DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08: WWE Superstar Wade Barrett is introduced during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
His name is Wade Barrett. And his Baah-rodge cannot be stopped. Especially by a 35-year-old jobber whose biggest in-ring accomplishment is delivering flowers to an endeavored Diva.
Welcome back, Mr. bare-knuckle brawler.
Can someone explain to me the point of all those lazy-eyed vignettes? Barrett clomps around in a pair of jeans (sans shirt, of course) while slugging it out against some hapless Brits in this fairly well-executed return promo. It did a good job of setting up his expected push following elbow surgery, which could lead to a possible title run.
So why not hit the ground running?
As far as I'm concerned, the run-in/save/interference surprise return, complete with announcer disbelief (Oh my God ... that's ... that's Wade Barrett!) is the tried-and-true formula and quite an effective one. Unless, of course, you're top of the food chain like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Undertaker, then all you need is your entrance music and a lawn chair.
Or a flashy light-up jacket.
Instead, Barrett came out for a regularly-scheduled bout, generating about as much excitement as the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. In fact, when I first learned of his pending return, I expected him to interfere with the Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler match, considering he tried to kill "The Viper" prior to his injury (caused by "The Show Off") earlier this year.
No and no.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) felt it was a better idea to let him turn Yoshi Tatsu into a Bento Box, before grabbing the mic and telling all the fans who weren't currently on a pee break that he was "open for business."
After the jump, an excerpt from our Friday Night Smackdown! report, courtesy of Nolan Howell, who inexplicably needed 4,000 words to live blog a taped show that featured 30 minutes of action against 90 minutes of recycled highlights.
Barrett back with a beard.
The bell rings and Barrett wants to start boxing. Flicking the jab. Tatsu ducks under the jab and gets the back of Barrett. Barrett backs him into the corner. Barrett throws a few sharp elbows that hurt Tatsu.
Tatsu hung up on the second rope and Barrett puts him on his feet. He grabs a Thai clinch that brings Tatsu's head over the top rope. Barrett with a few knees to the body of Tatsu.
Barrett off the ropes and a big boot that levels Tatsu.
Barrett plays to the crowd, who seem somewhat pleased to have him back. Pinfall only gets one for Barrett.
He ties up one of Tatsu's arms and holds his hair while he unloads haymakers to the ribs. Headbutt drops Tatsu. Barrett bends down to pick him up, but Tatsu kicks him. And another. Tatsu looks for a headkick, but Barrett ducks under and hits a sidekick to the gut.
Barrett puts in a chicken wing, while he fishhooks Tatsu's nose. He uses the chicken wing as a whip, as he extends Tatsu via his arm and pulls him in to a hard punch.
Pinfall and victory for Wade Barrett.
Barrett has a mic and says that after being gone for six months, matches like this don't interest him. He says they bore him to tears. He says that to make life interesting, he is now open for business.
Matches like that "bore him to tears," so you can just imagine how the rest of us feel.
If the WWE brass wanted to ease him back into the mix, they should have let him work out the kinks during house shows or dark matches. When Barrett's "return" isn't seen as anything special by the company, it won't be seen as anything special by the fans, either.
It wasn't even important enough to get its own story on WWE.com.
So there you have it, folks, Wade Barrett is back and "open for business." The problem is, I'm not shopping there. I peeked in the window last Friday night and didn't see anything worth buying.
How about you?