WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett spoke with TheNational.ae while in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Below are highlights:
Some wrestlers have been known to be frustrated when they get cheered as a bad guy, but you have been comfortably the most popular bad guy with Abu Dhabi crowds. What was your reaction to get cheered as well as the inevitable boos from the audience?
“I have always said I don’t care if I am cheered or booed. I tend to be booed because of my personality and character but as long as I am getting a reaction I am happy and I have had a really good reaction both nights from the fans. I think there must be a lot of British expats out here and I think that was one of the reasons I was getting cheered.”
The next WWE pay per view coming up is Fastlane on February 22. You do not have a match confirmed yet for the event, but Dean Ambrose has been pretty vocal on TV about wanting to challenge you for the Intercontinental title you hold. What are your thoughts on that?
“He is sniffing around at the moment. As far as I am concerned he is not a worthy champion in WWE, but I might end up accepting it [Ambrose’s challenge] just to teach him a lesson. We will see about that. If I do get in the ring with Dean Ambrose I promise you I am going to smash his head in with a bullhammer. I mean I am going to be Intercontinental champion for a long time, don’t worry about that.”
Bad luck with injuries has meant you have yet to have a real WrestleMania moment in your career? Is that something you are looking to put right this year at WrestleMania 31?
“I am always down for being on WrestleMania. It is kind of a tough spot to get on to as we have a lot of legends that comeback for matches and it is sometimes very difficult to get on the card. But I would love to have a match. I think my ideal WrestleMania match would be me against Sheamus in a retirement match. I would get him out of the WWE for good so we would never have to look at his stupid face again.”
Is there anyone on the WWE roster you have not fought yet that you really want to face?
“I always used to say Dolph Ziggler was the guy that I wanted to wrestle, but we have had a bit of a run together lately and I have really enjoyed wrestling him and so that is that itch scratched I suppose. I think Roman Reigns is someone I have been in the ring with once before and he was very good. He beat me very quickly unfortunately, but he is someone I think is going to be a big star in the future in the WWE. Bray Wyatt is another one. I know we’re both bad guys at the moment, but one day I think I’d definitely like to do some work with him.”
With young guys like yourself, Bray Wyatt, the Shield guys now doing there own thing, it feels like a changing of the guard in the WWE at present. How is it viewed in the locker room?
“I think it has been that way now really since 2009 when you saw guys like Sheamus coming up, then it was my group, with the Nexus guys. I think there has been this transition going on for a little while now. It has only stepped up more since Triple H took over the developmental territory in WWE and set up the NXT school and I think the level of guys coming to the WWE now is getting better and better. You have to look at guys like Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville and a couple of others who are down there in NXT and I think the next couple of years in WWE are looking very exciting.”