Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Wade Barrett.
Craig: Another topical Book or Cook? First it was last week’s piece on the recently suspended Titus O’Neil and now it’s on Wade Barrett who has recently announced that he is no resigning with the WWE when his contract expires this summer.
I can’t help but think that Barrett will also soon lend himself to a ‘Missed Wrestling Opportunity‘ as the WWE have had plenty of chances to pull the trigger with the British wrestler but have failed to do so.
You have to wonder why. Is he pegged as being injury prone by the the WWE? Do they see him as not having the drive or the commitment to be a top guy or is it something more?
And what would you do or what should he do? Should he go to TNA, which already has big drawing power in the UK, and experience what Christian did: a push. Should they throw the money they were going to use to re-sign AJ Styles or to entice Alberto Del Rio and throw it at Barrett?
Brian: Wade Barrett certainly has options if he really decides to walk away from the WWE. He should get a pretty big pay day someplace else. TNA does seem like a logical choice because he is a WWE star and has that ‘built in’ star power already and also…as Craig eluded to…..TNA is kind of big in the UK.
The question I wonder though, what to do with Barrett from now until June? Do you book him in any matches or just keep him out of sight? If you book him, do you have him get others over as a glorified jobber or do you push him in hopes he’ll change his mind and resign with the company? Is Wade Barrett that valuable to the WWE or a pretty expendable cog?
Craig: I imagine that if the League of Nations have 6/8 man tags then it’ll be Barrett that eats the pin, that’s for sure. He got mocked by Edge & Christian during that awful segment at Fastlane too. But I don’t think we can really look too much into the use of The League of Nations as that is a stable that is weaker than the sum of its parts.
I wonder, Brian, if booked right if Barrett couldn’t have been the first British WWE Champion. Am not suggesting, obviously, from the position he currently is in but if they had used his King of the Ring win to push him rather than just feel him having that “honour” was enough to get him over – it wasn’t.
I don’t know, I guess though that in a few years we might all look back and wonder what could have been with Barrett. Mind you, there’s nothing to stop him going elsewhere and becoming a big star and coming back. Right?
Brian: There were a few times where the WWE could have really capitalized on Wade Barrett’s momentum and put him in the world title picture. The first, obviously was when he was leading Nexus…then when they began pushing him as a singles star a little after that and of course once he won the King of the Ring. Barrett had popularity, he had charisma and of course skill and they just sat on him. Granted, he was injured a couple of times…but Barrett had all the tools to be a world champion.
As for leaving and coming back…I honestly don’t see it. It would be one thing if the WWE released him and he became a big star elsewhere…but he is the one quitting the WWE. You never say never in this whacky business, but I have serious doubts that we will ever see Wade Barrett back in a WWE ring again.
Craig: I guess you are probably right. What is for sure, though, is that I’d have definitely booked him in the WWE and would definitely book him if I was at whatever wrestling organisation he ends up at next. The guy has undoubtedly got talent and if channelled properly then you could have a serious contender on your hands. A top, top guy? Probably not but a big talent that could do your business a lot of good. Would TNA benefit from his acquisition? Absolutely. Could he be a big star in Japan? Without doubt. You certainly have to praise his bravery. He could have sat back and continued to cash the WWE’s cheques but instead is making a move that is best, in his eyes, for business. Fair play to him for that.
Well, those are our thoughts on Wade Barrett. A definite missed opportunity as far as the WWE are concerned and just the sort of guy that could do big business for the likes of TNA or a promotion in Japan. What do you think? Would you book or cook Wade Barrett? As ever, leave your thoughts in the comments section below
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.