When Sheamus won the Royal Rumble originally, thoughts echoed through my mind. Ideas that ranged from the result itself to how this will affect the whole landscape of WWE.
I took many of these and pushed them to the back of my mind, so I could focus upon other things. However, now some are coming back. Particularly one name: Wade Barrett.
Why would Barrett of all people come to mind off of Sheamus' Royal Rumble win? Why would the guy who lasted less than four minutes in the match and only eliminated one barely competing legend?
Because very few options exist on SmackDown that make more compelling heels than Barrett. Sheamus is set for a huge WrestleMania match, but no one knows who Sheamus will face.
Daniel Bryan would be the obvious choice being the current champion, but he will have to defend that title in an Elimination Chamber come the next pay-per-view.
That means that Bryan has just as much chance of to stay champion as those he faces in the chamber. While Great Khali and Big Show are probably not leaving as champion, I could see Randy Orton or Barrett absolutely winning the title. Cody Rhodes probably won't only because of his other title around his waist.
While Orton would be an easy possibility with his obvious main event credibility, the idea of Barrett winning and facing Sheamus may not be as probable. Why? Because while Barrett sounds like a great option against Sheamus, this is WrestleMania we are talking about.
I have heard about other people who would really like to see this matchup. I would be interested in seeing the contest. However, is Barrett ready to compete in a World Championship match at WrestleMania?
The answer is not strictly yes or no. Can Sheamus vs. Barrett work as a 'Mania feud? Absolutely. With Barrett's great mic skills and Sheamus' intensity and strong ability overall, these two could work beautifully together in creating the feud.
The question is: has Barrett built himself to that point? We saw Barrett in the main event once, a year ago. His time with Nexus made Barrett instantly one of the most dangerous and credible young stars in WWE history.
That opportunity has crumbled, fallen to the wayside, and only in the past few months has it started forming again. The Barrett Barrage has begun to reform the credibility that the Corre destroyed.
Barrett now looks like a star again though we have not seen him make any major claims to fame besides an only beginning feud with Orton that has been about as strong as the one Cody Rhodes had with Orton for better or worse.
At this point, giving the title to Barrett seems slightly premature. Orton/Barrett could very well develop all the way to 'Mania if given that time.
This idea of development transfers over to another developing star who has gone down a different path. Bryan himself is the champion, and he has made himself a rather intriguing character. However, he has had the same amount of time as Barrett to develop.
In fact, Bryan has probably been less credible over the last year or so than Barrett has been until Bryan turned heel. This new heel character for Bryan is an intriguing conundrum. He has defended his title now four times in the one month he has been champion.
Though only his last defense on pay-per-view was a victory, rarely is a champion forced to defend his title so frequently. If he can leave the Elimination Chamber with that title, he could very well make for a credible threat going into WrestleMania.
Of course, Orton would be the most likely choice to have a credible champion going into 'Mania, but the fact that Bryan is a heel and has been built up as a unique heel creation is rather interesting allows him to continue being champion until he probably drops the title to Sheamus.
So is Bryan a more credible option than Barrett to hold the belt? Since Bryan is already champion, I would have to say yes. Barrett lacks development as a champion to make him a true champion going into 'Mania for his second time ever at the event.
Barrett has many paths he could go, and the title seems highly unlikely and weakly built at this point. It could happen, but taking the belt off Bryan just to give Barrett what would presumably be a one defense title reign seems ridiculously misguided.
If anything, Barrett will make a bold challenger to Sheamus once Sheamus gains the belt. With those added few months of credible feuding with someone other than the champion, Barrett can come in as an even bigger threat and perhaps gain his first World Title reign at that time.
Thanks for reading!
How do you feel about Barrett? Should he face Sheamus? If not, who should he face at Mania? And who should Sheamus face at the event? Leave you thoughts below.