What Happened to Wade Barrett?
When I reviewed “WWE Main Event” this last week, the most amazing thing happened, Wade Barrett won. Wade Barrett, the man at the forefront of the best feud of 2010, won a lengthy match against R-Truth. I was amazed. It seemed like the first time he had won in months. Then I looked it up. It was the first time he had won a televised match since a late April Smackdown against William Regal. It had been three solid months of Barrett losing.
It brought me to the question: What had happened to Wade Barrett? How does one go from main events in pay-per-views to losing to Sin Cara on “WWE Main Event”? It seems a pretty long fall for a talented individual.
So as opposed to a long career retrospective on Barrett, I wanted to look at the highlights or is that lowlights that led to Wade Barrett, the constant loser. Here are the key moments in the Barrett demise:
The Nexus Loses at Summerslam 2010
The first appearance of The Nexus was amazing. It was why we watch the WWE , to be surprised and wanting to watch the next week. The debut of The Nexus was so unique it made me look forward to the next week’s Raw for the first time in a long time. In case you can’t remember, here is their amazing debut in all its glory.
The Nexus continued to attack unsuspecting WWE superstars, general managers or anyone for weeks. It added a unique element of surprise to WWE programming that had been missing for a long time. The Nexus and its leader Barrett were quickly becoming the most dominant heels in the WWE and the fans were treating them as such. When the group had their first official match at Summerslam 2010 in the Main Event, the outcome seemed clear. The Nexus had to win to be established as a credible stable. So of course, John Cena was the sole survivor in the match. The first chance to establish Barrett and the Nexus as a credible threat was lost. However, it could be repaired with some victories in the coming months right?
John Cena Destroys An Entire Stable By Himself
If we are going to buy a wrestler’s credibility he has to win occasionally. He certainly has to be able to take advantage of the odds as well. You would believe in a seven on one attack that Wade Barrett’s group would be able to destroy one man. However, that one man is no ordinary man. It is Superman a.k.a. John Cena.
Besides the fact we never got an explanation why the Nexus hated Cena so much, they spent a majority of their time attacking him in the Fall of 2010. They even made him join the group to very little success. After Cena was “fired” at Survivor Series 2011, it got really bad. Seven men couldn’t take out a “fired” John Cena. It was insulting that a “fired” man had such easy access to a WWE arena but I digress. The point was John Cena was able to destroy Wade Barrett’s credibility as an effective heel leader by himself. Our resident Superman defied the odds and destroyed Wade Barrett. Seven to one odds generally don’t work in your favor. That is unless you are John Cena.
The image of Cena dropping dozens of chairs on Wade Barrett at TLC 2010 was darn near poetic. The Nexus and Wade Barrett’s main event run was good and buried forever under those chairs.
The Corre was terrible
The Nexus proceeded to begin working with CM Punk after TLC 2010. What would become of Wade Barrett? The solution was simple. Why don’t we form a new Nexus like group, The Corre. However, they have no leader and rarely win a match! Brilliant!
The Corre was an awful group. They were a four man Nexus-like team who rarely won. They formed in January 2011 and proceed to get involved in a feud with Kane and Big Show. This led to The Corre (Barrett, Slater, Gabriel and Jackson) losing to Kane, Big Show, Kofi Kingston and Santino Marella in a two-minute match at WrestleMania 27. John Cena and The Rock additionally took the four of them out the next night. It was another heel stable that was constantly losing.
While Barrett did win the Intercontinental Championship in March while working with the Corre but this seemed just be a way to attempt to build up Ezekiel Jackson, as he would proceed to beat Barrett for the title in June of 2011. By then the Corre was disbanded. A second heel group led by Barrett that rarely won and provided fodder for the good guys.
Injuries Derail Barrett
Barrett, amazingly, got on a bit of a roll. He led a Survivor Series team to victory over Randy Orton. He proceeded to “injure” Randy Orton taking him out of action. He even was in the final three for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. The widely circulated online rumor was Barrett was going to win the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania 28, a guarantee of some main event success.
On February 20, 2012, Barrett’s bad luck continued. In a Battle Royal to end Raw, his left elbow was partially dislocated when attempting to catch Dolph Ziggler. The injury was very heartbreaking. He would have no WrestleMania and no Money in the Bank. Sometimes injures can really destroy a wrestler’s chance for success. It certainly happened at the worst possible time for Barrett.
Bo Dallas and the Constantly Losing Intercontinental Champion
To Barrett’s and the WWE’s credit, he returned from injury in September 2012, a repacked Barrett. He was now Wade Barrett, the Bare-Knuckle Brawler. It was quite successful for Barrett as he won a lot of matches in Fall 2012 and reestablished himself as a credible threat. He seemed to be on his way back to the top when he regained the Intercontinental Championship on December 31st over Kofi Kingston. Then Bo Dallas happened.
Bo Dallas seems to be quite the bland babyface wrestler of the 1980’s WWE. He won a Battle Royal that allowed him to be a part of the 2013 Royal Rumble, where the newcomer shocked everyone by throwing out the Intercontinental Champion.
The problem was how the “feud” was handled. Dallas proceeded to get the better of Barrett for a few weeks. Then he vanished. Yes, our Bare-Knuckle Brawler couldn’t even get one up on a NXT rookie before he vanished. Barrett’s credibility was damaged once again.
While he had some limited success until about April, the great devaluing of the Intercontinental Champion continued. After defeating William Regal in a late April Smackdown, the Intercontinental Champion lost. He lost to Sheamus, Sin Cara, The Miz, Chris Jericho, Fandango and Chris Axel. Yes, the Intercontinental Champion lost for two straight months without a win. When he lost the title at Payback it was not that surprising. He then continued to lose for another two months straight. How quickly the two-time Intercontinental Champion fell.
I do understand that things go in circles. You can only push so many wrestlers at once. But Wade has had such a share of bad feuds and bad luck, that it will take a lot of work to repair the damage. It seems such a waste for a talented wrestler who started so brightly.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I have my Twitter account, WWELasher as well. I would love to hear your thoughts about the Barrett demise.