Immortal Moments: Nexus Invades Raw

Invasion angles are as old as wrestling itself. They’re almost a cliche now. Which is weird, because they are done so rarelyThink about how many “invasion” angles you can actually name?

  • NWO to WCW
  • ECW to WWF
  • WCW/ECW to WWF/E
  • NEXUS

Of all of these, in my opinion, Nexus was the best. The invasion of bitter NXT rookies, crushing John Cena and declaring themselves as the new sheriffs in WWE happened this day in 2010.

Nexus was composed of NXT “rookies” who competed in the first season of the NXT television show. Wade Barrett won the season and was awarded a PPV title match. The next week however, everything changed. During a match between CM Punk and John Cena, Barrett and the rest of the rookies descended up on the ring. All hell broke loose.

What followed a 6-month reign of terror by Nexus. The team won the tag titles and even coerced John Cena into joining their group after Barrett beat him at Hell in a Cell. Eventually, though, Cena and the WWE overcame all the odds and the Nexus became just another faction in WWE.

What are they now?

Nexus grew and contracted several times over the next year or so, before finally coming to an end.

Of the original eight invaders:

  • Wade Barrett: toiled in the mid-card getting a few pushes and title runs here and there, even becoming King of the Ring. But he left WWE last year and seems to be out of wrestling entirely.
  • Daniel Bryan:  fired almost immediately and then brought back as part of Cena’s Anti-NEXUS group. Bryan, of course, went on an unprecedented run to the top, headlining Wrestlemania 30. He was forced to retire due to concussions and is now the General Manager for Smackdown Live.
  • Darren Young : Teamed up with Titus O’Neill to become the “Primetime Players” and then had a brief successful singles run after coming out. He’s been sidelined with injuries for most of the last two years.
  • Skip Sheffield: Was fired and then returned as Ryback. He got a big singles push against John Cena and CM Punk but was sidelined by injuries. He later grew dissatisfied with WWE and quit. He now mostly makes news by burying everyone he worked with at WWE.
  • Michael Tarver: Hurt and left WWE soon afterward. Wrestles sporadically on the indies but is focusing on a music career.
  • Justin Gabriel: Won the tag titles and toiled in the low-card for a few years before being realized. Spends his time wrestling on the indies and skydiving
  • Heath Slater: The only original member still wrestling under his same name in WWE. He’s been rumored to be on the verge of firing for years but has proven to be valuable and durable. He’s got kids!
  • David Otunga: Took time away from WWE to act. Now is a commentator and occasional actor.

Nexus was meant to be a chance to create a new generation of stars, but it turned into another obstacle for John Cena to overcome. While Barrett, Bryan, and Ryback went on to have successful WWE careers, the rest of the group wasn’t as lucky.

Nexus did show that WWE was willing to let the young guys take over, at least temporarily. It paved the way for guys like Kevin Owens and Finn Balor to debut and instantly make a huge impact.

WWE has gone seven years without a true invasion angle. Maybe we’re do for another one?

Share your thoughts. 

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