WWE star Drew McIntrye ditched his dreams of playing for Rangers after trying to fight a referee in his last match.
The 37-year-old is one of the biggest names in professional wrestling, where he became Britain’s first WWE champion after beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania in 2020.
A Triple Crown champion, McIntyre has won the WWE Championship twice, the Intercontinental Championship once, as well as being a two-time Raw tag team champ.
He is now looking to regain the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania 39 where he will face Gunther and Sheamus in a triple threat match.
And while he always pursued a career in wrestling, football was McIntrye’s first love, where he continued to play Sunday League despite featuring on local shows during his youth.
Speaking to NaijaOnPoint.com about his love for the two sports, he said: “My mind was pretty much set, I wanted to be in the WWE. But that was such a far away thing is most people’s minds.
“There was a period when I was like, ‘wrestling in WWE is my ultimate dream, but if I play for Rangers that’s cool, too.’
“And that’s kind of the way I was thinking, like it was going to happen, WWE is the one, I’m going to make that happen, but if I played for Rangers, I’ll be fine with that.
“I was so convinced that it was going to work out, I saw it in my mind, it’s amazing that it did.
“But growing up I was such an obsessive Rangers fan, playing football everyday like most kids at the time, I just played football non-stop.
“Any break at school, after school until my mum was shouting at me to come in and eat dinner, it was such a big love of mine.
“And then my brother and I would wrestle when we were at home, until we were forced to come back and play football, but we would wrestle in the bedroom and put on our wrestling matches.
“So it was always Rangers and wrestling my whole life.”
The Scottish warrior then revealed he decided to focus on making it in the WWE after being sent off in his last match for knocking out an opponent, before trying to fight the referee.
Commenting on his aggression getting the better of him, he said: “My manager would say, ‘wind up Drew because he plays better when he’s angry,’ and the other manager would say, ‘wind up Drew because he’s going to snap eventually and get sent off.’
“It was a conundrum! I just couldn’t find the middle ground where I played well, but didn’t get sent off, harnessing my anger in the right way.
“In my last ever game, I think I was 16, and I’d been wrestling for a year, I started doing shows professionally at that point while still being in school.
“And I got a yellow card for a two-footed challenge which should have been a red card, but I got a yellow card for it, but then I got a red card.
“One of the players kicked the ball around me and tried to go the other way, so I turned and tried to follow the ball and he tried to go that way, and my shoulder smashed into his face and knocked him out.
“I got sent off for it, it wasn’t my fault so I was a little upset, so then I took off my shirt and threw it at the fully-grown referee and tried to fight him, and it took both managers to pull me off the pitch.
“And that was the day where I decided after talking to my dad that I would focus on wrestling a little bit more.”
Unsurprisingly, McIntrye’s manager wanted him to play at the back because of his physical presence – something that didn’t sit well with the 2020 Royal Rumble winner.
He stated: ” When I was younger, I always wanted to be on the wing, I loved taking the free-kicks and the corners, but they were like, ‘you’re so much taller than everyone.’
“There was no real direction with my headers, I would just put my head on it, but couldn’t direct it very well, I was better with my feet.
“As the years went by they would keep moving me to the back, but I was like ‘no’. So I compromised on central midfield most of the time.
“But at that time they were adamant about putting me in defence and places where I didn’t want to be, so I just didn’t have the passion like I had.
“It started to feel like a chore, and I think that had to do with the WWE dream, it was just getting more to the front of my mind and more, ‘I’m going to make this happen one way or another.’
“I was just obsessing over wrestling even more, so football was taking a back seat to the point where I got sent off and had to appear before the board and I told them to just screw themselves.”
WrestleMania 39 will be held across two nights on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2 live from the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Tune in on the WWE Network or on BT Sport Box Office.