GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Many call him the Scottish Warrior. He comes into battle in a kilt, brandishing a 5-foot-long sword named after his late mother. And in January, he’s coming to Glens Falls.
But it’s not the bagpipes of battle bringing Drew McIntyre to Cool Insuring Arena in January. He’s returning with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and bringing professional wrestling back to the city for the first time in two years.
“You know, Drew McIntyre is someone who hopes to spread a message of never giving up on your hopes and dreams,” the man himself said on Wednesday morning, speaking to NEWS10 from a Brooklyn hotel room ahead of a big event.
Returning to wrestling for live audiences has been much like a dream come true for McIntyre, after months without the cheering, booing, and chanting. That sound is usually synonymous with the fights, the turns, and the storyline that unfolds in the ring. The WWE Supershow is coming to Glens Falls for a live match on Jan. 8, 2022, featuring Mcintyre as part of a tag team match with Kofi Kingston and King Woods, up against current champion Roman Reigns and Smackdown tag team champions Jey and Jimmy Uso.
In 2020, fans were brought in virtually to the WWE Thunderdome, so the show could go on even with COVID-19 restrictions. But there’s no substitute for the energy of a live crowd; and there can be something unique about that crowd when it comes to a smaller town like Glens Falls.
“You would think you were in a 20,000-, 30,000-seat arena sometimes at the smaller, intimate venues,” McIntyre said. “And also, when you’re in the smaller, local towns, and you’re going around the stores, the gas stations, the gym, or eating at a restaurant, it seems like every single person knows who you are and knows what WWE is all about.”
As sure as the passion from the crowd, there’s always tension in any match, McIntyre says. Everybody wants to be the champion. Jan. 8’s six-man clash will be no less. The match is a mix of Raw and Smackdown, two different WWE shows, making it a unique experience for fans in Cool Insuring Arena. It’s a battle of the brands, and in McIntyre’s own words, the best of the best.
“Nobody wants to look ‘less than,'” he said. “They want to look the superior star, make their brand superior by winning the match that night.”
Roman Reigns, the centerpiece of the opposing tag team, is the current champion for Smackdown, where Reigns and McIntyre both wrestle. A win in Glens Falls would be another notch on the belt in the effort to unseat Reigns and become Smackdown’s champion.
That’s a belt with a lot of notches for McIntyre. After some early-day backyard wrestling – of which some selective clips can be found on streaming – McIntyre signed onto WWE in 2007, only to be fired in 2014. He said he had to dig himself back up to the top from there, describing the journey as starting from below the bottom.
“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, and I want to show everybody out there, times are going to get tough, and going to get dark, but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Today, McIntyre has enjoyed a string of successes being at the top of his game. He’s a two-time WWE champion and has no plans to stop issuing challenges to anyone brave enough to face him and come face to face with his sword, Angela – a tribute to his late mother.
“Angela can’t travel through TSA pre-check or anything – for obvious reasons, she’s a giant sword – so now she’s got a private jet. She’s getting a bit of an ego, so we’re starting to have our issues now; going to have to have a sit-down chat.”
As much now as in 2007 or 2014, McIntyre is grateful to every fan who comes to a WWE live show. The mood of the crowd can change the tone of the match, and one of his great joys as a wrestler is rolling with the tide.
“Even though I’m technically a good guy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that crowd is gonna favor you,” he said. “Sometimes they like the bad guys in a particular town. You go somewhere like New York or Philadelphia, they tend to lean toward the bad guys, so you’ve just gotta go with the flow. And if you have something in mind you were planning to do, and they’re not reacting to it the way that you’re thinking they would, you’ve got to be able to adapt.”
The Glens Falls match will be another chance for wrestlers to air out feuds, and maybe spark some anew. But those personalities also keep an eye on other talent in the WWE world. McIntyre says he’s had a close eye on Cesaro, a Swiss wrestler with Smackdown who McIntyre has never clashed with, despite the two being in the business for similar amounts of time. He said that one of the best live matches he’s seen was between Cesaro and a wrestler who goes by “WALTER.”
“It wasn’t televised, much like (the Glens Falls match),” McIntyre says. “Some of our best matches aren’t televised.”
So shall it be on Jan. 8 at Cool Insuring Arena. McIntyre’s six-man tag team isn’t the only match on the bill. Bianca Belair will take on RAW women’s champion Becky Lynch. WWE Champion Big E will take on both Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in a triple-threat championship match.
Tickets go on sale online this Friday. Buyers should take note that scheduled matches and wrestlers can change.