Stu Bennett says he’s always been a capable speaker but the biggest adjustment he had to make was getting used to lengthy matches early on in his WWE career.
Bennett recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard and talked about how prepared he was at the time of his push in WWE with Nexus and as a solo star. Then known as Wade Barrett, he won season one of NXT and was tabbed as the leader of the Nexus faction in the summer of 2010. Bennett said Dusty Rhodes’ encouragement led him to do more commentary in FCW and his biggest strength was speaking, but overcoming the obstacles of lack of ring time was a bit of a challenge.
“My biggest strength back then was my ability to talk. If you look back at NXT season one, I ‘won’ the series when we did something called the ‘talk the talk’ challenge. They gave us a random word and we had to make a promo out of it with millions watching and about 10,000 people in the building. I did the ‘Winds Of Change’ promo—I was given the word ’wind’—I think that’s what ultimately won me the show. I think people in management saw that [and said] this guy can talk, he’s confident, all of this despite his obvious lack of experience.
“I think it was one of the biggest issues or one of the hardest things to transition to for me, in developmental and indeed on NXT season one. I barely had a match longer than six minutes in my entire time in developmental or NXT season one. The matches were all very short, we had 60 people in the developmental class and we maybe had one or two shows a week, so they’d have to pack 13 matches on a show and we’d get six minutes or something. So to go from that to ‘you’re in the main event, you’re wrestling John Cena for 25-30 minutes’ and wrestling Randy Orton, I hadn’t had that level of experience putting long matches together at that point in my career, that was probably the hardest thing I found. In terms of the promo work and the character work, I was very comfortable with that but the biggest jump was going into these long, main event matches and trying to pull that off.”
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