Whilst it seems increasingly obvious that the incredible newcomer Neville is the favourite for tonight’s King of the Ring tournament, the young Englishman wouldn’t benefit from the win as much as his countryman, Bad News Barrett.
The return of the tournament, with relatively little hype or build, seems to correlate too closely with the obvious desire to push Neville to be coincidence, and as such, the high-flyer seems the obvious candidate for the victory, but adding a crown and sceptre to the Bad News character could be the final tweak Barrett needs to become a true main event player, and a worthy second heel behind the current WWE champion, Seth Rollins.
Barrett is a competitor that has always seemed to struggle with injuries, and these injuries always seem to occur as the Brit is building momentum, and seems poised to climb the ladder to the top. A few years ago, this ladder seemed poised to be a literal one, as Barrett suffered a dislocated elbow just before an apparent push to win the Money in the Bank briefcase. More recently, he had to vacate his intercontinental title after separating his shoulder in a match against Jack Swagger, at a time were his ‘Bad News’ gimmick was white hot, and despite regaining the title imminently upon his return to action, the gimmick had lost some of its intensity, and Barrett delivers the Bad News promos far less frequently at present.
The gimmick itself is a very entertaining one; a man who embraces his northern English accent to deliver some brilliant heel promos, ones that he delivers on in the ring as he delivers the bad news personally. The in-ring ability of Barrett is without question, he has the powerful and polished offense that one would expect from a 6’7, 11 year veteran. His ring craft is great, and with signature moves Wasteland and Winds of Change backed up by his Bullhammer finisher, he has various credible ways to end a match. Since coming back from injury, he is in visibly better shape, giving him the look that Vince McMahon so famously likes his top guys to have, so the question is merely what is missing in giving his character back the momentum that it has lost?
Make him a King.
It seems certain that the final of the tournament will be Barrett vs. Neville, and the perfect finish would be Barrett nailing Neville with a sceptre behind the referee’s back, cheating for victory and proclaiming himself wrestling royalty. This does no damage to Neville, who would come close to a victory only to lose by underhanded tactics, and set the pair up in a lengthy programme which the company needs in the absence of Daniel Bryan and the Intercontinental Title. Barrett could add a crown and sceptre to the cape he wears to the ring, and once must only look at former KotR winners like Booker T to see how a star can completely reinvent his heel gimmick with a victory in this tournament.
Yes, Neville would undoubtedly benefit from the victory, and his exciting style and breath-taking in-ring ability are prompting creative to seemingly push him to the stars, but a feud with Barrett would equally benefit The Man That Gravity Forgot. Barrett meanwhile, is just one element away from challenging at the top in WWE, and after his misfortune with injury, his long run with the company, and obvious progression as a performer, he surely deserves a chance to grab his Brass Ring.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.