In an interview with Sportskeeda, McIntyre disagreed with The Phenom's assessment and wondered whether he was referring to the storylines rather than the talent (beginning at the 5:35 mark):
McIntyre insisted that while a certain line can't be crossed from a storyline perspective because of the PG rating, the in-ring performers are more physical and hard-hitting than ever before (h/t Phillip Hendrix of Ringside News):
"I don't agree whatsoever. Especially from an in-ring perspective. I've listened to part of it, I've got to listen to the whole thing, it's pretty new, but I think he may have been referring to like the kind of storylines and characters etc. Like, the co-host that was on the show was like a fan from the Attitude Era and I think they were perhaps referring to some of the outlandish storylines. Back in the day, there were more sexual based, more like risque 18-plus. Our current product is PG, there's only so far we can push it and we're willing to push it.
"There's certain things from back in the day that was awesome and certain things that were not awesome that I wouldn't wanna go back to. So I'm not sure if it was more from like that perspective when it comes to the stories and not being as adult-based as it used to be, but I think, you know, we're walking a good line right now. But when it comes to the in-ring game, that's just not true at all. It's never been more physical."
McIntyre was responding to Taker's interview on The Joe Rogan Experience this week. At one point in the interview (h/t Hendrix), The Undertaker divulged that he doesn't watch a ton of the current WWE product:
"It's kind of tough for me because the product changed so much and it's kind of ... soft," Taker said. ... "I'll probably piss a lot of people off, but they need to hear it. There's too much pretty and not enough substance right now."
The Undertaker, 55, announced his retirement from in-ring competition after beating AJ Styles in the Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 36 last year. Since then, he has taken to participating in more interviews than ever before and speaking out of character.
Due to the fact that Taker comes from a bygone era of wrestling—having broken into the business in the 1980s and debuted in WWE in 1990—it is understandable why he is nostalgic for the way things used to be.
WWE doesn't push the envelope with its storylines like it once did, although Randy Orton burning The Fiend alive at TLC last month is a notable example of it still being willing to use some shocking elements.
The in-ring product is better than ever, though, and McIntyre's throwback physicality and ability to do more than most big men who came before him are big reasons for that.
Perhaps McIntyre has a chip on his shoulder after Taker's comments, and if that is the case, he will have a chance to prove The Deadman wrong when he puts the WWE Championship on the line against Goldberg at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 31.
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