The NXT Interview: Wade Barrett
NXT Rookie Wade Barrett has proven to be a dominant force with a strong drive to become WWE's new breakout Superstar. He recently won WWE NXT's Talk the Talk Challenge, impressing the WWE Universe in the United Kingdom with his eloquent speaking skills. And while he ranked No. 2 in the first Pros' Poll, the British bareknuckle brawler hasn't exactly won over the WWE Universe everywhere, as he ranked No. 5 in the WWE.com poll. How does Barrett plan to become No. 1 in the eyes of the WWE Pros and the WWE Universe? England's toughest NXT Rookie tells WWE.com how he'll get to the top.
WWE.com: Congratulations on your win in the Talk the Talk Challenge on WWE NXT. Why do you think the WWE Universe in London picked you as the winner?
BARRETT: Well I think that it was quite clear that my intellect was way above the other seven NXT Rookies. Their answers generally were either boring or didn't even relate to the topic. I was able to think laterally and give concise, coherent answers to the subjects that I was given.
WWE.com: How did you come up with the "winds of change" answer so quickly?
BARRETT: With my intellect, I'm somebody who can think fast, think on my feet and can think under pressure. I think that showed in the answers that I gave on the topic of "wind," and I think that's going to be something that holds me in good stead when it comes to my future career in WWE.
WWE.com: By winning the challenge last Tuesday night, you earned the chance to get your own entrance music. Tell the WWE Universe about the theme song you'd like to have.
BARRETT: I'm still in discussions with my mentor, WWE Pro Chris Jericho, about that. Obviously he's a musical maestro himself. He's a member of the great band, Fozzy, so I'm having a chat with him about that and we're still working to come up with something definitive.
WWE.com: The WWE Pros ranked you No. 2 recently, which is quite an achievement. Why do you think you ranked so high among the Superstars?
BARRETT: I actually take a slightly different stand on that. I'm actually not entirely happy at the fact that I was ranked No. 2. I think second place is the first loser in the competition. Wade Barrett is a lot of things, but he certainly is not a loser. I can't, for the life of me, think of why I wasn't No. 1. I beat Daniel Bryan in week two of WWE NXT in less than three minutes. I think week in and week out, I've been the most impressive NXT Rookie and I think next time there's a Pros' Poll, I think we can almost be certain that I'm going to be No. 1.
WWE.com: We know the Pros' Poll isn't solely based on win-loss records, but you're 4-4, and Daniel Bryan, who is ranked No. 1, is 0-8. Why do you think he is on top even though he's winless?
BARRETT: Well I think I've been doing pretty well with my matches against WWE Pros, like Christian, and in the Eight-Man Tag that we had a couple of weeks ago. I also destroyed the other seven NXT Rookies in the Talk the Talk Challenge, and I think that's going to go a long way to prove to the WWE Pros that I should have been No. 1, and not Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan continued his losing streak on NXT.
Really, I'm absolutely baffled. I'm not one to throw allegations around, but perhaps there's been some sort of money changing hands. Perhaps people have been paid off. I'm not sure. But to me it just makes no sense whatsoever. I can assure you that Chris Jericho certainly didn't vote for Daniel Bryan as No. 1.
WWE.com: The WWE Universe ranked you No. 5 in the WWE.com poll. Why do you think they ranked you in the second half of the pack?
BARRETT: Well I suggest that the WWE Universe tends to go for people who say the right things, like NXT Rookies Justin Gabriel or Daniel Bryan. I think they ranked pretty high in the WWE.com poll. I'm not a terribly popular person in life. I can handle that. I'm quite happy with that. I think if I met myself in the street, I probably wouldn't like me either. But the fact that I'm not a likable person shouldn't reflect on my standing in polls. I think that the WWE Universe needs to take a step back and look at who's actually the quality candidate on WWE NXT, and I think they will find that that's Wade Barrett.
WWE.com: How has your relationship with your WWE Pro, Chris Jericho, been lately?
BARRETT: It's been very good. We've got what I would call a business relationship. We're not so much friends, and we're not mates. We don't hang out together or go to the pub together; it's not anything like that. It's purely a business relationship where I'm learning from the "best in the world at what he does." And I'm sure in the future there's going to be payback where I'm able to back him up and help him out and return the many favors that he's given me at the moment.
WWE.com: What has Jericho taught you throughout the last eight weeks?
BARRETT: Well he's taught me a lot about the quality and need to become the best in the world at what you do. Whether it's your presentation, your in-ring skills, your mental abilities, your verbal abilities, you really have to aim to be No. 1, and there's no area that you can afford to slip up on. So I think it's the fact that you need to be good at everything, rather then some of the other NXT Rookies, who may be good at technical or aerial skills, but are weak in other areas. I think that I'm pretty strong in every single aspect of being a Superstar, and a lot of that's coming from Chris.
WWE.com: Who is your biggest competition on WWE NXT?
BARRETT: As of right now, I'd say it'd have to be Daniel Bryan. I've already mentioned in this interview that I can't even understand why he was voted No. 1 in the first Pros' Poll and I was voted No. 2. That obviously means he's the one to beat, but like I say, I'm not sure why he's up there, but I think next time there is a Pros' Poll I will be the clear winner.
WWE.com: Who would you like to face next?
BARRETT: That's a good question. I'm very interested in facing NXT Rookie Heath Slater in some fashion. I'm sure you saw on NXT, he needlessly got involved in my match with Christian and he cost me the victory. He stuck his nose in where it didn't belong and cheated me out of my first singles win against a WWE Pro. Believe me, there's going to be some payback for that down the line.
WWE.com: If you won the WWE NXT competition today, which championship would you go after?
BARRETT: I would probably be going after either the WWE Title or the World Heavyweight Title. I want to aim at the top, but I'll be taking some advice from Chris Jericho before I make any moves like that. But I'm here to be the best, to make myself a lot of money. The way you make money is getting to the top of the list. If you want to be guaranteed a top of the bill performer, you need the Heavyweight Title, and that's what I'm going to be hoping for.
WWE.com: Tell the WWE Universe more about your trademark English roses you wear on your lapel.
BARRETT: The rose is something I've been wearing for a long time. Back in my bareknuckle fighting days it was something that I wore. I think it adds an element of class to me. I'm a classy individual. I'm an intellectual individual. I've always liked to dress in a classy way and it also reflects the mood I'm in on any particular day. A lot of people don't realize that different colored roses have different meanings. So whatever rose I'm wearing on that day reflects the type of mood I'm in.
WWE.com: Do you have anything you'd like to say to the WWE Universe?
BARRETT: I would tell them to keep watching WWE NXT. I think we've got another nine or 10 weeks left, but every single week, the show is getting better. I think that they're going to find that by the end of this, Wade Barrett is going to be their next WWE Superstar.