In a shocking bit of news from the wrestling world, it appears that King Barrett will end his run with the WWE this summer, according to a report from Pro Wrestling Sheet. King Barrett, who also performed under the names Wade Barrett and Bad News Barrett, has never fully reached his potential in WWE, and will not be re-signing with the company when his contract expires in June. The report states that Barrett no longer enjoys his role in the company, which can be interpreted any number of ways.
As it stands now, King Barrett is a member of the League of Nations, a heel stable along with Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, and Rusev. Barrett is suffering from a nerve injury in his neck, preventing him from competing in matches, and appearing with his faction inconsistently in the last several weeks. Ever since Sheamus dropped the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Roman Reigns in December, Barrett and the League of Nations has been mired in anonymity. Del Rio is the only member advertised for a match at WWE Fastlane, as he’s set to take on Kalisto for the United States Championship.
The nerve injury to King Barrett is just the latest in a long line of unfortunate setbacks for the former bare-knuckle boxer. Injuries prevented the Englishman from a main-event push, though he worked in plenty of high-profile angles since joining the main roster in 2010. Barrett memorably debuted as the leader of the Nexus after winning the first season of NXT. The Nexus attack during a John Cena-CM Punk RAW main event immediately vaulted the rookies into the spotlight, and provided one of the most shocking endings to WWE’s flagship show ever.
Aside from leading the Nexus, King Barrett formed another faction in The Corre, but they disbanded quicker than its predecessor. His Bad News Barrett gimmick featured him delivering bad news on an elevated podium, and later in a TMZ-like fashion, dishing dirt on fellow WWE superstars. Barrett did win the 2015 King of the Ring tournament, which evolved him into the King Barrett gimmick. Like many before him, Barrett donned the robe and crown, but was never able to generate any serious momentum.
Barrett’s role in the League of Nations was new territory for the five-time Intercontinental Champion. Sheamus was widely regarded as the stable’s defacto leader, since the Celtic Warrior announced the formation of the group and was briefly the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the beginning of the faction’s run. The League of Nations, named as such due to each member representing a different country, was formed as WWE attempted to revive factions in a major way. In addition to the League, we have the Wyatt Family, The New Day and the Social Outcasts. The Bullet Club has been rumored for months to be making their way to the WWE as well in some fashion.
Because Sheamus is the leader, and Del Rio has the only significant singles program, King Barrett hasn’t been on the mic individually in quite a while. Subscribers of the WWE Network got a glimpse into Barrett’s (real name Stu Bennett) personality on a recent edition of Ride Along. The WWE Network-original features WWE superstars traveling from one city to the next, and we were treated to a 90-minute ride from Philadelphia to Newark with Barrett driving with Sheamus.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) February 12, 2016
Coincidentally, the ride was filmed the night Sheamus lost the WWE title to Roman Reigns. In the episode, Barrett pined for a British world champion, claiming Neville would be the first after the British Bulldog, William Regal, and Barrett himself failed to capture the industry’s top prize.
Are you surprised that King Barrett is not re-signing with WWE. Do you think he should have been WWE Champion?
[Photo via WWE]