Stu Bennett, known by his ring name Wade Barrett, has revealed the reason why he left the WWE earlier in the year. The former superstar said that he quit the wrestling entertainment company after nine years because over the past two years he had no creative control over his character and was told to perform storylines which were "thoroughly uninspiring".
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, the 36-year-old wrestler said that anytime he tried to tweak the storyline when he was performing as "King Barrett", he was firmly turned down and he lost his passion for wrestling.
"In 2015 and again in 2016, I was asked to play a character and perform storylines that I found thoroughly uninspiring. After making repeated attempts to change my career trajectory and having those efforts turned down, my passion for playing the role of a WWE Superstar went away," Barrett said.
"When I became King Barrett, the influence I had in the character was taken away. I was told, 'This is your outfit, and here is your promo that you have to say word-for-word.' Any time I tried to tweak the storyline because I thought it wasn't working, or because it wasn't me, I was denied. The lack of control over my career reduced my passion more than anything."
The wrestler noted that he did not renew his contract with the WWE as he felt he would never have creative control over his character and he could not stand that for three more years.
"For the first time in my life, I was questioning why I was even getting out of bed and going to work. I wasn't enjoying it and it wasn't motivating me at all. For that reason, I made the decision that I couldn't re-sign a contract and continue for three more years when I knew nothing was going to change," he said.
Barrett, however, has some fun memories playing the role of "Bad News" Barrett as he had a lot of creative control over his character.
"'Bad News' Barrett was a really fun time. The reactions from the crowd I was getting were really about my speaking and my portrayal of a character rather than my in-ring work. You can even go back to the Nexus era, when I was cutting promos every single night. People were really hanging on my every word, and I was really dictating a lot of the shows that we were doing," he said.
"I've always had that confidence in my performance ability and my ability to speak in character. One of the most exciting parts of the Nexus and 'Bad News' Barrett eras were I had a lot of influence in the character and I had a lot of influence in how I was going to portray myself."