Upon his return to the ring last September, the rejuvenated Wade Barrett announced his intentions to reclaim his spot atop the SmackDown roster. After scoring several squash victories on both brands, Barrett looked to be headed on the right track.
In the final few months of 2012, the evil Englishman set his sights on Kofi Kingston's Intercontinental Championship. While it was blatantly obvious that he belonged in the World title picture, settling for midcard gold sufficed for the time being.
On the New Year's Eve edition of Raw, Barrett soundly defeated Kingston to win his second Intercontinental Championship. As he entered the new year, however, Barrett's stock quickly dropped.
From Randy Orton to Sheamus to Alberto Del Rio, it seems as if Barrett has lost to almost everyone on the roster at this point. He even dropped the strap to The Miz in a throwaway match that lasted four measly minutes on an hour-long pre-show at WrestleMania 29.
Although he managed to regain Intercontinental immortality the next night on Raw, unfortunately, his third run with the belt has been much of the same thus far. In recent weeks, Barrett has found himself on the losing end of matches with R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and even Sin Cara, which is a true shame given his tremendous talent.
Not only are they damaging Barrett's credibility, but the prestige of the once-prized possession has also taken a crucial hit as of late. Some may argue that the Intercontinental title lost prestige ages ago, but I can't remember the last time the belt was as insignificant as it is right now.
I, for one, feel that a meaningful feud with a believable opponent will help revitalize both Barrett and the belt around his waist. That being said, no one is a better opponent for the former Nexus leader right now than William Regal.
It's quite possible that my bias for Regal could be clouding my judgement here, but I strongly believe that pairing Barrett with Regal in a feud for the Intercontinental Championship would be beneficial for everyone involved.
Regal retired from in-ring competition in late 2010 and has sparingly competed since then. The former Raw General Manager now works as a commentator for WWE's developmental system NXT but makes special televised appearances from time to time.
One of his most recent matches was against Wade Barrett on SmackDown in England, a match made in heaven as far as I'm concerned. Sadly, the bout was only a mere minute long and was a victim of time constraints on a wrestling-heavy show.
However, the two Englishmen made the most out of the time they were given and worked well with one another. It was at that precise moment that I knew a rivalry between the two was only inevitable.
As much as I don't want to see Regal officially hang up his boots any time soon, I think it would be perfectly fitting to give him one final feud on his way out. Barrett has quite a bit to gain from feuding with Regal, and putting the Intercontinental title up for grabs would be an added bonus.
It's safe to say that the midcard division is essentially irrelevant at the moment, meaning that there aren't many credible contenders to Barrett's title. That being said, why not insert Regal into a feud with the feared foreigner in an attempt to bring prominence back to the strap?
Keep in mind that I'm not suggesting that Regal should defeat Barrett to win the title. Rather, I have hope that a hard-fought victory over Regal in a Title vs. Career match could elevate Barrett to the next level in WWE.
Of course, defeating Regal won't make Barrett a legitimate threat to either World Championship at any point in the near future, but it'd be better than having him unnecessarily lose on a consistent basis. Both British brawlers have massive amounts of talent that shouldn't be wasted, so putting them in a feud against one another with the Intercontinental Championship on the line would be a simple solution worth watching.
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on a potential feud between Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and William Regal. As always, your criticism and overall feedback of my latest piece is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
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