This week saw the return to WWE television of one of the UK’s best wrestling talents since the British Bulldog. Wade Barrett is a very talented young man with huge potential, who so far in his WWE career has been at the top but is currently lingering in a bit of a no man’s land. Due to visa issues he has been off our screens for the last 4 months but he is now back and it appears he is going to have a regular feature with his Bad News Barrett gimmick. But what does the future hold for Wade Barrett? I look back over his career with WWE so far and look forward to the future of where I see the character going.
Barrett first experienced huge success with WWE following his run on WWE NXT when he formed and became leader of a young group of rookies known as the Nexus. From his time on NXT Barrett immediately stood out to me. His character was something of a hard man type and he was already sounding very confident on the microphone and in the ring. Having Chris Jericho as his mentor only seemed to improve Barrett so he was a fitting choice to lead the band of rebels in the Nexus. The group had a great feud with John Cena to really cement them as a legitimate stable and Barrett even got his first taste of a main event match when he was involved in a six pack challenge for the WWE Championship. It was in these early stages Barrett proved that he could run with the big boys on the roster.
After Barrett was removed from the Nexus by the new leader CM Punk, Barrett went on to form The Corre with former Nexus members Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater alongside Ezekiel Jackson. Barrett continued his run in the spotlight during this time, instead challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship but once again he was unsuccessful. The Corre as a group really struggled to take off as they were competing against the Nexus over on Raw. I found myself always referring to the Corre as a ‘poor man’s Nexus’, because in truth that’s all the group ever was. Barrett was the only member with any talent to carry the group. The original Nexus as a group had enough members to be successful, the Corre struggled because only Barrett had the right elements to succeed in my opinion.
There was one bright light that came out of the Corre for Barrett, he got a run as the Intercontinental champion and proved to be very successful. He has held the championship 3 times now and has more than proved that he is capable of carrying a championship. The Intercontinental Championship has always being seen as the stepping stone to future world champions in WWE and Barrett more than used his run as champion to stake his claim to becoming a top guy for WWE in the future. Barrett’s 3 championship reigns came with victories over Kofi Kingston for his first and second runs and by defeating the Miz the night after Wrestlemania 29 when Barrett lost the title rather bizarrely on the Wrestlemania 29 pre-show. For me this cheapened his third run as champion as it was a needless and pointless switch having Barrett drop the title to regain it again the following night.
By now Barrett was proving what a hugely potential talent he was to WWE. His gimmick that debuted in August 2012 was once again that of a hard man, only this time he was a bare knuckle fighter and bought his unique style up against his opponents known as the Barrett Barage. This propelled Barrett back to the top of the card in WWE and it saw him putting on some great quality matches. Finally it looked like WWE were going to pull the trigger on Barrett. So at Money In The Bank 2013 Barrett was the favourite among many fans to take the briefcase on behalf of the Smackdown roster. Unfortunately WWE decided to take things on another direction and gave the briefcase to Damien Sandow. Almost a month later Barrett was seen on Raw having his beard shaved off by Daniel Bryan, and then losing to Bryan on Smackdown following this. Sadly this would be the last time we saw Barrett, with no explanation as to why or his whereabouts.
This week we saw Wade Barrett come back to our screens on Raw, giving us a look at his new gimmick known as Bad News Barrett. The character itself first made it’s appearance on the JBL and Cole show on Youtube. Now I must admit, I am not familiar at all with the gimmick as I have not watched the JBL & Cole show. My first impressions to me are that the character is going to be there to generate heat by insulting crowds in the town or city WWE is performing in. I’m so far not sure what to think of the gimmick but something just tells me I am going to have a hard time to like it. I hope I am proven wrong and the character grows over the next few weeks. The only real disappointing thing about Barrett’s return is there was no build up for it, something which causes me some concern but it will remain to be seen where WWE go with his character and booking over the next couple of weeks.
As for the Future of Wade Barrett in WWE, I think it still remains only a matter of time before he finally gets a run as the champion of the company. This may become much harder once the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships are unified but I believe Barrett has enough talent to step up and produce the display and performance required. WWE has seriously dropped the ball with Barrett who has done so well with what he has been given each time, they need to boo him with confidence going forward and I hope they will do that with the Bad News Barrett character. I would like to see Barrett involved in a program with someone like CM Punk going forward as I think Punk and Barrett can only bring out the best in one another. Ultimately I beleve the future for Wade Barrett is very bright and I hope that 2014 is the year his star finally burns brightly like he deserves.