Monday, August 10, 2015

SummerSlam A to Z: Nexus

Nexus vs. Team WWE
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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The summer of 2010 saw one of the best debuts of new talent in recent years in WWE.  The eight young men from the show NXT showed up during the main event of Raw featuring John Cena versus CM Punk.  Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Darren Young, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield and Justin Gabriel beat the hell out of Cena, Punk, Luke Gallows, Jerry Lawler and even ring announcer Justin Roberts.

Nexus with the advantage
Courtesy: WWE
The group identified themselves as Nexus and continued to attack WWE Superstars and Legends, including the company's CEO Vince McMahon in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam.  Along the way Daniel Bryan was fired from the company in real life because he choked Roberts with a tie. But the storyline was that Nexus kicked Bryan out of the group.

Skip Sheffield takes on John Morrison
Courtesy: WWE
Eventually Daniel was rehired by WWE and joined Cena and other WWE Superstars who'd had enough of the of the violent tactics by the Nexus.  This lead to a seven-on-seven elimination match in the main event of SummerSlam 2010.  Cena and Bryan were joined by Bret Hart, Edge, Chris Jericho, R-Truth and John Morrison to defeat the Nexus.  

Courtesy: WWE
Cena was the sole survivor, having come back from a two on one disadvantage.  I thought the match should have gone the other way and given Nexus more solid footing.  In the months that followed they floundered in singles and tag matches against other established talent.  Another reason I didn't like this being an elimination match is because it too close to Bragging Rights and Survivor Series, which both featured multi-man elimination matches.

Bryan vs. Barrett
Courtesy: WWE
I think it's fair to say probably half of the Nexus alumni enjoyed success.  The other half is either MIA or not with the WWE anymore.  Bryan, Barrett and Sheffield (now Ryback) have enjoyed singles championship success.  Young and Titus O'Neil of course are the current tag team champions.  They've come a long way over the last five years.