Yesterday it was reported that Wade Barrett (Stu Bennett) had signed a contract with WWE to officially join the NXT commentary team on a full-time basis.
Speaking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Barrett stated that he was working on a one-year deal with the company with an option to extend further. Barrett talked about joining up with Beth Phoenix and Vic Joseph as they revamp the NXT commentary team following the departure of Mauro Ranallo:
“Our aim is to be different, a little more unique than the other WWE programming. 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 was also asked if being a full-time commentator means his in-ring career is officially over:
“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.”
As Wade Barrett with WWE, Bennett won the inaugural season of NXT in 2010 under its old format. From there he would go on to be the leader of the Nexus, win the WWE Intercontinental Championship five times, and became the King of the Ring in 2015. Barrett would be released in May 2016.