In an exclusive interview for the Wrestling Inc. Daily Podcast, Stu Bennett, formerly known in WWE as Wade Barrett, last took part in a wrestling match in 2016. Since then, he's acted as a wrestling commentator for various promotions, deciding to focus more on his acting career. Bennett was asked if he still had any ambition to perform, in-ring.
"I am not retired in any sense of the word, in terms of pro wrestling. I love doing commentary, and I love working with NWA, as that's been a goal of mine, for a long time," said Bennett. "I started off in FCW working for Dusty Rhodes and being the color commentator down there in 2008 to 2009, and I've always loved it, ever since. So, I'm really enjoying working with NWA on that. Obviously, things are shut down at the moment, and I don't know when it's all coming back. But at some point, it will kick off again.
Bennett continued, "In terms of in-ring, maybe at some point; if the right place, the right time, the right offer, comes in. Then, I can see myself dusting off the boots…I might need some new trunks, as they might have gotten thrown out, but I still have the boots."
When Bennett left WWE in 2016, there weren't many viable alternatives, in terms of American wrestling promotions. The wrestling scene has since changed with the emergence of AEW, and Bennett gave his thoughts on wrestling business, in today's landscape.
"Without commenting specifically on the production or content being put out, I think it's fantastic that so many places now are available for wrestlers to go," Bennett said, before mentioning the various promotions and noting he's good friends with Ring of Honor's Marty Scurll.
"It's great as a wrestler who came up in an era where realistically there was only one worthwhile place to head to, which was WWE. Now, there's this entire web of great places to go. NWA and ROH, just before this pandemic, were kinda in cahoots together with having crossover programs and talent exchanges. I think it's a fantastic time for fans and wrestlers involved to pick and choose your spots, and leverage companies against each other, so you actually have negotiating power for once, which we never had when I was coming through. It's a healthier world, and that's without even commenting on some of the greatest of this era."
As fans have seen with wrestlers who have turned into actors, on-screen fights can seem similar to what happens in the ring. Bennett talked about if wrestling has helped him in any way with on-screen fights.
"The interesting thing about film fighting is that it's very different to the kind of fighting we do in pro wrestling. There's a lot of ad-libbing and improv and even though we're not trying to kill each other in the ring, we are connecting. In film, it's very different, as we aren't connecting at all, and it's very clever with the camera angles. So, it was definitely a learning process in fighting on film versus fighting in wrestling," admitted Bennett.
He added that if you compare him to the top on-screen fighters, they use a different style that relies more on traditional martial arts he called the "Will Ospreay style", but Bennett utilizes more of a physical wrestling style, while on-screen.
"The one thing I try to do is bring something to my fight scenes that no other film fighter could ever do. So, if I'm throwing in a wrestling move, then it will work for me, because I'm bigger and more powerful than my opponent 90 percent of the time," stated Bennett. "I'm not gonna try to do the kind of moves that they do. So, I always try to incorporate something wrestling in there for fans of the film-fighting genre who never get to see that kind of thing. They might not be watching wrestling, but I'll try to throw a little bit in here and there just to make me different from anyone else."
Bennett mentioned Will Ospreay's new fighting figure, which could result in a new fighting style. Bennett joked about his fellow Englishman, and how they may reverse roles, in wrestling.
"Will's a great guy, and I follow him on Twitter. He's a hell of a performer, and he's certainly bulked up [laughs]. He's a heavyweight now," stated Bennett. "Maybe I'll come back as him and lose 100 pounds, and probably break my neck, in my first match. So yeah, I definitely won't be doing that [laughs]."
Stu Bennett stars in "I Am Vengeance: Retaliation", set to release on June 19 in the U.S. and July 13 in the U.K. on all major video platforms and 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 through Friday afternoon by clicking here.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. for the quotes and transcription.