Drew McIntyre has hit back at what he sees as complacency and entitlement in wrestling locker rooms and how his own attitude has changed over the years.
Writing in his new book, A Chosen Destiny, McIntyre details the different attitudes he has seen over the years in wrestling locker rooms. McIntyre noted that if he was unimpressed, then he believes that long-time veterans would be aghast at some of the prevailing attitudes.
“I could also see that backstage respect is earned by hard work, being humble, and appreciative of other people’s contributions. I saw someone like Undertaker, the headline act, who wants to share his passion and contribute to the collective performance without any ego. In contrast to today, where sadly there is a sense of entitlement that I would like to weed out of the sport, all the guys stuck around after their matches and there was a lot of congratulatory banter after the show I was disappointed to find on my return that some of the locker room were content to rest on their laurels and did not have a great attitude.”
“I spoke out in the media and said I’d spent a lot of time backstage and after shows with Undertaker, Rey Mysterio, Christian, even Ric Flair, when I was younger, and I didn’t think all of them would be impressed with the entitled attitude I detected in some corners of the locker room. It is something I genuinely believe to this day and I don’t see it as much now, but a few people would complain all the time to anyone who would listen about being unhappy with their position on the card, about how they should be at the top, they should be champion.”
According to McIntyre, those doing the most complaining were those doing the least to improve their standing in the company:
“It wasn’t like they were confiding in a friend or asking for advice; it wasn’t like they were taking positive action to earn respect. They would be peacocking around saying the company was an idiot because it didn’t know what to do with them. But their physique and work ethic and mentality didn’t mirror their words. You could see they were not putting in the effort; they did not have a good attitude. I could speak out against complacency, not because, ‘Hey, I look this way’ and ‘Hey, I’m in a good position’, but because I knew where they were coming from. I understood their frustration at feeling invisible, but the reality is you have to step back and get some perspective or you’re not going to get anywhere.”
Drew McIntyre then discussed his own philosophy since he returned to the red brand of WWE:
“When I came back to Raw my philosophy towards these discontented guys was, I am trying to give you the answers here, and help you to achieve your goals within the system. You can try and do it the way I did it, and get fired, and start all over at the bottom and try to take over the wrestling world. But trust me, that’s not easy; I think I’m one of the only guys who has done it. Or, you can listen to me. When I give advice, it should count for something because it comes from experience. Not from the guy who was The Chosen One and stayed The Chosen One, but the guy who was supposed to be something and then became what you are, complacent, and then got fired and had to rebuild himself.”
“So what I meant was that everyone on the show, the biggest show in the world, should be fighting to be on the show and not filling a spot. To deserve to be on the show, you should have the right attitude. If you’re not in the main event, then set the goal to one day be in the main event and have the tenacity and patience to claw your way up the card.”
Drew McIntyre then sums up his thoughts, stating that there are plenty of hungry WWE Superstars in waiting to take any spots in the company that arise. These people, McIntyre says, are more deserving than the complainers in the company.
“Why would you give the big breaks to the people who are complaining backstage when there are guys and girls in NXT calling for an opportunity who could sub in there? In the independents, in NXT, I saw a bunch of people who have the right mentality, who look better, who work harder because they have the right attitude, and I would put them in right now if I was the coach. To this day, that’s what I want: an entire roster of hungry people rather than the moaning and groaning people.”
The former WWE Champion also discussed in his book the advice that Paul Heyman gave him in his career. Drew McIntyre noted that Heyman’s words had a huge effect on him and reaching that next level.
A Chosen Destiny from Ebury Publishing is available online and from all good book shops.
If you use any of the quotes above, please h/t Inside The Ropes and link back to this article. You can also check out our full review of A Chosen Destiny here.