The Nexus invasion of the WWE remains one of the most memorable angles of this generation. We are only recently starting to hear about what went on behind the scenes and how it all came together. The latest to tell the story is Wade Barrett and his recollection may be the best thus far.
Members of the Nexus angle recently told their story on Chris Jericho’s podcast but it was Barrett’s latest interview that peeled back the curtain and brought you inside of the angle through the mind of the biggest beneficiary. What is it like to go from WWE “rookie” to leader of the top heel faction in the company overnight? Pretty damned crazy according to Barrett.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation Barrett and Jericho had when reflecting on the angle. Jericho asked Barrett how the angle came about and what he knew before the angle. According to Barrett, not much although his life would change forever moving forward.
Wade Barrett – “It was awesome and we really had no idea up until probably just before they opened the doors and started letting the crowd in (Jericho says, “Wow, that day?). They brought us all back. So NXT season two was starting that week so they had all of these new rookies and we thought, “Look whoever wins NXT season one that the prize is you get a contract with WWE, you also get a title shot,” which was kind of weird because we’re like rookies yet we get the title shot, this main title with WWE. We thought the other seven, you guys are going to get the job. Whoever wins is great, the rest of you it’s great because everyone is getting a job because they can’t just debut eight new guys right? That never happens. We thought the rest of you would go back to FCW, well that’s what we thought would happen.”
[adinserter block=”1″]Chris Jericho – “Did you guys discuss that among yourselves?”
Barrett – “Yeah, when we’re driving around because we’re sharing rental cars and stuff during the whole process of NXT season one. “What’s going to happen if you get cut one week?” You thought, “You’re probably back to developmental or you’re fired. Maybe this is your chance? When in the past have eight guys debuted together, there’s no room on the roster. It was eight guys, it quickly became seven once Daniel Bryan got cut so, but he came back fortunately. We’re thinking, “Whoever wins great, you’ve got your spot, the other seven guys, see you later.” You served as requirements by this point. So they brought all eight of us to TV. We didn’t know what we would be doing. I assumed I’d be doing something because I was the guy who won and I was now on the main roster but the rest of the guys were thinking they were just there to make up the numbers or whatever. But then about fifteen minutes before doors Vince (McMahon) calls us into a meeting and we’ve got all of the agents in there and they hand out these Nexus armbands to us and we’re like, “Okay what is going on here?” So eight of us have these armbands and we come up with this plan where we’re going to rip the ring apart and trash it.”
Jericho – “So what did Vince tell you? Did he say, “Listen this is what you’re going to do,” did he say, “This is a big opportunity”, or just business as usual. You guys are here and this is what you’re doing tonight.”
Barrett – “We knew something was very different because literally every agent in the company was in this room with Vince. We were told, “Okay here’s what we’re going to do. This is going to be big, you’re going to attack John Cena,” which none of us were expecting anyway because he’s obviously the number one guy in the company, so okay this is huge, this is a bit of a step up from wrestling each other in three minute matches, doing obstacle courses and stuff like that. This is a slight change. Yeah we did that and we were told very specifically that we weren’t allowed to, after we did this whole thing where we attacked Cena and smashed the ring up and stuff like that, “Okay you guys are not going to be able to interact in public with other members of the WWE roster. You don’t share rental cars with them, if you see them out there in public in a gym or an airport you don’t speak to them. You have to wear your Nexus armbands at all times,” which was awful. So we’re like walking through airports, you don’t want to be noticed at 4:30 in the morning in an airport and then suddenly eight of us show up at some gate with these Nexus armbands on like some kind of club. We were told we had to wear them at all times which when you’re the new guys you’re like, “Okay, sure, I don’t want to get fired already so I’ll do that.” So we knew it was very serious, the company was taking it seriously, they didn’t tell us “You’re going to go on and main-event pay-per-views,” and this, that, and the other thing, because I don’t think they really knew how well it was going to take off and how people were going to react but that moment when we went down to the ring, we smashed everything up.”
Jericho – “First it was just you.”
Barrett – “It was just me walking down and I assume the commentators were saying things like, “Oh he won NXT season one, he gets a shot at the title but what’s he doing here?” Then suddenly you see various faces pop in.”
Jericho – “I remember Tarver coming out with the thing over his mouth.”
Barrett – “The motorcycle mouth-guard thing there. He looked pretty badass.”
Jericho – “I told Ryback this when he did the show that when Tarver came down I knew it was going to happen. I got it, right then. Here’s one, here’s two, and then oh here they come. It was amazing, I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it, it was such a great moment.”
[adinserter block=”1″]Barrett – “Yeah it was such a cool moment. As you know as rookie wrestlers we came up putting up rings so we know what’s under the skirts and we know what’s under the canvas and we know how it looks when it’s half torn down, so to me in my head when they say, “You’re going to rip the ring apart and expose the beams and stuff,” I was like, “Okay that’s pretty cool, that’s never been done before. I didn’t think in my head, “Wow, the people watching this around the world have never seen a wrestling ring half taken apart,” when would you ever see that, so like I think a huge part of the reaction to that was just this destruction of something that they’ve never seen before. They don’t know what’s under there. It could be a bouncy castle for all they know, you know? That was pretty cool and people responded like crazy. I remember we got to the back and we had so much adrenaline at the time we were not taking it in, we’re just doing “Okay I’m going to do this.” We kind of had set plans, “You guys go over there and attack the announcers, I’m going to do this, I’m going to tear this apart, Skip’s going to turn the announce table over.” We all had very defined roles to make sure it was kind of coordinated. When we finished what we were doing we kind of walked to the back, we weren’t allowed to go through Gorilla, we had to go through a side entrance because we didn’t want it to look like we were heading out and “Oh hey, how was that guys? Was that okay?” We were kind of these invaders. I remember we got to the back and they were showing replays, everyone was silent and they were just watching the replays of the fans’ faces in the audience. People looked genuinely terrified, shocked, and it’s so hard because we produce so much content, I think we make eight or nine hours a week of fresh TV, and you’ve got everything on the Internet and YouTube and stuff like that and it’s so hard to get a reaction like that from people because they’ve seen everything. Let’s face it, there is so little new you can give them because we have to produce so much stuff, so to get that reaction that’s when it suddenly sank in, “Woah that was big.” I went on my Twitter account and I probably had 10,000 followers and I was getting death threats and I have never had anything like that in my life. There’s a guy threatening to meet me at the airport the following morning with a chainsaw that was my favorite. Okay you’re going to look real good in an airport with a chainsaw at six in the morning buddy, yeah I’ll see you there mate. That was pretty hilarious, that was some genuinely upset people.”
Talk about an incredible experience! Barrett’s recollection was fantastic and he goes even more in depth on the run when he and Jericho talk about their SummerSlam match, their experience together on the first season of NXT, and much more. This was a fantastic interview, revealing a side to Barrett we have never seen as WWE fans. Check it out in its entirety on Talk is Jericho.
Just in case you forgot how awesome this was…