Every Friday night for the past few months, Twitter has exploded when Barrett has walked out to the Smackdown ring.
He’s my favourite kind of heel – the smug, superior Englishman who has the skills and charisma to back up his boasts. The consensus among fans is that the Corre dragged on for too long – much as the script tried to argue that the quartet were equal, everyone knows it was a vehicle for Barrett, but it started to hold him back. Now as a singles wrestler, he is apparently getting a fair opportunity at his well-deserved time in the spotlight.
And what has interested me most is that Barrett seems to have some kind of magnetic effect on ladysmarks the world over. Now, we’re generally a hard-to-please bunch, and there is very little we agree on as we argue the corner of our particular favourites. But Barrett seems to be the one wrestler that every single female wrestling fan adores.
That was never WWE’s plan, of course. They like the idea of him as a money-obsessed bare-knuckle fighter who’s appropriately macho for men to cheer on; they don’t generally like the idea of any grown women watching their product and taking a fancy to any of their fellas, although they make a concession with Randy Orton’s turnbuckle posing (ugh).
But Barrett’s appeal is his magnetism, and that’s something you can’t script or force the WWE Universe to buy into. Whether he’s scolding people on Twitter for US spelling or general stupidity, making snide references to “your American Charlie Sheen”, or just shrugging off that epic coat, you can’t help but watch him. (NB to prove my point – I was searching for a video clip of Barrett’s ring entrance with his jacket, and Google Chrome automatically suggested the search term “Wade Barrett coat entrance”.)
So it is with great delight that I note the budding feud between Barrett and Orton, and even greater delight that it is happening on Raw and Smackdown. Barrett deserves to be on the “SuperShow”, and he deserves that eventual attempt for the World Heavyweight Championship. The Barrett Barrage has begun in earnest. I couldn’t be happier.