Drew McIntyre update
Drew McIntyre’s WWE return reportedly depends on a creative issue at this point.
As we’ve noted, McIntyre has been away since the WrestleMania 39 match with Sheamus and WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER. He missed the post-WrestleMania SmackDown due to what was said to be a health issue, then it was reported that he worked WrestleMania while injured. There’s still no word on the severity of the injury, or when the issue first occurred, but it was reported during the first week of May that McIntyre still had a few weeks before he was able to return to work.
In an update, a new report from the Wrestling Observer notes that McIntyre’s return is now more of a creative issue, not health-related. The decision comes down to what WWE wants, what McIntyre wants, and when they agree to it.
It’s been reported that McIntyre’s WWE contract expires in early 2024, and at last word the two sides had not agreed on a new deal, while McIntyre previously told people he isn’t looking to make a decision until later this year, closer to the expiration date. It was also reported that McIntyre is unhappy with WWE for various reasons, but it was reiterated that McIntyre’s current hiatus has nothing to do with his contract or reported unhappiness. A follow-up report noted that McIntyre is willing to explore his options outside of WWE, and at one point he was thinking this could’ve been his final WrestleMania event.
In an update on McIntyre possibly leaving WWE, word now is that the time he has been out of action can be used to freeze and extend his contract, if WWE decides to go that route, as they have in the past with other wrestlers. It’s important to note that McIntyre apparently has not asked to leave WWE, but the two sides have not agreed to a new deal.
It will be interesting to see if McIntyre returns as a heel on the RAW brand, perhaps as a new challenger to AJ Styles or Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. A McIntyre heel turn has been pitched, but McIntyre has been adamant about not making dramatic creative changes unless they make sense, and he is said to be very hands-on with his creative plans when appropriate.