– During a recent interview with The Buzzards Wrestling podcast (via Sportskeeda), former WWE Superstar Wade Barrett discussed his time in WWE, and why WWE dropped the Bad News Barrett gimmick. Below are some highlights.
Wade Barrett on becoming General Manager of Defiant Wrestling: I’m loving it here. I came over in April to do my first couple of shows with them. I just did some commentary then and then they got in touch around September to ask me to get be involved with them in a GM capacity, which I grabbed with both hands. I was really impressed when I came over in April at the quality of the production and the calibre of the guys they’ve got in the ring here and the kind of show they put out, so it was great to get this opportunity.
Wade Barrett on getting the wrestling bug and how he was burned out: Yeah, I was burned out. I was WWE for about 10 years and by the time my contract was up there, I was just ready to go, so I took about a year or so away from the business but getting back involved with the guys at Defiant has been great and it’s really helped me scratch that itch to get back around the locker room, hang out with the guys and be back around the wrestling world again, which is really nice.
Wade Barrett on his main roster debut with The Nexus: It was really cool. Obviously, there was a lot of pressure on us as brand new guys and we’d literally been told by Vince (McMahon) before we went out that, we ‘better make this good, because if it isn’t good, you guys won’t be around for very long.’ So, that’s kind of hanging over you when you go out there and I think when we were out there and attacking the ring and smashing things up, we were so in the zone that we weren’t really paying too much attention to the reaction or the atmosphere or how it was being picked up. We were all just so focused on making sure we did what we’d all talked about beforehand. ‘I’m going to do this, you’re going to do this here, how about you do this?’ We had this thing outlined in our heads and we were so focused on making sure that we didn’t screw it up that by the time we go to the back, we hadn’t actually absorbed what was happening.
But then when we got to the back, we were kind of given a standing ovation by the locker room and all the guys that were working there and people were kind of blown away by what they’d seen. Then they started showing replays of crowd reactions and stuff and that’s when it started to sink in that, ‘Woah, this was pretty big’ and then we realised afterwards, ‘Wow’, you know for us as young wrestlers, we’ve put up and taken down rings a million times by that point. That’s kind of part the breaking into the business, that’s what you have to do, you put up the ring, you know what it looks like when it’s taken apart.
What we didn’t think about was the fact that the entire WWE Universe or the fanbase had never seen a ring half taken down or they didn’t know what was underneath that blue canvas. They didn’t know there were boards underneath there and stuff like that, so the impact that had on that fanbase was way bigger than anything we could’ve ever imagined, just because they’d never seen something like that before.”
Wade Barrett’s thoughts on his NXT pro, Chris Jericho, facing Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12: I’m constantly amazed every time I turn on my Twitter or Instagram because he’s got something else up his self. This week he’s releasing a new album, next week he’s got a book coming out, next week he’s going on a cruise with wrestling fans on there and then he’s going to wrestle at the Royal Rumble and then he’s off to wrestle Kenny Omega and then he’s got a TV show coming out. It’s like, I’m at the point now where I’m not surprised because it’s Chris Jericho and I just expect him to do things like that.
“But yeah, I think it’s really cool. I think it’s amazing that wrestling is at that point now where he can go and do something like that because I don’t think even five or ten years ago that would’ve been on the cards. It’s cool that wrestling around the world isn’t just so focused on this one place, WWE. There’s stuff springing up everywhere and who knows, in five years time, there might be a company in the UK that could put on something similar with a top guy from WWE and say, ‘Hey, we know you’re on a little break, why don’t you come over here to Birmingham, we’ve got this huge show on, you can wrestle Marty Scurll, who’s the top name out here’ or whoever it might be at the time, and put on this huge kind of Wrestle Kingdom show out here in the UK, which would be incredible and let’s be honest, we have the talent to do it. It’s just a case of putting all the pieces in place together.
Wade Barrett on the reason WWE ended the Bad News Barrett Gimmick: I was specifically told the reason I wasn’t allowed to say my catchphrase ‘I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news’ anymore was that it was getting a positive response and they wanted me to be a heel. I personally didn’t agree with that philosophy. I felt ‘Look, if they are going to cheer for me, they like this, let’s go with it. I’ve never been a babyface before, let’s go with it.’
“The decision was made above my pay grade that that wasn’t going to be the case and then I was Bad News Barrett, a guy who didn’t cut promos and wasn’t giving out bad news, so that kind of instigated the transition into a completely different character and the King run at that point, so for me personally, like I say, I didn’t agree with it but it wasn’t my decision to make ultimately.”
Wade Barrett on whats next for him: “I’m excited to be doing different projects at the moment. I spent 14 years or so in the professional wrestling world, 10 years with WWE, where my exclusive life was just wrestling, wrestling, wrestling, so after 10 years of that, I was pretty burned out and it’s nice for me to be doing other things at this point. I’ve been doing some acting, I’ve got a couple of movies coming out in 2018. I’ve just done a TV hosting gig with Netflix.
I did a speaking tour here in the UK earlier this year and then now I’m involved with Defiant Wrestling in a GM capacity and doing commentary and things like that. So, it’s nice for me to be spreading my wings a little and doing different things. Really, I’m looking to continue in that vein and seeing what opportunities come up and if they sound good and sound exciting, you know what? I’ll grab them and it’s kind of nice after years and years of a very regimented schedule, to actually not quite know what I’m going to be doing in three months and being surprised when you get a call from Netflix and things like that. I couldn’t really tell you but I’m pretty excited for 2018.