The Nexus Then and Now

On June 1st, 2010 the wrestling world was hit with a group of young brash superstars that were going to impact the business. They started off with a bang and went after the biggest dog in the yard to make their point. These men were the original cast of WWE’s new NxT program that was meant to showcase new talent. After one of the most powerful debuts in wrestling history the group slowly began to fade. This blog will examine where are they know and if was a all a success or failure.

WWE Nexus Debut
The group of David Ortunga, Michael Tarver, Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Skip Sheffield, Michael McGillicuty, Darren Young and Husky Harris were lead by Wade Barrett. The Nexus brought two things that wrestling was missing. Hot young stars for the future and a dominant faction.
The Nexus fell short of those expectations. After two years the Ring Time crew decided to reflect on what went wrong. There has also been a small resurgence of the members and we will breakdown their individual careers to this point.

Where it Went Wrong
The WWF missed the boat on the Nexus a few ways. First of all they never let Wade Barrett win any matches without help from the group. He was always seen a weak leader. Secondly the group never got to establish themselves as solid individuals. The NWO would at least have matches where their separate members would be featured against other talent in the company. Which allowed them to establish their own feuds and gave substance with the group. Lastly the group should have went over on John Cena completely and cleanly. This would have allowed a solid repackaging for Cena and gave credit to the group. It was always shown as an eight on one set up that the eight struggled to win.
The Nexus should not have broken up until around early 2012. The WWE missed a golden opportunity to have a revolving story line with multiple characters. There was a chance for face turns, in fighting and heel turns from people outside the group.

Hit or Miss
As we look at the individual careers of the Nexus we have had some hits and misses. The jury is still out some of the guys. Mason Ryan and CM Punk are not profiled because they were added to the group and not apart of the original group.


The Misses
Mike McGillicutty
Probably on of the most talented members of the group that never quite made it Mr McGillicutty. The company already missed the boat in branding with his real name Joe Henning. He is a 3rd generation superstar and son of one of your most beloved talents Mr. Perfect. He is not even seen on WWF television as of late.

Husky Harris
You can kind of put him in the same category as young Henning. A 3rd generation superstar who knows his way around the ring. He also had a totally different look from what the WWF usually tries to market as a superstar.

Michael Tarver and Heath Slater 

Not really a total misses because most people never expected much from this these two gentleman. Heath can still be seen from time to time jobbing out on superstars. Tarver has all but disappeared but not missed.

Jury Still Out
Justin Gabriel
The South African superstar has shown a lot of potential.The high flying star has a chance to fill the gap for young impact stars. He has been featured in a few good spots even though lately he has not been seen. The young man still has time for his career to blossom.

Wade Barrett
Barrett was a hard choice because he could fit in all 3 categories. His career has been kind of jerky with hits and misses. On the Smackdown brand he has been a contender when healthy but he always gets cut short. Because of size and mic ability he still has a change to be a big star in the business. He is a classic heel persona.

Darren Young
The black John Cena was on the verge of being faded into obscurity. He has shown back up on our televisions with Titus O’Neal. If the WWF wants to actually commit to tag team wrestling Young could be one of the highlights. He has shown some real personality in his on camera appearances.
Skip Sheffield
With the resurgence of Sheffield he almost made the hit category. Repackaged as Ryback he has been moving up the WWF food chain. If he continues to move in the right direction he will work himself into the hit column.

The Hits
David Otunga
Now this one may seem like a shocker but Otunga has transformed himself into a pretty hate able heel. Working as the legal adviser for Johnny Ace he has been pretty decent. There should be a United States title in his future. He sometimes has to take a beating from some of the top tier superstars but he handles it comes back for more.

Daniel Bryan
Easily the most successful member of the group was the guy who was in the group the shortest time. It is still debated whether he was actually fired or if the WWF executed one of the greatest works in the era of internet wrestling fans. The belief that he actually got fired after the initial Nexus assault was wrestling gold. He has had a few slip ups since then but after winning the Money In The Bank his career has been on fire. Feuds with the Big Show, Mark Henry and now CM Punk has captivated the WWF fans. Even now packaged as a heel he still gets good pops in the arenas. His “Yes” chants are becoming Stone Cold “What” legendary.

Ring Time Podcast 05/26

Written By
Keith B Holt of Ring Time Pro Wrestling
Follow on twitter : @Kholtjr

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