In a surprising move, Wade Barrett returned to WWE to provide commentary for NXT back in August. Barrett had left WWE in 2016, saying he was burnt out with things, and dialed down his wrestling appearances, only doing personality and commentary work.
What began as a one-off in replacing Mauro Ranallo turned into a full-time gig for Barrett.
Speaking to The Gorilla Position, Barrett discussed his decision to return to NXT and take the commentary position.
"It really did come out of the blue," he began. "I had been working in various commentary roles for various companies outside of WWE since I left. I haven't really had much communication with WWE at all. We didn't end on bad terms, but I think I needed to get away from them and they were happy to let me have some time for myself. it was best for both of our sakes to be away from each other. The beginning of this year, I got a call from talent relations and they were talking to me about the ten-year anniversary of Nexus and maybe doing something for that. It didn't really appeal to me at the time, the pitch and idea they had, so I declined. A few months later, I was out of work, and I got a call from Tom Phillips and Michael Cole, talking to me about the possibility of working with them. I've always had a good relationship with those two. I liked the sound of it, I love doing commentary. Triple H and Williams Regal are in my chain of command and I've always gotten along great with them and have a lot of respect for them. When it was pitched to me, it was an easy decision to agree to that."
Barrett continued by recalling the conversations he had with WWE, saying, "I got a call in August and they were like, 'We think an opportunity is going to open up around November.' By November, I figured we would have a deal in place and I would start coming over to Orlando. Two days later, I get a phone call, 'Hey Stu, can you get on a flight tomorrow? We need you right now.' This is WWE for you. Very much out of the blue. Probably the easiest contract and job negotiation I've ever had because they knew when they wanted and I knew what I wanted and we aligned quickly."
Barrett said his schedule is much easier as a commentator as he only works once a week and he enjoys the people he's working with and the communication between them, saying it's much easier than when he was a full-time wrestler.
He also noted that he wasn't sure why that had stand-ins for him and Beth Phoenix at TakeOver 31.
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