Wade Barrett states that original plan was for him to be on WWE SmackDown commentary until January 2023

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/04/01/wade-barrett-states-that-original-plan-was-for-him-to-be-on-wwe-smackdown-commentary-until-january-2023/

Barrett reiterated that Pat McAfee is a close friend of WWE and is sure he’ll be involved with the company. 

With Pat McAfee stepping away from his WWE commentary duties in 2022 to focus on his ESPN College Gameday commitments and other ventures, Wade Barrett was moved from the NXT brand to SmackDown to join Michael Cole. 

In mid-March, Barrett stated that when it comes to the foreseeable future, the commentary team on SmackDown consists of himself and Cole. 

He reiterated that sentiment as he was being interviewed by Cultaholic. Barrett shared that the original plan was for him to be on SmackDown until January 2023 and he believes Pat McAfee was supposed to be back by then. 

So the original plan when I came (to SmackDown commentary), I think I joined in September, was that I was going to be running until the beginning of January and then I think Pat (McAfee) was gonna tag back in. That plan has now changed and the seat on SmackDown is mine on a more permanent basis or as permanent as you can be in the world of WWE. Of course things change all the time and plans might change again, so nothing’s ever really permanent in this game.

The 2023 installment of WWE’s Money in the Bank Premium Live Event is scheduled for July 1st at The O2 Arena in London, England. 

There is a part of Barrett that can envision himself appearing in front of his home-country crowd as an in-ring performer again, but he stressed that he’s focused on his commentary role. Barrett is not pitching or pursuing a comeback where he’d compete at Money in the Bank, but added that he does have a few ‘Bull Hammers’ left. 

I was asked a little earlier in another interview but being in Montreal and seeing Sami Zayn get that kind of reaction, is it something that made me miss it? And of course and I can just, in my head now, imagine walking out in The O2 Arena (at Money in the Bank) and challenging Roman Reigns or challenging Drew McIntyre or GUNTHER or whatever it was and feeling that kind of excitement and being the focal point of all that energy and of course, that would be very easy for me to say hell yes, I wanna do that. But the truth is, for Sami Zayn to have got to that point in Montreal, it was years and years of blood, sweat and tears and disappointments and grinds and injuries and I know to get back to that back point myself, it’s a hell of a lot more work than just cherry picking those great moments so, it’s not something I’m actively pursuing at all, it’s not something that I’m pitching to the creative team. I think I’ve got a little left in the tank. I’ve certainly got a couple Bull Hammers left up my sleeve so maybe one day, we’ll do a little something but right now, I’m exclusively focusing on my commentary career. It’s something I love doing, I’m having more fun doing commentary than I think I ever had as an in-ring competitor which might surprise some people but, I feel it’s something I really enjoy, it’s something I wanna keep developing and growing at and I want to be as good as I can be as a commentator.

He spoke highly of WWE creative under Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque. Barrett mentioned that while he’s thrilled to be back working for Levesque, his direct boss is Michael Cole. 

I was really impressed by how quickly Shawn (Michaels) stepped up and managed that massive change in role that he must have experienced there (in NXT) and he became a fantastic leader almost overnight doing that role so it was awesome working with him and it’s been great working back with Triple H, again, now with new creative team so I’m slightly removed from Triple H at this point because my direct boss is really Michael Cole so, he’s the guy who I’ll kind of game plan with and get advice from. Here’s what I need to work on, here’s how I can improve but you know, the creative side of WWE under Triple H over the past — certainly the past six months that I’ve been working on SmackDown is as good as I’ve ever seen it. So yeah, really thrilled to be back working with Triple H and having a fun time and I think the abilities that he has, what he’s brought to the table in that role as the Chief Content Officer has really been pretty obvious when you look at how great this Bloodline storyline has been over the past kind of six-plus months.

Michael Cole and Corey Graves are calling both nights of WrestleMania 39. Barrett confirmed that he’ll be on the Kickoff shows for the Premium Live Event. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Cultaholic Wrestling with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.