He was billed as the "Chosen One" by Vince McMahon and heralded as a future world champion.
Drew Galloway, who competed for the WWE as Drew McIntyre, left the major American wrestling promotion earlier this year after seven years in the ring.
Far from focussing on the negatives, Drew welcomed his release.
Now he wants to take Scottish wrestling to the next level, a decade after he helped build the local wrestling scene.
The Ayrshire native spoke to STV ahead of his appearance at the Beach Leisure Centre for Wrestlezone: Battle of the Nations tomorrow.
“When I was starting out I’d save Christmas money and travel 14 hours to Portsmouth for three-day wrestling camps," Drew said.
“I was 15/16 in skin-tight blue leather pants. What do you think my friends said?
“I was always tall but had a really long, skinny frame. [Fellow WWE wrestler] Wade Barrett used to love showing everyone in the locker room videos of me at 16 looking anorexic."
With the local scene in 2014 thriving thanks to Insane Championship Wrestling personalities like Grado and Jack Jester, Drew has his heart set on getting wrestling back onto local TV screens.
First up, he’ll be bringing wrestling back to the Beach Leisure Centre after a near 23-year hiatus.
The last time the "rasslin" visited the venue was October 1991, when British superstars Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks entertained the crowds.
“I’ve always loved wrestling, I’d never think about quitting," Drew said.
“I first remember watching with my cousins who were older than me. My Dad got me a tape of the old British wrestling and I was going, ‘who are these guys?’ Because I’d only watched WWF.
“It was cancelled in 1988, even though it was drawing big numbers. I'm aiming to get it on Scottish TV screens because I know it would do the same now.
“I was obsessed. I knew then I was either going to play for Rangers or be in the WWF (later WWE).”
Drew moved to America and was signed for WWE at the age of 22.
He’s now 29 and in those seven years, he didn’t take a single full week off, such is the schedule of a WWE wrestler.
“When I first went over, I didn’t have this American twang and they put me on elocution lessons for months for teach me English," he said.
“People were telling me my English was really good for a second language.
Upon arrival in the WWE, Drew was mentored by the legendary Undertaker and UK greats like Dave Finlay and William Regal.
Despite his age, WWE chairman Vince McMahon quickly branded him as the "Chosen One".
“That has never happened before and will never happen again, Vince endorsing someone like that," the current EVOLVE champion said.
Drew would go on to claim the tag team title, intercontinental championship and become the most successful Scottish WWE wrestler of all time, but never the coveted big gold belt.
“I could never be unhappy in the WWE," Drew said.
"No matter what they give you. As a kid, I’d have been happy to be Dumpster Droese.
“But I have big goals. After Vince said what he did, I was always planning on being the best in the world. I’m not happy if I’m not being creatively fulfilled and contributing what I know I could.
“It was a good time to separate - I can try out new avenues like TV and film, someone said I should try out for Game of Thrones because I look like those guys.
“My character at the moment is me. It’s like the Chosen One, but that’s still a bit too much like the Scottish Terminator for me.
“If it works or not, it will be on my own merit.”
Drew returned to Scotland to a crazy reaction from the local crowd in Glasgow.
Galloway said: “It was insane. I hadn’t even told my family. My brother found me sleeping in bed and went, ‘what are you doing here?’
“I wasn’t worried but I was nervous. Ford, Greg and Boaby the barman from Still Game had been on and excited the crowd before me.
“I was thinking, ‘are they going to care?’
“My mind melted at the reaction. Some of the guys got a few stiff kicks and punches that night.”
Legendary wrestling names like Kevin Nash and Mick Foley have come to Scotland and not sold arenas like Drew has for Wrestlezone this Saturday night.
But the 6ft 5in Galloway is under no illusions that wrestling has become completely mainstream.
Drew continued: “There are always going to be people who give it a bad rap. I’d challenge anyone in entertainment to be given their lines at the last second, do their own stunts and only have one take to get it right.
“I can’t wait to get back out in front of the crazy Scottish fans. Everyone wants to come here and tour because the fans are so energised.
“To anyone who’s sceptical, just come along and experience it for yourself.”
Limited tickets are still available for Drew’s appearances in the UK on the dates below. Check out his Twitter for more details.