Nick Aldis, currently under the name of Magnus, is a British wrestler currently associated with TNA. Magnus had an immediate effect in the Impact Zone. Already with a growing popular fan base from the revived Gladiators, he immediately transferred it to TNA. Under the name, Brutus Magnus, he was a Gladiator able to defeat his opponents. After a successful stint under that character, Magnus went on to form The British Invasion, with fellow British wrestlers Douglas Williams and Rob Terry. The British Invasion went on to develop a deadly group that went on to annihilate several opponents. They were all united in a common cause, of defeating anyone not British. Out of these proud patriotic British men, Magnus was the clear standout. Douglas may of been the more athletically gifted, however Magnus possessed the mic skills that was rare in TNA. The British Invasion was important in building TNA. It helped wrestlers of different nationalities to form groups based on their backgrounds, helping TNA to branch out to a wider audience with fans of the similar background. Not only that, Magnus with Douglas Williams were part of the tag team division, which was significant to TNA at the time. Magnus was able to be involved in feuds with perhaps the greatest tag team of all time, Team 3D. The British Invasion would even overcome their notorious opponents for the IWGP tag team championships, in the 30th July 2009 episode of TNA Impact. The championships enabled the British Invasion to be one of the main tag teams in a talented roster, which they defended their IWGP tag team championships in a Full Metal Mayhem match against Scott Steiner & Booker T, Team 3D and Beer Money Inc at Bound For Glory 2009. Magnus would lose the IWGP tag team championships but would win the other defended tag team championships, the TNA tag team championships. Considering their opponents of the two most established tag teams in all of the modern wrestling at the time, together with the highly respected wrestling careers of Scott Steiner and Booker T. The title reign would continue but it would eventually go to Hernandez as discussed in a previous article. Nevertheless, Magnus had announced himself in the Impact Zone.
This lead to Magnus branching out of the successful British Invasion, becoming a new star. It didn’t get to the best of starts where Magnus had to rebuild himself. He would lose the Global championship to Rob Terry. With his British heritage once again utilised, he used a Jude Law like persona, with Dixie Carter pushing for Magnus to have a ladies man character. Magnus would go on to build a tag team with the other most promising British wrestler at TNA at the time, Desmond Wolfe, under the name London Brawling. Unfortunately moments from being set to fight for the TNA tag team championships, the match was postponed due to the unfortunate medical situation of Desmond Wolfe, as his entertaining DVD discusses. This lead to a setback for Magnus himself, who had to eventually reform the British Invasion. The British Invasion wasn’t able to have the same impact it had before, losing several tag team matches, but backstage management saw potential in the group, and wanted them to have a tag team title match. Even attempts of making them face by defending USA against Mexican America didn’t help them much.
Magnus had to revive a career that had a promising start. Magnus was able to defeat Alex Shelley in the finals of Xplosion Championship challenge at the 9th August 2011 episode of TNA Xplosion. This set to help pioneer a new career path for Magnus. He was able to get involved with Samoa Joe, showing that he is being associated with a highly regarded wrestler in the Impact Zone. Magnus went on to form a prominent tag team with Samoa Joe, including becoming Tag Team champions. This relationship would build up into becoming a rivalry. Despite Samoa Joe being a diminishing yet still dominant force, he was challenged at all aspects by the determined Magnus. Magnus had the desire to overcome the objective of defeating the more reputable Samoa Joe. Magnus was showing he wasn’t ready to crash and show that he is equal to the more illustrious rival competitors. Samoa Joe in a number of occasions was able to overcome the courageous Magnus.
But there was a turning point for Magnus during the rivalry. The rivalry came to an abrupt end due to the ambush by Aces & Eights. This ironically ended up catapulting Magnus, who went on to being one of the key members of the TNA’s rebellious army against the bandits. Magnus helped them to a number of victories including the key victory in the steel cage at TNA Lockdown 2013. This has given Magnus the current platform that he is facing in the Bound For Glories Series 2013. Magnus has stepped up his game, in being able to defeat distinguished superstars including a fair victory against the distinguished Bobby Roode. He now finds himself entitled as one of the highly regarded wrestlers to be part of the Main Event Mafia.
On the other side of the spectrum, at WWE, they have their own rising British star. He goes by the name of Wade Barrett. Wade Barrett early start with WWE has already been discussed in detail in a previous article. Wade Barrett’s reign over Nexus came to a halt, due to the backstabbing of CM Punk. At the time, Wade Barrett was actually the more promising individual, being able to articulate complex words with no stutter unlike the majority of the roster including John Cena. Wade Barrett was the biggest heel at WWE Raw, and had to emulate his wrath at Smackdown. Unfortunately, things wouldn’t go as smoothly as planned although Wade’s newly formed faction, The Corre, were effective. The Corre and the new Nexus divided the formidable original Nexus. The Corre still went on to form interesting storylines including the Royal Rumble 2011. Barrett still went on to be in the world title picture, being involved in the Elimation Chamber for the World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber 2011. He was the first man eliminated by The Big Show who he had developed a rivalry with since Big Show was the first man attacked by the debuting Corre. It all changed from there, as Wade Barrett then has made a step down as a main event calibre performer, to a mid card wrestler. It was a strategic step for his longevity as with Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus who have enjoyed early success in capturing the world championship but still needed to rebuild themselves. Wade Barrett became embroiled into the Intercontinental championship title picture, with feuds against Kofi Kingston and the ex Corre member Ezekiel Jackson. This was helping Wade in developing his wrestling abilities by restarting his route to the top. Being touted as one of the favourites to win the World Heavyweight championship’s Money In the Bank at the Money In The Bank 2011 pay per view, he was ousted by Daniel Bryan. This lead to a rivalry with Wade Barrett defeating Daniel Bryan at Summerslam 2011, showing the dominance he possessed and his shock that he had lost to the underrated and at the time unused Daniel Bryan.
Wade Barrett then began to his climb back up the roster, by establishing himself as an individual rather than being associated with a group. He embarked into a winning streak, reminiscing the current run of Magnus in TNA. Wade was able to finally overcome a long term foe of Sheamus, but the streak would lead to an intense rivalry, with a familiar foe, high up the WWE hierarchy, Randy Orton. Wade’s winning streak would end against Randy Orton, but this was able to allow them to headline one of biggest events in wrestling’s calendar, Survivor Series 2011, with the unique match up of Team Barrett vs Team Orton. The match up with its historical significance, was a good test for Wade Barrett to prove his worth, being victorious against Team Orton, being the survivor along with Cody Rhodes. Wade would also be involved in the world heavyweight title picture, but he would continue his development in his rivalry with Randy Orton. It was so severe that in a Falls Count Anywhere brawl, on the 30th December 2011 episode of Smackdown, Wade Barrett would throw Randy Orton down the stairs suffering a hernia disc. Then Randy making his return at Royal Rumble 2012 to eliminate Wade. The rivalry would end with Randy winning a decisive victory in a No disqualification match on the 3rd February 2012 episode of Smackdown. Wade Barrett had gained the rebuilding he needed to announce himself as a serious player in WWE. Wade Barrett once again participated in the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber at Elimination Chamber 2012. The same outcome as the previous year with another defeat, before he then got an unexpected elbow injury due to Big Show throwing Dolph Ziggler on top of him, during the following Raw’s Battle Royal match.
For a guy who was due to receive the reward for his rebuilding, had to recuperate and rebuild. Wade Barrett was injured and out of WWE television for 7 months. He had to start a new character showing that he is reinjuvenated, using his background of being a bare knuckle fighter. Like before, he would undergo another unbeaten streak, vanquishing several foes such as his ex Nexus buddy Justin Gabriel. But after a month, it took another high ranked rival, in a feisty encounter, of a lumberjack match against the then World Heavyweight champion Sheamus in the 19th October 2012 episode of Smackdown. He had to settle to being part of another competitor’s Survivor Series team, for Dolph Ziggler’s team against Mick Foley’s team at Survivor Series 2012. Wade Barrett attempting to reconstruct his career of great potential, reignited his pursuit for the major championships for the midcards. He competed for both the US and Intercontinental championship, and like last time, was able to capture it off Kofi Kingston in another rivalry with Kofi, at the 31st December 2012 episode of Raw. As if it was also reminiscing his final show of last year when he was able to mark a statement against Randy. Wade would hold the title until the pre show of Wrestlemania 29, which I had attended, with the crowd exasperated that the irritating Miz defeated him to become the new champion. Fortunately, Wade Barrett would recapture the championship much to the thunderous joy of the crowd at the following Raw after Wrestlemania 29, which I also attended. The new championship reign would continue for a while, re-asserting the rise of Wade Barrett experienced before his injury. Wade Barrett would lose his championship in bizarre circumstances to the next major project of the McMahon family, Curtis Axel, at Payback 2013. This leads to Wade Barrett’s current predicament, of participating in his second Money In The Bank match. Unlike last time, where he was the favourite, I am predicting the obvious outcome that he will be victorious this time around. Wade Barrett would then cash in his briefcase when Raw and Smackdown comes to Manchester at 11th and 12th November 2013. It was practically written in the advertisement by having the show scheduled near Wade Barrett’s Preston. Wade Barrett is set to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Two promising British wrestlers rising in the American based Wrestling companies. There hasn’t been a top British wrestler since The British Bulldog, so its fortunate that we have two stars set to rise. Both stars have had similar paths in their respective careers. Both being clear stand outs in their wrestling groups, with a growing fan base. Then both of these competitors breaking out of these groups to push on their own individual careers, embroiling in rivalries with main event calibre adversaries. Not only that, these British men have been able to overcome rivals in impressive wins. Whenever they have arrived in the UK, the fans have been vocal for their home based talents. These two competitors are currently set to be prominent competitors for their respective world titles, with Wade Barrett set to win the Money In The Bank tonight, with Magnus having an impressive start to the Bound For Glory campaign. This is impressive considering the setbacks they had experienced which could of lead to a quicker route to the top of their respective companies. But there are also discrepancies between the two. Wade Barrett has had a history of wrestling prior to WWE while Magnus was acquired with little experience, due to his involvement with the revived Gladiators. TNA management had to rely on Douglas Williams to help Magnus build his wrestling skills which was necessary. Magnus was lacking effective wrestling athletism and his mic skills till this day aren’t at the level warranting a main event star. On the other side, Wade Barrett is anything but a wrestler with really good mic skills that lead him in being a commentator at periods during his spell with Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).
Wade Barrett has been the better wrester being able to provide promising matches while the same can’t be said for Magnus. Magnus needed to build his wrestling abilities, which he was only maintaining his push due to his reputation of being a gladiator. In addition that Magnus was able to associate to his character well, showing he’s a good actor. This is an important attribute for modern wrestlers. Let’s not forget that both of these British athletes have participated in movie roles, showing they have acting potential. However Wade Barrett only finds himself still without a World Heavyweight title is because of an injury and due to the creative management decision to ensure the longevity of his career by manufacturing a wrestling star that rose through the ranks, rather than curtailing on the success of Nexus. WWE had experienced stars that started well but dissipated quickly, even quickly from WWE’s memories when they say Paul Heyman’s last four clients were world champions… When did Heidenreich win the title? I liked him to be honest but WWE was at a low. It feels as if, the push of Magnus was done to capitalise on the effect Wade Barrett had at the 5th November 2012 WWE Raw episode, when Wade Barrett received the loudest pop for a British wrestler for a very long time. It was as if, Vince was given a reminder of the potential of Wade, in which for us fans who attended the show in Birmingham, were treated to a post show speech that he was close to tears with the adulation he received from the crowd. This lead to TNA management in pushing Magnus to make his return to the Impact Zone when TNA toured the UK, with Magnus starting the show. The crowd were vibrant but Magnus’ wrestling wasn’t great and his mic skills were still lacking. He has developed alot since then, but still falls behind Wade Barrett.
In the UK and worldwide, the media is anticipating the birth of Prince William’s son, the great grandchild of the Queen. Coincidentally, the wrestling world, those in the UK in particular, are excited about the prospect that Wade Barrett will win the Money In The Bank Briefcase for The World Heavyweight Championship. It is nothing to be ashamed of, but Magnus falls in comparison to Wade Barrett. Magnus is receiving a push and is developing into a promising performer. Magnus if he continues in this trend, can lead to a promising career, but like when comparing two individuals, there are always a victor. Throughout the lifetime of the children of Prince Charles, they have constantly undergone a media frenzy. To the vast majority, there was a preference for Prince William, just like their wrestling equivalent in Wade Barrett and Magnus.
Magnus, like your royal family member equivalent, you demand attention, but there will always be a shadow, limiting the magnitude of the consideration of Magnus. Magnus… you are wrestling’s Prince Harry…
Additional off topic:
This summer is certainly setting up to continue a good wrestling period, with Austin Aries bout with Bully Ray, along with Brock Lesnar against CM Punk. The Money In The Bank matches tonight should be interesting with the impressive Daniel Bryan who I predict won’t win, with perhaps a Randy Orton victory leading to a heel turn. Brock Lesnar surely will interfere to stop CM Punk who would be moments from winning.
Hulk Hogan against Bully Ray which is being anticipated will be interesting, but surely it would help to fight a younger and hungrier fighter, for the longevity of TNA. King Kenny or something? He gets involved in the love triangle with Brooke Hogan/Ray. A good summer to come indeed.
By Sean Prem