WWE: 7 Ways Wade Barrett Can Climb to the Top
Wade Barrett has a really bright future in the WWE—I think most of us can agree on that.
Unfortunately for Barrett, the not-so-creative team decided to bring him back by having him squash mid-carders and lower card workers in much the same way that Ryback, Damien Sandow and Antonio Cesaro did upon their debuts.
That booking of Barrett is ridiculously lazy, especially when you consider that he's a main event level superstar who doesn't need to destroy forgotten stars to prove that he belongs there.
If the WWE wants Barrett to truly rise to the top like many of us know he's capable of doing, then the squashes need to stop and he needs to move on to bigger and better things.
Here are seven ways that the Barrett Barrage can take the bare-knuckle brawler to the pinnacle of the WWE.
7. Turn Babyface
Yes, I think Wade Barrett is a great heel, and no, I don't necessarily think the WWE should turn him babyface.
But as we all know, the WWE is very heel heavy at the moment, like it typically tends to be. After John Cena, Randy Orton and Sheamus, there is a huge drop-off to the company's No. 4 good guy.
Although creative seems to be trying to plug Ryback into that spot, I'm not sure that'll work in the long run. Ryback's got a marketable look and obviously has the support of creative, but he doesn't strike me as a long-term option at the top of the card.
That's where Barrett comes in.
Sure, Barrett doesn't strike me as a potential babyface, either. But how many people thought that Sheamus would succeed as a face?
If Sheamus can do, then Barrett can do it, especially in a WWE that's in desperate need of another top good guy.
6. Challenge Undertaker or Triple H at WrestleMania
There's an old cliche that goes something like this: To be the best, you have to beat the best.
Well, if Wade Barrett wants to truly prove that he belongs at the top of the card, then I think it would be a wise move for the WWE to book him in a WrestleMania match with one of its two biggest remaining legends.
When WrestleMania 29 rolls around, Barrett should face either The Undertaker or Triple H.
Although I certainly have my doubts about the WWE's willingness to put Barrett over Triple H at the biggest PPV of the year (and I know he's not ending "The Streak"), Barrett doesn't have to beat either legend to cement himself as a top guy.
If he steps into the ring with either Triple H or Undertaker and puts on a very good back-and-forth battle with them, then he's going to gain the respect of the fans. In turn, he'll be taken more seriously as a full-time main eventer and potential World champion.
Big losses help superstars all the time, like when Sheamus lost to Triple H at WrestleMania two years ago. Heck, Dolph Ziggler looks better and better every time he loses.
It's the moment that really matters, and Barrett could have a star-making one with either HHH or Taker at WrestleMania next year.
5. Lead Another Stable
Wade Barrett has spent more than half of his WWE career as the leader of two stables: The Nexus and The Corre.
Yes, The Corre was arguably the worst stable in recent wrestling history. But The Nexus made a huge impact on the WWE in 2010, and Barrett was undoubtedly the star of that group.
In a relatively short time on the main roster, Barrett has proven to be an excellent stable leader, primarily because of his abilities as a talker that allow him to captivate an audience.
Although it looks like Barrett will be a solo act going forward, he had the most success when he was the leader of Nexus, a bona fide star who feuded with the likes of John Cena and found himself consistently involved in main event angles.
While The Corre's failures soured me a bit on another Barrett-led stable, he is an absolutely fantastic stable leader who had many of his best moments when he was in charge of The Nexus.
If the WWE wanted to bring Barrett back to the top of the WWE by giving him another faction, I wouldn't be totally opposed to seeing that happen, as long as it wasn't anything like The Corre.
4. Feud with John Cena
I know what you're thinking: If Wade Barrett feuds with John Cena again, then Cena will just bury him.
But even if Cena would win a rivalry between the two (which is likely), that doesn't mean that Barrett's going to be worse off for it.
In fact, Cena has recently played an instrumental role in helping some of the WWE's rising superstars make it to the top of the company.
Just look at The Miz, CM Punk and Sheamus. The common link between those three is that Cena helped launch them into superstardom.
It was The Miz's feud with Cena that helped him main event WrestleMania 27. It was Punk's 2011 feud with Cena that turned him into the WWE's second biggest star. It was Sheamus's shocking World title win over Cena in 2009 that won him his first World title.
Hell, Barrett himself even made his biggest splash in the WWE so far when he was feuding with Cena in 2010.
Hate on Cena all you want, but he's a big-time superstar who helps raise the credibility of the guys he's feuding with without some of us even realizing it.
Should Barrett feud with Cena again, then Cena could very well turn him into a full-time main event level superstar.
3. Become Mr. Money in the Bank
Way back in March, PWInsider.com (via WrestlingInc.com) reported that Wade Barrett was going to win the Money in the Bank match.
Initially, the plan was for the MITB match to take place at WrestleMania 28, where Barrett would win it and then go on to challenge CM Punk for the WWE Championship down the line. After Barrett's injury on the road to WrestleMania, there was then talk that the MITB match would be moved back to SummerSlam and again be won by Barrett.
Obviously, neither of those things happened, and instead, Dolph Ziggler and John Cena won the two Money in the Bank briefcases.
But you have to think that it's a very real possibility that the Money in the Bank plans for Barrett weren't scrapped altogether. Rather, they were temporarily put on hold.
As we are all well aware, the Money in the Bank briefcase is something that has been used many times to help elevate a mid-carder to the main event scene, and Barrett is one of a handful of WWE stars who would benefit greatly from winning it.
If Barrett doesn't win a World title by the time the next MITB match rolls around (whether that's at WrestleMania or a MITB PPV), then he is the ideal candidate to be the next "Mr. Money in the Bank" and get the huge push that comes along with it.
2. End Sheamus' Lengthy World Title Reign
Sheamus has held the World Heavyweight Championship since WrestleMania 28 back on April 1, which means that he's nearing the six-month mark of his title reign.
Although Sheamus' run as World champion hasn't been all that great because of his lackluster feud with Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus himself has been booked incredibly strongly during his reign.
He's been booked stronger than Randy Orton, John Cena or anyone else on the WWE roster, and in fact, I'm having a hard time remembering the last time he even lost a match.
That strong booking is obviously good for Sheamus, but it might be even better for whoever it is that ultimately beats "The Great White" and ends his long reign as World Heavyweight Champion.
If Sheamus extends his already-lengthy title run another few months or so, it will be quite an accomplishment for the WWE superstar that beats him, and chances are that whoever that star may be will get a big push as a result.
If I'm Wade Barrett, I'm definitely hoping that superstar is me.
1. Win the 2013 Royal Rumble
Although it seems like the 2012 Royal Rumble happened just yesterday, we're only about four months away from the 2013 one.
As we near the pay-per-view, only a handful of potential winners will likely emerge from the pack, and I think it'll be an up-and-comer this year rather than an already established name.
Because with Brock Lesnar, The Rock and possibly The Undertaker wrestling at WrestleMania 29, that means that, much like WrestleMania 28, the World title match may only be the fourth biggest match on the card.
Therefore, the WWE doesn't need someone like John Cena or Randy Orton win it. Instead, the Rumble winner can be someone who's been on the cusp of the main event for a while.
Someone like Wade Barrett.
Barrett has teetered on the borderline of the main event for essentially his entire career, but he hasn't really been a bona fide main eventer since his days with The Nexus. Though I thought for sure he'd have won a World title by now, it hasn't happened yet.
But if the Barrett Barrage takes him to a Royal Rumble victory, then a World title win and run at the top is certainly in his future.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!