Wade Barrett Hints At WWE Return Amid Royal Rumble Rumours

Hamish Woodward

Former Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett has hinted at a return to wrestle again in the WWE – with fans hoping to see an in-ring return for the English star at this years Royal Rumble.

Also known as Bad-News Barrett, he made waves in the WWE as part of the first season of the NXT gameshow. Winning the competition and earning a shot at Randy Orton’s WWE Championship, he recruited his fellow NXT competitors to form the legendary stable known as The Nexus.

The Nexus became the hottest team in wrestling for a time, with Wade Barrett seeming destined to become the first ever British world champion. That never happened however, as John Cena’s backstage politics meant that he never won the big one and lost all the matches he had against the 16-time world champion, usually in humiliating fashion.

He won multiple Intercontinental titles in a six-year run in the WWE, but found true fame during his 2014 run. Changing his name to Bad-News Barrett, he won over the crowd by delivering bad news from a towering podium and insulting his opponents in hilarious manner. While he started out insulting the crowd, he soon became too entertaining to boo and garnered some of the biggest cheers on the show.

He won a tournament in 2014 and defeated Big E to become the Intercontinental Championship. He was also the favourite to win that years Money in the Bank contract, until an injury took him out of the match and put on the shelf for nearly a year. Seth Rollins eventually won what should have been his and became WWE Champion, something the Englishman never achieved.

When Wade Barrett returned later that year, he was never the same. Wanting him to be a bad guy, WWE had him stop doing the gimmick that made him popular. Fans were confused why he wasn’t the same Barrett they grew to love and soon began to give him no reactions – a death knell in wrestling. A brief run as part of the League of Nations was disastrous and he requested his release in 2016, which was granted by Vince McMahon.

He recently returned as a commentator for WWE, first as part of NXT (now it’s own wrestling promotion and not a game show) and then on the Smackdown announce team. Still well within the age of wrestling and still in great shape, fans are hoping that he will follow in the steps of fellow commentator Pat McAfee and wrestle in a big-money match, hopefully at the 2023 Royal Rumble as surprise entrant.

But in a recent BT Sport interview, Wade Barrett opened up on a return to the ring. He confirmed that he is still in shape to perform in the ring and that he would consider it if the right situation were to present itself. However, he reiterated that he is not actively looking for a way to come back to wrestling and is content in his current role.

“Yeah, I can still move. I can still lift. My body is feeling good. I’ve always said that I’m in good shape, I’m healthy, and if the right opportunity presents itself at my door, then maybe we’ll see Wade Barrett return in the ring one day.

I’m not chasing anything. Sometimes guys start floating ideas out because they secretly want to get back into the ring. I love my gig in NXT. I love commentating. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, so I don’t have some sort of strange itch I’m trying to desperately scratch.

“But, with that being said, I don’t think you ever really retire when you’re a wrestler. So if the right opportunity presents itself at the right time, then, yeah, we might see me back in the ring at some point.”

Wade Barrett’s last match was in 2016, when he teamed with Sheamus to challenge the New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Before he retired, WWE considered to have Wade Barrett face The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and actually wanted him to end The Streak!

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