Wade Barrett is best known for his past in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) between 2010 and 2016. In WWE he was the winner of the first season of NXT (2010) and the twentieth edition of the King of the Ring (2015); he also won the Intercontinental Championship five times.
He left WWE in May 2016 and has not wrestled since then. However, he has appeared in other non-wrestling roles on the international independent circuit, such as a commentator for World of Sport Wrestling and a general manager for Defiant Wrestling under the name Stu Bennett.
Speaking with Colt Cabana on the Art of Wrestling, the English superstar discussed his WWE departure in 2016: “So okay. 2015 and — I left probably, I think it was April or May 2016. And I told them, ‘Okay, my contract’s up I’m not resigning.’ They made me a couple of offers, I said, ‘I’m not interested, it doesn’t matter what you offer me, I need to leave.
I f**king hate it here, let me out.’ And that changed — I loved my job probably until the end of 2014, beginning of 2015. Because I’d done some exciting things, I’d done some not so exciting things, but I felt I at least had this carrot in front of me and I was excited about, ‘You know, if keep improving my physique, I’ll try and get ripped, that’ll convince them.
Oh, no, no, maybe I need a catchphrase. And got a catchphrase. Oh, maybe I need a t-shirt that’ll be a big seller. Maybe I need to work on my in-ring skills.’ There was always something in my head, ‘Oh no, I can improve that, improve that, improve that.
By the time I got to 2015 and felt like ‘Look, I’ve had these good waves.’ But now in 2015 I was sliding down the card and getting opportunities that I thought were kind of wasted. Like, I became the King of the Ring, which sounds like it should be impressive.
But what it was followed up with was zero writing. It was 30 seconds of writing at the end of there, telling me, ‘Oh, what are we going to do with these guys today?’ ‘Ah, just have them wrestle for three minutes, and have this guy go over, Stu, whatever.’ It was that level of writing week after week after week.
And suddenly, after putting in all that effort, I had to climb up the card and get to where I wanted. To be rewarded with, I thought was pretty disappointing, to say the least."