'Bad News' Gimmick Has Revitalized Wade Barrett's Career

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'Bad News' Gimmick Has Revitalized Wade Barrett's Career
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

Prior to now, Wade Barrett never had a sustainable character.

It was always the leader of a stable or a “real” fighter. Stables break up, and being “real” fighter in a fake fight is a handicap in and of itself.

Barrett garners a lot of attention because he was the winner of the first season of NXT. He's been endorsed by Chris Jericho. Plus, in the eyes of today's critical hardcore fans, he's good in the ring but isn't used as well as they want, so his bandwagon grows, just as Dolph Ziggler's or Zack Ryder's did.

Barrett's talented in the ring, but that's not enough. You need to be able to talk people into the building and convince them to watch the match. If it's between a good character or solid wrestler with no definition to his personality, character will win and make money in WWE every time.

The most detailed description I can give of his character is that he has a thick accent and has had more entrance music in four years than any other WWE Superstar.

He was the leader of a group of rebellious developmental guys called Nexus. It was hot for three months before bad booking exposed it. He was the leader of a bunch of unknowns.

He then led The Corre. Yeah, you had forgotten about that disaster until now. He was the leader of a few less people who were the bigger unknowns out of the Nexus unknowns.

He did some more stuff as just that British guy in the mundane middle portion of the card around the Intercontinental title.

His fight club like gimmick of being a bare-knuckle brawler gained some short-lived interest. The video vignettes were cool. The problem with that gimmick is it can't be sustained in a genre where suspension of disbelief is key. It's even a task at times for Brock Lesnar, who is an accomplished mainstream MMA fighter, has Paul Heyman speaking for him and is only seen a few times a year in WWE.

I'm sick of seeing people complain on social media of the Bad News Barrett gimmick being a waste of a great talent. This is the most interesting Barrett has been as a singles star without a faction behind him. It's interesting. It's easy to understand. It's something that can evolve.

Barrett can speak and his accent allows him to stand out in a roster that has several monotone promos. The gimmick of giving bad news provides some context. He plays the role well. There will be more connection and care from the audience once he finally gets back in the ring on television. They have a reason to dislike him other than him being the guy across the ring from the babyface. These bad-news diatribes are generating heat with the audience.

Barrett is doing all the things WWE loves. He hasn't noticeably messed up any of his promos, which have no room for error. You can't have pauses due to brain cramps, pronounce words incorrectly or stutter. The moment he does any of that, the credibility of his character giving the bad news is damaged.

The same one-take rule applies to Damien Sandow's intellectual character. The moment he messes up, it's a big blow to his gimmick.

Do you like the Bad News Barrett gimmick?

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In addition to speaking well, Barrett's gimmick provides a different look. The scissor lift covered in black raising his podium high into the air is a great, unique touch. It allows him to look down on the audience he's testifying over. It's different, simple and appropriate.

Plus, his gimmick gets to incorporate social media, which is huge with WWE. In fact, the company just changed his hashtag to #BNB. WWE is really buying into hashtags. If you've noticed, it no longer just has a hashtag for the program of Raw or SmackDown. WWE now has individual hashtags for specific segments and matches.

If you're a Barrett fan, this has the most potential to be what finally gets Barrett on the proper path as a singles star with longevity.

Bad News Barrett will be the best news for his career.

 

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