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Wade Barrett’s honest opinion on NXT Season One

Wade Barrett recently stated that all eight contestants from the first season of WWE NXT disliked the show’s initial concept.

The original NXT revolved around a rookie-pro format, and its inaugural season saw names like Heath Slater, Daniel Bryan, and a few others being assigned to pros from the WWE roster. Barrett won the entire competition with Chris Jericho as his storyline mentor.

Speaking on the latest episode of After The Bell with Corey Graves, the current NXT commentator highlighted that many of the show’s contestants had been in the professional wrestling business for a while despite being termed “rookies.”

“I’ll be honest with you. The eight of us who were on NXT Season One — the entire concept of it — I think, universally, we hated it. First of all, we were termed as ‘rookies.’ The vast majority of us on that show had been working in the wrestling biz for at least six years or something at that point,” said Wade Barrett.

Before joining NXT in 2010, Barrett had been in other WWE developmental territories like Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).

He made his professional wrestling debut way back in 2004.


Wade Barrett highlights how the WWE NXT rookies were treated backstage

NXT has come a long way since its early rookie-pro format. The show eventually became a legitimate wrestling showcase that hardcore fans could enjoy, and it even underwent a revamp this year.

However, back in its first season, the contestants were legitimately treated as rookies backstage. Barrett added the following:

“We were kind of upset that we were being billed as ‘rookies,’ guys who weren’t deemed to be allowed even in the locker room. We were changing in hallways. So it wasn’t just the storyline of us being rookies, we were actually treated like that behind the scenes for a long time.”

While Wade Barrett emerged as the winner of NXT’s first season, Daniel Bryan was one of the earliest names to be eliminated.

Despite the results, Bryan went on to have one of the most significant WWE careers of the last decade, and he is currently a top star in All Elite Wrestling.


While using any quotes from this article, please credit Corey Graves’ After The Bell podcast and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription.


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