On this week’s Raw, Drew McIntyre’s promo included a line some fans interpreted as a jab at AEW, and specifically the lackluster ending of their Revolution PPV:
“If you make a guarantee and don’t deliver, fans get upset and sparks fly.”
Some thought the line was in reference to the payoff of Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley’s Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch, and specifically the ringpost sparklers that went off instead of an earth-shattering kaboom at the end of Mar. 7’s main event. But McIntyre told Forbes it wasn’t, in a quote that might be more noteworthy for the former WWE champ stating his promos aren’t scripted:
“Everyone seems to think ‘writers are gonna put all this together,’ they don’t. Drew McIntyre’s out there, and I’ve got no idea what I’m gonna say and I kind of say how I feel.
“I went out there, I said that, and I [heard] ‘sparks fly’ come out my mouth. I didn’t think twice about it, I just rolled right through it, I said my whole interview and watched the match ringside—which was an awesome match. I came back, and somebody came up to me and said ‘I saw what you did there.’ ‘What did I do?’ And then they played it out to me and I went ‘Oh, yeah, that could be taken that way.’
“Maybe subconsciously I made a joke...I don’t like that shot back-and-forth stuff, I don’t see the point it’s not good for business.”
That’s not the only potential controversy Drew sought to defuse while talking to Forbes’ Alfred Konuwa. Some, including Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer & Bryan Alvarez, noticed he didn’t slap his thigh when delivering a Claymore to Miz at the start of the Mar. 15 Raw... but did when he used the move against current WWE champ Bobby Lashley at the end of the episode. This ties into recent reports Vince McMahon handed down a “leg slap ban”, something the gang at AEW are already spoofing on YouTube.
The big Scot manages to both explain the rationale behind WWE’s policy regarding leg slaps, and provide a brilliant kayfabe explanation for he (sometimes) uses one for his finisher:
“For the general fans, if you’re good enough [at leg slapping] that you can do it—like a Shawn Michaels—then you’re not gonna catch it.
“It’s become so blatant at times, that I think you’ve got to pick and choose your moments. But, when it comes to the Claymore—let me explain how the Claymore works—people said to me ‘you’re slapping your leg,’ that’s not the case with the Claymore.
“When I raise my leg, and kick forward, you’ve got a 6’6”, 270-pound man jumping and kicking you. I’ve got a very strong shoulder, so when I’m throwing that kick and I also put some shoulder behind it, I’m just adding force. So, you see, it’s not really a leg slap for me, it’s just extra force.”
So using the move on Lashley required extra force. With Miz? Not so much.
I love it.
Check out Konuwa’s entire chat with the King of Claymore Country at Forbes. They also talk the two night WrestleMania format, and why McIntyre wants his match with Lashley to be the main event of Sunday’s show. You can find it here.