Former WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion Wade Barrett recently returned to WWE television to work as a part-time color commentator for NXT. But on Wednesday Barrett broke the news in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso that he has officially signed a contract with the company that will have him working as a commentator full-time. Barrett, real name Stu Bennett, told the outlet that he's now on a one-year deal but hopes to stick around for much longer. He said, "I hope this lasts for a long time, that's our intent. So there is no bad news to share, but never forget, there is always a little bad news up my sleeve."
The news comes just a few weeks after play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo confirmed he was leaving the company. The NXT broadcast team will now consist of Vic Joseph, Barrett and Beth Phoenix.
"Our aim is to be different, a little more unique than the other WWE programming," Barrett said "We don't want to be a carbon copy of what you hear on Raw or SmackDown. I've known Beth for years, and she is incredibly talented, and I am just getting to know Vic. I'm excited to learn from and work with both of them, and I'm really excited to develop this into a really tight unit."
Barrett's history with the brand traces all the way back to 2010, back when NXT was a competition show for potential new stars. He won the first season of the show, then lead the rest of the Season 1 cast as the Nexus faction.
"This isn't a developmental brand," Barrett said, listing which wrestlers on the current NXT roster are his favorite to watch. "I've followed the careers of The Undisputed Era, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, and Rhea Ripley for a long time. There are so many up-and-comers, and NXT is a destination where you can see people turn into stars. Bronson Reed is a powerhouse and reminds me of a young Mark Henry. Coming from England, I might be a bit biased, but I can't wait to see Ridge Holland's rise into a megastar. He has all the potential in the world.
"I'm also especially excited to call Shotzi Blackheart on a weekly basis," he added. She is going to be a massive star. The opening match-up tonight between Shotzi and Io Shirai will be fantastic, so make sure to get there nice and early to watch."