This straight down the middle match compilation DVD actually covers over a decade of WWE action, starting in December 2009 and finishing in January 2021. Of course, anyone familiar with Drew McIntyre will realise that a lot of that time was spent elsewhere after his initial run with the company proved to be something of false dawn…
As noted, the “story” of Drew is not really a part of this production. It’s all about the matches. So those “in the know” can fill in the blanks whilst those who haven’t seen his interview or read his book will just concentrate on the action.
We start at TLC 2009, around the time that Drew was the “chosen one” on WWE TV thanks to Vince McMahon putting him over on a promo. It’s fair to say that it wasn’t quite clicking, and whilst his challenge for the Intercontinental Championship held by John Morrison was clearly meant to be a step up the ladder towards that goal the match itself never really gets going like you might hope. It’s far from bad and is watchable in all senses but Drew was still green here and it shows.
Next up is March 2010 and a match against The Undertaker from Smackdown. When seeing the line-up for this DVD had my mind played tricks and I’d missed/forgotten a semi-classic from TV? Well no. This goes all of two or so minutes and, spoiler alert, our guy doesn’t win. It’s a strange choice for a best-of compilation. Perhaps it’s here to put a cap on Drew’s underwhelming first run with the company (though it should be noted that he is still Intercontinental champion by this point).
From there it’s suddenly 2017 and Drew is back with the WWE on the NXT brand. We go to Takeover Brooklyn III for Drew’s crack at NXT Champion Bobby Roode. Unfortunately whilst it’s understandable why, unlike the Taker match, this is on the list of matches it has to be said that it’s not the best Takeover main event you will ever see. Whilst Drew McIntyre and his TNA/Indy run had versed him in what had become the NXT style by this point the match goes too long and undoubtedly sags in the middle. Has to go down as a mild disappointment in terms of a match.
The Raw main event from November 2018 against Kurt Angle promises much. This show was held in Manchester, England [Drew McIntyre obviously having a sort-of home-field advantage in WWE’s eyes] and I was in attendance that night. A couple of years earlier I had been in the same building when the two had clashed on an Impact Wrestling taping in a very good match. In comparison, this is a bit of disappointment but Angle is a few years older and the match is more about “embarrassing” Angle ahead of the upcoming Survivor Series PPV than it is about top-quality wrestling.
From there we jump to the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble match, coincidentally another match I Was in attendance for. Featuring a career-best performance from Brock Lesnar (who was absolutely superb) that build-up pays off when our boy eliminates Lesnar from the match and ultimately wins it. Much like a Ric Flair WWE DVD without his 1992 Rumble win, you simply could have not had this match on here. Similarly, his WrestleMania 36 match against Brock Lesnar is another must for this compilation. It’s five minutes but it’s five minutes of exactly what it needs to be.
We end with two WWE Championship defences. Drew’s Summerslam 2020 match with Randy Orton is a slow build cracker that kept you guessing right until the end. The match with Goldberg from Royal Rumble 2021 doesn’t, but that would be difficult in two and a half minutes. Again though, much like the Lesnar match earlier, it was exactly what it needed to be.
In some ways, this set is reminiscent of the previous “Iconic Matches” series the WWE brought out although they were shorter releases with half a dozen or so matches. Its release date seems finely timed to make for a nice stocking filler for any fans of Drew. And it’s not without its merits. There’s some quality action on the show and of sorts, it does show his long progression through the WWE. The action generally gets better as we go along and even when the more recent matches don’t quite hit the heights, they deserve inclusion.
I would have liked to see some comments from Drew in between matches that would have added context to what we’re seeing but for the most part fans of Drew will enjoy this look back at some of his most famous matches.
7 out of 10.
Photographs courtesy of Fetch and WWE.
Thank you to WWE Home Video for our review copy of Drew McIntyre – The Best of WWE’s Scottish Warrior which is out Monday 13 December on DVD. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk by clicking here.