The Straits Time spoke with King Barrett, Neville and WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella when WWE was in Singapore earlier this month. The full article is at this link. Below are highlights:
Q. You’ve come a long way since being the leader of Nexus (a stable of up and coming wrestlers) in 2010. Now that you’re the King of the Ring, what’s your next target?
King Barrett: I’ve always said I wanted to be the WWE World Heavyweight champion so that’s my ultimate goal. My biggest focus right now is to enjoy my wrestling, enjoy as much as I can being a WWE superstar. It doesn’t last forever and be it through injury or retirement or getting fired, one day it’s going to end so at the moment, I’m really trying to enjoy it as much as I can. I’m enjoying the experience and coming to great places like Singapore. It’s my first trip here. I’m going to check out Orchard Road and some malls.
Q. How difficult is it to get your King of the Ring gimmick to work for you? It worked very well for previous winners such as Booker T but not for others like William Regal.
It depends on the opportunities afforded to me by our writing team. So far, I feel I haven’t been the focus of the show but hopefully, that’s going to change in the next few weeks or months. Hopefully, I get some solid storylines so that I can show what I can do.
Q: You’re the second longest reigning Divas champion now. What are your future goals and aims?
My number one goal right now is to be the longest reigning Divas champion. I know it’s going to be tough to beat AJ Lee’s record of 295 days which means I have to keep it till after Night Of Champions (a WWE per-per-view on September 21). It’s going to be really tough.
Another goal is make this championship mean something. I want to leave a legacy, to make the Divas division amazing. I hope I get more opportunities to do this and that the people upstairs, the bosses continue to listen, because there’s so much I would love to do with this championship.
Q: Do you prefer to play the good girl or the bad girl?
The bad girl is so much more fun. You can have so much more personality and get really creative. When I see the kids out there, the Bella army, they make me want to play the good girl. But overall, being bad is so much more fun.
Q: How does NXT help you to develop your character into one that WWE fans will recognise by the time you move up to the main roster?
NXT is incredible. The performance centre in Orlando, Florida (where recruits train) is just a fantastic facility. It’s got world-class coaches with hundreds of years of experience between them, all the facilities you need like a gym to places where you could develop your character like the promo room.
I have to give respect to the late great Dusty Rhodes who passed away recently. He was my main influence in bringing out my character. I worked with Dusty every week in the promo room. He really brought me out of my shell. Before coming to NXT, I was very much just a wrestler. Now I feel very confident as an all-round performer.
Q: Who influenced you in the ring? How did you get your high-flying style?
I remember as a child watching The Rockers and the other tag teams like the Dynamite Kid and the British Bulldog. They had a huge influence on me. The Dynamite Kid was an innovator in the ring. He was a cruiserweight and someone I looked up to very much, especially his feud with Tiger Mask. That was something revolutionary. I’ve watched it over and over again. Later on, the WCW cruiserweight guys like Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, Jushin Liger and onwards, to the Japanese junior wrestlers…they also influenced my style.