Bad News Barrett has explained the origins of his character's name before but what he didn't reveal at the time was that he panicked when his boss, Vince McMahon, saw him playing the character on The JBL & Cole Show and told him he wanted it on WWE television.
Barrett explains in his interview with the boys at Busted Open during WrestleMania week:
"It actually came out of a joke from Cody Rhodes. I once walked into the locker room and Cody was telling everybody that he used to watch tapes of old wrestlers when he was a kid and there was a black and white tape of me, presumably wrestling in the 50s or the 40s or something, and I was coming out as a guy called 'Bad News Barrett' and I would come down and give bad news and just leave. And everyone started laughing. I don't know where Cody was going with this one but kind of everyone forgot about it. Then a few weeks later the guys on WWE.com came to me and they have a show called 'The JBL & Cole Show,' which is kind of a quirky and ridiculous show where it's bizarro world on there, and they said to me they wanted me to play a character on there. So as kind of a joke back on Cody I said 'yeah, sure, maybe as Bad News Barrett. I just turn up and give out bad news.' It was never supposed to be anything more than that.
"Anyway, so I started doing this Bad News character on there and it kind of got a very good response from the fans online. Vince eventually saw it and said he wanted that to be my character on TV. At this point it was kind of a panic mode like, 'wait a minute, Vince, this wasn't planned, I don't want to do this on TV, just let me be the normal guy.' But at that point his decision had been made and I had to try and figure out how that was going to work on TV. It was a lot of throwing stuff on the wall and seeing what sticks. Fortunately it started working and people really got into it."
It took some time before the WWE creative team figured out the best way to handle the character, but it's worked out for the best considering "Wade Barrett, guy who fights" wasn't exactly lighting up fans in arenas across the world.
Now if they could just bring that podium back...
Here's the full interview: