Former WWE superstar and current NWA commentator Stu Bennett (fka Wade “Bad News” Barrett) was a recent guest on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast to talk all things pro-wrestling. During the interview, Bennett recalls WWE offering him a new contract in the middle of 2016, an offer he turned down due to his negative feelings towards the company.
I left [the WWE] around April or May of 2016. I told them that my contract was coming up, and I told them that I wasn’t re-signing. They tried to make a couple of offers, and I told them ‘It doesn’t matter what you offer me, I need to leave. I f–king hate it here.’ I loved my job until, probably, the end of 2014, beginning of 2015. I did some exciting things and some not so exciting things…I thought if I kept improving my physique, and I got ripped, that’ll convince them. Maybe, I need a catchphrase. Maybe, I need a t-shirt that’ll be a big sell. Maybe, I need to do more with my in-ring skills. There was always something in my head like I can improve this and I can improve that.
By the time I got to 2015, I was sliding down the card. I was getting opportunities that I thought were kind of wasted. Like, I became the King of the Ring, which sounds like it should be impressive, but what it was followed up with was zero rises. It was like ‘What are we going to do with these guys today? Ah, just have them wrestle for three minutes, and have this guy [Stu] go over…’ Suddenly, after putting in all that effort, I had to climb up the card and get to where I wanted to be. It wasn’t rewarding, to say the least. It was a realization that it didn’t matter what I was doing there, I’m just waiting for one man to give me the thumbs up or thumbs down. I’m spending my whole career waiting and hoping that I get a thumbs up.
The 39-year old veteran does state that he appreciated WWE’s generosity, especially when receiving payment for his appearances in the 2K video games.
I thought they made a mistake when they sent me my first video game check. The money they were paying back then, is less than they’re paying them now. But back then, it was crazy money. Like, I thought they genuinely made a mistake, and I didn’t know what to do. But, when you start getting these checks, and you’ve had nothing, ever, and you’re struggling… getting these checks was a big deal.
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