WWE Flashback Friday: What If Wade Barrett Wasn't Sidelined from Action in 2012?

Graham GSM MatthewsFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2013

Would Wade Barrett have been World Heavyweight champion by now? (Courtesy of WWE.com)
Would Wade Barrett have been World Heavyweight champion by now? (Courtesy of WWE.com)

Welcome to the inaugural edition of my newest series, WWE Flashback Friday. Every Friday going forward, I'll be taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting select WWE storylines that were altered by inevitable events.

Basically, I'll be speculating what would have happened had the angle continued on as planned without any outside interference. The first ever article in the WWE Flashback Friday series will feature Wade Barrett and his freak accident from early 2012.

After cutting all ties with The Nexus and The Corre in June 2011, Barrett decided to embark on a run in singles competition. He disposed of enhancement talent such as Trent Barreta, Daniel Bryan and John Morrison and declared that the Barrett Barrage had only just begun.

He went on to feud with Randy Orton that fall, defeating him at Survivor Series and on various episodes of SmackDown. Barrett even put Orton out of action at one point by throwing him down a flight of stairs and claimed he was the one who ended The Viper's illustrious career.

Once 2012 rolled around, the evil Englishman was riding a wave of momentum, and there was simply no stopping the Barrett Barrage.

He was one of the participants in the WWE Championship No. 1 contender's match on the February 20 edition of Raw, but was eliminated by Santino Marella. As lingered at ringside, Big Show tossed Dolph Ziggler over the top rope and caused the bleached blonde Superstar to land smack-dab on Barrett's arm.

It was quite clear that Barrett was in a terrible amount of pain, as if the swear words coming from his mouth weren't audible enough. Shortly thereafter, WWE.com reported that Barrett's injury would force him to miss six to eight weeks of in-ring action.

While his period of inactivity ended up being much longer than originally anticipated, it still meant that he wouldn't be medically cleared to compete in time for WrestleMania 28.

The following month, a report surfaced online that stated Barrett was originally scheduled to win the Money in the Bank Ladder match at 'Mania. However, due to Barrett's abrupt injury, plans to hold the match at the event were scrapped.

Barrett's injury kept him out of action until September, meaning he was also unable to take part in July's Money in the Bank pay-per-view. In his absence, Dolph Ziggler and John Cena captured the SmackDown and Raw briefcases, respectively.

So, a question begs to be asked: If Barrett hadn't suffered that arm injury, would he have been World Heavyweight champion by now?

I strongly believe that if the NXT Season 1 winner returned to the ring by July, he would have been holding the blue briefcase instead of Ziggler. That also might mean that Barrett would be the one chasing Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship right now instead of Ziggler.

Unfortunately, Barrett hasn't been involved in the world title since coming back from injury. He was on a hot streak in the final few months of 2012 before embarking on a mediocre reign as Intercontinental champion in 2013.

Next Sunday, Barrett will be one of seven participants in a Money in the Bank Ladder match battling for a future shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Although one year has passed, will it finally be the former Nexus leader's time to shine in Philadelphia?

Barrett was ready to win a world title years ago, so he's my pick to win the bout at the pay-per-view. He's more than ready for the main event scene, and I hope WWE officials realize that as well.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to drop a comment below with where you think Barrett would be now had he now been injured last year. Also, please include any incidents you'd like me to analyze in upcoming editions of WWE Flashback Friday.

GSM out.


Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling and listen to my wrestling radio talk show SAVE US GSM every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET.