As most of you may know by now, my WWE Pushed to Punished series analyzes the once-bright future of an aspiring WWE Superstar, only for his praise from management to disappear quickly as they fade away into obscurity. For my final edition for the foreseeable future, I will focus on the controversial career of the forgotten Drew McIntyre.
"Out of time, so say goodbye. What is yours, now is mine."
One of the more memorable lines in Drew McIntyre's signature entrance music, "Broken Dreams." Ironically enough, this symbolic line represents what has happened to McIntyre's career over time, and where it might be headed if things don't start to shape up in the very near future.
Although McIntyre had been called up to the main roster before in 2007, his run was cut short in early 2008. In late August 2009, McIntyre made his return to television by attacking R-Truth prior to his debut match on an edition of SmackDown, immediately putting the entire locker room on notice.
When I first saw McIntyre that evening, I thought he was nothing more than an enhancement talent that would be gone a few weeks later. However, in subsequent weeks, McIntyre continued to brutalize Truth and claim he was personally picked and signed by Vince McMahon himself.
At Hell in a Cell, McIntyre made his pay-per-view debut and defeated Truth in his first match since returning. He was able to defeat Truth yet again five days later on SmackDown to qualify for the blue brand's team at Bragging Rights, but was later removed from the show.
Despite being booted off Bragging Rights, he was able to "survive" during his five-on-five elimination tag team match alongside The Miz and Sheamus the following month at Survivor Series.
Shortly thereafter, he engaged in a feud with then-Intercontinental Champion John Morrison that saw him defeat the Shaman of Sexy to experience his first taste of gold in WWE in the form of the Intercontinental Championship.
By this point in time, McIntyre still kept his undefeated streak intact against all who challenged him. On the premiere edition of SmackDown in the new decade, McIntyre defeated Morrison yet again in a No Disqualification match to retain his newly-won title, effectively ending the feud in the process.
Later that month, the Chosen One competed in his first Royal Rumble match, but came up short. At Elimination Chamber in February, he was able to maintain possession of the prestigious IC title by defeating Kane.
On the following edition of SmackDown, McIntyre suffered his first pin-fall loss at the hands of the Big Red Monster in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match. Due to being a higher up in WWE, McIntyre demanded Teddy Long to expunge the loss, which he was forced to the following week.
Once again, McIntyre failed in qualifying for the Money in the Bank Ladder match at WrestleMania against Matt Hardy on the next edition of SmackDown. Once again, the loss was erased from the official records per McMahon's request.
In his third and final attempt to qualify for the MITB Match at Mania, the Scottish Superstar soundly defeated a local competitor to retain his IC title and secure a spot on the grandest stage of them all. Before the event, however, Undertaker gave McIntyre his first true defeat in WWE in late March 2010.
At WrestleMania 26, McIntyre was unsuccessful in winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Throughout the month of April, the Chosen One targeted Matt Hardy on numerous occasions and was determined on ending his career.
Meanwhile, Drew McIntyre was shockingly "fired" from SmackDown in early May after assaulting Hardy, thus vacating his Intercontinental Championship in the process. After Kofi Kingston won the belt the following week, McIntyre stated that McMahon had re-signed him and so McIntyre was technically still the champion.
At Over the Limit, McIntyre's five-month reign as Intercontinental Champ officially came to an end following a defeat to Kingston. Although he tried twice more to reclaim the belt over the next month, it was always in a losing effort thanks to Matt Hardy.
In the conclusion of their rivalry in late June, Hardy defeated McIntyre, which saw the Scottish Superstar return home for a brief period of time to settle visa issues. Once he returned two weeks later, he was placed in the SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder match, but inevitably came up short.
Interestingly enough, it was rumored that McIntyre was originally planned to win the opportunistic briefcase that night, but plans changed at the last second. This left McIntyre without direction for quite some time, partaking in random matches on Friday nights for the remainder of the summer.
At Night of Champions, Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes randomly captured the WWE Tag Team Championships by defeating the Hart Dynasty. No more than a month later, they dropped the straps to John Cena and David Otunga in an impromptu match at Bragging Rights.
Shortly thereafter, their partnership came to an end and both went their separate ways. While Rhodes flourished in a rivalry with Rey Mysterio, McIntyre stalked Kelly Kelly with no results.
While it seemed he could have potentially turned face, his angle with Kelly was eventually dropped. He participated in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship, but failed to capture the gold.
Having been left off the WrestleMania 27 card, McIntyre was in desperate need of a change. He received just that upon his move to Raw in the 2011 WWE Supplemental Draft, but nothing came out of it.
Following one televised match in April, the man who was formerly deemed a future World Heavyweight Champion was now nowhere to be seen. Even when he competed on WWE Superstars against the likes of Zack Ryder and Mason Ryan, he still continuously came up short.
Last November, McIntyre moved back to SmackDown (without reasoning, of course) being placed in a number of matches to prove he was worthy of a contract. After losing against Ezekiel Jackson, Ted DiBiase and even Santino Marella, all hope seemed lost that this new-found "angle" would be going anywhere.
In March, he lost one final match against Justin Gabriel, which allowed Teddy Long to fire him from Friday nights. Thanks to John Laurinaitis, McIntyre was given a second chance the following week to regain his spot in the roster that he successfully took advantage of by defeating Hornswoggle in easy fashion.
Due to his association with Laurinaitis, McIntyre was named the final member for Team Johnny at WrestleMania 28. In Miami, the former Intercontinental Champion was able to secure one of the more notable victories he's garnered in the last two years.
Regardless of the huge win, McIntyre has been left off television ever since, making a few appearances here and there but nothing meaningful. Although many believed that his recent move to Friday nights would help get his career back on track, it hasn't done much other than solidify him as a glorified jobber.
It's also important to note that Drew McIntyre was also formerly married to ex-WWE Diva Tiffany for a brief period of time before getting divorced nearly a year ago. In August 2010, the two were involved in a domestic dispute, that saw Tiffany get released and McIntyre receive the punishment as a result.
As previously stated, McMahon once billed this rising star as a future World Champion. Of course, he's got amazing potential, but it might be the man in the mirror that's been holding him back all this time.
Sadly, any heat he once had has now vanished, while he never receives any significant amount of mic skills anymore either. It was rumored at one point that he'd be undergoing a change to a new "playboy" gimmick to help get him over, but I think it'd be much smarter just to turn him face at this point and experiment with that.
With a major shortage of credible heels at the moment, there's no better time than the present to rise once again as a major player on the blue brand. Drew McIntyre has quite a few years left in him, so capitalizing on his youth while they still can could be a major asset to the company.
In any case, this is just another classic case of Vince McMahon losing interest in a once favored Superstar, allowing him to slowly fall into irrelevancy. Given his major following, I surely hope McIntyre's future is not soon forgotten and proves as to why he deserves one more chance to shine.
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on the diminishing career of Drew McIntyre as of late. For all the past editions of Pushed to Punished, check out all the links I provide in the comment section below.
With this being the 15th edition of Pushed to Punished, no future editions will be published for the foreseeable future, but there's a major chance I'll bring them back this summer if enough of you would like to see them return.