Let us take our minds back to February 23, 2010. That was the night that WWE NXT, a show with a unique new concept, debuted on the Syfy channel.
Several rookie superstars looking to win the competition and a WWE contract would be paired with a current WWE "pro." The man Chris Jericho would be training had an interesting look and it seemed right away that he would be one of the favorites.
That man was Wade Barrett. He described himself as a former bare-knuckle fighter.
During the nearly six months of the show, Barrett excelled, reaching the finals and eventually defeating David Otunga to win the competition.
After winning NXT, it wasn't long before Barrett made an impact. Aligning himself with all of the others he defeated on NXT, Barrett and what would become known as The Nexus showed up at the end of the June 7, 2010 edition of Monday Night Raw in a scene that would set the wrestling world on fire.
While it seemed the Nexus could get to the level that the nWo did in terms of great angles, it didn't take long for WWE to botch it. After Barrett left The Nexus, he went over to SmackDown, and along with Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, a new group was formed, this one known as The Corre.
Back in the days of WCW, one of the worst ideas they had was to split the nWo into two separate factions. This is similar to what The Nexus and The Corre became, just a lot worse. In fact, Barrett himself very recently tweeted that The Corre was a huge mistake for him.
Barrett would have some mild success, winning the Intercontinental Championship, but he was also beginning to get a little stale.
On the February 20, 2012 edition of Monday Night Raw, Barrett seriously injured his elbow as he was eliminated from a battle royal. The injury forced Barrett to be on the sidelines for WrestleMania 28 and kept fans guessing as to when he would come back.
So Why Will The New Direction Be Better?
After six months off television, vignettes began airing promoting the return of Barrett. These vignettes showed some insight into how WWE would be using Barrett going forward. Instead of just talking about his past as a bare-knuckle fighter, these videos actually gave us an image of his background.
No longer is Barrett entrenched in a group, he is now by himself, "open for business" as he says.
Barrett has been easily defeating guys like Yoshi Tatsu and Zack Ryder since his return, but he is a main-event-level guy and WWE knows that.
His old finishing maneuver, "Wasteland," is now a thing of the past as well. Barrett's new finisher, an elbow smash that fits his character much better, is called "The Souvenir." Barrett says he is calling it that so his opponents have something to remember him by.
Barrett's character now fits his background and he seems to have more of mean streak than before. No longer will he be talking about the "winds of change." Barrett should soon be talking about more WWE gold.
All of these factors combined will lead to Barrett becoming one of the top superstars on the roster over the next several years, so long as he keeps to himself.