Wade Barrett: Breaking Down WWE Star's Upside, Direction and Long-Term Potential
Wade Barrett entered the WWE back in 2010 as a relative unknown, but it soon became quite evident that the British star had what it took to become a future world champion.
Barrett was immediately thrust into big angles, and he more than held his own. He has yet to reach the top of the mountain, but Barrett remains one of the fastest risers in the company.
A dislocated elbow has kept Barrett out of action for the past few months, but he promises to be a major factor as soon as he returns.
Barrett seemed to be on the verge of a major push before getting injured, and he should be able to pick up right where he left off. Barrett has a unique blend of skills and possesses the "it" factor that fans so often talk about.
Keep reading for another edition of my 25-superstar countdown in which I analyze the upside, direction and long-term potential of every relevant WWE competitor. Today I'll examine Barrett and determine whether he will ultimately fulfill his promise as a possible world champion.
Barrett first began wrestling back in 2004, when he debuted for an English promotion known as NWA UK Hammerlock Wrestling.
From there, Barrett also competed for Dropkixx Wrestling, where he won the promotion's heavyweight title, as well as for All Star Wrestling and Welsh Wrestling. Barrett got his big break in 2006, though, when the WWE signed him to a developmental contract.
Upon debuting in Ohio Valley Wrestling, Barrett formed a tag team with fellow Brit Paul Burchill. The pair went on to win the Tag Team Championships before WWE reached a deal with Florida Championship Wrestling.
Barrett became a Tag Team Champion there as well, winning the straps with Drew McIntyre. Barrett went through several name changes before finally settling on his current one—he was previously Stu Sanders and Lawrence Knight.
Everything came together for Barrett in early 2010, as he was selected to participate on the first season of NXT.
It was clear from the very beginning that Barrett was bound to be a star. He was made to look good on the show, but he helped himself plenty as well, thanks to his superior mic skills. Barrett went on to win the show and earn a WWE contract.
That was just the beginning of Barrett's success, though, as he formed and led Nexus over the next several months. Barrett was involved in high-profile angles with John Cena and Randy Orton that were instrumental in preparing him to thrive down the line.
Since Feb. 20, Barrett has been out of action after suffering a dislocated elbow. The injury happened during a battle royal on RAW, as Big Show threw Dolph Ziggler out of the ring and on top of Barrett.
It was immediately clear that Barrett was legitimately injured, and that much was soon confirmed. The timing of the injury was terrible, as Barrett had staged a "Barrett Barrage" in scoring huge victories over the likes of Orton, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan.
It was unclear what the plans were supposed to be for Barrett, but there was a lot of speculation that there might be a Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania, and Barrett was considered the favorite to win it.
That didn't come to fruition, however, and Barrett's injury may have had something to do with it. His expected recovery time was roughly four months, which means that Barrett should be on the verge of returning very soon.
There is no doubt that this would be a great time for him to come back with the Money in the Bank pay-per-view just three weeks away.
The WWE Championship ladder match is already set, but Barrett will likely be involved in the World Heavyweight Championship ladder match if he is back in the fold. Dolph Ziggler may be the favorite to win it, but Barrett is also a guy who is ready to reach the next level at any time, so he will definitely be in the mix.
There is so much to like about Barrett that it's difficult to pinpoint just one or two things, but I believe that the best place to start is his mic work.
As most wrestling fans know, being able to speak is more important now than it ever has been. Top guys in the company have to be able to cut marathon promos on a weekly basis, and they have to acquit themselves well outside the ring as well, since they'll be expected to go on talk shows and interact with fans quite often.
Barrett can do all of those things, and because of that, he has a very bright future. Perhaps his British accent makes him sound better and more sophisticated than he is, but whatever the case, it works.
Also, Barrett is very solid in the ring. His 6'7", 246-pound frame doesn't hinder him at all, as he moves very well and is among the company's best big-man workers along with Sheamus, Jack Swagger and Kane. There aren't many who can speak and wrestle well, as strange as that may sound, but Barrett possesses both qualities.
Finally, the fact that Barrett was pushed to the moon immediately upon his WWE debut bodes wells for him now.
When the creative team pushes a superstar before he is totally ready, it can often ruin them, but Barrett seemed to feel at home immediately. In a matter of months, he went from competing in FCW to feuding with Cena.
Barrett wasn't booked properly, but he never seemed out of place. Barrett is already quite aware of what it takes to compete in the main-event scene, and that will only help him moving forward.
What is Wade Barrett's biggest weakness?
In terms of being a competitor and character, I don't believe that Barrett has many weaknesses, but there are some extenuating circumstances that can work against him.
The biggest one is the injury that he is currently rehabilitating. It was truly a bad break for Barrett, because he had a lot of momentum at the time and seemed to be on the verge of something big. The injury set him back, however, and it would be a shame if he is robbed of his chance to be a world champion because of it.
The way Barrett has been handled by the creative team to this point has also been troublesome. He was put in a huge position upon debuting, obviously, but he was booked quite terribly after that.
Barrett was then put in another stable in the form of The Corre, and that failed miserably. Barrett was stuck in anonymity for quite some time after that before starting the Barrett Barrage. It just seems like there is a lack of commitment from the WWE at this point.
Other than that, Barrett would seem to be the perfect heel. Some might say that he could stand to be a little more exciting in the ring and on the mic, but that simply wouldn't fit his character.
He is very deliberate and cerebral in every aspect, so I believe that his persona works for him. Not everyone may like it, but you can't please everybody.
It's a tough call, but I would have to say that his best match thus far was his bout against John Cena in a chairs match at TLC in 2010. Barrett and Cena feuded throughout much of the summer and fall of 2010, and this match essentially represented the blow off for their rivalry.
The outcome was lame as is almost always the case with Cena matches, but Barrett looked really good for the vast majority of the match.
I would say that he carried the pace and was far more impressive than Cena was. He showed an ability to brawl, threw in some technical ability and proved that he can thrive in a hardcore environment as well.
Barrett didn't seem out of place at all in a match against the company's top guy, so the creative team shouldn't have any reservations when it comes to pushing him to main-event status and eventually making him either World Heavyweight or WWE Champion.
The moment wasn't too big for Barrett in the least, so hopefully the WWE brass takes this match into account when it comes time to decide what is next for Barrett.
There isn't much reason to keep Barrett in the mid-card scene when he returns, so I would like to see a commitment to the company immediately by putting him in some sort of big angle.
The only bad thing for Barrett is that there are quite a few guys waiting in line when it comes to getting a run with the world title.
Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes are two guys who come to mind immediately. Rhodes has lost a bit of steam, but it seems obvious that Ziggler has surpassed Barrett in the pecking order. That isn't necessarily Barrett's fault, since he has been injured, but it means that his ascent may take a little extra time.
With all of that said, if Barrett somehow never wins a world title while in WWE, it will go down as a massive failure on the company's part.
Barrett has all the tools to get to that point, and all he needs is a proper opportunity. He is the quintessential, egotistical, foreign heel that the fans love to hate, and he could go on to have wonderful feuds with the likes of Cena, Orton, Sheamus and CM Punk. If Barrett gets the ball, he's going to run with it.
How He Gets There
Will Wade Barrett become a world champion in WWE?
How Barrett is re-debuted will have a huge impact on if and when he wins a world title.
The ideal situation would be to have him return and attack Sheamus. Barrett was constantly talking about his intentions to become champion before getting injured, so common sense would dictate that he'll go right after the title.
Sheamus is currently feuding with Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio, but there don't seem to be any plans for either of them to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Barrett is a guy who is just as big as Sheamus and looks like he can legitimately beat him, or be a threat at the very least. The issue is that the Money in the Bank ladder match complicates things.
I would love to see either Barrett or Ziggler win it, but the fact of the matter is that only one of them can. Since Ziggler appears to be a notch higher on the totem pole, he should get the nod, but Barrett won't be far behind.
Once Barrett's feud with Sheamus ends and he falls short in his bid to win the World heavyweight Championship, I would have him shift his focus toward the WWE Championship.
Barrett never had a proper feud with CM Punk after Punk essentially stole Nexus from him, so there would be a great storyline behind it and it would be fresh.
I would ultimately have Barrett capture the WWE Championship, perhaps during sometime in the fall such as at Survivor Series, at which point he would end Punk's year-long title run and would have immediate momentum moving forward.
Check back daily for new entries in this WWE 25-superstar countdown. Here are the five most recent editions for your viewing pleasure:
13. Lord Tensai
12. Sin Cara
11. Zack Ryder
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