The WWE career of Wade Barrett was one of peaks and valleys, and was one of the greatest “what-if” stories in recent pro wrestling history. From the moment he appeared on the first season of NXT (back when it was a game show), he appeared to be one of the company’s golden boys, a massive guy who was great in the ring, great on the microphone, and had the “WWE look” that has mostly fallen by the wayside since then.
Barrett was the leader of the beloved Nexus and was on the verge of becoming a legitimate main event threat for years to come. But then John Cena made one mistake. The last several years of Barrett’s tenure in WWE had him ensconced in the midcard, and although he became a five-time Intercontinental Champion, he also established the trope of “the Intercontinental Champion loses every match he’s in.”
There were bright spots, like the early days of the Bad News Barrett character and the League of Nations, but ultimately Barrett was defined more by squandered talent and potential than any actual career highlights. He opted not to renew his contract and took his leave from WWE to pursue acting and other ventures.
Barrett recently returned to pro wrestling, but not to in-ring competition. Now going by his real name, Stu Bennett, he has become the general manager for Defiant Wrestling, which is the renamed version of what was formerly What Culture Pro Wrestling.
But he’s not ruling out a return to the ring entirely. SPORTbible recently interviewed Bennett, and he seems about one percent away from guaranteeing a wrestling comeback at some point.
“I have my good days and bad days. There’s days where I think I don’t miss it all and then there’s days like yesterday [at Refuse to Lose on October 2] where you see the kind of reactions the guys were getting and get that desire to get back in the ring. I’m 99 per cent certain I will wrestle again at some point, I just couldn’t tell you when. I have those days where I’m like ‘no, everything hurts, I don’t ever wanna get back in a wrestling ring again’ – but I have days where I feel great and can’t wait to get back in. I knew at some point I’ll be wanting to get back in, so if the right opportunity comes along we’ll get it done.”
It seems most likely that Bennett’s return to the ring would come in Defiant, perhaps after being PUSHED TOO FAR by one of their wrestlers, in fine general manager tradition. So you could say this is … good news? At any rate, there’s a lot of good stuff in that SPORTbible interview, so head over there to check out the whole thing.