Just four years ago, Drew McIntyre was known as “The Chosen One” and labeled a “future World champion” by Vince McMahon himself.
But oh, how times have changed.
It was in 2009 that McIntyre seemed destined to become a top star and solidify himself as a main eventer within perhaps just a couple of years. Yet, it’s 2013 now, and that obviously hasn’t happened.
Instead of competing against the likes of CM Punk and John Cena in the main event scene, McIntyre is relegated to a role as comedic heel in one of the most random factions in recent memory, the Three Man Band.
It’s been a monumental drop in status for McIntyre, who—though he at least gets some TV time these days—isn’t anywhere close to the level he was at just a few years ago.
And the more time that passes by, the less likely it seems that he will ever get pushed as a serious wrestler again.
But we shouldn’t lose hope for McIntyre—not yet, at least.
Clearly, things don’t look great for the Scottish superstar right now, but he does have one thing working in his favor: his age.
Despite debuting way back in 2007, McIntyre is still just 27 years old, making him one of the youngest guys currently on the main roster. He’s similar to a guy like Cody Rhodes in that he’s been on TV for several years, but is still so young that he hasn’t even entered the prime of his career yet.
That’s perhaps the one thing that could save what’s largely been a disappointing career for McIntyre so far.
Based on his look, size and vote of confidence by McMahon, you would think that McIntyre would have racked up quite the resume so far, with maybe a couple of World title runs and a spot in the main event scene.
Yet, all McIntyre really has to his credit so far are runs with the Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships and a long history of disappearing from TV for lengthy stretches of time.
Although his recent history would suggest that he’s probably not going to accomplish anything in the WWE anytime soon, there are actually reasons to be optimistic about his future.
Of course, he’s still very young in wrestling terms, and he’s also in a company that is notorious for repackaging guys who had previously flopped on TV.
Dolph Ziggler was once a caddy and a cheerleader. Ryback was once known as Skip Sheffield. Damien Sandow was once one of Michelle McCool’s “teacher’s pets.”
At one point, all of these guys were saddled with horrible gimmicks that seemed destined to ruin their careers. But look at them now.
Ziggler is on the verge of becoming World Heavyweight champion, Ryback has evolved into one of the WWE’s biggest babyfaces, and Sandow is widely viewed as one of the company’s top rising stars.
McIntyre could very well join them one day.
The 3MB gimmick will likely run its course at some point in 2013, and assuming the WWE puts some effort into the group’s demise, the company could actually get some good out of it.
In most cases, the breakup of a tag team or stable leads to the rise of one guy from that group, and if any 3MB member is going to evolve into a big star, it’s going to be McIntyre.
Jinder Mahal hasn’t shown enough during his time on the main roster to suggest that he’ll be a main eventer anytime soon, while Heath Slater—although extremely talented—will probably peak as a midcarder.
McIntyre, on the other hand, has all the tools to make it to the top of the WWE should the creative team ever decide to get behind him.
After all, it’s never been about talent when it comes to McIntyre. It’s been about whether or not he’s gotten a push.
When McIntyre did get a substantial push a few years back, he was on the verge of becoming a very big deal in the WWE. When he gets another one, the same could happen again.
Even though things don’t exactly look great right now, don’t count out McIntyre just yet. Give the guy a chance.
If the WWE does, he’s going to be a big player in the company down the road.
Maybe not next week, next month or even next year, but at some point, McIntyre will matter again.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!