"Bad News" could use some good news. Less than a week after separating his shoulder, Wade Barrett was forced to relinquish the Intercontinental Championship. A Battle Royal will be held at Battleground to determine a new champion, per WrestlingINC.com:
WWE 50 author Kevin Sullivan was disappointed that the belt will be awarded after a Battle Royal and not a tournament:
The only way I'll be happy with Barrett getting stripped of the gold, is if there's a tournament to follow. #Raw— Kevin Sullivan (@SullivanBooks) July 1, 2014
This is the second time that Barrett's been forced off WWE programming in the middle of a nice push. Back in 2012, he suffered a dislocated elbow shortly after he was in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
After getting repackaged as "Bad News" Barrett, he had been catching on with fans. Barrett's always been solid in the ring, but he had yet to find a character that could match his wrestling ability.
Now, all of the momentum that he's built will ground to a halt.
Cesaro is the early favorite to win the Intercontinental title. He's a tremendous wrestler, and with Paul Heyman by his side, he'll have no trouble continuing to draw a reaction from the fans. Plus, Cesaro's already got experience winning Battle Royals, after eliminating The Big Show in WrestleMania 30's Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Former WWE announcer Jim Ross believes that this would be the perfect way to transition Cesaro into a viable WWE World Heavyweight Championship contender down the line:
Heyman could brag Cesaro not only won the Andre battle royal, but also IC title battle royal. Winning Royal Rumble would top it off. #RAW— JRsBBQ (@WWEJimRoss) July 1, 2014
Having Cesaro win IC title battle royal, then on to Royal Rumble would be a perfect storyline transition. Sauce it! #RAW— JRsBBQ (@WWEJimRoss) July 1, 2014
Ideally, the Intercontinental Championship is still a stepping stone for guys who need that extra push. While the title has been devalued over the years, hopefully the next holder can help bring back some legitimacy.