Wade Barrett’s WWE persona is accustomed to dishing out bad news, but this summer he got some of his own.
The Intercontinental champion had to relinquish the title because of a shoulder injury. Now with the surgery behind him, the English performer is optimistic about the recovery process.
“I’m great,” Barrett said during a “WWE 2K15” event SummerSlam Weekend in Los Angeles. “I’m back in the gym lifting weights again. I’m working hard on my rehab to come back as soon as I can. I miss performing in front of the WWE Universe and traveling around the world seeing the fans all the time.
“…There is never really a good time to get injured. I felt like I was in the middle of a good run. I had some good matches, and people were enjoying what I was doing. Obviously, I also had the Intercontinental championship, which was huge in itself. There are elements of this happening that really did suck, but I want to be back and better than ever. I want to push forward. Eventually, I want to win the WWE world heavyweight championship.”
Never miss a local story.
Bad News Barrett is known for his physical style. The former bare-knuckle boxer had some wars over the years with the likes of Sheamus, John Cena and Randy Orton. Upon his return, he doesn’t plan on transitioning away from his brawling attack.
“I think with me and the injury, it was kind of an unfortunate situation,” Barrett said, recalling how he separated his shoulder during a barricade spot in a match with Jack Swagger on SmackDown. “We can do that 100 more times, and it wouldn’t have happened. Sometimes you have this element of bad luck. It would be a struggle to go out and not give a 100 percent, especially when you have the loud crowd behind you and the adrenaline pumping. I would find it hard to step back and do things a little different. Maybe it’s something I need to look at with a bit more maturity. However, with this particular injury, I think it was just a case of bad luck.”
The time away from WWE has given him a chance to watch the product from strictly a viewer’s perspective. He enjoys watching Bray Wyatt.
“For me, he is definitely one of the guys I would look at as the future,” Barrett said. “What a unique guy and amazingly talented in the ring. I think his character is just so unique within the world of WWE that you can’t help but to take notice. So he is a guy who I enjoy a lot.
“Another I like is Roman Reigns. He has the potential to be the next top, top guy, which only happens once in a generation. With this generation, he kind of has everything on paper to be that guy. Fingers crossed for his development. I think he has a great head on his shoulders. He is a great athlete and a good attitude. Everyone seems to like him in the locker room, which is pretty rare in itself. If he keeps developing the way he has, I can see him being the guy who is pulling the whole train along.”
Barrett plans to continue where he left off in WWE. The audience was just starting to connect and get behind his character. The outspoken figure was using current events and the city the show resided as fodder for his insulting good news-bad news scenarios. You can see his confidence develop from the start of his WWE career. He won the first season of NXT with Chris Jericho as his mentor and led the Nexus faction. He cites John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Vince McMahon as inspirations for his latest run.
“Those are definitely two of my heroes,” Barrett said. “Guys I like to try and model after. Whenever Vince McMahon is on the microphone, everyone is pretty much entertained. That’s something unique and not many people can do it. He has this magnetism about him. He is definitely someone I try to emulate.
“JBL as a performer was always one of my favorites. He was the bad guy everybody hated. Nobody cheered for JBL when he was a bad guy, which is something that is quite admirable and hard to do. A lot of people want to cheer the bad guy because it’s cool. There are definitely some elements of JBL in Bad News. He was this loud mouth, and I wanted this in my character, too.”
Bad News made his debut on the “JBL and Michael Cole Show” on YouTube. It tested the waters before he was introduced to live crowds. He became a regular and popular staple of the program each week.
“I don’t think that was the original intention,” Barrett said. “They asked me to be a part of the show, and I said I wanted to do something a little bit different. They asked what I wanted to do. Cody Rhodes suggested once upon a time that he had seen me wrestling when he was very young as Bad News Barrett, which clearly wasn’t true. It would imply I was 20 or 30 years older than him, which again isn’t true. He made up this character. So when they asked me what I wanted to do, I came back with Bad News Barrett. I want to show up, give bad news, and I want to leave. That’s it.”
Given his success, Barrett is no doubt among the most accomplished WWE superstars to hail from Europe. He isn’t alone as others on the roster from across the pond are leaving their mark on the business.
“It’s really cool,” Barrett said. “As a kid, there wasn’t this type of European representation over here. You had maybe one English guy and occasionally an Irish guy. You had a couple of Europeans, but these days I think we make up at least 25 percent of WWE. Paige is doing great. Sheamus is here. We have a lot of NXT guys coming up like Adrian Neville. I think he is amazing. There is a lot of good stuff at the moment.
“…I think there is good talent out there. I think WWE continuing to expand as a global company. I think it has always been a global company, but now even more so with various countries we got out and perform in. They want some representation and to see their own guys performing. I can go anywhere in the world and get booed, but when I go back to the [United Kingdom] they explode as if I was a hero. They want to see an English guy in there.”
The bad news is you have to wait a little longer to see Barrett barrage his way through opponents again. The good news is you can play as him in the “WWE 2K15” video game, available Oct. 28 in North America and Oct. 31 internationally.
“I remember it being a big milestone the first time [I was included in the games],” Barrett said. “I always wanted to be in a video game. I wanted my own action figure, too. It seemed very quickly after my debut I got both, so it was a very cool thing to have.”
Follow Bad New Barrett on Twitter @WadeBarrett.
Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.