Sunday 6 November 2011

Barrett Barrage

Wade Barrett may not have done anything especially memorable for a while now but he has still quietly become one of the most reliable men on the WWE roster. The man from Manchester is on television every week, often alongside men getting a far more pronounced push than him (Sheamus, Cody Rhodes and Christian immediately spring to mind), and has racked up an impressive win-loss record over the last few months. Victories don’t really mean anything in today’s WWE but it’s still making Barrett look like a star on the rise.

Something else setting Barrett apart is his surprisingly large collection of gimmicks. He’s been wearing a long coat over his shoulders during his entrances for several months now. Sometimes it has a rose in it, sometimes not. Every week we hear of his exploits in the bare knuckle boxing scene of northern England (which is almost entirely nonsense). He’s recently started referring to the ‘Barrett Barrage’, an in-character euphemism for a renewed focus and fresh outlook on his career. Most bizarrely he has taken to wearing trunks that feature an emblem inspired by the 1944 Polish uprising in Warsaw. Not since the heyday of ECW has one wrestler had such disparate bunch of gimmicks to their name.

Barrett is one of the guys WWE should be relying on for the future. At 31 years-old he has plenty of time to make it to the top of the promotion. He’s already one of the best talkers in the company and knows how to work an audience as a bad guy. If and when the time comes for Barrett to turn face he’ll need to change his approach to promos, but that’s a challenge I think he’ll cope with better than people would expect.

With pay-per-view matches against Randy Orton and John Cena under his belt, including a disqualification victory over ‘The Viper’ and two pinfall victories over Super Cena, it’s clear WWE sees potential in Barrett. He may have been unsuccessful in his various challenges for the WWE championship last year and his push may have fallen to the mid-card level but that’s a good thing: Barrett had done everything he could at the top of the card so early in his televised career so it was perfectly logical to drop him down to the middle of the card for a while. The goal was clearly to give Barrett a strong start and establish him as a formidable heel before letting him grow naturally and at his own pace without being placed under such a strong spotlight.

Anyone who can share screen time with Cena, Orton and Vince McMahon without looking inferior clearly has star potential. Barrett has done that and shown that he can thrive in the mid-card even when given little to do. He can hold his own with internet darlings such as Bryan Danielson and drag bearable matches from lumps such as Ezekiel Jackson. That’s one of the skills WWE main event talents need. If he keeps performing like this I won’t be surprised if 2012 sees him take home a world championship.

1 comment:

  1. I think wearing a coat or having a logo in the trunks aren't gimmicks. I would like to see Barrett in a Englishman gangster role or something like that. Perhaps changing his generic trunks to a look more unique, like suit pants.