With the United Kingdom Championship on the horizon, a name like Wade Barrett would be a perfect front man in that division. Not only would it allow him to return to his roots of British Wrestling, but it would immediately draw attention from viewers who are outside of the country and are not familiar with the current European wrestling scene. His ability to be a menacing heel, as well as deliver catchphrases that leave spectators no other choice by to engage, would put him in a very good position right now with the company. However, there are so many elements from his previous run from the company that would make him extra cautious.
On multiple occasions, Barrett took what was given to him and made it gold. Specifically, while being a leader of The Nexus, his tall stature and condescending English accent gave him a ticket to the main event picture early in his WWE tenure. Just a few years after signing with WWE’s then-developmental territory, Barrett, real name Stu Bennett, thrived and was a top contender to win the World Championship. However, his ascension was soon halted due to improper booking and creative adjustments. His move from The Nexus to The Corre was one of the oddest shifts and did nothing to boost his status.
This was just one abrupt halt to a promising direction for Barrett.
Perhaps his best run as a singles competitor was his “Bad News” Barrett character. Each week, Barrett would be on a high-rise lift and deliver an unsatisfying message that began with the phrase, “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.” This character grew on many members of the WWE Universe, so much that he started to get cheers.
Barrett recent told Sports Illustrated that this was the best part of his tenure and very fun.
“‘Bad News’ Barrett was a really fun time. The reactions from the crowd I was getting were really about my speaking and my portrayal of a character rather than my in-ring work. You can even go back to the Nexus era, when I was cutting promos every single night. People were really hanging on my every word, and I was really dictating a lot of the shows that we were doing. I’ve always had that confidence in my performance ability and my ability to speak in character. One of the most exciting parts of the Nexus and ‘Bad News’ Barrett eras were I had a lot of influence in the character and I had a lot of influence in how I was going to portray myself. When I became King Barrett, the influence I had in the character was taken away. I was told, ‘This is your outfit, and here is your promo that you have to say word-for-word.’ Any time I tried to tweak the storyline because I thought it wasn’t working, or because it wasn’t me, I was denied. The lack of control over my career reduced my passion more than anything.”
He would then win a mildly-prestigious King of the Ring tournament, and end his career in a stagnant position as a member of the League of Nations faction.
Barrett also explained that there were too many restrictions working for the company and that he wanted to pursue other endeavors, stating, “When you’re with WWE, you are operating within very fine boundaries that you cannot step outside of.”
His decision to leave the company was primarily based on losing his passion due to his inconsistency from the writing team, which never gave any of his characters an opportunity to really gain steam.
“For the first time in my life, I was questioning why I was even getting out of bed and going to work. I wasn’t enjoying it and it wasn’t motivating me at all. For that reason, I made the decision that I couldn’t re-sign a contract and continue for three more years when I knew nothing was going to change. My choice was: to take the paycheck and accept that I was probably going to get the same kind of creative that I’d had for the last couple of years, or alternatively to walk away and look for something else. So I decided to do the latter.”
Since then, Barrett has explored the career path of acting. Seeing how honing in a WWE character requires a skilled level of acting, and he did great with perfecting any character given to him, Barrett will do well if he continues that path.
[Featured Image by WWE]