4/16/14 Wrestler of the Week – Bad News Barrett

The Wrestler of the Week award is designed to highlight a wrestler who made the most of his or her opportunities in a given week. While great matches or memorable promos certainly help a wrestler win Wrestler of the Week, the ultimate decision will also include consistency through the week and bonus points for pulling off a task with a higher degree of difficulty.

4/16/14 Wrestler of the Week – Bad News Barrett

A busy week postponed this week’s Wrestler of the Week award, but I assure you all that it does not diminish the award’s prestige. After his Bad News gimmick started inauspiciously, Barrett has slowly invested fans with increasingly sarcastic and clever promos. Still, the gimmick was never going to truly take off until he got back into the ring and built some momentum. He did precisely that last week and reminded fans why he was viewed as one of the company’s fastest rising stars when he won season one of NXT and launched the Nexus.

On Smackdown, Barrett took on his old rival Kofi Kingston and they showed that they still had the same chemistry that helped them build strong matches over the Intercontinental Title a couple of years ago. They countered one another’s offense and Kingston’s speed was a good complement to Barrett’s strength and believable offense. Barrett won the match with a cool sequence when Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise but jumped into Barrett’s Bullhammer elbow. It is a simple, devastating finisher that has thus far been protected

Barrett had a somewhat similar match that was even better on Raw when he took on Dolph Ziggler in the first round of the Intercontinental Title #1 Contender Tournament. The match built from a deliberate pace early until they traded near falls off of signature moves at the end. There were several moments when it looked like both men had the match won, like when Barrett countered the Zig Zag with Winds of Change, or when Ziggler rolled up Barrett after he missed the Bullhammer. The result was a hot finish when Barrett finally pinned Ziggler after the Bullhammer. It was a great match that meant a lot for both wrestlers because it was so competitive.

At this point, Barrett has to be considered one of the favorites to win the Intercontinental Title Tournament. His new gimmick is over with fans, he is in the best shape of his career, and he is working as well as ever. Although he has won the Intercontinental Title in the past, the belt means more now (at least theoretically) as the #2 title in the company and it would mark a big step forward for someone whose promising career was derailed by a gruesome injury and visa issues that were both remarkably unlucky.