The First King Of ICW Drew McIntyre Returns To Enter Hall Of Fame
If at first you don't succeed go out there and become one of the best wrestlers in the world and go back and succeed. That's the twist on the old tale that Drew McIntyre invented. Now ICW's first champion goes back home to be inducted into their Hall of Fame.
Drew McIntyre was the 'chosen one' but in 2014 he was released from WWE. When that might have been the death knell for his career as a top performer it was in fact the start of one of the greatest indie runs any wrestler has had.
BREAKING: @WWE Superstar @DMcIntyreWWE returns to Insane Championship Wrestling for one night only to be inducted into the ICW Hall Of Fame, on Monday 12th February at the @O2ABC! Tickets - https://t.co/TSNaiG2Kcx! #ICWHOF #ICWFightClub pic.twitter.com/Oy2SG59452
- ICW (@InsaneChampWres) February 1, 2018
The Scot's return to ICW helped launch the promotion to a whole other level and McIntyre too, as he became one of the best wrestlers on the planet That led to him once again becoming a WWE superstar last year, winning the NXT Title just a few months later.
On Monday he returns to the ABC Arena in Glasgow once more as he's inducted into the company's Hall of Fame. He told us how proud he was to be getting such an honour:
"It's crazy, the idea I'm going into the ICW hall of fame, with everything that ICW had achieved is pretty incredible. For a start I'm 32 and going into a hall of fame, that's pretty mental.
"But when you break it down and put it into perspective there wasn't any Scottish wrestling scene when I started wrestling, aged 15, 17 years ago, Mark Dallas was the first guy I met in the whole of professional wrestling. He told me he wanted to be a promoter one day, I told him I wanted to be in the WWE one day. And that was the first guy I met and we had big dreams, there was nothing and we started the scene back then.
"He started ICW, I was the first champion, I left, the BBC documentary came around and it started taking off. There was 1500 people when I made my return, we all worked together and we all busted our arses and we built that number from 1500 to over 6000 for the biggest indie show of all time.
"All the things the guys are saying online about me, the roster, all the compliments, they all mean the world to me but it really was a team effort to be able to change so much and I really am so proud to be recognised and going into the ICW hall of fame."
Dallas and McIntyre go way back and the company and the wrestler helped each other to heights they only dreamed of during the former Intercontinental champion's second run but he revealed that, unlike with every other promotion, he had to contact Dallas to get back to his home:
"Initially when I got released a bunch of people messaged me. It was July 2014, they were trying to get me booked on their show. The one person that didn't message me was Mark Dallas. Finally I contacted him and I said 'oh so you're not going to message me?' and he said 'well you're my friend I thought you might be upset you lost your job' and he was the only person who considered I might be upset.
"And I told him my plan, I said 'I've got an idea, I'm going to return to ICW. I'm going to return in three weeks, I'm going to show up on the show as a surprise and I've got a statement I want to give out to the world.'
"So he was happy, we kept it a secret and nobody knew whatsoever, I managed to sneak in the backdoor and when I finally got to the basement of the building I was terrified, going through everything in my head. I was about to make some very bold predictions that ICW was going to be known worldwide and that I was going to show the world who I truly was. From the guy who used to be the chosen one and was in the 3MB group these are bold statements but I believed them and they all came true."
It's weird to think that Three Man Band had been such a joke when McIntyre left in 2014. The jobber team of McIntyre, Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater had been slashed down to just Slater with Mahal also axed.
However the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 became the year of 3MB with Slater winning tag team gold, Mahal become world champion and McIntyre grabbing the NXT belt at NXT Takeover Brooklyn III.
The 32 year old told me how time in WWE and time away got him back to exactly where he needed to be at exactly the right time:
"When I left I hadn't been doing too much WWEwise but I had been offered the kind of training you really can't buy anywhere. The kinds of people I'd worked with over the years, listened to over the years. I saw being released as an opportunity, and thought 'Right Drew here you go, you can either be miserable or really show the world what you can do. Take everything you've learnt and apply it.'
"So I applied everything I learnt and travelled across the world, became the busiest wrestler on the entire planet. I built my brand and during that time I grew up a lot, as a man, but I also learnt a lot as a professional- how to be a main event guy, how to conduct myself in every possible way and apply everything I'd learned in WWE. And by the time ICW got to the level it got to, everywhere I went to got to a level that it didn't need me anymore to keep growing.
"Everyone was ready, all the roster was ready, the company was ready and it was time for me to return home. So it was perfect timing and the perfect opportunity. And then I became NXT champion so it really worked out."
McIntyre hugely acknowledges the help his colleagues and fans have had on his career. He failed to specifically name someone from ICW who could follow him to NXT, outside of Wolfgang and Trent Seven as the 'UK Championship guys,' because he was 'basically trying to avoid saying just one person's name because I just believe in them all so much.'
I've won many across the world & had many big moments, but this honor is truly special to me. When I was released, I told the @BBC that this little company would take over the world. We grew, and together we broke the independent wrestling attendance record. I'm coming home #HOF https://t.co/Mo0bP3Vqg0
- Drew McIntyre (@DMcIntyreWWE) February 1, 2018
Talking about his fans the former WWE tag team champion said,"My fans have always believed in me and got behind me. I've always heard the messages in person and online, them saying 'just give Drew a chance.' And their chants led to me becoming champions so I just have to thank my fans so much."
McIntyre is clearly humbled by the honour of going into ICW's Hall of Fame, becoming only the second person in there after retired star Carmel Jacobs, and says Monday is for everyone, "This night isn't all about me, I don't want it to be about me, it's about the success of Scottish wrestling."
Finally the man from Ayr has been out injured since he lost his NXT title to Andrade 'Cien' Almas at Takeover War Games but it sounds like he'll be back sooner rather than later:
"I'm feeling good. I'll say this much; the fans that are there on the night, there's limited tickets still left. This is my first public appearance so when everybody sees me they can judge for themselves if they think I'm ready to be back in the ring because I've got my sights set on the world."
You'd have to be a fool to doubt this hall of famer will get his hands on the world!
Featured Image: WWE.
Featured Image Credit: WWE