Darren Young recently revealed that WWE had plans for a NEXUS reunion at WrestleMania before the pandemic wiped out those plans. Wade Barrett aka Stu Bennett was the leader of the NEXUS and he discussed their reunion plans when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"I was called in January or February by the Talent Relations team in WWE about something they wanted to do during WrestleMania to coincide with the 10th anniversary of NEXUS. I actually turned it down as I didn't like the offer or the plan," admitted Bennett. "I saw Darren just after that and he said he was gonna go and do something with them. But I wasn't going to be involved in whatever it was."
We'll never know what the WWE's plans were for the NEXUS prior to the COVID pandemic but Bennett said that it was not going to be an angle.
"In all honestly, if it had been something more significant, I would have paid it more attention. But it was something, to me, that I wasn't interested in doing. There was no benefit at all, for me, in doing it and I wasn't excited about it, so I turned the offer down," stated Bennett.
The pandemic has not only wiped out plans, but it also wiped out fans from events. Bennett was asked about the content being produced by promotions who are still operating without fans.
"I've tuned in very briefly. To be honest with you, I've struggled with the lack of fans there. I think they're an integral part of pro wrestling. Even sports like soccer – they're bringing it back without the fans – and I think that's gonna hurt soccer somewhat. But you still have a goal of winning and losing in soccer which is paramount. In wrestling, the story is really the reaction of the fans and if that's not there, then it's really difficult," stated Bennett.
"Knowing what we know about how pro wrestling works, I think it's very difficult to get too involved without having that emotional pull of the fans. So, I'm not a fan of them not being there. I'm not criticizing companies who do that as I understand the financial obligations so they keep their money coming in. But in terms of a product I would watch, I'm checked out."
A few years ago Barrett revealed on Chris Jericho's podcast why he left WWE and he expanded on those reasons and his struggles in WWE.
"I left there for a variety of reasons, one of which was definitely burnout. I had been on the road for a long time and I was on programming when the brands were merged. So, we were essentially doing five shows a week and I was booked on every one of them. I was lucky to get one or two nights a week on my own bed and constantly being waken up at 4 a.m. So, I was just done," said Bennett.
He added that the final nail in the coffin was when the ideas he pitched to WWE creative were given 30 seconds before constantly being rejected.
"I felt like I was wasting my time and I wasn't getting to be part of WWE," stated Bennett. "So, I had no interest in continuing in that vein so that was another reason why I left."
Since leaving WWE, Bennett has since gone into acting and is in an upcoming film called I Am Vengeance: Retaliation. In the movie he handles lots of guns and he was asked how much experience he had with firearms beforehand.
"Zero, I have no background as do probably most Brits as it's not part of our culture. Obviously it's a very big part of the American culture. I think this was my fifth film I've been in and in all five films I've had guns in them," revealed Bennett. "I remember the first couple of them I found it very difficult to understand how to walk with a gun and be convincing firing it and holding it. But by this one I've used them so much on set that I'm very comfortable.
"It's always fun as I think I used six or seven different types of guns in this film. I couldn't tell you what any of them were as I'm not an expert on guns. I'm probably offending someone at home that takes pride in that but it's really cool to work with the Army guys and special forces guys. They bring their guns to set and there's always tight restrictions even more so in the UK than the US. They're very excited to show off their weaponry and we tried to highlight that in the film. This film really is an ode to the 80s-style of action films which I grew up on and I don't think are necessarily shown as much today. It's really an ode to that."
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.