I was sitting ringside for the WWE SmackDown taping in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, and in the antics following the tilt between Bad News Barrett and Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger came out and began attacking his opponents for the Money in the Bank ladder match.
As soon as Swagger launched Barrett into the security barricade, I immediately knew an injury had occurred.
Barrett went into the wall with his right shoulder. As soon as he hit it—and he hit it hard—he began screaming expletives. The referee was down on the floor talking with him and quickly crossed his arms in an X in the direction I was sitting.
WWE referees have used different gestures over the years, such as making an X or putting up their right arm, to signal that a wrestler has suffered a legitimate, unscripted injury. The WWE has noticed that fans have caught on and have occasionally employed these gestures in scripted situations to make them seem more severe.
This time, I had no doubt of its validity. One of the ringside security officials grabbed his radio off of his hip and called for help.
As Barrett was helped up the ramp, I could see his arm hanging down abnormally, leading me to think of a separated shoulder as a possibility.
This is terrible news for Barrett and his fans.
Barrett's been on the rise in what I consider to be his best run yet with the company. His days as the Nexus leader had shock value, but the longevity potential of his singles run as Bad News Barrett was far greater than him leading seven rookies in a stable.
Plus, Triple H keeps impersonating Barrett's accent and phrases. He's done it the past two weeks on Raw and did so also Tuesday in Pittsburgh. That has to count for something positive.
To add to the situation, until the injury I viewed Barrett and Seth Rollins as the two most likely to win the match for the briefcase with the contract inside.
With the briefcase in one hand and an Intercontinental title over his shoulder, having the best run of his career and preaching bad news to the WWE Universe seemed like a beautiful vision in my head.
In one collision with the security barricade, however, visions of future world-title gold faded into the hope that he still has a usable shoulder.
Ladies and gentlemen: It looks like Barrett's momentum could be stopped by some bad news.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the "Chair Shot Reality" video talk show and "Wrestling Reality" radio show.
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