Before I digress from WWE television for awhile (something I do quite frequently as the company often fails to hold my attention for long periods of time), I thought I would share a few thoughts on what will almost certainly be the storyline of 2010: the rise of the Nexus.
Made up of seven of the eight original rookies from the WWE show NXT, the Nexus consists of leader Wade Barrett, high-flyer Justin Gabriel, celebrity-turned-wrestler David Otunga, boxing-oriented Michael Tarver, “Cornfed Meathead” Skip Sheffield, party boy Darren Young, and West Virginia-born Heath Slater. An eighth member, Daniel Bryan, made only one appearance with the group, but more on that later.
None of the stars have much in common except for their shared origins on NXT. A few of them seem like natural babyfaces (Gabriel and Young in particular) despite their role as Nexus members. Several still have had little or no time to display much personality at all. The storyline seems to be framed around the advent of Wade Barrett winning the first NXT competition, and where that should force both him and the other characters from the show going forward.
That being said, they debuted in explosive fashion. On the end of a special three hour “Viewer’s Choice” episode of Raw, the group interrupted a match between John Cena and CM Punk. They surrounded the ring and brutally beat down Cena, the face of Raw. In the process, they went from those guys on the third show to being major players in WWE, and in the case of Wade Barrett, a potential main eventer.
The problem is that WWE clearly didn’t really know what direction to take the storyline in. The Nexus reappeared over the next several weeks and brutalized several WWE stars, though John Cena remained their constant focus, even after he dropped the WWE title to Sheamus. The reason for their attacks: well, your guess is as good as anyone’s. The Nexus want to make a name for themselves, but beyond that they seem to possess no reason for their constant attacks.
The attacks have flooded Raw, pay-per-view, and even house shows for weeks. It is a rare main event that isn’t interrupted by an attack by the Nexus. It has reached almost NWO levels of insanity, except for the fact that we knew why the NWO did what they did. Not so much with the Nexus.
Which seems to be the Nexus’ major problem. What could be a major heel group seems mired in pointless attacks and predicatable storytelling. They rarely have wrestled matches so far and they rarely do anything beyound brutalizing John Cena, his allies, and his enemies.
This leads of course to the upcoming Summerslam where the first PPV match to come out of the storyline finally comes after months of build-up. John Cena will lead a 7 on 7 team of WWE superstars against the Nexus in a tag match. The predictions are already well underway. Everyone suspects one of Cena’s team to turn on the WWE stars, with most suspecting it will be Cena himself.
If that’s the case, it shows the narrow vision of WWE storytelling. Why would Cena be the center of all these attacks, even lose the WWE title because of them, if he is the secret mastermind behind the Nexus. It makes no sense, but WWE in recent times has fallen away from common sense quite frequently. No matter what the outcome of the Summerslam story however, it does little to salvage an invasion angle that WWE has let fester past the point of sense.
Strangely the wrestler that might come out looking best from this story is the aforementioned Daniel Bryan. After choking out ring announcer Justin Roberts, Bryan Danielson found his WWE career cut short do to “excessive violence” on television. He has made a massive splash upon his return to the indys even going so far as to mock the reason for his release with a new t-shirt:
He has kept his dignity while escaping a storyline that would do him no good in his career. He is in a good place to return to one of the two big companies with more focus behind his push and more drive than the Nexus would ever give him.
Even TNA has gotten a lot of mileage out of the firing. Multiple chokeholds in TNA have been coupled with Taz commenting: “You can get fired in some companies for that move.&8221;.
Strangely, Bryan Danielson has found his way in to another promotion that has its own invasion storyline going, but more on CHIKARA in a future installment.