Speaking to GiveMeSport in an exclusive interview, Drew McIntyre said that he thinks the majority of the issues that fans had with Mahal’s title reign was because of the fact “it just came out of nowhere”.
McIntyre brought up the comparisons between his journey to the WWE Championship and Mahal’s, having the following to say on the matter:
I think a lot of it came because it just came out of nowhere. It wasn’t like myself. There was no build to that big moment and telling the story and history. He has a similar story, the exact same story actually when it comes to getting fired, but the position he was in at the time, it was just kind of hotshotted and I think that’s why people were kind of negative. I think he did a great job with the opportunity that was presented. Perhaps low on experience at the time, but still, in my opinion, whatever he was asked, he did to the best of his abilities.
McIntyre went on to say that he’s looking forward to having a great match with Mahal and showing fans that he can go as a top guy in their current feud:
Where he’s at now, we’re about to show that he’s at a different level right now. When it comes to the character stuff, being comfortable, no one is expecting him in a top role from his end. When it comes to the in-ring stuff, I’m going to bring some stuff out of him that perhaps no one has ever seen. That’s what I see as one of my strongest points, the physicality and match quality perspective, I want to show every body that he can go at a different level in the ring than you remember him being able to go last time he was in a significant match. You’re going to see a lot — I hate to use the word work rate — higher work rate than you’ve seen in the past from Jinder. From a character perspective, he’s so comfortable and knows exactly who he is. That’s the most important thing when you’re in a deep storyline like we’re about to get into. We’ve barely scratched the surface.
Drew McIntyre noted that Jinder Mahal is probably annoyed with fans treated them differently, despite the fact that essentially went on the same journey to get to the WWE Championship:
You talked about how people resented when he won the title and how universally praised I was when I won the title. For him, that’s a slap across the face. Like, ‘Wait a minute, I have the same story as this guy. I was fired the same day as this guy. I came back sooner, won the title three years prior to him, and you’re all going to say I’m useless and I’m an experiment and a failed champion while praising the guy who did it three years later?’ That’s BS from his point of view. He’s working extremely hard as well so he feels like, ‘Okay, there’s a reason I did it quicker than Drew McIntyre and it’s because I’m better than Drew McIntyre. I’m going to prove it to him and I’m going to prove it to everyone else.’ There are so many avenues we can go and with SummerSlam coming up, from a storyline perspective, we’ve barely scratched the surface.