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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The bright lights of Hollywood can be blinding. Just ask Wade Barrett. After his role in the film “Dead Man Down,” the cocky Intercontinental Champion seemed more focused on movies than matches. And it showed during his title bout against The Miz on the WrestleMania Interactive Pre-Show. The wannabe movie star saw The Awesome One steal the spotlight with a surprise ending that featured The Figure-Four Leglock and a change in the Intercontinental Championship.
Tensions between the two began to escalate after Miz’s own film, “The Marine 3: Homefront,” debuted a mere three days before “Dead Man Down.” Professional jealousies heightened to hostilities when Barrett was forced to defend his title in a Triple Threat Match against Miz and Chris Jericho, and stole the win from The Awesome One. The craven move set the stage for their WrestleMania title bout.
Miz came out with a flash of offense, sprinting the length of the ring, feeding off the energy of the WWE faithful. That enthusiasm would dampen when Barrett caught him in the gut with a swift kick. After Miz caught the Englishman with a quick and sobering near pinfall, Barrett seemed to gain focus – and momentum. The former street brawler leveled Miz and prepared to unleash the Bull Hammer. Miz deftly dodged the lethal elbow and, instead, caught Barrett in the Figure-Four Leglock. With his face twisted in pain, the Englishman struggled across the mat until, finally, he reached the ring ropes, prompting the referee to break the hold. After recovering from the excruciating maneuver, Barrett loaded The Awesome One onto his shoulders and nailed him with Wasteland, pinning his foe for a two-count. It would, however, not be enough.
Miz slipped around Barrett and reached for his tangle of legs. With the precision of a Superstar who’s been utilizing the hold for years, he snapped on the Figure-Four Leglock and forced the irate Englishman to tap out.
In the end, Miz celebrated his new Intercontinental Title reign with the capacity crowd at MetLife Stadium. Meanwhile, Barrett would likely give the match a blistering Siskel and Ebert “two thumbs down.” There’s little doubt, though, the leader of The Barrett Barrage would like his next starring role to be a sequel to his Intercontinental Championship reign.