Ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid I've got somebadnews...
Stuart Alexander Bennett (born August 10, 1980 in Preston, England) is an English bare knuckle boxer turned professional wrestler who debuted for NWA UK Hammerlock Wrestling in 2004 as Stu Sanders. Stu went on to work for Dropkixx Wrestling, Real Quality Wrestling and All Star Wrestling events, as well as the Welsh promotion creatively called Welsh Wrestling. Sanders would win the Dropkixx IWC Heavyweight Championship as he moved through the UK scene.In 2006, Sanders got a developmental deal with WWE, who repackaged him as Lawrence Knight, though he is best known as the winner of the inaugural season of WWE NXT as 'Wade Barrett and, more importantly, as the original leader of what was shaping up to be one of Pro Wrestling's iconic Power Stables, The Nexus (so that didn't exactly workout). After defeating Big E Langston at Extreme Rules 2014, he is a four-time Intercontinental Champion.He began appearing on WWE programming as Bad News Barrett in late 2013, a figure standing at a podium who serves to inform the wrestlers and/or the audience of whatever poor fortune they're about to experience. He returned to the ring in spring 2014, winning a tournament to earn the right to (successfully) challenge for his fourth Intercontinental championship; unfortunately, a separated shoulder, putting him on the shelf for months, stopped his momentum.
Can These Tropes Have a Bit Of Decorum, Please?:
Aborted Arc: His feud with Bo Dallas. Dallas eliminated him in the Royal Rumble, beat him on Raw the following night, they had a couple of confrontations backstage, and then his character disappears into development(al) hell. Barrett didn't get his win back until April 24, 2013 on WWE NXT, which was unwatchable at the time if you don't have a Hulu+ subscription.
A Father to His Men —> It's All About Me: If Wade approaches you about forming a unit and he promises you equal status with him, do not listen. He'll appear to be all for equalism at first, but in truth his biggest flaw is that he just cannot give a flip about anyone but himself. He got kicked out of Nexus and the Corre was disbanded because of it.
Details. Seemed at first to genuinely care about the welfare of the other Nexus members, risking his own contract and title shot to secure contracts for them, but this eventually came to only apply if you were loyal to him and lived up to his standards. Darren Young and Michael Tarver were obvious weak links, and were brutally excommunicated for their trouble. David Otunga fancied himself The Starscream and was forced to lay down and surrender the tag titles to Gabriel and Slater. Also, Barrett was prepared to let the other Nexus members all keep falling victim to sneak attacks rather than bring John Cena back…until they made it clear they would desert him for it. Thus began his Humiliation Conga.
The same pattern repeated itself with the Corre. He was again the main speaker for the team, but he seemed to have accepted that it wasn't all about him, even going out of his way to declare his fellow Corre members his equals. But then a world heavyweight championship battle royal came into play with all four members as participants, and Barrett fell right back into the same old habit starting from there. You'd think he'd know better, but at this point he just doesn't freaking care.
It's lampshaded in the new theme he started using, too.
Arch-Enemy: At first, the WWE management due to how they were treated during NXT, then John Cena and Randy Orton. Kofi Kingston, of whom he managed to get the IC title from twice. Bo Dallas looked to be, but that appears to have been dropped in favor of The Miz.
Audience Surrogate: He was supposed to be a heel as Bad News Barret but got a lot of support from the crowd when he predicted The Miz vs Brodus Clay to be "the worst match of all time" and told Brodus to go back to his dancing gimmick because he was boring without it.
Boring, but Practical: His new finisher is essentially an elbow to the face, which, of course, in Real Life, can legitimately knock someone unconscious. And the shortened version (without the wrist lock transition) can be hit suddenly and used as a counterattack, resulting in some Didn't See That Coming ends to his matches.
Break the Haughty: Once he got carried away in wanting the WWE Championship and torturing Cena to get it, to the point of making the Nexus become all about him and forgetting all the aspects that made the group synonymous with its theme song, he ended up gradually but certainly losing the Nexus - to the point he found himself reaching to CM Punk for help in keeping them. CM Punk, by the way, who showed a clear intention to replace him. Naturally this didn't end well for Mr. Barrett.
He seemed to have learned his lesson, however, as he ushered in the Corre, but claims he's not even taking a leadership position in that group. But then came the #1 contender battle royal on April 15th. He was the first Corre member to declare that the others would be helping him win that night, and just went on to become more monolithic to the point of alienating Jackson, who he had violently expelled rather than let walk away, then Slater and Gabriel as well. The latter two ended the Corre then and there.
Brutal Honesty: As Bad News Barrett. He would pop up at the end of the JBL and Cole Show, telling someone something rather obvious. For example he first tells Hornswoggle that the shows ending and that he doesn't have any more airtime.
Catch Phrase: "Can I have some decorum, please." "I'm afraid I've got some Bad News."
Characterization Marches On: When he first appeared he was a cynical, greedy, charismatic British thug, now he's become a scheming, manipulative, brutal war leader.
Inverted during a 7/29/11 promo on Smackdown where he said that he had come to the United States to make a lot of money, but had gotten sidetracked in the past 12 months. He announced that we were going to see a return of basics for Wade Barret, stating that greed is terribly underrated.
Demoted to Extra: The man went from being a major threat with The Nexus on Raw and The Corre on Smackdown, to having a brief feud with Daniel Bryan, to not appear on television much at all. Then after appearing somewhat frequently on television as a midcarder, he vanished for no explicable reason before reappearing under the name Bad News Barrett & going months without a match as he spent most of his TV time giving people telling the crowds why they sucked.
Establishing Character Moment: Maybe more of a 're'-establishing character moment, but the promo where he talked about getting "back to basics" and stated that "greed is terribly underrated" definitely counts.
Evil Brit: In a subversion though, he claims that most people are truly evil and despises society for trying to be otherwise, even himself during the periods he tried to be otherwise.
Evil Versus Evil: He's had a beef with Fandango in the past couple of weeks, resulting in a triple threat match (along with The Miz) for the Intercontinental Title at the upcoming WWE Payback. That is, until Fandango suffered a concussion and was replaced by Curtis Axel
Against CM Punk for control of the Nexus and the against Cm Punk's new Nexus after forming the Corre.
Expy: His English background, powerfully built body, natural villainous charisma, and 'gentleman brawler' persona make him a near-dead ringer for a young William Regal.
Finishing Move: The Wasteland, a modified rolling fireman's carry. He briefly went with a spinning side slam called the Winds of Change. Upon his return from injury, his finisher's an arm wrench transitioned into a forearm smash to the face called the Bull Hammer.
Game-Breaking Injury: In February of 2012 he partially dislocated his elbow, and was out for several months, then in June of 2014 he separated his shoulder, and due to him having to be out for several months due to surgery, he had to vacate his IC title.
Genius Bruiser: Has a degree in Marine Biology and spent his youth as a bare knuckle boxer.
Genre Savvy: In his NXT introduction video he basically gives a detailed description on the giant trope and explains why it will always be successful. Kevin Nash argues that Wade Barret is too small to be a giant though.
Glass Cannon: Big. Hits hard. Seems to come up injured on a regular basis.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Heath Slater claimed Wade was an obvious thug because of his scar and broken nose, which is a little harsh considering that nose came from just earning a living boxing and that scare came from someone attempting to mug him of that living wage.
Groin Attack: Went through a pretty rough series of them on the 3-25-13 Raw. After being dim enough to interrupt Triple H's exit, Trips fairly non-nonchalantly kicked him as hard as he could right in the plums (Wade's choice of words.) Next, he had to wrestle a match against The Miz, who used this to his advantage, starting the match with an Inverted Atomic Drop. The match finally ended after Wade went for a kick that left him strung out over the top rope, his third Groin Attack of the night.
I Did What I Had to Do: Feels completely justified doing what he did to get himself and the rest of the rookies contracts.
Informed Ability: Played with. Anytime one of the announcers mentions his backstory, they'll usually mention that he was a bareknuckle fighter in Britain. But Barrett's wrestling style seems to involve a lot of power moves as opposed to the strikes and punches you think you would see.
Now averted. Upon his return, he's become almost exclusively a striker.
Insistent Terminology: A possible inversion. He insisted on not being called the leader of The Corre, as it was an alliance of "four equals." Unfortunately, his It's All About Me attitude led to the Corre splitting.
The Kid with the Remote Control: Between Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series in 2010, John Cena had to obey Wade's orders to remain employed. This seemed at first like heaven for Barrett, Nexus, and smarks worldwide alike. But then it workedout terribly.
Noble Demon: As leader of the Nexus, who was basically tearing up and beating people down because he could not do it to the WWE management directly. He even apologized for attacking John Cena and Bret Hart. Later when he was in the Corre he claimed they were only attacking powerful people like The Big Show because they respected them and would not be attacking weaklings.
Put on a Bus: He was out for seven months after suffering a partially dislocated elbow in February of 2012. This really killed his momentum and a potential push, since it was rumored at the time that the Money in the Bank ladder match was to move back to WrestleMania and had Barrett slated as the winner. His injury caused the match to be scrapped and was eventually replaced by the GM vs. GM match between John Laurinaitis and Teddy Long. Barrett hasn't been able to regain his lost momentum since.
The Rival: Sheamus O'Shaunessy, all over the Island. Then Stu Sanders got signed by WWE, only to find Sheamus beat him to the active roster.
Running Gag: Every year at the time of the Royal Rumble, Barrett tweets that Papa Shango is a returning entrant in the Rumble match.
Satisfied Street Rat: His first gimmick on NXT, he was a greedy, bare-knuckle brawler who grew up rough and was damn proud of it. Also a bit of a William Regal Expy.
Shades of this character still exist. Particularly his greed. This eventually ended any chance of his successfully leading Nexus or Corre, to which he simply responded that he was getting "back to basics".
Serial Escalation: Initially did his Bad New Barrett segments behind a ring-side podium, but now he does them on a decorated scissor-lift 20-feet above the stage.
Small Name, Big Ego: Gained a huge ego after having a bit part in "Dead Man Down", starring Colin Farrell, even saying he's a bigger star than The Miz, who was the starring in his movie The Marine 3. Granted, Dead Man Down opened in theaters and had a decent opening weekend, while Miz movie was released on DVD/Blue Ray.
Smug Snake: With the exception of his leadership roles during the Nexus and the Corre, Wade Barret has never been as threatening or successful as he believes himself to be. This was most apparent when Vince McMahon was sending him after Daniel Bryan.
Sore Loser: After being eliminated by Bo Dallas, a WWE NXT rookie who been given an opportunity to take part in the Royal Rumble, he returns to eliminate Dallas, and on top of that, gives him a Bull Hammer.
Still The Leader: Said this pretty much verbatim after CM Punk took over The Nexus. Punk would respond to this by costing him a shot at The Miz's WWE championship—and ripping Barrett's Nexus armband off as an exclamation point.
Tall, Dark and Snarky: From NXT onward, though he initially tried to suck up to Chris Jericho only to be encouraged down this path. The bad news gimmick even comes with a giant podium so he can look even further down on everyone while he makes jokes at their expense.
Then, after both of his Power Stables split, he was relegated to the mid-card again for a few months. Ever since he started the "Barrett Barrage", though, he's been running roughshod over most of his competition - including tossing Randy Orton off a staircase.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: On the NXT Season finale, he and David Otunga had 60 seconds to deliver one of these speeches to the other. Otunga would spend that time making fun of Wade's appearance, specifically his lanky body and crooked nose. Wade would deliver an epic retort centering on David's inability to wrestle, stating that The Great Khali moves around with more balance and poise than Otunga does. He would then cap off the rant blasting Otunga's "It-Factor" tag line stating that the only reason WWE promoted that is because he had absolutely no tangible qualities whatsoever, and that he could add two more letters in front of it to understand what Wade really thought of Otunga.
Pretty much the essence of the "Bad News Barrett" gimmick.
Turns Red/Limit Break: A literal instance of this trope when he's about to use his Bull Hammer elbow - or, rather, he pulls his elbow pad back and/or turns it inside-out, revealing a bright red elbow pad.
Underwear of Power: He seems to be the WWE Superstar who wears those tighties ALL THE TIME. Even during backstage segments. However, he does wear a formal type of clothing whenever he is on the commentary.
In an interview with WWE Magazine, he said he prefers trunks because that's what guys like Steve Austin & The Rock wore.
Villainous Valor: Perhaps. As opposed to the Dirty Cowards that most heels are portrayed as (even when it doesn't make much sense), Wade doesn't back down from enemies and has gotten the vast majority of his post-Power Stable wins clean. When a guy can go toe-to-toe in a brawl against a pissed-off Randy Orton and take him down, that guy must be credited for some serious Brass Balls.
We Used to Be Friends: This comes in a lot when he faces off against a former fellow from The Nexus (or, by extension, the Corre) note Justin Gabriel or Daniel Bryan - which seems to happen fairly often. The Three Month Rule is put to rest for a moment as one of the announcers (if not Barrett himself) will reference his and his opponent's time in one of those stables together.
Wrestling Doesn't Pay: Downplayed - it's not really part of his gimmick so much, but apparently he's become a barber in his in-universe free time, as evidenced by Cody Rhodes paying him to get rid of Cody's mustache as well as Vince Mcmahon himself hiring Barrett to (at least attempt to) take care of Daniel Bryan's beard (and the word 'beard' doesn't quite do it justice) in order to give Bryan a more corporate look. (This backfired on Barrett spectacularly, by the way.)
Xanatos Gambit: Positioned John Cena as special guest referee in his title match against Randy Orton. If Barrett leaves as champion, Cena's freed from Nexus. If Orton does, Cena is fired.
However, Cena Out-Gambitted him. Orton won and Cena was fired, but that merely allowed Cena to assault Nexus on a weekly basis. On top of that, Nexus already turned the security against them and when it looked like Cena was cornered by Barrett's trap, Cena revealed he had an army of RAW superstars who hated Nexus as much as him ready to help him out. Then Cena proceeded to set up a The Dog Bites Back moment by tricking Barrett into pretty much saying he valued his own safety over that of Nexus, causing them to abandon him to Cena and force Barrett to hire Cena back.