WWE: 5 Elements Plaguing the Curious Case of Wade Barrett
Back in November, I picked Barrett to win the Royal Rumble.
He made the most sense to me to finally take the next step to the big stage. And then he fell into an overused and underwhelming storyline with Randy Orton—and got stuck there.
Then he obviously didn’t win the Rumble, much to my disdain. But I don’t see that as a negative for him, since he’s being utilized for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. Not sure if he’ll walk out the champion, but it’s possible.
Regardless, lately I’ve seen a number of elements show through to indicate some inconsistent things with his character that need to be cleaned up before he can have a complete push.
Then again, these issues may not be enough of an issue—it may be a much larger issue with his character not being properly refined—so take these however you will and let me know your thoughts!
This may seem nitpicky, but it’s important.
I genuinely have no idea what inspired his new trunks.
The color is disgusting and he doesn’t look right wearing them. I know it’s a different color from what most superstars wear—black, primary, solid colors—but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. The standard black fits Barrett more than this brownish yellow-green conglomeration.
If it annoys me to look at his attire, why would I want to see him on a more regular basis?
Not to mention the anchor logo on his butt looks awkward. It does seem like a perfect shape for its location, but it just doesn’t fit.
Barrett’s current angle doesn’t seem like it gleans any specific logo. I know it’s customary for Superstars to have some sort of emblem to market, but there hasn’t been one to attach to Barrett since Nexus.
I say clean it up, go simple, and give his wardrobe something generic until he’s reformed into a character role.
But there’s one thing he can keep…
This is the aspect of his attire that I do like. In fact, I grew to love his jacket.
But then it vanished. And then it came back.
And then it vanished again. And now it’s back!
Creative has the hardest time determining what will work for his angle. But this is such a great and cocky aspect to his character.
It always looks incredible when he enters with it on his shoulders, crouches and explodes to unleash it behind him. But it looks incredibly awkward when he comes out without the jacket and does the same entrance routine.
Stick with the jacket—I like consistency from a character’s wardrobe. Cody Rhodes’ jacket isn’t utilized whatsoever for his character. But Barrett’s jacket is perfect for his smug, unbecoming image.
Barrett plays the heel really well—maybe a little too well. And I blame his face.
This doesn’t necessarily seem like the greatest trait to have for someone in the WWE, where character turns are implicit.
His smugness could cripple his ability to make a complete face turn if his angle grows stale, which could easily happen.
I recognize that his English demeanor is perfect for this role, but unlike someone like William Regal, Barrett’s charm has yet to be uncovered. I’m sure it’s there. But we’ve yet to see it proven.
He also oddly looks a lot like Michael Showalter; it’s imaginably easy to hate the guy when you look at him—his hair doesn’t help his cause, either—not to mention, when you hear his voice.
Or when you hear…
Okay, this is getting old.
This week’s Smackdown marked yet another change in entrance music for Barrett.
I was starting to get used to “End of Days,” I was connoting it with him pretty well. It has even been stuck in my head. But then it disappeared.
He’s had many changes in his short career and this is one they really need to pin down for him.
Royal Rumble, the event where entrance music is the premiere indication of the next entrant, proved to inhibit Barrett because when his unrecognizable music hit, he got no reaction from the crowd until his face appeared on the Tron and then he walked out. It was weird for me.
It may be hard to find a song that encapsulates his personality in the promotion, but that may be the root of the issue. Perhaps his angle is growing cold. Perhaps there is a stalemate with how to properly utilize Barrett.
Which leads me to…
His Feud with Randy Orton
This needs to end—somehow, soon. Please.
It isn’t progressing Barrett’s character at all. If anything, it’s hurt his character more.
However, he gained a lot of notoriety when he tossed Orton down a flight of stairs. News arrived that Orton would be out for months and Barrett’s angle finally looked assuredly confident and dominant. Orton was out of the picture and Barrett was in position to dominate Smackdown.
And then, in fear of ratings and a poor Royal Rumble buyrate, Orton was brought back.
This shattered Barrett’s credibility.
And now with the days leading up to Elimination Chamber, their rivalry has more reasons to be rehashed and overused at house shows.
Luckily, there are four other men in the mix this time around, but it seems like if the title changes place at EC and it falls on either of these men, their program could simply continue at a more meaningful—yet, probably still uninteresting—level.
Hopefully some of these inconsistencies can be reworked for Barrett, or maybe an interesting story can be developed.
Regardless, I know he has the potential to be a great Superstar in an era that is breeding young stars to lead us into the future.
WWE has already shown some solid trust in him with his involvement in NXT, Nexus, and the Corre, but this is the time to develop him into what he needs to be to carry himself as a top heel in the business.
There just needs to be a little clarity to his character, first.
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