On June 7th 2010, Wade Barrett debuted on RAW as the leader of the Nexus. Going into his debut, he had won the first season of NXT with Chris Jericho as his mentor. When that first season of NXT first started, Chris Jericho was the World Heavyweight Champion. Think about that and think about the importance of that win when you consider how much the brand of NXT has developed. OK, NXT was not acting as WWE’s developmental at the time. However, it was still a huge deal for Barrett to effectively be the first champion of this revolutionary scheme by WWE. That’s huge.
What did WWE do with that? Surprisingly, they initially followed it up tremendously. Barrett debuted on RAW with his fellow NXT competitors and they destroyed the show. It was incredible. It promoted new stars. Once more, Barrett was the leader of this new rebellious group who were attacking the WWE. He had a great character which suited his position. He had a great voice, he was good in the ring and he had the means to be the next great villain in WWE. So the idea that Barrett is floating around in the middle of nowhere five years after that happened is just mind-boggling.
Ever since that big push upon his debut, it’s hard to imagine that Barrett is where he is right now. There’s a number of reasons why he is where he is right now. The biggest thing was the Nexus having to lose to Team WWE at Summerslam 2010, with Barrett submitting to Cena. According to Jericho and Edge, it was Cena’s decision for the finish to go down like it did. Even the best of wrestlers can still win and keep the losing party over but Cena’s reported way of doing it forced the whole Nexus angle back to square on as it basically meant that after only two months, you’ve had this group lose clean to the good guys.
If the nWo were to have jobbed out to Randy Savage, Lex Luger and Sting at the Great American Bash 1996, do you really think the storyline would have gotten over like it did? No. Say what you will about WCW, they at least made the nWo a legitimate powerhouse. Here in 2010, they made the Nexus look like a joke after two months. How on earth was Wade Barrett going to recover from that? His next big wins were a win over John Cena at Hell in a Cell due to interference and Randy Orton at Bragging Rights when Cena attacked Barrett for the DQ.
I don’t mind the heels losing once in a while but if you don’t have a recovery plan so the group doesn’t get hugely effected, they’re doomed to fail. When a big heel loses, you have to protect them afterwards. It’s a recurring problem with WWE. Look at where Wade Barrett is now, having not received a legitimate main event push since he was exiled from the Nexus. This was infuriating.
Barrett’s had his moments where you thought he was going to break out and be the next top heel. He was expected to receive a push for the title in 2012 before he got injured and his Bad News Barrett gimmick got really over. However, Barrett’s just never been able to get to that next level. You can blame bad luck due to injuries. I call it negligence by the WWE.
Sure, Barrett’s been injured a few times and his momentum has been killed a few times because of it. However, if you’re really cautious, you can get him over when he returns. However, WWE seem to be incapable of doing that. Either that or they simply don’t have a lot of faith in him to be the next big star. Well if that’s the case, why is he still employed?
Why bother having him around if you know that you’re never going to give this great talker and great wrestler a decent push or a possible title run? You can put the Intercontinental title on him 20 times if you want. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many title runs he’s got to his name. Look at Chris Jericho. He’s held the Intercontinental title nine times but hardly anyone talks about those title reigns. They talk about the former multiple time World Heavyweight Champion. They talk about the guy that beat The Rock and Steve Austin in the same night to be Undisputed Champion. They talk about the guy that main-evented Wrestlemania for god’s sake!
Does Wade Barrett have any claim of fame that even comes close to those accomplishments? Of course not. The King of the Ring never did him any favours. A month after winning it he got into a feud with R-Truth for the crown. WWE treated this tournament like a joke. Barrett is one of only a few King of the Ring holders that have never truly become main event stars and it’s sickening.
It’s not like Barrett can’t be a star, the WWE just won’t let him. What does it take for you to give Barrett a chance? Heck, Barrett has had a great opportunity to become a star with this European tag team with Sheamus. This European tag team might have actually been a great way to get these two over (would have been better had Rusev not got injured). What happens? You don’t even try to protect them as they get beat by the Lucha Dragons on RAW. Listen, I like the Lucha Dragons. However, they’re not going to be like a main event star in WWE. Barrett might. Sheamus MUST be booked as a main event star as he got the Money in the Bank. However, you’re booking them so poorly that not a single soul is going to take them seriously.
I asked the question earlier on about why Barrett is still employed if WWE aren’t going to do anything with him. Let me make something clear. I want Wade Barrett to be employed. However, I don’t want him employed to do nothing. That’s not going to help his morale if he is sitting on the sidelines or stuck in half-hearted storylines. If his purpose is to act as a top UK star for when the WWE comes to the UK, I’d get that. However, the UK fans aren’t going to care about Wade if you’re just going to have him there to get a big reaction once in a while. As a UK fan, I will root for Barrett as much as I can because I truly believe he deserves better. I’m sure nearly all of the WWE UK fans feel the same way. We can root for him all we want but it’s not going to help if someone writing the show doesn’t do the same.