each match, and each exchange. He wants to show how much he has evolved in what was just a few years between stints, in WWE. He not only came in to make a difference, but he rose to prominence once again when he captured championship gold by defeating Bobby Roode for the NXT championship. However, the challenges for him in NXT had only just begun. As the top man on the brand, all eyes were on him. The focus had changed and the hunter became the hunted. This was made clear only moments after he won the championship, as he was attacked by Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and a debuting Adam Cole in a three on one beat down. McIntyre had barely had an opportunity celebrate his accomplishment before a target was put on his back. His next major championship match was at the next NXT Takeover, dubbed WarGames, and his aforementioned loss to Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas.

Since that evening McIntyre hasn’t been in the ring. Rumor has it that the decision was that the loss occurred in order for him to be moved to the main roster. Would that have happened had he has not been injured on this evening? There is no confirmation, and in the wake of that injury, clearly, those plans didn’t materialize. What is a certainty is that for the better part of four months McIntyre has had to work to rehabilitate his bicep, after surgery. The injury could easily be seen as a setback, much like his time away from WWE was seen.

“I’ve been a wrestler over half my life, spent a third in America and lived at more addresses than I can remember, but, there has always been one constant I could call home.”

With everything in life, there are ebbs and flows, highs and lows. Drew McIntyre has seen the highs and lows of competition, and come out the other side with a sense of awareness. His injury could be labeled a disappointment because it has slowed down his progression, but maybe that injury occurred because he was meant to be in a better place in a different role. It would be easy to question his booking, but McIntyre was beaten down by three men after winning the NXT championship and continued to show his versatility in the ring with his matches.

“When I got the surgery they predicted five to six months. I will tell you this now, I’ve got my sights set on New Orleans. And those who are there for the biggest party of the year at ICW, the only night of the year I’ll be able to return to ICW, it will be a very special night, and those who are there can take a look at my bicep for themselves and tell me how it looks.”

This injury won’t define Drew’s career or the success of his return to NXT, but rather only act as motivation for him to reclaim his status and show that he is every bit the chosen one that he always was meant to be.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheMarcMadison and Instagram @themarcmadison

Feel Free to like my Facebook page Pro Wrestling Post

Feel Free to check out my blog The Wrestling News Hub Magazine including interviews with ROH top prospect tournament entrant, Curt Stallion, Sebastian Suave, Ring of Honor’s Frankie Kazarian, “All Good” Anthony Greene, ‘The Green Machine’ Mike Orlando, Josh Briggs, ROH top prospect finalist John Skyler and current rising Ring of Honor star Flip Gordon with interviews with Tyson Dux, Ivelisse and Madman Fulton (former WWE NXT superstar Sawyer Fulton) and former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas.


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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