WWE Stables: Looking at Every Original Nexus Member Two Years After the Invasion
In June of 2010, the WWE world saw the debut of what was supposed to be the next big stable in wrestling, Nexus.
Nexus was comprised of all the rookies from the initial season of NXT and their goal was to obtain contracts for everyone except NXT winner Wade Barrett, who already had a contract.
Their first night as a group saw them attack John Cena and destroy everything at ringside, including the ring announcer and several other crew members.
The WWE Universe was enamored with this angle and it got better over time, but eventually, like all stables, they parted ways.
Let's take a look at every member of the original Nexus stable and see where they are in today's WWE after two years with the company.
The leader of the group and winner of NXT season one has had his ups and downs since breaking away from the group.
After he was put into the WWE title scene early on, he seemed to fall back a bit and was competing for the IC title.
A feud with Randy Orton on SmackDown helped to elevate Barrett to the point where many thought he was World Title bound.
After an unfortunate injury, he was sidelined and has yet to return to television. Barrett was white-hot before he was injured so hopefully WWE decides to put him right back at the top of the heap when he returns.
Barrett will accomplish big things in WWE as long as he stays healthy in the future.
1-time WWE IC Champion
Winner of NXT season 1
One of the groups more powerful members was Michael Tarver, but his strength did little to help him stand out from the crowd.
His premature mic skills held him back and after he was out of Nexus, we only saw him a couple of times backstage for what appeared to be no reason at all.
Tarver is no longer with the WWE, and he is the only member of the original group to no longer be employed by WWE.
He tried to play the good guy role when battling Nexus, but eventually he was written off the main shows and he began appearing on NXT again.
Now he is in a tag team with fellow NXT rookie Titus O'Neil and they appear to be on track to become tag champions sometime soon.
Young has altered his attitude and look from a stale baby face with a haircut that looked like it could only have been done by a Flowbee to a cocky heel with a much more respectable haircut reminiscent of a microphone.
Aligning with AW has made this team slightly more interesting, but the headset AW wears during their matches needs to go.
Skip Sheffield AKA Ryback
Yup Yup Yup!
Skip Sheffield was an over-the-top cowboy who was initially paired with William Regal on NXT in one of the funnier combinations the show has produced for mentor/mentee relationships.
Sheffield was the powerful enforcer of the group before he was brought down by an injury which cost him over a year of on-screen time in the company.
He redebuted as Ryback, a Goldberg-like wrestler with a lot of power, intensity and apparently hunger. His signature catchphrase "Feed me more" has actually began to catch on with fans as it can be heard in the crowds after his matches sometimes.
The new gimmick is one that Ryback will have to work hard to continue with as much momentum as he has now because he is being built up into a wrecking machine. However, if he doesn't work out, he will probably be repackaged again, or worse.
So far he is undefeated under the new gimmick and it appears WWE is ready to put him into some real matches as he has been facing Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins recently instead of local jobbers.
Justin Gabriel was someone I personally pegged as a breakout star when he first arrived on NXT, but over time he has been used less and less.
During the run with Nexus, we saw Gabriel attain pin-fall victories over John Cena, albeit in very unfair situations to the leader of the Cenation.
Gabriel's high flying style helped him to stand out from the other more traditional wrestlers in Nexus, which is probably why his was always the last finisher to hit John Cena in those group attacks.
He found some success with Heath Slater in a tag team, but these days a Justin Gabriel sighting is about as rare as seeing a DMV worker who actually enjoys their job.
Hopefully the WWE network will give chances to guys like Gabriel to get ahead. With 24 hours each day to fill on a new network, it is logical that we could see Gabriel featured somewhere along with the other high flyers.
Three-time WWE Tag Team Champion
David Otunga, many believed, was only on the show because he was engaged to Oscar winner, Jennifer Hudson.
Since his initial rocky start, he has found his stride over the last year as John Laurinaitis' personal legal adviser and enforcer.
Otunga has been used a bit less recently, but that might not be a bad sign. The trial involving the man who killed members of Hudson's family recently wrapped up and it is likely that Otunga was with the family for support during what was no doubt the most difficult time in their life.
Once Johnny Ace comes back to TV, I am sure Otunga will be right alongside him slurping coffee in his sweater vest and bow-tie.
His physique makes him standout in WWE as one of the more physically fit athletes and his more recent boosts in both confidence and in-ring skills is sure to help him continue to rise through the ranks in WWE.
Two-time WWE Tag Team Champion
The One Man Band has had a lot more TV time in recent weeks due to all the legends appearing to whoop his butt in a build up to the 1000th episode of Raw which aired this past week.
Slater has always been one of those superstars who has been on the bubble due to his mic skills and lack of a gimmick which draws attention.
Recently he has received praise from the legends he has been working with, which could work very well in his favor.
If this angle, which saw Slater lose to several legends, is going to lead to some kind of push, then it needs to happen sooner than later or Slater could risk being the second member of Nexus to be ousted from the company.
He has found some new confidence in recent weeks and his in-ring ability is solid, but he has yet to have that one match which makes everyone's jaws drop to the floor.
Three-time WWE Tag Team Champion
Daniel Bryan was part of the first attack Nexus made, but he was released the following day after having choked Justin Roberts with his own tie, violating some PG rule WWE has which nobody had ever heard of before that night.
Bryan returned to WWE a few months later and his run has been amazing.
When he first returned to the company, he had trouble getting his baby face gimmick to seem entertaining despite being one of the best in-ring performers.
It was his heel turn which made everyone realize that he was both a talented wrestler and performer.
Now he is a former World Champion who has been at the center of WWE's most intriguing storyline in quite some time.
Time will tell where Bryan goes after being dumped at the alter on Raw, but an educated guess would be that he will continue rising up through WWE's ranks and eventually be WWE Champion.
One-time World Champion
One-time US Champion
Money in the Bank winner
Some Numbers and Facts
So far, out of the original Nexus members we have seen, only one became a World Champion. Ironically, it is also the first person who was booted from the group due to his initial release, Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan is also the only one to win Money in the Bank.
Only two of the original eight members have held singles titles; Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan.
Only three of the original eight have held tag titles; David Otunga, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel.
Only one member of the original group is no longer with WWE; Michael Tarver.
Currently, there is only two members of the original group who are baby faces; Justin Gabriel and Ryback.
Combining everyone's reigns, there have been a total of 11 titles held in WWE by all eight men.
The only members of the group to never hold WWE gold are Darren Young, Michael Tarver (Released) and Ryback.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts about the current direction of the original Nexus members below.