5 Popular WWE gimmicks that were cut short too soon
On this week’s episode of SmackDown Live, Rusev defeated The Miz at the end of a five-man gauntlet match to become the #1 contender for AJ Styles’ WWE Championship.
“The Bulgarian Brute” has been one of WWE’s most popular Superstars in 2018, largely thanks to his unlikely alliance with singing sidekick Aiden English, but reports continue to suggest that he could soon turn fully heel again and bring an end to the ‘Rusev Day’ phenomenon.
While the former United States champion was previously a very believable and effective heel, it feels like WWE hasn’t fully capitalized on his babyface potential over the last few months and it would be a shame if his current gimmick were to end in the build-up to his match with Styles.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five other gimmicks from recent years that proved popular with the WWE audience but were cut short far too soon.
#5 Bad News Barrett
Stu Bennett (aka Wade Barrett) recently revealed on Chris Jericho’s 'Talk Is Jericho' podcast that, should he ever return to wrestling, he will definitely play a heel character.
However, it was his one and only run as a borderline babyface in WWE that was most loved by WWE fans, with his Bad News Barrett persona – and “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news!” catchphrase – proving popular throughout much of 2014.
Sadly for the Englishman, he was told to stop using the phrase when he won King of the Ring in 2015 and the likeable ‘Bad News’ gimmick was replaced by a ‘King’ gimmick which felt like a clear demotion from what he had previously been doing.
One year later, Barrett decided against renewing his WWE contract and left the company. He has since appeared in two films, Eliminators and Vengeance, and has worked as the General Manager of UK promotion Defiant Wrestling.