Drew McIntyre will return to Scotland this week after spending the past 18 months stranded in America due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the WWE sensation can’t wait to catch up with family, friends and his beloved Rangers.
Travel restrictions have delayed McIntyre’s homecoming but fortunate scheduling has allowed the 6’5” Ayrshire-born superstar to plan a well overdue trip home.
He will arrive in Glasgow on Wednesday for the WWE Tour show at the Hydro. However, the date also clashes with another major passion of his.
The boyhood Gers fan has been keeping up with the club’s progress and admits their League Cup clash with Livingston across the Clyde on the same night has left him pondering: “Can you be two places at once? I have friends who know the roads there well. Let’s see what can be done.”
The fixture schedule may have thrown up a logistical head-scratcher but McIntyre is sure to somehow make it work, having previously been used to rushing to gigs across the Atlantic to attend matches at Ibrox.
In an interview with The Scotsman last year, he predicted it was Rangers’ year to win the Scottish Premiership title and so it proved. The two-time world champion, who sees parallels between Steven Gerrard’s team and his own success, is now banking on Rangers and himself to repeat the feat this season.
He said: “This will be our season again - that’s another prediction. Europe-wise we’ll do alright. It’s not really a season for Europe but we’ll win the league again, so it’s all progress.
“Every season we get a little better and that’s been the case for what the last few years. Every year we get a little bit better.
“I always think of the parallels when I got fired in 2014 and Rangers were down but every year I’d get a little bit better and make a bigger name for myself and Rangers would move up the divisions.
“We kept rising together and I got to WWE, and when I won the title I said we’d been rising together and now I’d won the title they had to win the league and sure enough I won the title and they won the league - it’s cool how we’ve paralleled with one another right back to the top.
“When Rangers win the league again, I want to win the title again and this time in front of fans. The first time I won there was no-one there and the second time it was in front of the virtual fans and then I lost it right before the fans were back.
“There’s a stipulation in place now that I can’t fight for the title as long as Bobby Lashley is the champion. So realistically I can’t be in the position to win the title with the live fans which sucks because I was the champion for 300 days.”
McIntyre will receive plenty of support from fans when he performs in front of a live audience on September 22 but being re-united with the supporters closest to him is what the first British champion in WWE history is looking forward to most.
He added: “I’m back to see everyone and see my nephew who is three years old now - I’ve only met him two times.
“I’ve not been home for 18 months. The last time I was there, I had a few media engagements in London and got back to Scotland to film an advert on BT Sport and then I was supposed to see all my family and friends but I was literally pulled out of Scotland because of the corona situation and I didn’t get to see anybody and now, after everything we’ve been through over all this time professionally and personally, I’m so excited for a number of things.”
Regardless of what happens in the ring or on the pitch at Ibrox, there will be another small victory for McIntyre to savour. “Irn-Bru – and it better be the original formula!”, he joked.