Wade Barrett has some great news to share: He’s now officially a part of NXT’s weekly broadcast crew.
Going forward, Barrett will be a part of every NXT broadcast, including TakeOver events. Talk with Illustrated sportsBarrett confirmed that he has signed a one-year contract with WWE that includes an option to extend the partnership.
“I hope this will last a long time, that’s our intention,” said Stu Bennett, who was best known in wrestling as “Bad News” Barrett. “So there is no bad news to share, but never forget, there is always a little bad news up my sleeve.”
Barrett joins a broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Beth Phoenix, a trio revamped after the departure of Mauro Ranallo.
“Our goal is to be different, a little more unique than other WWE programs,” Barrett said. “We don’t want to be a carbon copy of what you hear on Gross or Smack down. I’ve known Beth for years and she’s incredibly talented, and I just got to know Vic. I’m excited to learn from and work with them, and I’m really excited to grow this into a really close unit.
Long known as the WWE Development System, NXT has grown to become the company’s third brand. Led by world champions Finn Balor and Io Shirai, the NXT roster features some of the most talented wrestlers in the world.
“It’s not a brand of development,” Barrett said. “I followed the careers of The Undisputed Era, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano and Rhea Ripley for a long time. There are so many newcomers, and NXT is a destination where you can see people turn into stars. Bronson Reed is a powerhouse and reminds me of a young Mark Henry. Coming from England, I might be a little biased, but I can’t wait to see Ridge Holland grow into a megastar. He has all the potential in the world.
“I’m also particularly excited to call Shotzi Blackheart every week. She’s going to be a huge star. Tonight’s opener between Shotzi and Io Shirai will be fantastic, so be sure to arrive early and early to watch it.
Barrett separated from WWE in 2016 after a decade with the company. Despite a unique voice, a compelling ring style and a powerful presence at 6’7 ”, Barrett chose to take a break from wrestling after pouring his heart and soul into the profession.
“When I left in 2016, I was emotionally exhausted and beaten,” said Barrett, who also suffered from a neck injury which he says has since healed. “I knew I had to plan away from pro wrestling, but it has always been my passion. And even when I needed a little time, I still found myself watching the results online and then watching the show on TV.
“Professional wrestling has always been my true love, especially commentary. Physically, I feel 100%. My body feels amazingly good. I’m not commenting because I had a career-ending injury. I want to focus on the comments because I am passionate about it. That’s not to say I won’t put the shoes back on at some point, but feedback is my goal and I’m extremely excited about it.
Barrett became interested in WWE commentary as early as 2008, when he was part of the Florida Championship Wrestling Development Program. Most recently, he provided full color commentary for the NWA, which is owned by music icon Billy Corgan.
“Working with the NWA has been a fantastic experience for me, and I was planning on signing a long-term agreement with them,” Bennett said. “Plans have changed with the pandemic, but I have nothing but great things to say about Billy Corgan. And a lot of people don’t realize that I have quite a bit of experience in commenting too, including in the UK
“Over ten years ago I was a commentator for about six months with Dusty Rhodes and Byron Saxton at FCW. I loved it so much, and even when I was wrestling and in the main events, I knew I always wanted to come back to it. So getting a call from Triple H about a place on the NXT commentary team, it was very exciting. This is the ideal role for me. “
As the former faction leader of The Nexus, Barrett has closely followed the storyline of Retribution continuing to unfold in WWE. But he noted that there was no plan, as of yet, for him to serve as leader.
“I’m focusing on the comments and NXT,” Barrett said. “But you know what, I’m not going to kill this rumor of retribution.” My Twitter has kept exploding since their appearance. People seem happy to accuse me of being under this mask, so I’m going to let them continue.
Barrett first appeared on NXT in a commentary role on August 26, and he’s now positioned as a staple of the show. After a four-year stint away from WWE, Barrett expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to return to such an important role.
“I am as passionate, as motivated and as excited to be in the NXT broadcast booth as I have ever been to be in the ring,” Barrett said. “I can’t wait for the next few months and years. I’m excited to share the stories of the stars of NXT, and so grateful for the chance to keep people entertained every week. I am so excited for this new role. “
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