Drew McIntyre is a natural storyteller inside the ring, with the catalyst for The Scottish Warrior’s WWE Championship win – the Royal Rumble 2020 – being a prime example of that. Outside of the ring, though, there’s no doubt McIntyre has a perhaps even more incredible story to tell, where the Goliath’s story sees him switch to David – the ultimate underdog – and back again.
“Not many people believed I was going to do it, except this guy writing this story.”
As harrowing as it is inspirational, A Chosen Destiny is a tale of misgivings and success, with the latter driven by determination and fuelled by the former. Drew McIntyre’s tale is arguably a better one than storyline that could be written, and an absolute rollercoaster ride, but it’s one we’re very familiar with. From ‘Drew McIntyre – The Chosen One’ and the two-time WWE Champion’s Broken Skull Sessions appearance, as well as many, many interviews from the now interviewee extraordinaire who puts in just as much work outside the ring as he does inside the ropes, and what we’ve watched play out on television, you may just think we know everything there is to know about Drew McIntyre’s journey.
“Ever since I was 15 years old, I’ve heard the repeated word ‘potential, potential, potential’ ringing in my years. When I was 24, I was branded The Chosen One by Vince McMahon, the big cheese who made WWE the global phenomenon it is today. I climbed the ranks and had the ultimate goal in wrestling in sight, only to slide back down to the bottom of the reckoning. Let me tell you: this period – personally, professionally, psychologically – was the lowest of the lows.”
Well, you’d be wrong – and that myth is dispelled immediately with a prologue that hits anyone flicking the book over with like a Claymore Kick. It’s impossible not to be both shocked and excited when the first words that hit you are – “Come On, Man, Don’t Arrest Me! I’ve Got To Get Home And Watch WrestleMania.”
A Chosen Destiny reflects Drew McIntyre’s journey perfectly from the get-go, completely unconventional. While the rest of the book does follow the chronology expected from an autobiography, the explosive and intense opening sets the tone for what you can expect as McIntyre details his “out-of-body experience” of taking in the pre-recorded, empty arena WrestleMania as a fan, eating popcorn alongside his wife while stroking his cat while simultaneously headlining the biggest show on the wrestling calendar and slaying The Beast that is Brock Lesnar. In almost a ‘WWE 24’ style, The Scottish Warrior details the day leading up to the event – and how he thought he’d be arrested on the day of his big moment airing.
While WWE documentaries are normally much more exposed and raw than much of the polished product we see on television, A Chosen Destiny is truly No Holds Barred. McIntyre doesn’t just detail his professional misgivings, but his personal tragedy too. From losing his mother, whom McIntyre deems a superhero – and it’s hard to argue after taking in her story through the eyes of Drew – to almost losing his career, his life, and so much more, this story is candid, yet expansive.
Within 100 words, the true difference between this offering and any previous coverage of Drew McIntyre’s one-of-a-kind story is clear for all to see, as The Scotsman mentions thinking Chris Benoit and The Undertaker were laughing at him on trial, before McIntyre – who holds a criminology degree – discusses how the tragic story of Chris Benoit affected him, personally and professionally. The two-time WWE Champion fearlessly addresses every obstacle in his way – with the global pandemic, Drew’s own alcohol and marital issues, his mother’s ill-health, and that suspended Saudi Arabia flight being addressed.
The self-proclaimed “Bad Luck Drew” details how, even after pinning Brock Lesnar, he was in disbelief and actually forced himself into that situation in case it was yanked from him before his WWE Championship victory was official. From hiding the title, to preparing for the airing by driving to Tampa International Airport for a glimpse of what could have been and Raymond James Stadium, to even thinking doctored footage of Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins being pinned might have saw him be pinned by Brock Lesnar – despite having the WWE Championship in his possession.
If you’re not au fait with wrestling teminology, A Chosen Destiny guides even non-wrestling fans through, and gives refreshers – not least via hilarious glossary at the back explaining much of the vernacular in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
McIntyre’s affable nature comes across perfectly throughout, none more so when discussing his upbringing, saying he’s from Ayr – “where we all drink whisky for water and run around in kilts – well, only at weekends” before candidly discussing his childhood and teen years. Everything from the moment McIntyre knew he wanted to be a wrestler to his mum’s ataxia diagnoses is covered. Not to mention family history and McIntyre, real name Drew Galloway, being both a “long” baby – and of long lineage of men with the same moniker.
“When I came along, I was named Andrew McLean Galloway IV and I have always loved that. Occasionally, if I am in one of those formal meetings where everyone introduces themselves with their full name and role, I announce myself as Andrew McLean Galloway the Fourth . . . It sounds like such a dastardly aristocratic villain!”
A Chosen Destiny is full of nuggets of nostalgia and inside peeks at a legendary career, with the first ever Scottish WWE Champion dropping in that he “hated” wearing a knee-length kilt upon his WWE arrival and pitching his Extreme Rules moment with The Undertaker. The exploration of McIntyre’s childhood tells us the story of a child both in awe of his mother’s super powers, and a troublesome toddler climbing out of his cot, destroying his dad’s record player, smashing glass display cabinet full of expensive crystal ornaments before an older Drew “worked a crowd” of teddy bears and spent WrestleManias doing “push-ups and arm curls” – which undoubtedly helped prepare for his own monumental moment on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
McIntyre pays tribute to his “hero” Bret Hart, and name-checks the likes of Big Show, Undertaker and the Hardy Boyz – who the Scotsman says he and his brother tried to emulate – as well as a visit to Ayr by WWE legend Yokozuna. The former WWE Champion also reveals the letter he sent to wrestling schools to try and kick off his career, while detailing how he “felt like a freak child” and was uncomfortable with his height. When his chance came, McIntyre still wasn’t exactly off to the races, struggling with the “technical aspect” of wrestling while sleeping in the middle of the ring at his training school before being picked out by Jake ‘The Snake’ and starting his own school alongside friends while wrestling alongside legends like Mitsuhara Misawa in a venue housing almost a similar number of people as the Japanese legend had accompanying him. The now WWE Superstar details his own “Plan B” to keep his parents happy, studying for his degree in criminology, but reveals how he fell asleep just feet away from a murder weapon due to burning the candle at both ends – which included traveling to Dublin and meeting fellow WWE Superstar Sheamus, crediting the former WWE Champion for much of his career.
Backstage stories of locker room “hazing” and worrying that he’d stolen Undertaker’s hotel room give us a never-before-seen glimpse into the world of rookie Drew McIntyre, including advice from The Deadman to “stop playing a wrestler” in his early days and his first meeting with Vince McMahon. Despite the WWE CEO hand-picking him for success, there was no shortage of tribulations along the way – from the nixed Runway Man character to an eventual release.
The surrealness of Drew McIntyre’s story can actually be summed up pretty neatly in one anecdote, as the former WWE Champion notes how he helped Natalya carry Bret Hart to his bed after The Hitman had perhaps taken one too many shots – comparing picking up Hart’s limbs to doing exactly the same thing with his action figure decades previous. Not only is McIntyre a great storyteller, but a wordsmith too, with the harrowing juxtaposition of his stomach “plummeting faster than a rollercoaster” upon finding out that his mother was ill while at a theme park as well as the apropos note of his career being like a game of Snakes & Ladders, and losing the WWE Championship to Randy Orton.
Across Drew McIntyre’s career, we’ve witnessed many ups and downs play out on-screen, but A Chosen Destiny details many “what could have been” moments and nixed storylines – from a clash with The Undertaker and a planned Money In The Bank win to lesser known pitches from Christian, Rey Mysterio and the late Roddy Piper to work with the Scotsman.
Much like many traditional wrestling matches, A Chosen Destiny – and McIntyre’s story – is the perfect story of an underdog triumphing. It’s potential meeting obstacle, being knocked down by obstacle, and never giving up, before their big comeback and subsequent crowning moment. That “comeback” is probably one of the most understated parts of this book, as even the eloquence of Drew McIntyre can’t quite convey how gruelling those round-the-world trips to compete for any promotion who would have him were. McIntyre recalls being in Australia one day and Finland the next, while only seeing his now-wife five times a month as he chased a dream that had slipped from his grasp.
What comes across more than anything in A Chosen Destiny isn’t Drew McIntyre, it’s Drew Galloway. While the name on the cover of the book may be that of a two-time WWE Champion, A Chosen Destiny is the story of a humble, dedicated man who worked very hard to achieve his dreams and, despite facing his own personal and professional tribulations, making it to the very summit of his profession – but knowing he didn’t get there alone. Many times in the book, McIntyre reiterates “there is no Drew McIntyre, World Champion” without several people. His wife, his mother, his brother, his father, and the likes of Sheamus, Undertaker, Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman among others. The Ayr-born Superstar also holds himself accountable for all of his own mistakes. There’s no blame attributed anywhere apart from Drew McIntyre, there’s no self-sympathy, just accountability and determination. The “human” aspect also comes across beautifully with a chapter dedicated to McIntyre’s cats, and several anecdotal comparisons to films such as The Lion King and amping himself up with thoughts of A Star Is Born at the Royal Rumble with the line – “I was saying to myself, ‘Here we go, Star is Born mother****er.'”
“Everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t change one thing about my journey. It has made me the man I am today: the performer, the leader of a company and a wrestler who gets people talking. I may be the big hairy Scottish savage, but inside I am still that shy boy who hid behind the furniture and happened to glimpse wrestling on someone else’s TV – and become mesmerised on the spot.”
The only real downfall is the ending of the book – as we know the story isn’t over, with many, many chapters still to be added with Drew McIntyre only 35 years old. However, there’s no doubt that the two-time WWE Champion’s story filled more than enough chapters with highs, lows, inspiration, aspiration, motivation and comedy to justify that Drew McIntyre add “best-selling author” to his many talents just 24 hours after A Chosen Destiny was released.
A Chosen Destiny is a story of grit, courage and determination as a fallen Superstar discovers who he truly is and storms back to reclaim his dream – and is available now. Thanks to WWE UK for advanced copy of the book, and for the images provided.