Is it harder to get the big chances and big title bouts as an Englishman?
Regal: “I don’t think it’s any harder than for anyone else once you get yourself over there. Getting over there is the hard thing. If you’ve got the talent it’ll shine through. I went over there when there was no-one there. It was difficult. But I think it helps if anything, just to be English, just to be a bit different. It definitely helped me. I was the only English character at the time. Obviously there was the Bulldog, but he was his own entity – he was a completely different thing away from what I was doing. It gave me a bit of a boost really.”
Barrett: “I think increasingly WWE is a global company – as much as they can they want to push out into new markets like Europe. I think it’s definitely been a help in a sense that I’m English. But again it’s ultimately down to talent. Being English helped me get a foot in the door, but ultimately it’s down to my talent and hard work in trying to get to that top level.”
What would you love to do or see at WrestleMania XXX in 2014?
Barrett: “Personally I’d love to be in one of the title matches. Obviously we’ve got two main titles in WWE – the World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Title. We’ve never had an English winner of those. In my opinion we should have had the British Bulldog as World Champion. Mr Regal next to me should have been a World Champion. It has never quite never happened for Mr Regal yet, although it still could.”
Regal: “Don’t hold your breath.”
Barrett: “I’d love to be the first English World Champion. When you look at the history of English professional wrestling and all the things that have gone on in the past, going back decades, it’s incredible we’ve never had a recognized World Champion here. I think that needs to change and obviously I’d love to be the first one.”
Regal: “I’m just happy being there at WrestleMania. I’ve never had a big role at any WrestleMania, but I’ve been at 11-odd. Just to be there is special. The week beforehand and all the promotions and stuff. I don’t really think about the big events, being in them any more. I’m 44, so it’s my autumn years of my career, so I’m just happy to be there to be honest. What I’d like to see? It’d be nice to see Wade and Sheamus in a main event. It’d be nice to see Daniel Bryan in a main event, just because of the time I’ve spent with him in the last 12 years.”
What is it that people have always loved about the WWE?
Regal: “People from the beginning of time have always loved to watch two people in competition with each other. You go back to the gladiatorial shows, there’s just something about it. You can go into a village in the world where they’ve never seen wrestlers, two young boys will be rolling around in headlocks. It’s just a natural thing to do and to watch and that basically captures people’s imaginations. A lot of the time they can’t do it themselves but they like to see other people doing it. If it’s packaged in the right way they’ll come to watch… there’s just something about the whole spectacle.”
Barrett: “For me personally, when I was 10 years old, I remember watching it and just being attracted to the fact that these were real-life cartoon characters. It sounds a bit of a cliché to say it. I think it was only when I was about 19 years old when I read a book by Mick Foley, his first book Have a Nice Day, and it kind of deconstructed the whole story of pro-wrestling to me – what happens behind the scenes. It was only at that age that it kind of clicked for me that these were real-life human beings who grew up with regular families, who came up and decided they wanted to do that. That was really the trigger for me to decide that I wanted to do that too. When I was a kid it was just like watching a real-life cartoon with these crazy characters and that’s what drew me in at first. The longer I stuck with it the more aspects of it I discovered and the more I liked, and I ended up here.”