It had been previously reported that Wade Barrett had signed an official deal with NXT and that he will be a permanent part of the commentary team going forward. He recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, where he discussed a number of topics. Among them were how long his deal was, what he did away from WWE, wrestling in the promotion again and more.
You can see some highlights from the interview below:
On how long his current deal is:
Moving forward, Barrett will be part of every NXT broadcast, including TakeOver events. Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Barrett confirmed he signed a one-year deal with WWE that includes an option to extend the partnership.
“I hope this lasts for a long time, that’s our intent,” 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.”
On the NXT roster:
“Our aim is to be different, a little more unique than the other WWE programming,” said Barrett. “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.”
Long known as WWE’s developmental system, NXT has evolved into the company’s third brand. Led by world champions in Finn Balor and Io Shirai, the NXT roster contains some of the most talented wrestlers in the world.
“This isn’t a developmental brand,” said Barrett. “I’ve followed the careers of The Undisputed Era, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, and Rhea Ripley for a long time. There are so many up-and-comers, 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 bit biased, but I can’t wait to see Ridge Holland’s rise into a megastar. He has all the potential in the world.
“I’m also especially excited to call Shotzi Blackheart on a weekly basis. She is going to be a massive star. The opening match-up tonight between Shotzi and Io Shirai will be fantastic, so make sure to get there nice and early to watch.”
On his future with commentary and getting back in the ring:
“When I left in 2016, I was emotionally burnt out and beat up,” said Barrett, who was also dealing with a neck injury that he noted has since healed. “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.
“Pro wrestling has always been a true love of mine, especially commentary. Physically, I feel 100%. My body feels incredibly good. I’m not doing commentary because I had a career-ending injury. I want to focus on commentary because I’m passionate about it. That’s not to say I won’t pull the boots back on at some point, but commentary is my focus and I am extremely excited about it.”
He also discussed working with NWA, the rumor that he is involved with Retribution and more.
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