Sunday 2 September 2012

Bare Knuckle Barrett

On the August 6th episode of RAW WWE debuted a video hyping the imminent return of Wade Barrett. Getting on for a month later we have yet to see the master of the Barrett Barrage return to our screens.

The video provided no clue as to when Barrett would return (beyond “soon”) but got a hint that he may receive a gimmick overhaul when he reappears. The former Nexus leader was shown with a beard and (possibly) slightly shorter hair bare knuckle boxing in what was purportedly a warehouse.

The bare knuckle gimmick is one that has been mentioned many times before but has never been the central focus of the character. If it is to become a more integral part of Barrett’s act then it could help to set him apart from his peers. The guy wrestles well and is one of the best talkers on the roster, but beyond that he’s just a guy in trunks. Becoming the man who likes to knock out his opponents could be just what Barrett needs to help him clinch that long-elusive main event spot.

The return vignettes have been running for near enough a month. While it was normal for WWE to hype a return for a month or two a decade ago the standard practice now is to spend only two or three weeks reintroducing someone who’s been absent form injury, if they’re lucky enough to get the treatment at all.

Barrett returned to action on WWE’s recent tour of Japan and has competed at US house shows since. He’s ready from a physical point of view and audiences have been prepped to expect him at any time. So what’s the plan?

I think WWE will have something big lined up for Barrett when he resurfaces. He is regarded as a man with headline potential and considering how stagnant WWE’s current main event scene is I imagine the writers will be keen to install him in a prominent position to freshen things up and get him accepted as a bigger star than he was before he left TV.
Barrett would be a good addition to WWE's stale main event picture
I think Barrett would work very well as an opponent for Sheamus. Not only would a Sheamus v Barrett feud finally put an end to the tedium of ‘The Celtic Warrior’s’ run with Alberto Del Rio but it would allow Barrett to move up the ranks and start getting established at the top. If the Irishman is to be his first opponent upon return then a run-in at Night of Champions seems likely.

One scenario that could prove interesting is having Sheamus retain the strap against Alberto Del Rio before getting duffed up afterwards by the returning Barrett. Dolph Ziggler could then come out, cash-in his briefcase and leave as the new World Heavyweight champion.

That would get Barrett some heat and set up a clear reason for his feud with Sheamus. It would also create an argument for a title match between Barrett and Ziggler (‘The Show Off’ benefitted from Barrett’s efforts) in addition to the defences already waiting for him against Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, and previous champ Sheamus. You can never have too many challengers for a world title.

Whatever the plan is for Barrett I hope his return happens soon. WWE is in desperate need of some fresh names higher on the card and he would be a perfect fit.

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