In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, Wade Barrett confirmed that he recently signed a new contract with WWE. That also includes an option to extend his stay, should both parties be interested. Moving forward, fans can expect to hear the former Intercontinental Champion call the action on NXT.
Barrett revealed that he wants to remain in WWE for the long haul. He was brought in to replace Mauro Ranallo, who parted ways with the company in August. In the interview, Barrett shared his excitement to work with Beth Phoenix and Vic Joseph, both of whom are also commentators for the black-and-gold brand’s weekly show.
According to Barrett, the trio’s aim is to be different. He wants their show to feel different from the company’s other weekly programs, and he has high hopes for their future behind the announcer’s desk.
“We don’t want to be a carbon copy of what you hear on Raw or SmackDown. I’ve known Beth for years, and she is incredibly talented, and I am just getting to know Vic. I’m excited to learn from and work with both of them, and I’m really excited to develop this into a really tight unit.”
Barrett left WWE in 2016 and hasn’t wrestled since then. During his hiatus, however, the performer’s love of the sport and the industry remained intact. He knew that he couldn’t stay away forever.
The former Nexus leader revealed that he was physically and emotionally spent when he stepped away from the squared circle. However, he is returning to the company re-energized and looking forward to his new role.
“I knew I needed to do some projects away from pro wrestling, but this has always been my passion. And even when I needed some time away, I still found myself looking at results online and then checking out the show on TV.”
Barrett also revealed that he wasn’t injured when he stepped away from the squared circle. He’s said in the past that he’s open to lacing up his boots again if the deal is right, and a Nexus reunion almost happened earlier this year at WrestleMania 36.
However, he wants to focus on announcing because he’s passionate about it, and has felt this way since he dabbled in it during his days as a developmental talent.
Prior to signing on full-time with Vince McMahon’s promotion, Barrett worked for the NWA. He said that he almost signed a long-term deal, but the pandemic caused his plans to change.