Since he left WWE last year after close to two decades working backstage for the company, current All Elite Wrestling producer Arn Anderson has been very open when discussing past storylines that played out while he was still working for Vince McMahon. In the latest episode of his podcast, the WWE Hall of Famer looked back on the Nexus stable and shared what he feels were the main reasons why the group failed to live up to its initial promise.
On Tuesday morning’s episode of the ARN podcast (via WrestlingNews.co), Anderson and co-host Conrad Thompson talked about The Nexus, a faction that featured the eight contestants in the first season of NXT when the would-be black-and-gold brand’s flagship show was still a reality-based game show. As Anderson recalled, the group was made up of “young go-getters,” with NXT Season 1 winner Wade Barrett as their leader and mouthpiece, and had the potential to become a force to be reckoned with going forward.
Anderson then discussed how he felt The Nexus’ momentum “got cut off” too early, with the entire faction — minus Daniel Bryan, who was fired by WWE and rehired soon after — losing to a seven-man team led by John Cena at the SummerSlam pay-per-view in August 2010. This proved to be a controversial booking decision, with Ryback (formerly Skip Sheffield during his stint with The Nexus) claiming in 2016 that the 16-time world champion was booked to look so strong against the stable because he didn’t want them getting too popular.
From their unforgettable invasion to their shocking rise and fall, here are 1️⃣5️⃣ facts you may not know about The Nexus. pic.twitter.com/ZIoB4LwQtX
— WWE (@WWE) June 5, 2020
As Anderson sees it, The Nexus may have been rushed into their feud with Cena, as they should have spent more time beforehand drawing “heat” from other performers as a villainous new group.
“They were good looking young studs. They should have been able to slaughter anybody at any time. You’re talking about an invasion. That’s enough guys to have an invasion. When you immediately put them with Cena, you’re going to have to give something back to Cena before too long because that’s the way of the world. They should have gone somewhere besides Cena first.”
In addition, Anderson said that he wishes WWE’s creative team had fully thought things over and given The Nexus a longer-term booking plan, one where they would eventually attack both heels and babyfaces. He also touched on how Bryan briefly was fired for attempting to choke then-ring announcer Justin Roberts during The Nexus’ debut segment, saying that the future WWE Champion was unfairly let go by the company. As Anderson explained, this was because no one had informed Bryan in advance that choking someone was not an acceptable way for him to “get [himself] over” as a vicious main roster newcomer.