Can Barrett ride momentum into the Royal Rumble?
Since unleashing the mayhem known as the “Barrett Barrage,”
there’s no doubt that Wade Barrett has been riding high on a wave of momentum.
The major question now facing the British Superstar is whether he can maintain
that stride – and his heightened intensity – heading into the 25th
anniversary of the Royal Rumble this month.
(FULL ROYAL RUMBLE COVERAGE)
With one of the most prestigious prizes imaginable on the line – a World Championship opportunity on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania – the Royal Rumble Match itself is a high-stakes affair. Add in a huge “luck” component (the order in which competitors enter the field is determined by a random drawing) and the event’s every-man-for-himself mentality and the contest is as unpredictable a match format as they come.
However Barrett, fortified by a newly reinforced mean streak, appears well positioned to excel in just such a match-up. Characterized by a series of brutal assaults and several decisive victories, the “Barrett Barrage” has revealed a merciless side of the former Corre and Nexus leader that had only been hinted at, but never fully realized till now. With the Royal Rumble Match right around the corner, Barrett’s amped intensity could not come at a better time.
On the Jan. 2 Raw SuperShow, the British Superstar made clear his objective of winning the Rumble. He punctuated the statement by finishing off an overwhelmed Santino Marella in short order, disposing of Marella with a side slam.
Marella, of course, is only the latest Superstar to fall victim to the new, more aggressive Barrett. After Barrett scored two high-profile victories over Randy Orton in November, the Barrett-Orton saga reached new heights during last Friday’s SmackDown, when the two Superstars clashed head-on in a brutal Falls County Anywhere Match. That bout, which traversed throughout Indianapolis’ Conseco Fieldhouse, ended with Orton laid-out at the bottom of a steep stairway. Rather than follow up with more punishment, as he initially appeared interested in doing, the Englishman simply left the scene, and Orton’s prone body, in dominating fashion. (PHOTOS)
As a result of the fall, Orton suffered a herniated disc and is on the shelf for at least the next several weeks. More importantly, it allows Barrett to devote even more attention to devising a strategy for the 30-Superstar, over-the-top-rope melee.
Only Barrett knows for sure what his end game is, of course. Not in question, however, is the red-hot streak that has landed him squarely among the frontrunners in this year’s competitive Rumble pack.