Former WWE Superstar Wade Barrett recently spoke with Build to promote his new film “I Am Vengeance” and discussed his time in WWE, how it ended and transitioning out of professional wrestling. Below the highlights courtesy of WrestlingInc.
On Transitioning Out of Wrestling:
“I think the biggest difficulty from transitioning from professional wrestling to the acting world is generally toning down your performance,” Bennett said. “So in the pro wrestling world, everything is massively over the top and every reaction that you do in the ring is kind of corny if we’re honest — it’s not supposed to be serious — it’s a comic book world. “One of the things they used to say when I was beginning in wrestling was that you need to do huge emotions. Every time you react in any way whether you’re happy or sad or angry, make it one hundred times bigger than it would be normally because the guy in the very back row in these giant arenas in Row Z or whatever it is, he needs to see that reaction. So you do everything huge and over the top. So one of the hardest things really was transitioning into bringing everything a lot further down for the screen roles. When you’ve got a camera right in front of your face it picks up every little crease in your face and every slight hint of emotion and things like that. So bringing that down was definitely important. For me personally, one of the things I did when I was getting ready for this role [in I am Vengence] is I studied some of the older action stars like Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood because I felt they played their roles very stoically and very reserved vs the kind of action roles you see these days which is a lot more over the top — which is great — but I felt for me personally, I had to study guys who had very, very small emotions and that kind of thing.”
On His Final WWE Run Ending on a Sad Note:
“So my last run in WWE I was portrayed as The King Of The Ring,” Bennett explained. “I won a tournament called the King Of The Ring tournament and I became The King of wrestling which I was hoping at the time when it initially happened that it was gonna springboard me into bigger and better things in WWE. I felt that the direction the character took was a little hokey. I was kind of asked to wear a plastic crown and a ridiculous outfit and stuff like that — which if you go back to the ’80’s worked great, there were some great King Of The Rings back then like Haku and Harley Race and all these legends of wrestling and that worked for them. I felt that in 2016 that I was doing that character that I thought it was a little hokey and I wasn’t being allowed to have the kind of creative latitude with the character to do what I wanted to do and do the things that I felt an audience would enjoy as The King of wrestling. So that was one of the reasons why I kind of soured on my job and my contract came up to an end around April 2016 and I decided not to extend it at that point and move onto new ventures like I Am Vengeance. So yeah, it was kind of a sad run for me because it was the end of what had been a lot of fun, but I knew for me it was time to move on.”