Wade Barrett has spoken on how he feels a move from the black and gold era to NXT 2.0 was a necessity.
Having taken a step away from active competition in 2016, Wade Barrett returned to WWE in 2020 where he took up the position of colour commentator for NXT, a role which he has held since that point.
In a discussion on Busted Open Radio promoting the upcoming NXT Worlds Collide event, Wade Barrett opened up on how he found the transition from an in-ring performer to his duties at the commentary desk.
In terms of my transition from being an in ring guy to being a commentator, I think at the back of my head, I always knew I wanted to do commentary one day. So that’s probably part of it. I think I always felt it was something I really wanted to gravitate towards as I got older. The most difficult thing probably is accepting that you are no longer the star of the show.
As you know from your time in the ring, anytime you were on camera, anytime you got an opportunity, you wanted to pull as much of that spotlight towards you, and hang on to it and direct it in whatever way you can towards Tommy Dreamer, or for me towards Wade Barrett. You realise now when you’re on the commentary desk, it’s no longer about you. I’m a backing dancer for whatever talents are in the ring, Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Mandy Rose. It’s never about me anymore.
Anytime I’m talking about myself on the show, I’m trying to do it to bring in some experience from my career to explain what’s going on with these younger talents who are coming through now. So I had to accept that as soon as I decided to move on to the desk. This isn’t about me. I’m no longer the star. So that was a mental transition as much as anything else, and once I accepted that, the whole situation got a lot easier for me.
Whilst many didn’t approve of the transition NXT made from its black and gold brand era to NXT 2.0, Wade Barrett felt that the change was necessary for the brand to continue to evolve.
I would say it was a seismic shift when we went from the Black and Gold brand to NXT 2.0 about a year ago. I know it turned off a lot of our viewers. A lot of people who were fans of The Black and Gold era kind of felt slapped in the face maybe and there was such a jarring change to what we went to. I felt previously the Black and Gold era wasn’t really serving that traditional developmental show that we once had when I went through OVW or Florida Championship Wrestling. I
t was all about these young guys coming through, okay 12-18 months at most, and then you’re on your way. You’re gonna be off and running. I feel like Black and Gold, great TV show in its own right, great wrestling show, but it kind of morphed away from that. There was an element of the younger talent who were trying to break through not able to get those opportunities on the show and perhaps the roster at times was starting to get a little stale. It was the same faces for many years.
Great competitors in their own right, but I think the change was necessary, and now opened up a ton of opportunity for people like Carmelo Hayes, Tiffany Stratton, Bron Breakker to go out, develop, grow, and show what they can do and be the next generation of WWE stars who are going to be on Raw and SmackDown.
It was recently revealed that Wade Barrett has signed a new deal with WWE, extending his initial contract of two years.
With thanks to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.