Sometimes wrestlers and promotions aren’t a good fit. Maybe that is the case with Wade Barrett and the reason the former Intercontinental Champion has given notice he is leaving WWE when his contract expires. In some cases, it might be bad breaks and bad booking have left a performer toiling in the mid card, or worse as a high profile jobber for those who have leapfrogged others to reach a higher rung on the ladder. Whatever the case, Barrett is a talented that has experienced bad breaks due to injury, but has also be caught in the shuffle of bad booking and the emergence of other stars who fans have accepted more readily.
My friend Chris McLeod may have hit it on the head when discussing Barrett as a wrestler and as a human being. “Some of the failing is terrible booking, but Wade must bear some of the weight too. The biggest problem he has had over the past three years is staying healthy. He has had one thing after the next and usually just as a push is either in full swing or about to start. He'd do better working 150 nights instead of 300. But who wouldn't?”
Barrett has been as vague as possible about his future plans. Whether it might be as a part of TNA, Global Force or maybe a trip to the Orient, Barrett has a place in the business. Where that place is has yet to be determined. Barrett, by his lack of comments, probably wants to get through the next few months without confrontation from his current boss. It’s admirable in a time where wrestlers tend to use social media to lash out about concerns or issues that are festering.
Maybe the British gentleman in him won’t allow that. But as a former brawler and a bar-fight type performer, I have a hard time seeing that as true. WWE has a habit of taking talent and building them up, then losing them in the shuffle when they are injured. Such is the case with Barrett when he came from the leader of the Nexus. He was a solid, main event worker who worked well with John Cena and looked like he could be the next WWE World Champion. Injuries derailed his ascension and he became a ‘tweener star, on the edge of the main event roster and a champion on the mid card level. Where truly fits on this roster is anyone’s guess, but he could be a huge star in another promotion with another opportunity.
The same could probably be said for stars like Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. Maybe R-Truth and potentially Heath Slater and Curtis Axel and Adam Rose. The fact there are too many stars coming and going like a revolving door proves there is no chance to establish new stars and the ones who are still toiling on the main roster (The Miz) do not get the credit they might deserve. I wonder if other wrestlers will follow Barrett’s lead as stars from NXT move up to the main roster and flourish because they are new and fans are excited about something fresh.
While there are five weeks until WrestleMania 32, we all will watch with anticipation what happens to story-lines and characters. I will be most interested to see if Barrett is low-balled now that he is a short-timer. Wrestlers tend to get lost as their end is near. Barrett is a solid star, which makes seeing him leave hard to believe, but easy to understand. Hopefully, there is a place for him in another promotion that will appreciate his talent. And in turn, his talent will flourish, not squander like it is right now.
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