Trained in bare-knuckle brawling on the mean streets of Preston, England, Wade Barrett brings strength, arrogance and cunning to the ring in equal measure. He’s also imbued with confidence and eloquence, character traits that have propelled the cocky young Brit to the top ranks in WWE.
Since coming to WWE prominence as the winner of WWE NXT season one, Barrett has proven he’s not content merely to share the spotlight with his fellow Superstars. He wants total control, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
After winning NXT, Barrett shocked the WWE Universe by forming the splinter group The Nexus and staging a hostile takeover on Raw. The Nexus quickly made their intentions clear following their debut, running roughshod on Monday nights and promoting an agenda of fear and intimidation. Barrett’s cold and ruthless leadership proved difficult to withstand. Even the mighty John Cena couldn’t withstand the onslaught, first becoming a lackey to Barrett’s goon squad and then being unceremoniously ousted from WWE after Barrett ordered his firing.
After Cena was reinstated, Barrett jumped over to SmackDown, forming The Corre, intent on dominating Friday nights just as handily as he had Mondays. Shortly thereafter, Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston to become the Intercontinental Champion. He then used The Corre as hired muscle to ensure he would keep the championship gold until the group imploded along with Wade’s Intercontinental Title reign. With no other Superstars at his side, the scheming Superstar employed his self-proclaimed “Barrett Barrage” — a one-man mission of mercilessness that targeted even those at WWE’s peak, most notably Randy Orton.
Following a partially dislocated elbow that kept him out of action for nearly seven months, a reinvigorated Barrett made his intense return to WWE in September 2012. The English Superstar used his downtime to get back to basics and “reignite the flame” — presumably through participation in the sort of bare-knuckle boxing he took part in in his past.
Knocking out anyone in his path with a devastating elbow strike he’s dubbed the Bull Hammer, Barrett racked up victory after victory upon his return, re-capturing the Intercontinental Title along the way. After The Miz dethroned him on the WrestleMania 29 Pre-Show, the Brit was on the warpath. In a rematch just 24 hours later, he reclaimed the championship for a third time from The Awesome One with a vicious Bull Hammer elbow.
The Barrett Barrage seemed to be back on course from there, but Barrett fumbled his title at WWE Payback when he was pinned by Curtis Axel while trapped in The Miz’s Figure-Four Leglock during a wild Triple Threat Match. Barrett used his automatic rematch clause the following Friday on SmackDown, but came up short against the third-generation Superstar.
Though he may not hold the championship anymore, there's no doubt that Wade Barrett highly covets the Intercontinental Title and will do anything to get it back.