Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Nexus: Where Are They Now?

Written by RY2J
Nexus were the most dominant stable in the WWE for over a year, but the superstars that once wreaked havoc on the WWE Universe have gone different ways since the group split.
Below I discuss where each of these superstars are now, and the impact they have made, from the Daniel Bryan highs, to the Michael Tarver lows.
Bigger than Nexus? Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan – D-Bry (as Booker T may say) has gone on to achieve great success since leaving Nexus, albeit the road to glory for Bryan didn’t come without its bumps along the way. Just four days after debuting as a member of Nexus, Bryan was fired after the WWE deemed his actions on the previous week’s Raw ‘out-of-line’ (however, is choking Justin Roberts with his tie really a sackable offence? I didn’t see Mark Henry being sacked for choking JR with his tie?).
Anyway, by August 2010 Bryan had been reinstated into the WWE, and the following month became U.S. Champion. This could have been viewed as quite the success story in itself, but it was all about to get even better for the fighting vegan. Come July 2011, he had won Money in the Bank, and at the TLC pay-per-view in December of that year, Bryan finally accomplished ‘The Big One’ by cashing in his Money in the Bank on a defenceless Big Show to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Achievements: Contracted to WWE, World Heavyweight Champion, Ex-U.S Champion, Money in the Bank 2011 winner
Success Rating: 10/10
Black John Cena?
Darren Young – often described as being a black-duplicate of John Cena (in appearance not popularity), Young lasted just over a month in Nexus, before eventually being forced to leave the group after ironically losing to his double (a.k.a. Cena) in a match whereby his Nexus future was on the line.
Young has gone on to remain with the WWE, and is currently competing in NXT: Redemption, where he has now traded helping headline Raw and battling John Cena; with fighting Titus O’Neill. However, kudos to Young as he has become a leading star on the programme, and will compete on its 100th episode to be aired on 18th January 2012.
Achievements: Contracted to WWE
Success Rating: 3/10
Will Sheffield skip back?
Skip Sheffield – dubbed as ‘The Powerhouse’ of The Nexus, Sheffield was quite the force to be reckoned with whilst part of the group, and performed admirably during the SummerSlam 7-on-7 match against Team WWE, eliminating both R-Truth and John Morrison. Sadly, for Sheffield, he broke his ankle three days later and was inevitably removed from the stable due to injury.
However, the big man is still working his way back to fitness in the WWE, competing in a number of dark matches since his rehabilitation from his injury. Don’t be surprised to see Sheffield (or perhaps a good-guy persona of Ryback) returning to our screens sometime soon.
Achievements: Contracted to WWE
Success Rating: 3/10
T for Tarver, or T for Terrible?
Michael Tarver – identifiable as the Nexus member with the cloth over his face, Tarvers gimmick of being a fast punching street fighter was never really effective throughout his time in Nexus, or the WWE. He left Nexus in October 2010, after being attacked by John Cena, with Wade Barrett stating he was looking to get rid of Tarver regardless (in truth he was injured).
Tarver went on to make brief appearances backstage on both Raw and Smackdown, whereby he was wearing a suit and watching matches on a TV. However, nothing ever came of this storyline (perhaps people didn’t recognise him without the face cloth) and by July 2011, the WWE decided to relieve Tarver of his contract.
Achievements: N/A
Success Rating: 1/10
Barrett Barrage Continues
Wade Barrett – the leader of The Nexus, Wade Barrett was the main figure in the stable and with his strong English accent (which sounds very London-like for a Mancunian), was also the voice of the group (which was probably a good thing, we couldn’t listen to Michael Tarver ramble on under that cloth for hours now could we). As the original winner of the NXT show, Barrett was always likely to go on to bigger things in the WWE, and after leaving Nexus in January 2011, the British Brawler did just that.
Firstly, Barrett started a new stable on SmackDown, namely ‘The Corre’, whereby ‘All the Members were Equals’ (albeit everyone could see Wade was the main man). During his Corre times, Wade became the Intercontinental Champion, but it was once he had lost this title and disbanded his stable that he became a real competitor in the WWE. Feuding with Orton and bringing the Barrett Barrage to arenas across America, the Englishman has been able to establish himself as a main player on SmackDown, and sooner rather than later the bare-knuckled fighter will be in the World Heavyweight Championship picture.
Achievements: Contracted to WWE, Winner of NXT: Season One, Ex-Intercontinental Championship
Success Rating: 8.5/10
Can Gabriel push on in WWE?
Justin Gabriel – renowned for his impressive ‘450 Splash’, Gabriel was always seen as ‘a face amongst heels’, whereby fans preferred to cheer rather than boo this high-flying South African. However, like many of The Nexus members, Gabriel was not quite good enough to keep headlining main events, but his acrobatic finisher kept him in the limelight for the group until he left in January 2011.
Like Barrett, Gabriel also found himself put into the stable ‘The Corre’, but was mainly teamed with fellow Corre member Heath Slater; a partner with whom he held the tag-titles on no less than three occasions. Ironically now feuding with Slater on SmackDown, it appears Gabriel is being kept in the spotlight, with his baby-face and incredible finisher being his top assets.
Achievements: Contracted to WWE, 3x Ex-WWE Tag Team Champion
Success Rating: 6.5/10
One Man Southern Rock Band
Heath Slater – the ‘one man Southern rock band’ (very catchy nickname I’m sure you’ll agree), was a member of Nexus who was perhaps most notable for his ginger hair and association with Justin Gabriel, rather than his own in-ring ability; like Gabriel, Slater left Nexus in January 2011 to join ‘The Corre.’
The red-headed wrestler has achieved moderate success in his short-time in the WWE, becoming Tag Team Champions three times; however now not part of a stable, Slater could be exposed for just another average wrestler on the roster (after all, when you lose to Hornswoggle, it’s usually a clue that your time is nearing the end in the business).

Achievements: Contracted to WWE, 3x Ex-WWE Tag Team Champion
Success Rating: 5/10
Harvard Graduate, and we know it!
David Otunga – when Otunga first appeared on WWE Raw with Nexus, his physique and decent microphone skills (that is in comparison to the other Nexus members) meant that Otunga was likely to be in the stable for a long time… and so he was. From the very beginning to the very end, the Harvard graduate (yes he went to Harvard, bet you’ve never heard that line before!) was the only ever present member of Nexus, and when the group did finally disband, a bright future looked to be on the cards. It wasn’t.
After people discovered Otungas’ move-set consisted of just a scoop slam and a clothesline, the likelihood of Otunga becoming anything more than a gimmick became highly unlikely. Step forward, lawyer Otunga. As Executive Vice-President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Raw John Lauranitis’ right hand man, fans have become more accustomed to seeing Otunga lifting a flask rather than an opponent, surely a gimmick that can’t last much longer!
Achievements: Contracted to WWE, 2x WWE Tag Team Champion
Success Rating: 6/10

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