This Week in Wrestling – 2/22/16

Wade Barrett Gives His Notice
Wade Barrett Gives His Notice

After an almost 10-year tenure in the WWE system, it looks like Wade Barrett has had enough. Reports have been coming out that Wade Barrett (Stuart Bennett) has given his notice to WWE and will soon be leaving. It’s unclear whether he’s planning to leave professional wrestling entirely or if he’s looking to revitalize his career in the indies.

Wade debuted on WWE television as a part of the first NXT competition which in the end turned into what should have been the incredibly well-booked Nexus angle, except Big Match John had to go and put a stop to that real fast. For those who don’t know/remember, the Nexus fought Team Cena at SummerSlam, the first real battle between the Nexus and WWE. And Cena won. After being brutally beaten and DDT’d on the concrete floor. Because y’know, YOU CAN’T SEE ME, JACK! THE CHAMP! IS! HEEEEEEEEEEEREEEEEEEEEE! “doo dodo doooooo!

Since the fall of the Nexus, Wade’s been steadily put into terrible stables, gimmick and storylines. The Corre, Bad News Barrett (half and half on that one), King Barrett and of course The League of Nations. The guy wasn’t going to light the world on fire, but he sure as shit wasn’t given the freedom he should’ve had to let the Wade Barrett character flourish, especially as the leader of the Nexus. It’s not to say the guy didn’t get title runs though, he had a few. Just a shame that WWE booked him as a champion to lose almost every non-title match like a real scrub.

It’d be interesting to see Barrett on the indie circuit to say the least, I think there’s places for him, especially with the UK wrestling scene really popping right now.

Shinsuke Nakamura Officially Signed in WWE
Shinsuke Nakamura Officially Signed in WWE

If you’ve been keeping up with the behind-the-scenes of wrestling, you’ve been well aware of Shinsuke Nakamura’s jump to WWE for a while now. But officially last night he was announced as a new WWE signee, heading for NXT.

People are of two minds with Shinsuke, one they think he should be main roster, others don’t want him to leave NXT fearing the worst. Honestly, I’m happy he’s starting out on NXT to learn the WWE-style of performance, given the change in camerawork, pacing, all that jazz. It made sense to bring AJ Styles to the main roster right away as he’s been working American-style most of his career, while Shinsuke has not.

For his first match to be against Sami Zayn is an interesting choice to say the least. You almost feel like him against Balor would’ve been the marquee choice given their familiarity and history, but no one’s complaining about his first match being against a fan favourite is Zayn. Imagine the crowd battle we’re going to get for that match. Holy shit NXT Takeover: Dallas is going to be fantastic!

Do I worry about Shinsuke in WWE? Yes. But I worry about everyone debuting in WWE.

Brie Bella Retiring
Brie Bella Retiring

With her husband Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) fully retired from in-ring action now because of his injuries, it seems the family life is next for both Bryan and Brie. I don’t think it’s been officially announced yet, but Brie Bella is planning on retiring very soon, likely with the desire to settle down with Bryan and start a family.

This is a double-edged sword for me. I’m super happy that one of the two Bellas will be gone from wrestling, I think the sisters were a huge black mark on women’s wrestling, they did far more damage than good. But I’m also giving Brie props here. She’s sticking by her man, rather than being selfish and trying to keep her “career” going in WWE.

But regardless, I’m happy she’s gone, it opens another spot for a more talented female in WWE. Now I just have to hope Nikki follows suit.

Kota Ibushi Leaving NJPW/DDT?
Kota Ibushi Leaving NJPW/DDT?

Reports came out last night than Japanese star Kota Ibushi plans to leave New Japan and DDT to work a more freelance schedule. While it’s unclear if he’ll still work with both promotions just on a lighter schedule, it’s still another huge loss for New Japan Pro Wrestling, who are already hemorrhaging star talent.

Still recovering from a serious back injury, Ibushi has been out of action for about half a year or so now. So this decision likely comes due to these injuries and he’s looking to work a lighter schedule so he doesn’t really screw himself up for life.

It’s another sucky situation for Japanese wrestling fans, Ibushi was really starting to shine in New Japan before his injury. Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of him there.

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