Back on the August 26 edition of NXT, Wade Barrett returned to WWE TV after four years away. The five-time Intercontinental Champion didn't enter the squared circle, however, and he called the action alongside Vic Joseph and Beth Phoenix instead.
Barrett's return was initially advertised as a one-night deal but a report from PWInsider soon after noted both sides were in negotiations over a full-time contract and he has remained on commentary ever since.
The negotiations were ultimately successful and Sports Illustrated reported last night that Barrett has signed a one-year deal with WWE with an option to extend the partnership. The company confirmed the news soon after.
After signing the contract, Barrett told Sports Illustrated: "I hope this lasts for a long time, that's our intent. So there is no bad news to share, but never forget, there is always a little bad news up my sleeve."
"Our aim is to be different, a little more unique than the other WWE programming. We don't want to be a carbon copy of what you hear on Raw or SmackDown. I've known Beth for years, and she is incredibly talented, and I am just getting to know Vic. I'm excited to learn from and work with both of them, and I'm really excited to develop this into a really tight unit.
"This isn't a developmental brand. I've followed the careers of The Undisputed ERA, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, and Rhea Ripley for a long time. There are so many up-and-comers, and NXT is a destination where you can see people turn into stars. Bronson Reed is a powerhouse and reminds me of a young Mark Henry. Coming from England, I might be a bit biased, but I can’t wait to see Ridge Holland's rise into a megastar. He has all the potential in the world.
"I'm also especially excited to call Shotzi Blackheart on a weekly basis. She is going to be a massive star. The opening match-up tonight between Shotzi and Io Shirai will be fantastic, so make sure to get there nice and early to watch."