McIntyre's mother passed away in November 2012 and that coincided with his lowest points working for WWE. He was eventually put in the 3MB stable and then released from his WWE contract in June 2014. The bitterness did not consume McIntyre. He said, "The world doesn't owe me anything. I realized that when I was away from the company."
McIntyre returned to the indie wrestling scene and had strong runs with Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland, and EVOLVE here in the United States. However, McIntyre's true epiphany on how to reach the pro wrestling promised land came during a conversation with his girlfriend, Kaitlyn Frohnapfel. McIntyre said he had been going out and partying too much, even before he left WWE.
"Things were bad even before I left WWE," McIntyre said. "I was going out and partying too often, and I was not dedicating myself to my work. By that point, I'd started working harder, but it wasn't enough."
McIntyre suffered a neck injury while wrestling for WCPW in September 2016, and that's when Kaitlyn told him to cut out all of the negative energy from his life. McIntyre said he made various changes and in months he was talking with WWE officials about a return.
"She made me realize I still wasn't where I needed to be," Drew said. "I cut out all the negatives, and I started changing my body. All of a sudden, I was flooded with all these opportunities. Months after that, I was speaking with WWE."
McIntyre also praised WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle for helping him in TNA and WWE.
"I don't know why, but Kurt chose to work with me for one of his final matches in TNA, but he made me look like a million bucks," McIntyre said. "Then, a few years later in WWE, he made me look like an absolute killer. I humiliated Kurt and made him tap out to his own ankle lock. I can never thank Kurt enough for what he has done and continues to do for me."
McIntyre then gave praise to another WWE Hall of Famer - Shawn Michaels. The Heartbreak Kid worked in the ring with The Scottish Psychopath during Michaels' advanced placement course at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. SI revealed that McIntyre's WWE contract that he signed in 2017 did not state that he needed to work extra WWE NXT events or attend mandatory skills classes at the Performance Center, but McIntyre took on the extra work because he genuinely wanted to perfect his craft. Drew approached Shawn and asked about getting a spot in the class.
"I wanted to be there and I wanted to improve," McIntyre said. "So I went to Shawn and asked if I could join his class. I would have done anything to get that one-on-one time with him."
Drew revealed that he would drive four hours round-trip to attend the classes taught by Michaels in Orlando. Drew said the lessons he learned are a major reason why he is currently one of the best at capturing the attention of the fans in the crowd. Drew was quiet on details of Shawn's class, but he looked at that period of time as getting his PhD in pro wrestling.
"The first rule of Shawn's class is that you don't talk about Shawn's class," Drew said. "But what I can tell you is it is an environment where everyone pushes each other very hard and you do receive honest criticism. No one has the mind that Shawn does in the ring. I looked at that period of time as getting my PhD in wrestling."
McIntyre believes that his current WWE run will be entirely different than his first.
"I wouldn't change a thing about my first run in WWE," he said. "Those experiences turned me into the man I am today. It's all part of my journey. I started young, I worked with a lot of veterans that are no longer here, and I learned how to be a leader backstage. Now I have one other vision, and that is being at the top of the card and helping build talent for the future."
McIntyre will compete in the men's Money In the Bank Ladder Match at Sunday's WWE Money In the Bank pay-per-view with Sami Zayn, WWE Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor, Ricochet, Ali, Baron Corbin, Randy Orton and Andrade. He hopes this leads to a run with the WWE Universal Title or the WWE Title, or at least a title shot. Drew said the next step for him is the chance to represent the company as a champion. Drew said he needs to become champion to spread his message of eradicating complacency to the other WWE Superstars that complain on social media.
"I've never had a world title shot, ever, in my WWE career, so I'm going to need to win the Money in the Bank contract to take that opportunity," McIntyre said. "In order to spread my message of eradicating complacency to the superstars complaining on social media, I need to become champion."