During an appearance on Busted Open Radio, Mick Foley took time out to offer some praise to Drew McIntyre for his reinvention upon returning to WWE. McIntyre is at the top of the card in WWE right now with a main event match at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship. But as is well-documented, he left the company at the end of his 3 Man Band gimmick alongside Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater where they were a low-card comedy group.
Speaking with Bully Ray and Dave LeGreca, Foley recalled how he thought that 3MB was as good as it was going to get for McIntyre and how he changed his mind when McIntyre sought his advice soon after leaving WWE. Highlights are below:
On thinking McIntyre peaked with 3 Man Band:
“I loved what he did last night [on Raw, laying out Brock Lesnar]. I thought that was really dramatic. I think it’s very believable, he’s a great opponent for Brock. But even more importantly than being a great opponent, I think it was the transformation he underwent when he left the company as part of 3MB. And I loved 3MB. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve seen Drew McIntyre as a main event guy, and I didn’t buy it.’ This is going back five, six, seven years. ‘I do buy him as a low-card comedy figure.’ I even gave away or sold at the Foley garage sale for Christmas Magic my 3MB T-Shirt. Was that big of a fan, but thought, ‘That’s as good as it gets for Drew McIntyre.’
On McIntyre reinventing himself:
“Within a week or two after leaving, I got a message from Drew and he said, ‘Mick, I know we don’t know each other that well, but I respect your opinion. I’m trying something different, I apologize in advance for the language but it’s an 18 and older audience.’ And so I check it out, I press play. And there’s a guy who looks like Drew McIntyre, but is in a sense a different human being cutting this impassioned promo that’s full of emotion and full of life. And I’m looking at my screen going, ‘Where did this come from, and where was this? And what is this guy capable of doing?’
“And the first thing I did — and this is not something I do often, I can count the number of times I’ve done this on one hand and have a couple fingers left over. I texted Triple H and said, ‘Hunter, I know he just left here, but you need to keep an eye on Drew McIntyre.’ And I think I used that phrase, ‘He’s almost like an entirely different human being.’
And so, for any guy who leaves WWE — and we all reserve the right to cash in on what we’ve done, to work the indies, to sell our gimmicks. No one will think less of us for that. But while doing that, simultaneously keep your eye on the long-term game. What he did is inspirational, it should be a road map for everyone who leaves and believes they’re capable of doing something better. I think yeah, I really admire what he did, he put in the work, he transformed himself and now he’s a veritable WrestleMania main event performer.”
Credit to Busted Open Radio, and h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.