On April 29, 2017 Wade Barrett made his first appearance since he left WWE, precisely at the What Culture Pro Wrestling's No Regrets event as a commentator. On 30th September he became the general manager (GM) of the federation, which in the meantime had changed its name to Defiant Wrestling.
On August 2, 2019, the federation announced the closure. Wade won the first season of NXT in 2010 and made his Raw debut on 7 June of that year, rising to prominence as the leader of The Nexus, composed of the remaining NXT rookies of season 1.
He headlined five WWE pay-per-view events during the remainder of 2010, challenging for the WWE Championship in three of those. Barrett formed the Corre with former Nexus members Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel in January 2011 and won his first Intercontinental Championship, a title that he has won overall five times.
In 2013, he became Bad News Barrett until becoming the 20th King of the Ring winner in 2015 and changing his ring name to King Barrett. In a recent interview with Colt Cabana on the Art of Wrestling, he reflected on being depressed after leaving WWE: “It was kind of [me] being really down, actually.
It’s a big change in life to go from the 280 days a year on the road and whatever it is. And even when you’re off, you’re not off because you’re doing phone calls around to all the arenas the next week, and you’re thinking about how you can improve this.
And ‘Oh s**t, I’ve got to go and get that new gear made.’ You’re constantly in wrestling mode. And then you go to the shop and everyone recognizes you because you’re on TV twice a week. You never turn off.
So to suddenly go from that to only being in my house. I lived along in a giant house on Tampa that I’d bought, just north of Tampa. And yeah, it’s a big period of decompression. Especially when, [you go] ‘Oh man, it’s Monday, it’s Raw — no it’s not, I don’t work there anymore”.