WWE’s Wade enjoys rare stay back home

WWE Superstar Wade Barrett in action
WWE Superstar Wade Barrett in action
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For many people the prospect of Visa problems preventing them from jetting off to America sounds like a nightmare scenario.

But for WWE Superstar Wade Barrett, who is a household name in the United States, it was a blessing in disguise.

Wade Barrett meeting Simon Grayson

Wade Barrett meeting Simon Grayson

The 33-year-old, from Penwortham, made the most of his predicament by enjoying a rare prolonged spell back home.

And he even managed to make it to see his beloved Preston North End’s away trip to Walsall, watching them win 3-0 at the Bescot Stadium.

He says: “I met the manager and the players, which was pretty cool.

“To be unbeaten nine games in, it was pretty incredible. I think with Preston’s background in play-offs, I’ve seen us lose enough times, so I think we need to make that push for automatic promotion.

Wade Barrett meeting Kevin Davies

Wade Barrett meeting Kevin Davies

“Kevin Davies is fantastic, what a difference he has made, with just that little bit of experience and quality he has got.

“He’s a former England player, and spent most of his career playing at the very top level, so for Preston to even get the chance to sign a guy like that is incredible.”

Wade, real name Stuart Bennett, now lives in Tampa, Florida, and enjoyed catching up with family and friends - even if he was frustrated to miss out on action in the ring.

He says: “Fingers crossed I’m getting this Visa sorted soon, which has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works for us. I was supposed to be going on tour to Abu Dhabi but I’m going to get taken off that.

“It’s not really problems, they’re just really slow at processing them. I think the Night of Champions pay-per-view I was supposed to be away for, but I also missed Battleground.”

Nevertheless, the former Whitefield Primary School pupil will be back in November for WWE’s live UK tour, and he is hoping to invite some special guests.

He says: “We’ve got Manchester I think on the 11th and 12th, our two TV tapings.

“I know we’re trying our best to get the Preston North End first team along for the shows, which would be really cool. I know a few of the lads are fans and they’re planning a team night-out or something like that.

“They need to check their schedules first but I want to give them a good night-out, like they gave me a good day out in Walsall. Hopefully now I can repay the favour!”

Wade has tasted gold in WWE twice this year, after capturing the WWE Intercontinental Championship last December.

He lost the belt to The Miz at WrestleMania 29 in March, the company’s biggest annual event, only to win it back from him the following night, in a very special episode of Raw.

He says: “I’ve wrestled in two WrestleManias now - the one this time I think was an 80,000 crowd.

“Going out there and wrestling in front of a packed NFL stadium, with 80,000 screaming fans who are all losing their minds, is a great experience, and something I will never forget.

“It was pretty cool to get it back so quickly. The crowd that night were very unique.

“I think one of the cool things about the crowd is because so many Brits come over to watch WrestleMania, a lot of them stay the next night and watch the Raw TV show too.

“Basically you went from an 80,000 crowd with maybe 10 per cent of it being Brits, to the next night we’re in a 15,000 crowd in a smaller area, but probably half the crowd were British.

“I was kind of the popular guy that night and everyone was cheering for me, which is pretty unique in the States where I’m normally booed.

“I think for the first time the star of the show was actually the crowd that day, they were fantastic. It was like an English football crowd!”

The WWE Live tour visits Manchester Arena on November 11 and 12. Tickets can be purchased at www.theticketfactory.com or by calling 0844 338 8000.

To read more of the interview, visit the wrestling section of www.lep.co.uk.