What Happened To Every Member Of The Nexus?


“You’re either Nexus, or you’re against us.” Such was the refrain that Wade Barrett would
sternly boom whilst the head of the first wave of NXT contestants. In June 2010, Barrett led a guerrilla-style
attack on John Cena, CM Punk, and various ringsiders and staffers, while tearing apart
the Monday Night Raw ring. The entire melee called to mind the ruthless
assaults carried out by the New World Order a decade and a half earlier, and it seemed
that The Nexus would carry on that chaotic mantle for this decade. Sadly, The Nexus would ultimately peter out,
first done in by a group of WWE defenders that year at SummerSlam, and then continuing
to exist without that authoritative sense of power for the remainder of the days. In all, 13 different men would assume the
yellow-and-black of the Nexus, across two different forms of the group. Here’s where they all ended up. DANIEL BRYAN What went quicker: Bryan’s time with the Nexus,
or his WrestleMania 28 match with Sheamus? Infamously, the former American Dragon would
be released from the company for choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with a necktie during
that notorious scrum. He would be rehired in time for SummerSlam,
at which time he was presented as opposition to the Nexus. In kayfabe, Bryan’s hasty exit was explained
by him showing remorse for his part in the beatdown, and then summarily getting kicked
out of the group. Bryan would achieve bigger and better things
beyond his time with the group, and is, as of this video, in his fourth reign as WWE
Champion. The eight years between the Nexus and today
have seen Bryan become wildly popular, spurred on by the organic and genuine love from the
“YES Movement”. Bryan would main event WrestleMania 30 as
the people’s choice of star, and is going strong today, having returned from injury-imposed
exile earlier in 2018. DARREN YOUNG Young first made WWE airwaves as a fun-loving
party boy from South Beach, whose gleeful smile didn’t do much to cool to the heart
of unimpressed mentor CM Punk. Young would show more attitude as a Nexus
mercenary, but would depart from the group shortly after his quick showing in the SummerSlam
battle. Young would kick around the C-shows, as well
as NXT Redemption, before forming the Prime Time Players with ex-rival Titus O’Neil. After being released by WWE in October 2017,
Young would resurface on the indies this year, performing both under his WWE name, as well
as his real name Fred Rosser. Most of Young’s work has come in the New England
area, though he would take part in a battle royal at WrestleCade 2018, alongside notables
such as The Sandman, Blue Meanie, and The Hurricane. Young is also a brand ambassador for the apparel
line Headquarters Clothing. SKIP SHEFFIELD The “Cornfed Meathead” of the Nexus would
ditch the ill-suited cowboy gear, resurfacing on the main roster as Ryback, a force of musclebound
nature that ran over opponents with a fury not at all dissimilar to the likes of The
Ultimate Warrior and Goldberg. As Ryback, the real life Ryan Reeves would
be featured prominently on WWE programming, getting into high-profile feuds with the likes
of CM Punk and John Cena for the WWE Championship. In May 2016, Ryback would disappear from WWE
TV due to a contractual dispute, later citing a belief that the WWE pay structure needed
to include more parity between the workers. He would officially leave WWE in August of
that year, and has popped up on the indy scene, performing in places like Australia and Scotland
in his travels. Ryback had also gotten into podcasting, producing
Conversation With The Big Guy since August 2016. MICHAEL TARVER With an intimidating glare and a background
in fighting, Tarver more than looked the part of the ideal Nexus enforcer, a heavyweight
roughneck that could dole out beatings when necessary. He would, however, not last too much longer
beyond the SummerSlam 2010 main event, vanishing from the weekly shows due to a reported groin
injury. Though a return was teased, Tarver ended up
being released by the company in June 2011. After his release, Tarver continued to work
independents, primarily in Florida, and even wrestled a couple of matches for New Japan
in 2014. Tarver would reveal in a 2016 interview that
he had gotten into competitive power-lifting, and is also giving a music career a go. Tarver spoke about pursuing music earlier
in his life, and has released two Christian hip-hop albums: Gold Help Us in 2015, and
Sheep in Wolves Clothing the following year. JOHN CENA If the clean loss at SummerSlam wasn’t enough
of a worrying danger in the torso of The Nexus, everything that happened after John Cena’s
forced joining of the group would be even more damaging. Barrett put Cena down at the Hell in a Cell
pay-per-view, thanks to an assist from some men we’ll be getting to soon. Cena soon undermined the group from within,
and after his short-lived firing at Survivor Series 2010, annihilated Barrett at TLC, ending
the first stage of the group. It’s not hard to find what Cena’s been up
to these days. The 16-time former World Champion is no longer
a full-time active wrestler, but still makes appearances, particularly on international
events and specific house shows. Cena’s been flexing his entertainment muscle
more, in animated fare like Ferdinand, adult comedies such as Daddy’s Home 2 and Blockers,
and in sci-fi flicks, like the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee. WADE BARRETT The original Nexus leader seemed to have all
the tools necessary to be WWE’s next big main event heel: a towering frame, the rough and
gravelly voice of a hard-nosed villain, and the gravitas of a legitimate street fighter. Barrett was an excellent choice for the leader
of the belligerent squadron, though it was sadly short-lived. The rest of his WWE tenure would see Barrett
win five Intercontinental titles, and become the 2015 King of the Ring. Barrett was released from WWE in May 2016,
per his wishes. After time away from professional wrestling,
Barrett resurfaced in a series of non-wrestling roles, including color commentator and on-screen
matchmaker for several promotions. In November 2018, Barrett made his debut for
Lucha Underground, playing a seedy, cigar-toting villain known as “The Lord”. Barrett also continued to pursue acting during
his wrestling hiatus, starring in a direct-to-video action release entitled I Am Vengeance. JUSTIN GABRIEL The aerodynamic South African was already
13 years into his career when he brought his graceful daredevilry to The Nexus. That fall, he and partner Heath Slater would
capture the unified Tag Team titles, holding them for two months. Once the partnership with Slater dissolved,
Gabriel began working underneath as a babyface, mostly relegated to the C-shows, while later
forming a promising duo with Tyson Kidd that was sadly cut short due to Kidd suffering
a knee injury. A frustrated Gabriel would quit WWE one day
before the 2015 Royal Rumble. Gabriel has since becomesynonymous with Lucha
Underground, where he’s wrestled as “The Darewolf” PJ Black. Gabriel would also wrestle for Ring of Honor
in November 2018, and even teamed with former Nexus allies Young and Tarver for matches
in CHIKARA this past summer. Gabriel also suffered a notable setback, having
lost a finger as the result of a base-jumping accident in 2017. HEATH SLATER At the time of Young’s release in October
2017, Slater was the last remaining member of the original Nexus eight to still be an
active wrestler for the company. In the time since The Nexus had all but crumbled,
Slater would find footing as comic relief, talking a big game, but ultimately getting
pummeled by babyfaces up and down the roster, whether roster regulars or part-time guests. Slater parlayed his fun-loving obliviousness
into the 3MB stable alongside Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. Slater remains on the WWE roster today, albeit
tucked back deep in the undercard with tag team partner Rhyno, with whom Slater has been
aligned with for more than two years. A four-time Tag Team Champion in WWE,”The
One Man Band” has also served as host of the WWE YouTube series Game Night, in which he
and various superstars duke it out in various board games and challenges. HUSKY HARRIS Hard to believe that there was a time in which
the bulky Harris was a follower in a group, as opposed to its outspoken leader. Harris was one of two men who gained membership
to The Nexus after helping Barrett defeat Cena at Hell in a Cell, and would go on to
have a mostly uneventful tenure with the group. Harris would return to developmental, cycling
through some different character turns before settling upon one that would make a real impact. Enter Bray Wyatt. “The Eater of Worlds” took form in 2012, and
would be unleashed upon the main WWE roster in the summer of 2013. The riddle-talking Wyatt has had a number
of high-profile feuds, including with John Cena, Randy Orton, and The Undertaker, and
even reigned for seven weeks in 2017 as WWE Champion. Wyatt recently returned to the fold at WWE’s
Starrcade event, defeating Baron Corbin. MASON RYAN The second version of The Nexus was graced
by this hulking brute from Wales, in whom many would see more than passing resemblance
to Batista. Had Nexus been as strong as Evolution, Ryan
would certainly had fit that Batista role on size alone, but he certainly didn’t have
the longevity of his “Animal” predecessor. In the fall of 2011, a post-Nexus Ryan was
now a babyface, feuding with the likes of Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler, and even competed
in a traditional Survivor Series elimination bout that year. Throughout 2012 and 2013, Ryan was rarely
seen on the main roster, and instead spent more time on NXT in the group’s early days. He received his WWE release in April 2014,
and would wrestle with some regularly until late 2015. Today, Ryan plays the role of chief archer
in the Cirque de Soleil show Ka, which runs near-nightly at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. CM PUNK Punk assumed leadership of the group at the
tail-end of 2010, and would assume a more cult leader-like temperament once in charge. Slater and Gabriel both exited the group as
opposed to follow Punk’s rules for initiation, diminishing the group’s quantity. Slater and Gabriel would reunite with Barrett,
as well as join Ezekiel Jackson, in feuding with the Punk-led cell. Punk himself would walk away from the group
once he dropped the “Pipe Bomb” on John Cena and WWE the following June. From there, we all remember how Punk’s career
went – Money in the Bank glory, the 14 month WWE title reign, and the acrimony that led
to his exit in early-2014. Punk, after marrying AJ Lee that year, would
take up mixed martial arts, losing two fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As of November 2018, Punk is slated to begin
work as color commentator for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY The son “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig joined Harris
in assuring Cena’s defeat at Hell in a Cell, later earning passage into The Nexus for his
help. In the group, McGillicutty would capture gold,
teaming with David Otunga to win the WWE Tag Team Championship from Big Show and Kane in
May 2011. Their reign would last three months before
dropping the belts to Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne, around which time the Nexus name faded
away. McGillicutty would be relegated to the lesser-seen
programs until his 2013 re-emergence as Curtis Axel, coming under the tutelage of Paul Heyman. A brief push, as well as five-month run as
Intercontinental Champion, would be the peak of his time wrestling under the Axel name. In an interesting coincidence, Axel would
find some tag success in 2018, partnering with Harris’ kid brother Bo Dallas as The
B-Team, enjoying a seven week reign as Raw Tag Team Champions. DAVID OTUNGA The lawyer-turned grappler was the only individual
to have lasted the entire length of The Nexus, from the dramatic June 2010 formation, up
until he and McGillicutty quietly dissolved their tag partnership almost 15 months later. During that run, Otunga also had a brief Tag
Team title run with unwilling member Cena. Otunga seemed to be earmarked for bigger things,
once the group went under, and soon resurfaced as a legal adviser to John Laurinaitis. Otunga’s last televised match was the first-ever
Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30. From there, Otunga wrestled in six house show
matches in 2015, primarily teaming with Titus O’Neil. His last recorded match was a singles loss
to R-Truth at a live event in July 2015. In the time since, Otunga has served as pre-show
panelist and color commentator, though less of the latter after being replaced on Raw
in the summer of 2017.

100 thoughts on “What Happened To Every Member Of The Nexus?

  1. What happened to the Nexus, you ask. Some are getting sun tanned, while the others are in a Pub getting wasted, wishing that they never went to work for the WWE. They sabotaged Wade Barrett; they turned him into an absolute joke, along with Heath Slater. That’s what happened.

  2. To tell you the truth John Cena has never join the Nexus he was against the Nexus plots and he never like the Nexus I'm the first place

  3. I think Darren Young was the only person in Nexus I didnt like! I thought he was trash. Hated him with Nexus, Prime Time players, and singles……. but the rest, ESPECIALLY Daniel Bryan I could definitely deal with.

  4. I was surprised drew macingtire was with that tag team I don’t know how to say. It but I will try the three mb band

  5. Tarver was not intimidating. The ultimate loser playing a tough guy and we can see that now with his girl body and Christian rap🤣

  6. Shows you that triple h had competition on who could bury the most wrestlers during both men's tenures.

  7. Mason Ryan
    Stevie Ray
    Earthquake
    Alundra Blayze!
    Norman Smiley
    Zack Gowen
    Bam Bam Bigelow
    Ahmed Johnson
    Tori Wilson
    Buff Bagelow
    I forgot the rest

  8. if used right bray would have been this generations undertaker , other dude would have been their batista, maybe justin they rey mysterio , ryback their goldberg/lesner , etc.

  9. Everyone says they were a waste but most of them were terrible besides Wade Barrett. When some of those got singles runs they just sucked. People are just mad that it was Cena. I don’t hear anyone complaining about Randy. I don’t hear people complaining about things like Shawn Michaels not letting Vader win the title. Cena did the Nexus a favor. He’s the reason they were popular in the first place. Only guy in Nexus that had any star potential was wade barret. Justin Gabriel was talented but his character was just terrible. Other than that Darren young and ryback had good careers after

  10. “how can we make john cena seem EVEN MORE unstoppable?”

    “just have him bury 7 people all at once”

  11. Effing Cena ruined all their careers. Edge & Jericho literally warned and pleaded with him not to do it… Eff Cena.

  12. Justin Gabriel is more talented than many wrestlers including Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Ryback, CM Punk, John Cena and many more.

  13. Wade Barret got wasted by WWE
    Darren Young got wasted
    They didn’t pay Ryback
    They’re wasting Heath Slater
    David Otunga wasted
    John Cena destroyed their careers because WWE wanted him to
    WWE-
    WE
    WASTE
    EVERYONE

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