WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre, has revealed that his original WWE gimmick was meant to be something completely different to ‘The Chose One.’
Upon the Scot’s WWE debut on the August 28, 2009, WWE SmackDown, he was introduced by Vince McMahon as the hand-picked successor to the WWE Championship and the man who would carry the company into the future. While neither man really knew how true that would be eleven years from that moment, it wasn’t the original idea for McIntyre on WWE’s main roster.
Joining The Rich Eisen Show, McIntyre was quizzed by T.J. Jefferson who stated that he knew a WWE writer in 2009 who had relayed the story to him of a Scottish male model. Almost an up-to-date Rick Martel type who would use the entrance ramp as his runway.
Luckily for the show’s hosts, ‘The Scottish Psychopath’ remembered not only the character but the moment it was pitched to him and even going as far to lose weight so he looked the part:
“It was something to do with being a friggin male model. I remember. I got told about it, I was about two sixty at the time, ‘We’ve got this great idea for you Drew, you’re going to be The Runway Man. You’re going to come out on a runway and you’re going to model all the latest underpants’ or whatever. ‘It’s going to be your gimmick and that’s your character’ and all my dreams just crashed before my very eyes, but I couldn’t register it on my face. It’s WWE, it’s a huge opportunity so I just went, ‘That’s a great idea.’
Eventually I had to cut down from 260 to be a male model so I lost about 35lbs to get the abs in, looking like an Abercrombie and Fitch model, shave my face to be a bit of a pretty boy. I had myself looking the part and I sat down with Vince McMahon and he asked me my honest opinion of the character and I said, ‘You know what sir, if it gets me on television I’ll make it work.’ He clearly saw I did not like it at all and said, ‘Just go out there and be yourself.’ I’d already lost the 35lbs and I was like, ‘dammit, I’ve got to gain this weight back somehow’, so I looked like a male model but I’m going to be a butt-kicker. I’m glad it never saw the light of day though.”
Unfortunately for McIntyre, ‘The Chosen One’ didn’t fair any better and the star soon found himself in the 3MB group with Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal before being released from the company in 2014.
After years of hard work on the independent circuit, McIntyre returned to WWE via NXT before being called back to the main roster where he would, eventually, win the 2020 Royal Rumble Match and defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 to capture the WWE Championship.