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McIntyre Talks Fan Backlash; Cena Praises Vince McMahon; Rowan Shoots on Wyatt Family

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 16, 2021

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


McIntyre Talks Criticism of Main Event Run

Many fans have long called for Drew McIntyre to be a WWE main eventer, but now that he has reached the top, he is inevitably dealing with some backlash.

During an appearance on Out of Character with Ryan Satin of Fox Sports, McIntyre noted that the criticism doesn't bother him: "These days, because of my journey, all the ups and downs, I'm so hardened to criticism. But I never worry if it's constructive criticism. I appreciate constructive criticism."

McIntyre is a two-time WWE champion, winning the title for the first time in his career last year at WrestleMania 36. He hasn't been champion for nearly four months, but he has remained in the title hunt the entire time.

On Sunday, McIntyre will challenge Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell inside the cell, and if he loses, he cannot challenge for the title again as long as Lashley is champion.

Much of the fanbase has seemingly grown wary of the McIntyre vs. Lashley feud lasting four months, but McIntyre doesn't view it as a slight against him, saying:

"I understand some fans may be like, 'Ugh, I'd like a new fresh face in the picture.' Realistically, I have been fighting for the title, or been champion, for over a year now–which is a pretty significant time–but I don't think anyone is saying, 'Oh my goodness, Drew's not working as hard as he can to give us the best matches possible and do the best he can with every interview possible.' I think it's more, 'I would like to see something different here and see Drew do something different over here.'"

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While popularity has been tough to gauge during the COVID-19 pandemic with no fans being allowed to attend shows for essentially the entire time, McIntyre has seemingly been embraced as a top guy.

When he challenged Lashley at WrestleMania 37 in the opening match, McIntyre received a hugely positive reaction from the live crowd.

With fans set to return next month, McIntyre promises to be cheered and praised for the work he has done, although his feud with Lashley has run its course, so the best thing for The Scottish Warrior would likely be for WWE to move him on to something else.

Cena Talks Lessons Learned from McMahon

John Cena has been a top star and a favorite of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon for many years, giving Cena the unique opportunity to learn from arguably the most influential figure in the history of professional wrestling.

In an interview with Chris Van Vliet (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Sai Mohan), Cena discussed his relationship with McMahon and why he values it.

One specific thing Cena talked about was how much he continues to learn from McMahon to this day:

"I continue to learn from him every single day. There's not an instance that goes by when I don't reflect on my experiences with the WWE, and what he has taught me. And oftentimes, learning from osmosis; he's not the kind of guy to hit you over the head with lessons that he bestows upon you, but you can learn from his decision-making. It says a lot about the person and what you can take. That well is endless, and isn't dried up yet. I continue to learn from him."

Cena also praised McMahon for his hard work and dedication, which is among the biggest examples Cena has taken and applied to his life after watching Vince do it for so many years:

"So, the most valuable of all the lessons is 'just show up and deliver.' And that is something he doesn't just say, it's something he does, all the effing time.

"He's always there, he's always invested. People can question his creative motives or whatever–but it's creativity, there's always going to be opinionated [people]. He's always boots on the ground, he's always invested, and always believes in and is passionate about the product. I think just showing up and delivering, that's a huge takeaway."

Cena arrived on the scene as part of WWE's main roster in 2002, and while he wasn't pushed to the top immediately, it wasn't long before he established himself as a main eventer.

He essentially served as the face of the company for over a decade, sharing the record also held by Ric Flair for most career world title reigns with 16.

Cena has not wrestled a match for WWE in over a year because of his acting commitments, but he has maintained his love for WWE and his desire to return to the ring as soon as possible.

The 44-year-old Cena has a lot on his plate, and one can only assume that watching McMahon for so long helped him learn how to handle such a heavy workload.

    

Rowan Discusses Behind-the-Scenes Details on Wyatt Family

Erick Rowan was under contract with WWE for nine years from 2011-20, and much of that time was spent as part of The Wyatt Family.

In an interview with SportsKeeda (h/t Mohan), Rowan discussed his time in The Wyatt Family, which is widely remembered and praised as one of the best stables in WWE history.

On the subject of whether there was ever a thought of making Bray Wyatt's real-life brother, Bo Dallas, part of The Wyatt Family, Rowan said: "No [there were never any such plans]. Because it's a character, not real life."

Rowan also made mention of how The Wyatt Family formed in NXT in 2012, noting that he and the late Luke Harper were tested out alongside Wyatt in backstage promos, and the decision was made to move forward with them together as a unit.

The Wyatts stayed together until 2015 and added Braun Strowman to the group during that time on the main roster, and while the stable ended for a period of time, there were more iterations of it thereafter.

While the group was largely designed to get Wyatt over as a top star, Rowan and Harper gained large followings as well and enjoyed success in their own right, including holding the SmackDown Tag Team Championships as The Bludgeon Brothers.

Rowan was released from WWE last year not long after a program involving Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns, and while he isn't signed to a specific promotion currently, he could be an asset to any number of wrestling companies given what he accomplished in WWE.


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