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Wade Barrett reveals why WWE scrapped his Bad News gimmick; Vince McMahon revamped the British star's character just as it was catching on.

Byline: Neil Docking

British wrestlerWade Barretthas revealed whyWWEpulled the plug on his Bad News Barrett gimmick - because it was too popular.

The 37-year-oldleft WWE by mutual consentin May 2016, after he chose not to sign a new contract with the company in August 2015.

Oddly, the five-time Intercontinental Champion had seemed on the cusp of something exciting just months before making that decision.

But just when the Bad News Barrett gimmick was really catching on with fans, Vince McMahon decided to pull the plug on the character.

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Barrett, from Preston, England, spoke toThe Buzzards Wrestling Podcast in association with Sportskeedaabout the baffling change in direction.

He said: "I was specifically told the reason I wasn't allowed to say my catchphrase 'I'm afraid I've got some bad news' anymore because it was getting a positive response and they wanted me to be a heel.

"I personally didn't agree with that philosophy. I felt 'look, if they are going to cheer for me, they like this, let's go with it. I've never been a babyface before, let's go with it.'

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"The decision was made above my paygrade that that wasn't going to be the case and then I was Bad News Barrett, a guy who didn't cut promos and wasn't giving out bad news.

"So that kind of instigated the transition into a completely different character and the King [of the Ring] run at that point.

"For me personally, like I say, I didn't agree with it, but it wasn't my decision to make ultimately."

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Barrett's wrestling career was blighted by injury problems and his time in WWE ended with a sense of 'what could have been'.

The 6ft 7in, near 18st bruiser, real name Stu Bennett, has since been concentrating on acting and other ventures.

However, he has now become the general manager of Newcastle-based Defiant Wrestling - formerly What Culture Pro Wrestling.

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The former King of the Ring said: "I'm excited to be doing different projects at the moment.

"I spent 14 years or so in the professional wrestling world, 10 years with WWE, where my exclusive life was just wrestling, wrestling, wrestling.

"So after 10 years of that, I was pretty burned out and it's nice for me to be doing other things at this point.

"I've been doing some acting, I've got a couple of movies coming out in 2018. I've just done a TV hosting gig with Netflix."

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Title Annotation:Sport,Other Sports,Wrestling
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2017
Words:478
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