Welcome back to another edition of WWE Wrestler of the Week! This week’s winner is both the final 2012 WWE WOW and first WWE WOW of 2013. Before we get to the winner, let’s give homage to the runner up, Antonio Cesaro.
[adinserter block=”1″]Antonio Cesaro was 3-0 this week on Raw, SmackDown and Main Event. His matches on Raw and SmackDown were typical with squash matches over Zack Ryder and the WWE Hall of Famer, Sgt. Slaughter. It was on Main Event that Cesaro claimed the WWE WOW runner up. Cesaro is known for his feats of strength as he puts superstars, big and small through his finisher, the neutralizer. On this past week’s Main Event, Cesaro was able to accomplish the biggest feat of his WWE tenure. He was able to put the seven-plus-foot Great Khali in the neutralizer. As I discussed in last week’s WWE WOW, I believe Great Khali only won the battle royal so Cesaro could show off his strength and hit Khali with the neutralizer. Unfortunately for Cesaro, his usual matches on Raw and SmackDown weren’t as impressive as the winner of this week’s WWE Wrestler of the Week. Speaking of which…
This week’s winner also achieved a 3-0 this week on Raw, SmackDown and Main Event, but with one big difference. He was not a champion last week, but is one now. The leader of the Barrett Barrage is your WWE Wrestler of the Week after being the only challenger to defeat and win the title during Champion’s Choice on Raw.
Wade Barrett began the week with the December 28th edition of SmackDown in a successful six man tag team match. Along with Team Rhodes Scholars, Barrett defeated Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston. Not only did they win, but Barrett got the pinfall on Kofi Kingston. Up until this point, Barrett was looking weak in comparison to Kingston. Losses on WWE TV and TLC caused me to question why Barrett was not being pushed. He is a future main event star who was losing to WWE’s midcarder for life in Kofi Kingston.
The trend of finally pushing Barrett continued days later on the New Year’s Eve edition of Monday Night Raw. While other champions had opponents in Sgt. Slaughter, Ricardo Rodriguez and 3MB, Kingston was convinced to face his recent enemy. Just like he did to claim his first Intercontinental Championship, Barrett was able to defeat Kofi Kingston. The interesting point of this win is that Raw was not live. WWE decided to have Barrett win the title on a pretaped show and then spoil the result on their website. Why didn’t they just have Barrett win at WWE TLC 2012? Or wait until the first live Raw of 2013? It puzzles me.
Wade Barrett’s final appearance this week was on WWE Main Event when he participated in a gauntlet match. His first three opponents were clearly squash matches as Yoshi Tatsu, JTG and Justin Gabriel all tried to defeat the new Intercontinental Champion. Barrett’s final opponent in the non-title gauntlet match was sitting at commentary and that would be Kofi Kingston. Unfortunately, Kingston did get the better of Barrett on this occasion, but only after Barrett wrestled three superstars first. Even though they are jobbers, it still proved that Kingston only defeated Barrett after he had been in multiple matches first.
[adinserter block=”2″]Although his week may have ended on a sour note, Wade Barrett had a fantastic week that should put him back in the conversation of future main event star in WWE. He dominated his feud with Kofi Kingston this week and hopefully the rivalry ends soon. The two will square off on the upcoming episode of SmackDown, which could be a sign that the feud is ending. Whether it was a singles match or in a six-man tag team match, Barrett had Kingston’s number this week and is honored with the WWE Wrestler of the Week!
Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com.
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