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Some Good News




Bad News Barrett has finally arrived. Maybe this was the plan all along; to start with a quirky, confusing gimmick that left us questioning why this man was on television. A few short months ago, a former champion and the man who once led Nexus stood on top of a podium and gave us some bad news. The superstar formerly known as Wade now appeared with the label “Bad News”, and told lame jokes as he fished for heat from live audiences. At first, he seemed destined for mid-card obscurity. As the podium would rise, fans would go get a beer, or visit the facilities before the next match. Bad News Barrett segments seemed like the future home for all “we want Divas” chants. Obstacles aside, at some point, the “it” factor happened. We witnessed a stroke of creative genius come full circle in the form of Bad News Barrett.

Anytime there was a lull during RAW or Smackdown, we thought of Barrett — “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if Bad News Barrett came out to say something?” If a superstar was struggling to cut a decent promo, we began quietly wishing for Barrett to appear; hoping he’d come out to call someone fat or insult their intelligence. It wasn’t much later when JBL started screaming “I love this guy” when Barrett appeared on WWE television. The #BNB movement had finally started to gain momentum, culminating when he made his in-ring return on the RAW following Wrestlemania 30.

The rowdy fans in attendance that night heard the start of Barrett’s music and blew the roof off. Barrett’s opponent, Rey Mysterio, was temporarily transformed from beloved babyface to the hated villain standing in BNB’s way. After defeating Rey, Barrett would then go over Sheamus and others on his way into the tournament to face Big E for the Intercontinental Championship. He quickly became the safe choice to win the tournament, and to no surprise, defeated Big E for the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules. The universe expected Barrett to walk out as champion on Sunday, which is an impressive fact in itself. This went from a force-fed, corny gimmick to a favorite in a championship match.

bnbAs difficult as it might be to hear, WWE usually has a plan. Triple H and others in executive chairs are aware of Twitter, the “smart” fans and that everyone thinks they are a qualified WWE booker. At times, the lack of a gimmick is actually a gimmick. Creatively burying Dolph Ziggler, for example, might actually be part of a plan set in motion a long time ago. Ziggler, by the way, is one of the most over superstars with the fans, yet is not involved in any major storylines. Would Zack Ryder be on our minds at all if he showed up weekly to participate in meaningless matches? Or, is it better for Ryder’s character that we don’t see him at all, causing us all to break out with a “we want Ryder” chant. Whether you call it an ironic fondness (Barrett), or clamoring for a star that we believe to be buried (Ziggler, Ryder), WWE has a pool of possibilities to work with. When it comes time for someone like Ryder to re-appear on television, we should be patient with our complaints. Maybe he’ll be a hot dog vendor selling bratwurst to the performers in the ring. You’d be frustrated at first, but when you’re expecting Zack Ryder to appear in any match, you’ll once again thank WWE.

Sunday at Extreme Rules, Bad News Barrett put this all to a test and succeeded. He is the new Intercontinental Champion, proving we were all successfully trolled by WWE’s creative team. A character was built from the ground up on an unpopular gimmick that wasn’t expected to succeed. In the internet era that is 2014, we can still be surprised, and WWE still knows how to do it. That, my friends, is great news.

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