Stuart Alexander "Stu" Bennett (born 10 August 1980) is an English professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE where he performs under the ring name Wade Barrett. He won the first season of NXT in 2010 and made his Raw debut in June of that year, rising to prominence as the leader of the Nexus, a villainous stable composed of the NXT contestants. Barrett headlined five WWE pay-per-view events during the remainder of 2010, challenging for the WWE Championship in three of those.
After moving to SmackDown in January 2011, Barrett formed a new stable known as The Corre, which included former Nexus members. He challenged for the World Heavyweight Championship at the 2011 WWE Elimination Chamber and won his first singles championship, the WWE Intercontinental Championship, in March. Prior to his WWE debut, Barrett competed in various independent promotions under his own name, and the ring names of Stu Sanders and Lawrence Knight.
Bennett was born in Penwortham and lived in Preston, Lancashire until the age of six, when he moved to Wales with his family. As a child, Bennett was a fan of "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith. Before becoming a professional wrestler, Bennett was a bareknuckle boxer while living in Liverpool. Bennett has a degree in marine biology from University of Liverpool. He worked in a science laboratory and later as a Recruitment Consultant at Venn Group's London Office, whilst training to become a wrestler.
Professional wrestling career
Bennett decided to become a professional wrestler at the age of 21, and was trained by Jon Ritchie and Al Snow. He made his professional wrestling debut in June 2004, using the ring name "Stu Sanders", as a surprise entrant in a 30-man battle royal held by NWA UK Hammerlock Wrestling. Sanders also performed at numerous Dropkixx Wrestling and All Star Wrestling events, as well as wrestling in Wales for Welsh Wrestling. In June 2005 he beat Jeffin Beckwith for the Dropkixx IWC Heavyweight Championship.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Development territories and NXT (2006–2010)
Bennett participated in a tryout with WWE in November 2006 after appearing as part of a security team on the November 13 episode of Raw along with Sheamus in Manchester, England. He had another tryout in 2007, and signed a developmental contract with them in October. He was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) under his Stu Sanders ring name, where he was defeated by Ace Steel in a dark match. He later formed a tag team with Paul Burchill and the pair faced the Major Brothers in several matches. On 2 January 2008 Sanders and Burchill defeated Colt Cabana and Charles Evans in the final of a tournament for the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship. Sanders and Burchill held the title for nearly two months before losing it to Los Locos (Ramón and Raúl) in a four-way match also involving The Insurgency (Ali and Omar Akbar) and The Mobile Homers (Ted McNaler and Adam Revolver).
After WWE ended their relationship with OVW as a developmental territory, Sanders was moved to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) with several other wrestlers. On 6 May 2008, Sanders and Drew McIntyre, collectively known as The Empire, defeated The Puerto Rican Nightmares (Eddie Colón and Eric Pérez) to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. They lost the titles back to the Nightmares at FCW's first TV taping on 17 July. The team broke up after the loss, and Sanders began wrestling under his real name before changing it to Lawrence Knight at the 9 October FCW television taping. On 19 February 2009, Knight announced that he was the new FCW commentator, alongside Dusty Rhodes. He became colour commentator due to an injury, in which he tore his Latissimus dorsi muscle and required surgery. In August 2009, Bennett was renamed yet again to Wade Barrett, partially named for Wade Dooley. Bennett describes the character of Barrett as being "an extension of his dark side". He returned to in-ring competition in FCW in December 2009.
It was announced on 16 February 2010 that Barrett would be competing on the first season of WWE NXT, with Chris Jericho as his storyline mentor. His first appearance for NXT was on the inaugural episode of NXT on 23 February, when he acted as Jericho's ring announcer. Barrett made his in-ring debut on the following episode of NXT, defeating Daniel Bryan. On the 13 April episode of NXT, Barrett won the "talk the talk" challenge and was awarded his own custom made entrance theme. On 11 May, Barrett was ranked in first place in the Pros Poll. On the 1 June episode of NXT, Barrett won the overall competition, and a WWE contract, by defeating David Otunga and Justin Gabriel in the season finale.
The Nexus and The Corre (2010–2011)
Main articles: The Nexus
and The Corre
Barrett in September 2010.
On the 7 June episode of Raw, Barrett was at the forefront of an attack by the NXT rookies, as they interfered in the main event match between John Cena and CM Punk, attacking both competitors, the Straight Edge Society, the announce team, the timekeeper and the ring announcer, before they destroyed the ring area and surrounding equipment. Cena in particular was heavily targeted by the rookies, who hit him with their finishing moves. On the next episode of Raw, Barrett and the other rookies (minus Daniel Bryan) demanded full-time contracts from Raw General Manager Bret Hart, who instead fired Barrett and had the rookies removed from the building. Later in the show the rookies attacked Hart and gave him until the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view to decide on their contracts. At Fatal 4-Way, the rookies interfered in the main event for the WWE Championship, costing John Cena the championship in the process. The following night on Raw, Vince McMahon fired Hart and announced that a new 'anonymous' General Manager had been hired and the seven rookies received WWE contracts. The group of rookies continued their path of disrupting main events, as they attacked both Cena and McMahon, who had been acting as the referee. The following week, the group was named The Nexus. That same week, Barrett was absent on Raw as his work visa had expired and he had to return to the United Kingdom to apply for a new one. With his visa situation cleared up, Barrett returned the following week. On the 12 July episode of Raw, the Nexus, sans Darren Young, competed in their first match together and defeated John Cena in a six–on–one handicap match. The following week, Barrett made his singles match debut on Raw by defeating Mark Henry. the Nexus continued to feud with Cena and the Raw roster, resulting in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match at SummerSlam. Barrett was the final member of the Nexus but submitted to Cena, causing the Nexus to lose the match. After Darren Young was exiled from the group and Skip Sheffield was injured, the Nexus faced Cena, Edge, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Jericho in a five-on-five elimination match on the 900th episode of Raw on 30 August. Barrett won the match for his team by last eliminating Orton.
Barrett received his guaranteed championship match from winning NXT at Night of Champions, where he was unsuccessful in a six-pack challenge match for the WWE Championship, despite eliminating Cena. The feud between Cena and the Nexus continued at Hell in a Cell on 3 October, when Barrett defeated Cena to force Cena to become a member of the Nexus. The following night on Raw, Barrett, with the help of the rest of the Nexus, won a battle royal to determine the number one contender to the WWE Championship, when Cena eliminated himself on Barrett's orders. Barrett received his championship match against Randy Orton at the Bragging Rights pay-per-view. After ordering Cena to help him win, Cena interfered in the match causing Barrett to win via disqualification, which meant that Orton retained the championship. The following night, Barrett was granted a rematch at the Survivor Series pay-per-view, and allowed to choose a guest referee. He chose Cena, stating that if Barrett won the match and the WWE Title, Cena would be allowed to leave the Nexus, but if Barrett failed to win the title, Cena would be fired. At Survivor Series, Barrett was unsuccessful in winning the WWE Championship from Orton after Cena pushed him into an RKO by Orton. Cena was fired as per the match stipulation after Survivor Series.
Due to Cena's interference, Barrett received a rematch for the championship the following night on Raw, but was attacked by the fired Cena, costing him the match. After Cena attacked several members of the Nexus over the next few weeks, they demanded that Barrett re-instate him, or be exiled from the group. On the 13 December episode of Raw, Barrett agreed and rehired Cena. As a condition of his rehiring, Cena had to face Barrett in a Chairs match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, which Barrett lost.
Barrett made his first appearance since the TLC pay-per-view on the 3 January 2011 episode of Raw, where he confronted CM Punk, who had taken over the leadership of the Nexus in his absence. Punk gave Barrett the opportunity to regain the leadership, stating that if he won a three-way steel cage match involving Orton, Sheamus and Barrett to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship, Punk would not only give up the leadership, but work for Barrett's Nexus. However, during the match, Punk came down to ringside, attacked Barrett as he was about to win and took off Barrett's Nexus armband, symbolically removing him from the Nexus. Barrett went on to lose the match.
At the television tapings of the 7 January episode of SmackDown the next day, Barrett made his SmackDown debut by attacking The Big Show. The following week he was joined by Ezekiel Jackson and his former Nexus stablemates Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, who had left the group the previous Monday, the group named themselves as the Corre. Barrett later qualified for the WWE Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship, but came up short after being the first man eliminated by The Big Show. On 22 March, at the tapings of the 25 March episode of SmackDown, Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. At WrestleMania XXVII, The Corre were defeated in an eight-man tag team match by the team of Kingston, The Big Show, Kane, and Santino Marella. Barrett went on to successfully defend his championship against Kingston on the 22 April episode of SmackDown. On the 6 May episode of SmackDown, Barrett, Gabriel, and Slater attacked Jackson, removing him from the group. On the 13 May episode of SmackDown, Barrett then challenged Jackson to a match for the Intercontinental Championship at the Over the Limit pay-per-view, and Jackson accepted. At the event, Gabriel and Slater attacked Jackson during the match, causing Barrett to lose by disqualification, but Barrett retained his Intercontinental Championship. He would then have to defend his Intercontinental Title against Jackson again on the 3 June episode of SmackDown. During the match, Jackson threw Barrett out of the ring, resulting in Barrett losing by countout, but Barrett still retained his Intercontinental Title as a title cannot change hands via countout. Barrett then instructed the Corre to attack Jackson, but then abandoned Gabriel and Slater, whom Jackson fended off. On the 10 June episode of SmackDown, The Corre dissolved after Barrett, fleeing from Jackson, walked out on Gabriel and Slater in a 6-man tag team match against Jackson and The Usos, causing them to lose the match.
The Barrett Barrage (2011–present)
At WWE Capitol Punishment, Barrett lost the Intercontinental Championship to Jackson. He invoked his rematch clause against Ezekiel Jackson for the Intercontinental Champion on the 24 June episode of SmackDown, but lost.
On the 1 July episode of SmackDown, Barrett was announced to be one of the participants for the SmackDown Money in the Bank match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, facing Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Sheamus, which was won by Bryan. On the 22 July episode of SmackDown, Barrett faced Sheamus and both men were counted out. The following week Wade Barrett came to talk about how he was deserved to be Mr. Money in the Bank, Daniel Bryan came out and put him in the LeBell Lock. The following week, he was at commentary during Bryan's match. On the following SmackDown, Barrett attacked Bryan after the latter's loss to Alberto Del Rio. At SummerSlam, Barrett defeated Bryan in a singles match. He then had a short feud with Sheamus, where he lost on three occasions. On September 23 episode of Smackdown, Barrett defeated another former Nexus and Corre teammate, Justin Gabriel.
Barrett addresses the fans.
On the October 21 episode of SmackDown held in Mexico, Barrett dismissed his past alliances with a "legion of parasites", claiming that the only person he needed for him to succeed was himself, and he vowed that the "Barrett Barrage" was beginning. Barrett followed this announcement by beating Daniel Bryan. The next week, he would obtain wins over John Morrison on Raw and Trent Barreta on SmackDown. Barrett's winning streak continued as he and Cody Rhodes defeated the WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) on the October 31 episode of Raw and the November 4 episode of SmackDown when he defeated Sheamus, following interference from Christian.
The following week, after being announced as the Team Captain for the Survivor Series against Team Orton, Barrett defeated Randy Orton. Barrett's winning streak was broken on the November 14 episode of Raw, when he was defeated by Orton via disqualification after Team Barrett attacked Orton. At Survivor Series Team Barrett defeated Team Orton, with Barrett and Cody Rhodes being the sole survivors in the match. On the November 25 episode of SmackDown, Barrett competed in a Fatal-4-Way match against Orton, Rhodes and Daniel Bryan to determine the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship which Bryan won. Barrett would continue his feud with Orton by attacking and distracting him during matches. On the December 9 episode of SmackDown, Barrett and Orton were put in two Time to Beat the Clock Challenge matches, with the winner choosing the stipulation for their match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Barrett defeated Ezekiel Jackson in 7:53, however, Orton pinned Dolph Ziggler in 7:51 and chose a Tables match. At Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, Orton defeated Barrett after hitting the RKO mid-air with Barrett landing through the table. Barrett and Orton would continue their feud on the December 23 episode of SmackDown, where they engaged in a brawl that ended backstage with Barrett getting hit with a RKO onto a car. This led to a Falls Count Anywhere match on December 30 episode of Smackdown, where Barrett pushed Orton down a set of stairs before exiting through the door. Orton suffered a herniated disc as a result, taking him off television for a number of weeks. After Orton returned from injury in late January 2012, he eliminated Barrett from the 2012 Royal Rumble match. On the February 3 edition of SmackDown, Orton defeated Barrett in a No Disqualifications match to end the feud.
At Elimination Chamber, Barrett failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship after being eliminated fourth by Santino Marella. On the February 20 episode of Raw, Barrett suffered an partially dislocated elbow after Big Show threw Dolph Ziggler onto Barrett during a 10-man battle royal, and was thus taken off television.
In August 2012, WWE aired vignettes promoting Barrett's return, showing Barrett fighting at an underground fight club in an attempt to "reignite the flame". Barrett made his return on the September 7 episode of SmackDown, quickly defeating Yoshi Tatsu in a squash match.
Barrett will have a supporting role in the WWE Studios film Dead Man Down, starring Colin Farrell.
On 15 June 2008, Bennett was arrested in Tampa, Florida, and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer (a felony) and obstructing an officer (a misdemeanor). The arrest took place outside of Champps Restaurant and Bar at 2am. Bennett was released the next day. According to FCW sources, all charges were subsequently dropped by police.
Bennett has three tattoos. The first is of barbed wire on his left deltoid. He later expanded it to cover the entire deltoid. The second is a tribal design directly underneath the former tattoo. The third is a rose on his right deltoid with the words "Culture, Alienation, Boredom & Despair" (a line from the Manic Street Preachers song "Little Baby Nothing"). Bennett is a supporter of the football team Preston North End.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
Barrett as Intercontinental Champion.
- Dropkixx IWC European Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Notes and references
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- ^ a b c d e "Wade Barrett Bio". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/superstars/smackdown/wadebarrett/. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Wood, Darren. "Wade Barrett". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/barrett_wade.html. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
- ^ a b c d e f g h McKenzie, Donna (9 October 2010). "WWE's NXT big thing – from Lancashire". Lancashire Telegraph. http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/leisure/tv/8443154.WWE_s_NXT_big_thing___from_Lancashire/?ref=rss. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- ^ a b "Profile". Gerweck. http://www.gerweck.net/stusanders.htm. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
- ^ a b "Individual's Charge Report – Bennett, Stuart Alexander". Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. 15 June 2008. http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/pub/default.asp?/Online/qdisp. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
- ^ Headlined SummerSlam (2010), Night of Champions (2010), Bragging Rights (2010), Survivor Series (2010) and TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs (2010), challenging for the WWE Championship at Night of Champions, Bragging Rights and Survivor Series.
- ^ a b c d Baines, Tim (10 September 2010). "Wade Barrett has come a long way in a short time". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2010/09/10/15306916.html. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
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