How his current gimmick will be better than what we've seen from him before:
"I think there's two things. I think number one, the way I've been involved in storylines and the way I've been incorporated into the show has really been a method of highlighting me, certainly my strengths. I think you can look at previous incarnations of what I've done and I think some of the positions I was used in on the show maybe weren't the best vehicle in which to highlight me as a performer. I think that the Barrage stuff I was doing had a lot of potential, especially when we had those really cool vignettes that were airing a couple of years ago when I came back from injury. But unfortunately I wasn't involved in any serious storylines or any angle on TV that the fans could get their teeth sunk into and very quickly I was used in an enhancement role for the better part of a year and a half. I think in my situation where I wasn't getting any mic time or getting anything storyline wise that the fans could care about, it was always going to be difficult for me to kind of get any momentum. So definitely since I've come back this most recent time with the Bad News Barrett stuff, I think the creative guys have done a great job of highlighting me and allowing me to be a performer and take the spotlight a little. The other thing is, I think me as a performer, I've really been enjoying this Bad News Barrett stuff. I get stuck over in the UK with some visa problems at the end of last year and had to be off TV for a little while, and I kind of made the decision when I was out there that when I came back I was going to go out there and start enjoying things a little more. I think I got to a point in my career where I was focusing a little too much on the wrong things. Trying to impress people. Management and people on the creative team and trying to do things that I thought they'd want to see in order to get myself higher up on the card as opposed to going out there and really just entertaining myself and having a good time with it, which is what I started doing with Bad News Barrett. I think fans can really see when a performer is enjoying himself and I really have been since I've been Bad News Barrett. I've been having the most fun of my entire career. I've been wrestling 11 years and I can say that the pastů six to eight months when I've been on TV and being Bad News Barrett is the most fun I've ever had and the most relaxed I've been out there. That's definitely an aspect that's helped make the character and the storylines work."
Being Intercontinental Champion again:
"I can only speak for myself, personally. I've held that title, the Intercontinental Championship, and this is the fourth time I've had it, and it does feel, of the four times I've had it, this does feel like the time that the creative team and the management at WWE are actually getting behind me now. The strength of a championship, far from being about the performer who is holding it, is just as much about the kind of storyline and the blocking and the kind of segments he's involved in on TV. You can put a title around somebody, but if they're used as an afterthought on the TV show, then it really doesn't matter who's the champion. This time it feels like there's a lot more going into it. Obviously we had the big tournament of who's going to be the challenger, which I won. It feels like I've definitely got a lot more momentum this time so that definitely helps. I also think that something that helps elevate the two secondary titles, the Intercontinental and US, I think because we have the unified WWE title and the World Heavyweight title, that's now just one title, I think it leaves a lot more room for people to wanting to be fighting for these secondary tier championships."
"I think NXT is a lot closer to what we do on TV than when I came to NXT. If you specifically want to talk about the NXT I went through, it was more of a reality based game show tournament which was done more for entertainment purposes rather than getting people ready to be on the current stage at WWE, but I think if you look at NXT now, it's more of a micro-version of WWE right all the way through to the ramp that they'd walk down to the arena, the huge 'tronsthey have, the massive screens, the pyrotechnics, the build of their characters, the vignettes, all that. I really think they have a small version of WWE. And I think it is literally as close as I think they can possibly get to the Big Show that we do on global TV. I think it really prepares them well. If you look at the people that have come up the last couple of years from NXT, from the guys in the Shield to guys like the Wyatts, they're really very polished when they come up. There's no lag time in terms of getting them up to speed in terms of how to work with camera men and microphones and stuff like that. It's all in their head before their debut. So there really is a smooth transition for the most part from NXT to WWE which I think was the whole plan behind the NXT facility and the Performance Center that they invested a lot of money in and I think it's really paying dividends now."
His Payback match against Rob Van Dam:
"I think so. I've wrestled Rob a few times now. About a year ago back when he first came back to WWE and I've wrestled him on a couple of live events recently. His offense really is probably the most unique I've ever faced. The kind of kicks he can do come from every angle. Believe me, when he throws those kicks he really throws them. I imagine a few people have lost a few teeth over the years from those kicks. He's a great performer, he's got those amazing acrobatic skills that, for most people, those kind of diminish as they get older, but with him they haven't diminished at all. It's quite astounding. I was thinking about this the other day. I think with someone like Rob Van Dam I think you could put together probably a pretty good argument that his peak was 10 to 15 years ago, be it through the original ECW in the late 90s or when he first came to WWE and he won the world heavyweight title back in the early 2000s. So for him to kinda go off the radar for a long time and for him to come back and be able to put in the A+ performances that he has been putting in lately, it's quite incredible. So I feel like I'm getting RVD at the top of his game. He's got a massive amount of experience and I'm very confident that we'll be able to pull off some good stuff. Ultimately I'm going to hit him with the Bull Hammer and retain my Intercontinental Championship."
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