When Bad News Barrett debuted on the JBL and Cole Show, Barrett immediately impressed with his ability to deliver the bad news to superstars and divas completely off the cuff and organically. Unfortunately, his debut on WWE TV did not deliver the biting sarcasm that made the gimmick so popular on YouTube.
Since the end of the original Nexus program, Barrett has bounced from one failed gimmick to the next. WWE creative seems to have next to nothing for him, and it often seems he is one-step away from being future endeavored. The rise of Bad News Barrett showed promise because it appeared to be a very organic and real character for Barrett. Many felt that this character could help Barrett find his bearing in the entertainment driven environment that currently is WWE.
The ability to come across naturally in sports entertainment has always brought out the best in superstars, and often fed the flames of some of the hottest programs in the history of the business. CM Punk’s pipe bombs and Daniel Bryan’s quest to overcome his underdog, B plus, indie darling labels have been the most recent examples of real life and organic storytelling making for compelling wrestling entertainment. Like Barrett, both Bryan and Punk possess every physical tool to dominate sports entertainment, but both fell short in the WWE until they let their real life struggles influence their storytelling.
Barrett possesses the physical skill and presence to work as a solid ring mechanic and old-school brawler in the tradition of other tough guys such as Bob Holly, Finlay, and fellow Brit William Regal. Much like the aforementioned superstars, Barrett has difficulty connecting with the live audience and therefore does not gain the recognition his skills demand.
For now, all fans of Wade Barrett can do is wait to see if he can work with WWE creative to get an organic, viral video character to come across naturally on TV. If Barrett successfully delivers Bad News, he may finally get the title shots and big matches his skills demand. If Bad News Barrett fails because of poor writing and poor delivery, the WWE Universe may lose someone I feel could fill a void in WWE that has been emptied since the retirement of Finlay, Holly’s departure and William Regal’s semi-retirement. WWE needs a tough-as-nails brawler and it would be bad news if Wade Barrett did not get the chance to be that man.