Drew McDonald is a Scottish born wrestler who has been a star in the UK for 20yrs. Not just contempt with wrestling in this country, the big Scot packed his bags and went to Canada where he wrestled for Stu Harts Stampede promotion. Drew went on to wrestle for Jim Crockets NWA Promotion in the US before returning back to England. Drew McDonald has wrestled some of the wrestling greats including Giant haystacks, Johnny Saint, Big daddy & Magnum T.A. The Scotsman has wrestled in front of television audiences of 10 million TV viewers, and now he wrestles in font of a average of 300. One of the few last surviving old school wrestlers from the British wrestling circuit, what a fabulous opportunity it was to catch up with this 6ft1 18 stone wrestling giant.
First off I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
Can you tell us how you first got in to wrestling?
First got started in the wrestling business purely by chance, I had a friend who was a headmaster of a school for kids with problems, an approved school really and he was running a show to make funds for the school. One of the wrestlers on the bill got injured and he asked me to step in at the last second, just like everybody else I had seen Big daddy on TV and thought I could do that crap, it’s all fixed, anyway Wild Angus a fellow scot beat the hell out of me because that was the way it was done in those days, new guys got a beating till they either gave up or one of the other wrestlers said ok this guy will do. After three years I guess they got fed up beating the hell out of me.
What was it like working the old school era of your wrestling career?
Hell that sounds bad; I guess it was no different from working today. You see I moved with the times, a lot of the guys didn’t so they got left behind, that’s the way this job is.
Who was your favourite promoter to work for, and who was the worse to work for?
Back then there was only joint promotion’s that had TV, if you didn’t work for them then there was Brian Dixon and a few small time promoters.
You got the chance to wrestle many legends in this country, who was your favourite opponent and again who was your worst?
My favourite and worst opponents when I started. I didn’t really have a favourite because no matter who I was on with, as a new guy, you were getting a beating, I was like a sponge then just trying to soak up the knowledge.
Your a big man and was classed in the heavyweight bracket, so many times you clashed with Giant Haystacks. How did you find Haystacks as a worker and a person?
Well he broke my ribs so I guess that just about sums it up.
On the subject, how did you find Big Daddy?
Big Daddy was a two faced son of a bitch who would use anybody and everybody to get what he wanted.
Just like many wrestlers you got the chance to wrestle for Stu Harts Stampede Wrestling, how did you find your time over there?
My time in Canada was a learning curve, I liked the place but couldn’tstand some of the people, I went there before I was ready to go anywhere, having said that I’m glad I went because I got to meet other guy’s in the job and learned a different style of wrestling.
You also got to wrestle for Jim Crockets NWA, and you also wrestled Magnum T A, what was it like for you to wrestle over there and especially wrestle some high-calibre competition?
The NWA was the big league then, Vince had just taken the reins at WWF and the NWA were the opposition, as for wrestling Magnum he was on top then it was a 2 minute match and the calibre of wrestling was the shits, the British guy’s always seem to rate the Americans and the Americans rate the British as the best wrestlers in the world, mainly because most Americans can’t do the job, or maybe I should say couldn’t do the job then.
Did you have the choice to stay on, and if so any regrets you didn’t?
I wish I had stayed over there when I got the chance, getting a green card was the hard part and nobody wants to help you get it, the promoters ask you to stay but if you do and the government find out you’re an illegal immigrant your out and no chance to ever go back in the country, even on holiday.
What are your opinions on the down fall of British wrestling, and how did the other wrestlers take it when it was announced the TV stations was taking it off the air?
The down fall of British wrestling came when it was taken off TV, not because of Big Daddy and Giant Haystack as everybody likes to say, it was because the then boss of ITV didn’t like it as far as I know. I think wrestling then, as now was one of the most watched programs on. As for how the wrestlers took it, I guess we took it like we always took everything else, right on the chin, what else could we do?
Do you see British wrestling becoming as popular as it was 13 years ago?
I do see wrestling becoming popular again, but this country needs it’s own talent, and the promoters need to keep them alive, sure bring in Americans etc, but don’t let them beat the hell out of everybody in the country, and we need to close down the look-alikes, they are doing more harm than good to the job.
What’s the best memory you have from your wrestling career?
I really don’t have an answer to that one, I guess it was when the guy’s in the job decided that they had beaten me up enough.
If you could change anything from your career what would it be?
If I could change anything from my career it would have to be my injury list.
Who do you wrestle for now?
Right now I’m wrestling for the FWA and TWA.
What can we expect from Drew McDonald in 2002?
Suppose the fans can expect the 2002 version of Drew McDonald to be even nastier than the one they see now, after all, old age makes people grumpy, maybe Dino and I should wrestles as the grumpy old men, I kinda like the sound of that. LOL
Here is a wild question, out of all the British wrestlers, which one was the greatest of them all? (not including Drew McDonald of course!)
The greatest British wrestler of them all has to be the one the fans like the most, because if the fans like you then you’re the best in the eyes of the promoters, and if you’re the best in their eyes then you get paid the most, and if you get paid the most then you must be the best, I guess???
Drew before I close this interview, are there any last thoughts or comments you wish to say?
Just to wish the readers & fans a Happy New Year, and if I am wrestling in your area then drop in and give me your support.
On behalf of everyone at Talk Wrestling Online / Wrestling 101 we wish you luck in your future and a safe journey in the wrestling world.