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FCW Sunshine: Wade Barrett



Topic/Subject: Today, I will be showing a promo that involves a English wrestler.

Wrestler: “The Bare Knuckle Fighter” Wade Barrett (Bad News Barrett/King Barrett/Stu Sanders).

Background Information: Wade Barrett is billed from Preston, England. He decided to become a professional wrestler at the age of 21 and was trained by Jon Richie and Al Snow.

He made his professional wrestling debut in June 2004, using the ring name Stu Sanders, as a surprise entrant in a 30-man battle royal held by NWA UK Hammerlock Wrestling. He also performed at numerous Dropkixx Wrestling and All Star Wrestling (ASW) events, as well as wrestling in Wales for Welsh Wrestling.

He participated in a tryout with WWE in 2007, and signed a developmental contract with them in October. He was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) under his Stu Sanders ring name, where he was defeated by Ace Steel in a dark match. He later formed a tag team with Paul Burchill and the pair faced the Major Brothers in several matches.

Throughout his OVW career, he became a OVW Southern Tag Team Champion. He continued to compete for OVW until WWE ended their relationship with OVW.

After WWE ended their relationship with OVW as a developmental territory, he was moved to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) with several other wrestlers.

On May 6, 2008, he and Drew McIntyre formed a tag team known as The Empire. After teaming with Drew McIntyre for a few months, the team broke up and he began wrestling under his real name before changing it to Lawrence Knight.

On February 19, 2009, he announced that he was the new FCW commentator, alongside Dusty Rhodes. He became color commentator due to an injury, in which he tore his latissimus dorsi muscle and required surgery.

In August 2009, he was renamed yet again to Wade Barrett, partially named for Wade Dooley. He describes the character of Barrett as being an extension of his dark side. He returned to in-ring competition in FCW in December 2009.

Throughout his FCW career, he became a Florida Tag Team Champion. He competed in FCW until he was moved up to the main roster.

It was announced on February 16, 2010, that he would be competing on the first season of WWE NXT, with Chris Jericho as his storyline mentor. His first appearance for NXT was on the inaugural episode of NXT on February, 23, 2010, when he acted as Jericho’s ring announcer.

He made his in-ring debut on the following episode of NXT, defeating Daniel Bryan. On April 13, 2010, on an episode of NXT, he won the talk the talk challenge and was awarded his own custom made entrance theme.

On May 11, 2010, he was ranked in first place in the Pros Poll. On June 1, 2010, on an episode of NXT, he won the overall competition, and a WWE contract, by defeating David Otunga and Justin Gabriel in the season finale.

On June 7, 2010, on an episode of Raw, he was at the forefront of an attack by the NXT rookies, as they interfered in the main event match between John Cena and CM Punk, attacking both competitors, the Straight Edge Society, the announce team, the timekeeper and the ring announcer, before they destroyed the ring area and surrounding equipment.

On the next episode of Raw, he and the other rookies (minus Daniel Bryan) demanded full-time contracts from Raw General Manager Bret Hart, who instead fired him and had the rookies removed from the building. Later in the show, the rookies attacked Hart and gave him until the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view to decide on their contracts. At Fatal 4-Way, the rookies interfered in the main event for the WWE Championship, costing John Cena the championship in the process.

The following night on Raw, Vince McMahon fired Hart and announced that a new anonymous General Manager had been hired and the seven rookies received WWE contracts. The group of rookies continued their path of disrupting main events, as they attacked both Cena and McMahon, who had been acting as the referee. The following week, the group was named The Nexus.

He received his guaranteed championship match from winning NXT at Night of Champions, where he was unsuccessful in a six-pack challenge match for the WWE Championship, despite eliminating Cena. The feud between Cena and the Nexus continued at Hell in a Cell on October 3, 2010, when he defeated Cena to force Cena to become a member of the Nexus.

At Survivor Series, he was unsuccessful in winning the WWE Championship from Orton after Cena pushed him into an RKO by Orton. Cena was fired as per the match stipulation after Survivor Series.

Due to Cena’s interference, he received a rematch for the championship the following night on Raw, but was attacked by the fired Cena, costing him the match. After Cena attacked several members of the Nexus over the next few weeks, they demanded that he re-instate him, or be exiled from the group. On December 13, 2010, on an episode of Raw, he agreed and rehired Cena. As a condition of his rehiring, Cena had to face him in a Chairs match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, which he lost.

He made his first appearance since the TLC pay-per-view on January 3, 2011, on an episode of Raw, where he confronted CM Punk, who had taken over the leadership of the Nexus in his absence.

Punk gave him the opportunity to regain the leadership, stating that if he won a three-way steel cage match involving Orton, Sheamus and him to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship, Punk would give up the leadership. However, during the match, Punk came down to ringside, attacked him as he was about to win and took off his Nexus armband, symbolically removing him from the Nexus. He went on to lose the match.

At the television tapings of January 7, 2011, on an episode of SmackDown the next day, he made his SmackDown debut by attacking The Big Show.

The following week he was joined by Ezekiel Jackson and his former Nexus stablemates Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, who had left the group the previous Monday. The following week the group was named The Corre.

On June 10, 2011, on an episode of SmackDown, The Corre dissolved after him fleeing from Jackson who walked out on Gabriel and Slater in a 6-man tag team match against Jackson and The Usos, causing them to lose the match.

On February 20, 2012, on an episode of Raw, he suffered an partially dislocated elbow after Big Show threw Dolph Ziggler onto him during a 10-man battle royal, and was thus taken off television.

In August 2012, WWE aired vignettes promoting his return, showing Barrett fighting at an underground fight club in an attempt to reignite the flame. He made his return on September 7, 2012, on an episode of SmackDown, quickly defeating Yoshi Tatsu in a squash match.

After a period of absence from WWE television due to legitimate work visa issues, he was repackaged by WWE as Bad News Barrett on December 2, 2013, on an episode of Raw, a persona he had assumed on the The JBL and Cole Show; in which he would instill bad news upon the WWE Universe, usually from a heightened podium.

On Monday Night RAW after Extreme Rules, he defeated Dolph Ziggler to advance to the semi-finals of the 2015 King of the Ring tournament.

Throughout his WWE career, he won Season 1 of NXT, became a 5x WWE Intercontinental Champion, won the 2014 WWE Intercontinental #1 Contender’s Tournament, won a 2010 Slammy Award, and won the 2015 King of the Ring Tournament. He was released from his WWE contract on May 6, 2016.

Following his release, he stated that since he chose not to sign a new contract with WWE in August 2015, his contract was supposed to end in June 2016, but he and WWE agreed to an earlier parting of ways. He planned to take a break from the wrestling industry, but said he would be back in the ring when the time is right.


Before becoming a professional wrestler, he was a bareknuckle boxer while living in Liverpool. Bennett has a degree in marine biology from University of Liverpool. He worked in a science laboratory and later as a Recruitment Consultant at Venn Group’s London Office, whilst training to become a wrestler.

My Thoughts: Wade Barrett is a very talented wrestler. He has an excellent look, he has a great presence about him in and outside of the ring, he has a great character, excellent charisma, and is a good in-ring wrestler. I’m afraid I have some bad news!

Video: This video contains a promo between Wade Barrett, Michael Tarver, and Norman Smiley in early 2010.

My Thoughts: This was a good promo segment between all three men as I thought Wade Barrett was the star of this promo segment.

Wade Barrett talks about how he left the commentary table because of a call as he was ordered to take out Justin Angel so he can have more money, become Florida Heavyweight Champion, and end Justin Angel’s career. I like how Wade Barrett will do everything in his power in order to get what he wants because he is a man that wants money and power.

As he was about to continue, Michael Tarver interrupted him and the interaction between him and Michael Tarver was good as even Wade Barrett got the upper hand on Michael Tarver stating that Michael Tarver was at the wrong place at the wrong time because he wants Justin Angel to get more money and to get the Florida Heavyweight Championship. This continued the character development of Wade Barrett here.

As a result, this led to Norman Smiley coming down to the ring and he confronted Michael Tarver and Wade Barrett. I like how when Norman Smiley was talking to Wade Barrett, Wade Barrett gave him a smug which shows even more character from Wade Barrett here. Eventually, this all led up to a fatal four way #1 Contender match for the Florida Heavyweight Championship as both Wade Barrett and Michael Tarver stared at each other.

I like how Wade Barrett wasn’t afraid to go face to face against Michael Tarver with the stare down which is nice to see. It shows you that he is not afraid to take on anyone which a lot of heels don’t tend to do these days so that was great to see. Good promo segment where Wade Barrett shined a lot in this segment.

It’s a shame that Wade Barrett never became a main eventer and a world champion in WWE as he has all the tools that Vince McMahon would like as a main eventer and world champion in WWE. However, with him being injury proned, I can understand why they may be hesitant on making him world champion as he might get injured very quickly.

Despite that, I don’t see any other reason why Wade Barrett couldn’t be a main eventer and a world champion in WWE as he could have been a great world champion and main eventer for them.

Also, during the summer of 2015, it was rumored that he would leave WWE once his contract expired because he doesn’t like the direction he was going in WWE. Eventually, that came true as he got his release from WWE.

However, I do not blame Wade Barrett one bit for leaving WWE because despite the injuries he had, WWE found a way to always ruin his momentum. Whether it’s him being in the Nexus, him being “The Bare Knuckle Fighter”, Bad News Barrett, or King Barrett, the momentum he starts to get momentum, he loses it because of WWE’s booking of him.

It’s so frustrating to see a man so talented in Wade Barrett to not get a fair shot in WWE as he could be a great star for them and could have been the first English wrestler to the win the world championship in WWE. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as once people start to care about Wade Barrett and once he got over with the audience, WWE stopped his momentum and he has never recovered from it.

It seems like he’ll be out of wrestling for the time being as he’ll be going into the movie industry. I wish Wade Barrett luck as I think he can be a great actor. However, he did say that he will get back in the ring when the time is right. Whether it’s acting or wrestling, I wish him the best of luck as he’s a very talented individual. I’m afraid I have some bad news! Wade Barrett is going to be a future star on what he does whether it’s acting or wrestling! Thank you very much!

After watching the video, give me your thoughts on the video or the wrestler himself. Thank you.

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