Drew McIntyre Wasn’t Always ‘Chosen’, WWE Wanted Him To Be An Underpants Model Called ‘The Runway Man’
Photo Credit: WWE
Drew McIntyre was *this close* to doing his little turn on the catwalk (yeah, on the catwalk) because WWE originally wanted him to have a male model gimmick.
Fresh off of his win over Goldberg at the 2021 Royal Rumble, McIntyre appeared on The Rich Eisen Show to promote this weekend’s appearance at The Shaq Bowl. Eisen’s co-host, T.J. Jefferson, was asked if he had a question for the current WWE Champion, and he did have one that led to quite the story. Jefferson explained that he is friends with former WWE writer John Piermarini, who told him a ‘tidbit’ about the gimmick Drew would’ve been given if he wasn’t tabbed to be ‘The Chosen One’. According to legend, WWE originally wanted him to portray a male model and the entrance ramp would act as his runway because he would become… THE RUNWAY MAN!
Drew confirmed the story and said he hated the gimmick but went with it anyway because it would’ve helped him get on TV faster. He says he dropped 35 pounds and really tried to look the part of a model, and a chance sit-down with Vince McMahon led to The Runway Man being halted in favor of what we saw for McIntyre’s WWE debut.
“I was about 260 [pounds] at the time, and [they said] ‘We’ve got this great idea for you, Drew! You’re going to be the ‘Runway Man’ You’re going to come out on the runway and you’re going to model all of the latest underpants, and that’s going to be your gimmick.’ It was this model character,” McIntyre said, “and all of my dreams just crashed before my very eyes. I couldn’t register it on my face at the time because WWE is this huge opportunity, I just nodded and went, ‘That’s a great idea.’”
“At 260, I eventually had to cut down so I lost about 35 pounds to get the abs in. I’m looking like an Abercrombie and Fitch model, I was a lot younger looking at the time because I had a shaved face, so I’m a bit of a pretty boy. So, I had myself looking the part. I sat down with Vince McMahon and he asked 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 that I did not like it at all and he said, ‘Just go out there and be yourself.’ But I’d already lost the 35 pounds,” McIntyre explained, “so I’m like, ‘Dammit, I need to gain this weight back! I look like a male model, but I need to be a butt-kicker!’ I’m glad that never saw the light of day though, thank God.”
Drew went on to say that he would’ve chosen anything but that and explained that the best characters are an extension of your own personality, and ‘male model’ is nowhere close to who he is. Drew says he even tried watching videos online to learn how to walk a runway and knew then that this ‘was not the one’ for him.
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Check out the full episode of The Rich Eisen Show with Drew McIntyre below:
WWE Raw picked up after Sunday’s Royal Rumble and officially started to the road to WrestleMania. The ‘Rated R Superstar’ did not declare who he would face after winning the men’s Rumble, but WWE Champion Drew McIntyre had to deal with the challenge of betrayal at the hands of former best friend Sheamus. Bad Bunny, the most popular recording artist on Spotify, helped NXT call-up Damian Priest’s debut against the Miz. Edge reignited his bitter feud with the evil Randy Orton. Get in on the conversation of the post-show with WrestleZone here.