Wade Barrett is returning to WWE. According to Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet, Barrett, whose real name is Stu Bennett, will be joining the NXT announcing team this week. The bad news is this is only a one-shot deal, and the former leader of Nexus has not signed a full-time deal with WWE.
Barrett was released from WWE in 2016 after telling the company he wasn't going to renew his contract one it's expired. Since leaving WWE, Barrett has focused on his acting career and has announced at the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) promotion. In an interview with Sports Illustrated back in 2016, Barrett talked about the opportunities he has had since leaving WWE.
"When you're with WWE, you are operating within very fine boundaries that you cannot step outside of," Bennett said. "Now I have offers for movie roles that are completely out of what you would expect for me, and that’s really exciting. The opportunity to go away from WWE and be myself and become Stu again is exactly what I needed."
Barrett, 40, was one of the top heels in WWE, after winning the first season of NXT, he became the leader of the group Nexus, which featured Daniel Bryan Heath Slater, Husky Harris (now known as Bray Watt) and even CM Punk and John Cena. Punk and Cena joined the group later, but Barrett was the face of the group. He left Nexus in 2011 and started his singles career. In 2013, Barrett started his Bad News Barrett persona, which was something he loved doing.
"Bad News’ Barrett was a really fun time," explained Bennett. "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." Barrett also said that "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."
When his WWE career was all said and done, Barrett was a five-time winner of the Intercontinental Championship and he won King of the Ring in 2015. When it comes to acting, Barett has appeared in four films, including the 2013 movie Dead Man Down that stars Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard.