After making his name in wrestling as Wade Barrett, Stu Bennett now performs under his real name and has acted in many films since leaving WWE. Bennett is in a new film called I Am Vengeance: Retaliation and he talked about it when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"If you're in the US, you can watch the first film I Am Vengeance on Netflix. That one was successful globally so we got an increased budget to make this second one," stated Bennett. "This is technically a sequel but it's completely standalone so if you haven't seen the first one, it doesn't matter. You can watch this one and there's no backstory as it was specifically written that way.
"This is very much about me being the hero which most people have never seen me in that kind of position before as certainly in my wrestling career I was always the villain. I am leading a team of special forces operatives to go out and take down a guy who used to work for us. We thought he was dead but it turns out he was off the radar. He's alive and leading a band of mercenaries. So, we're sent out to take him and his team down and bring them to justice."
Bennett revealed that the villain he's chasing is actor and former soccer player Vinnie Jones. He also praised the many talented female fighters he got to work with in the movie which has separate release dates for the US and the UK.
"In the US it comes out on the 19th of June on all major digital platforms and on DVD through Saban Films and Lionsgate," said Bennett. "In the UK it comes out a little later on the 13th of July. That's through Evolutionary Films and it will be released on Sky Store, Amazon, iTunes, Virgin Store, Microsoft and Google Play."
When Bennett left WWE in 2016, his future plans were unclear as he didn't show up in another wrestling promotion for an entire year. He talked about what was going through his mind at the time and how that contrasted with a fellow former Superstar who left WWE around the same time.
"When I left WWE, there was no master plan. I always contrast with Cody who left a couple of months after I did. He had a master plan of what he wanted to do and he wanted to go out and wrestle all of these people on the indies. He wanted to go over to Japan and establish himself there and Ring of Honor. Then, subsequently from there this whole AEW opportunity bloomed for him," stated Bennett.
"I didn't have that at all. I left WWE because I was miserable and I knew the last thing I wanted to do when I woke up was get on a plane and go fly out and wrestle for them. So that was it – no matter what else I figure out, I'm not gonna do this. From that, other opportunities started coming in like film opportunities and hosting a show on Netflix which I did called Ultimate Beastmaster. These are the kinds of things that happen when you're not in a restrictive contract that's taking up 100 percent of your time.
"The film stuff and the hosting tended to come by accident almost. It turns out that I enjoy this so with offers that come in, I always review them for two reasons. One – am I excited to do this? Two – does it pay well? Hopefully it does both, but if it's one of those two things then I'll seriously look at it. If it's neither of those two, then it's 'no.' The vast majority of things that do come in are 'no' to both of those things and they get turned down. But one way or another, the things I've done are at least one of those two things."
The pandemic essentially shut down Hollywood as well as film production overseas. Bennett was asked about the future of his media career and what plans he has on deck.
"I have some stuff on the go in the UK that I'm hoping picks up steam this year. We're working on a marine biology documentary show that I would be hosting," revealed Bennett. "I've been working behind the scenes on it with my agent for a little while now and it was starting to get traction but obviously got stopped due to the pandemic. So, hopefully that kicks off again."
Stu Bennett stars in "I Am Vengeance: Retaliation" which will be released on June 19th in the United States and July 13th in the UK. It will be available on all major video platforms and on DVD. Stu's full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.