– TNA star Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre) recently spoke with Donald Wood, Mike Chikari and Brandon Galvin of Ring Rust Radio. The full audio is above and can be accessed at this link. Below are highlights:
Donald Wood: Arguably the biggest move TNA has made over the last year besides the jump to Destination America every Friday night at 9 PM was signing you. What was the decision process like signing with Impact Wrestling and what are your long-term goals with the company?
Drew Galloway: The process involved obviously talking with the bosses over there. I was over in Scotland for a show, for a Scottish company ICW. I spoke with them and initially I was a little apprehensive. I wasn’t looking to get back on American TV so quickly to be honest. I spoke with the bosses there and they told me the plan and I got excited about. With Destination America deal and the opportunity to be a part of something on the ground floor and try to build it up, and the opportunity to just be myself. Anything you see on TNA is me, that’s Drew Galloway 100%. I’m talking ad Drew Galloway, I’m wrestling as Drew Galloway, and it’s no gimmicks. I get to just be a wrestler and be myself. I’m getting the opportunity to do that with TNA and I couldn’t be any happier right now.
Mike Chiari: You worked almost exclusively as a heel during your time in WWE, but you’ve quickly become one of the most popular baby faces in TNA. What has that transition been like for you, and what is your preference between the two?
Drew Galloway: Honestly I don’t have a preference, I just kind of do my thing. If you notice the way I wrestle, I do wrestle more like a heel even when I’m a face. I just have a particular style like I’m a hybrid European/American with a little bit of strong style in there. Honestly I don’t have a preference. I legit wrestle how I wrestle. If the fans are on board their going to cheer, and if they aren’t digging it they are going to boo. Either way I am having fun. It’s weird to be cheered to be honest, I’m just used to being the bad guy. The fans are digging what I am saying because everything I say is me, it’s not scripted. It’s Drew Galloway speaking his mind and they feel the same way if they are getting behind it. I want to say thank you to them for loving wrestling as much as I do.
Brandon Galvin: You recently formed a stable known as The Rising with Eli Drake and Myka to go up against the Beat Down Clan. You’ve been part of stables before, but as the clear-cut leader of this one what are you hoping to accomplish and why do you feel like the three of you will have success as a unit in TNA?
Drew Galloway: Well the guys I joined up with are guys that feel the same way I do about wrestling. They are really young, eager, and hungry. Obviously Haku’s son is a great part of the group. He’s got that family tradition and he loves wrestling more than anything. Shaun Ricker is my third man there. He is a young kid that’s being trying hard to get a break and just hasn’t gotten the opportunity yet. He has a great look and great passion. These are a couple of guys I’m excited to be running with me. Over the next couple of weeks, especially this Friday, you’re going to learn a little more about the group. We are going to be tweeting out the live tweets during the show. So if you are a fan out there, tweet what you’re thinking, tweet what you want, say anything in the world, and I have a hands on approach and I’ll make sure it gets on the show. It’s going to be an exciting few weeks coming up and you’re going to find out a lot about the Rising.
Donald Wood: After your departure from the WWE, you spent a lot of time getting back to your roots on the independent scene. How did working the indies influence your style now and did it help your confidence after being underutilized for so long?
Drew Galloway: Absolutely. It was fun to do those lengthy matches once again. When I got into wrestling, I wanted to, you know, wrestle. I’m 29 years old, everyone seems to think I’m in my mid to late thirties just because I have been around for so long. I started when I was 15, wrestled the indies for six years, I signed with the WWE when I was 21 and stayed there for eight years. All I ever wanted to do was wrestle whenever I had the opportunity. I did make a few bold statements initially when I was cut from the WWE on Chris Jericho’s podcast. I told the world they never got to see the real me. A lot of people believed in me and gave me opportunities and I was very lucky with the places I have been and the titles I’ve won. I am currently holding five titles over three continents. Luckily I am making a name for myself and people are believing in me and giving me that opportunity. Places like TNA just giving Drew Galloway the chance to be Drew Galloway.
Mike Chiari: I think most fans expected you to become world champion in WWE because of your early success and because of the “Chosen One” moniker. It didn’t come to fruition, but what do you think you learned from that situation that might help you have success as a main event guy now and in the future?
Drew Galloway: Well obviously you can’t help but learn getting thrust into that position and that kind of opportunity. Unfortunately, being so young and the circumstances and stories and whatever else, you think those work out but I obviously learned a great deal. I have been wrestling for fourteen years now and I’ve had those big opportunities and had opportunities to show that side of my personality. I even got to show the funnier side of my personality, so you know it was fun and I got the exposure from it. Without the WWE and the exposure I never would have gotten my chance to get my name out there in the indies, get myself to where I got to, and get myself into TNA and show the world the real Drew. I can’t be anything but thankful for that and now I am in my prime: I am 29 and I am ready to rock and the main event is the only place I’m going to be.
Brandon Galvin: You’ve played several types of characters during your career. Do you enjoy the challenge of trying to adjust to a new role, or do you prefer to stick to one character and see it through?
Drew Galloway: I would say the real answer is I prefer to be myself, I think that’s the most successful character. It’s a challenge but it can be fun playing a character. I played two completely different characters in the WWE and they were both night and day. Some of that is fun doing it on such a big stage, but honestly to be myself is the ultimate for me. The most successful characters were just extensions of people’s personalities. In this case it’s not an extension of my personality, it’s loud and it’s passionate but that’s just me. You hear me right now, I literally just finished a match. I’m all amped up, I’m starting to fire off, my accent comes out, I probably talk to quick, but I can’t help it I just love this so much. That’s not a character, that’s Drew Galloway, and he is a wrestling geek, and the ultimate smart mark.
Donald Wood: You talk about TNA and how they utilize you, and so far you have been utilized very well. Talking about the World title, is winning the World title your ultimate goal in TNA and how long do you think it’s going to be until you’re in contention for it?
Drew Galloway: Well, if you’re not hoping to win the World title than you’re out of your mind. That is the prize and that is the goal. Kurt Angle currently has it and I’m very excited for the chance and opportunity to wrestle Kurt. That’s somebody I grew up watching and every time he came on the TV I was very, very excited to watch. The idea and the possibility to wrestle Kurt Angle for the World title, I mean, holy crap. Would you guys think if you were in a position to potentially get that opportunity would it be the dream right now? I’m going to keep working my arse off until I get there. I would be the busiest wrestler in the World. I was in Australia ten days ago, then I was in Tampa, San Jose, Scotland, London yesterday, and Belfast tonight. I am the World’s busiest wrestler and I’m going to keep busting my arse till I get my hands on that TNA World title.
Mike Chiari: Since coming to TNA your message has been that you’re representing the wrestling fans and what they want to see rather than promotions pushing what they think is best onto the fans. Having experienced so much in the wrestling business, what do you think are some of the fundamental problems that you’d like to help change moving forward?
Drew Galloway: Like I said, I would like there to be wrestling on the wrestling shows. When fans react to somebody and they obviously like somebody, that person should get the opportunity. In the end, it’s the fans that paid to come and see, to turn on the TV show, and if you don’t give them what they want their going to turn the other direction. Right now, there are so many companies offering so many alternatives for fans to watch. TNA just has such an incredible roster and guys I cannot wait to wrestle. Just getting the wrestling on the wrestling shows is fundamental. It’s like watching wrestling for any other reason than to see wrestling. Fans get invested in the people through the wrestling and just give the fans what they want.
Brandon Galvin: You are just getting started with TNA and you haven’t had the opportunity to work with a vast majority of the Impact Wrestling roster. Who are some of the top names you are looking forward to steeping in the ring against and why?
Drew Galloway: There are so many guys I don’t want to leave anyone out backstage. Austin Aries, I have wrestled him once before at the ECW arena and that was a lot of fun. I’d love to wrestle Jeff Hardy, another guy I watched growing up. Matt Hardy and I could tangle again. There’s so many guys, I don’t want to be rude. Lashley is up there. Bram and I are going to beat the crap out of each other and I hope he is listening right now. I know soon enough Bram and I are going to tangle. We are buddies and go way back, but watch out for that because it’s going to be an absolute war. If I am missing anyone out, you pretty much know who they are if you watch the show. The guys that are awesome are the ones I want to wrestle. As much as Bram and I are going to be a way, Low Ki and I are going to be the war of wars. I can’t stress that enough. A big part of the Risings success is the heat between Low Ki and I and the animosity between us. It’s real, it’s very real, and when that match comes you better put the kids to bed early. It’s going to be more than a war.