The word impact is described as having a strong effect on someone or something. And for over a decade, making an impact has become a way of life for the men and women that make up IMPACT Wrestling. In this new TNAsylum exclusive series, we'll take a look at some of the most impactful moments from TNA's past and present product, all in an attempt to preview what has yet to come.
This week for INSTANT IMPACT, we'll take a look at how a man rises from his broken dreams to redefine himself, and revitalize his career. We'll take a look at how, from the ashes of Drew McIntyre, arises the man now known as Drew Galloway.
"Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." -William Shakespeare
The preceding quote has since been dumbed down by many into a time-worn cliché that states with great power comes great responsibility. Or in this instance, with great expectation comes great responsibility.
In 2009, Vince McMahon made a special appearance on SmackDown to introduce his universe to The Chosen One. A future world champion, he claimed. This man's name was Drew McIntyre.
On his first night on SmackDown, he'd attack R-Truth, because Truth was the antithesis of everything McIntyre prided himself on being. Unlike Truth, McIntyre hadn't come to the WWE to party or for the adulation of the fans, but he came to wrestle and become a star.
The feud would escalate to a match at the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view, which McIntyre would win quickly with The Future Shock DDT. A month later, he'd again defeat Truth at Bragging Rights, to continue his initial wave of momentum. And following a short rivalry with Finlay and two eliminations in a traditional Survivor Series match, McIntyre found himself in contention for a championship already; John Morrison's Intercontinental Championship, to be specific.
Morrison would mock McIntyre leading into their match at the inaugural TLC pay-per-view, but McIntyre was the one hoisting the gold at the end, albeit after gouging Morrison's eye. And while shady tactics such as that became a familiar theme in his title defenses, so did wins.
In fact, McIntyre was undefeated through February of the following year, when he lost to Kane and Matt Hardy in a pair of Money In the Bank qualifying matches. On both occasions, though, Mr. McMahon expunged the loss from the record books, and McIntyre would finally qualify by beating a local talent. McIntyre ultimately suffered his first official loss to The Undertaker, and soon thereafter failed to win Money In the Bank.
Next was a feud with Matt Hardy. While he'd take Matt Hardy out of action, he'd also be stripped of his title by General Manager Theodore Long due to his continuous attacks. Vince McMahon, though, would reinstate him and give him back his championship, snatching it from the grasp of new champion Kofi Kingston.
Kingston would soon recapture the championship, but perhaps the best of Drew McIntyre was on display in the immediate aftermath of his championship loss.
Week after week, McIntyre used his preferential treatment to bully Theodore Long, even forcing Teddy to lay down for him in a match at one stage. His brilliant character was growing, not dissimilar to Ethan Carter III today.
However, the men he wronged all got their comeuppance, and Vince McMahon being sent into a coma by The Nexus ended his golden boy treatment. Thus, McIntyre's dizzying fall from grace commenced.
After a tremendous rookie year from The Chosen One, Drew McIntyre's character quickly fell into disrepair. It was as if the proverbial crown atop his head that dubbed him the future was beginning to wear heavy.
While he did find some success in a short-lived alliance with 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes, the team dissolved as quickly as it started and would promptly be sent their separate ways via the WWE Draft, where Drew McIntyre was sent to Monday Night RAW.
McIntyre, quite frankly, did absolutely nothing on RAW. He had no matches, no storylines, no television time, nothing. It was a shocking disparity when compared to his time on SmackDown, although some find his falling out with his ex-wife Taryn Terrell—then WWE Diva Tiffany—to serve as somewhat of an explanation for this.
McIntyre would return to SmackDown as damaged goods, and unfortunately for him, he would be only further damaged on the brand that was once so kind to him.
The Scotsman would eventually find television time once more as a member of the 3 Man Band alongside Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal in 2012, but was reduced to being strictly a comedy character at this juncture.
The group would grow in popularity, with fans appreciating how fun they became, but that wasn't enough to save Mahal's or McIntyre's jobs, as they were both released on June 12, 2014.
Now freed from the creative-stifling shackles of the WWE, Drew Galloway made sure everyone was on notice that he was hell-bent on starting a revolution. A revolution that would change the way fans looked at him, and perhaps a revolution of professional wrestling as a whole.
His first step was returning to his old stomping grounds in Insane Championship Wrestling, based in his home country of Scotland. There, he'd quickly supplant incumbent Jack Jester and in November, become the new ICW Heavyweight Champion.
Shortly following his ICW return came his debut in EVOLVE Wrestling in August of 2014. And on his debut, he'd defeat Chris Hero to attain their championship as well. And both of the aforementioned titles are still held by the former Chosen One.
Finally, this past Friday on Destination America came the next step in Drew Galloway's tear through professional wrestling, when he made his IMPACT debut—in Scotland no less—by saving Grado and Al Snow from an attack at the hands of the Beatdown Clan's Samoa Joe, Kenny King and Low Ki.
While it's presently unclear what Drew Galloway's intentions in IMPACT Wrestling will be, at 29 years old, Galloway is believed to possess all the tools one needs to succeed in professional wrestling. And now, he has the opportunity to seize back the future that was once ordained to be his, before it was all snatched away.