If I were David Otunga, I’d be watching my back on the red carpet to make sure no deranged fans come after me or my famous fiance. If I were Justin Gabriel, I’d probably be extra careful not to slip and fall doing my next 450 Splash. Skip Sheffield, Heath Slater, Darren Young and Michael Tarver would all do well to be just a little more cautious nowadays. It’s just not safe to be a member of the Nexus nowadays.
Granted, that is a little melodramatic. Neither Bryan Danielson nor Wade Barrett was seriously hurt. However, given their recent mishaps that have taken them off WWE programming for the time being, I’m beginning to think that maybe being associated with this group invites bad luck. We all know what happened with Danielson. Barrett’s troubles seem to be a lot less severe than Danielson’s were, but they’re still pretty serious when you think about them. For the uninitiated, Barrett let his work visa expire, which caused him to have to scramble home to the UK and get his paperwork in order. He, along with fellow suddenly-illegal worker Drew McIntyre, was pulled from all WWE programming, which explains his absence from Monday Night RAW.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time in the last year that a wrestler has gotten his or her company in hot water by letting the papers lapse. Angelina Love nearly submarined the Beautiful People in TNA by not renewing her work visa in time. TNA fired her temporarily, bringing her back a few months later after things had blown over. It doesn’t look like Barrett will face a similar fate, but the snafu is causing him to miss time from television. In this era of bang-bang angle advancement with four weeks between pay-per-views, even one week of missed television can be huge. Yeah, John Cena can miss a week to grand marshal the Fiesta Bowl, but he’s John freakin’ Cena. Wade Barrett though? He’s still trying to make a name for himself.
[adinserter block=”1″]Would it have been as big a deal had it been Young or Slater who had the visa problems? Probably not, because they’re both background characters. However, the fact that it’s Barrett, the guy who won the whole competition, the leader of the Nexus, just paints an unlucky cloud over the whole thing, especially since Danielson was the other one who had to be axed from the angle this early into it. Barrett and Danielson were the two most important wrestlers in NXT’s first season, by far. Yeah, Otunga got the godfather push, but given how he’s been scaled back, even starting with the home stretch of that first season, lends me to believe that the WWE doesn’t think he’s ready for a prime time role. Barrett and Danielson though? There was no question that both of them were ready, which was why they were both featured so prominently in the initial beatdown, and why Barrett won the competition and has been the primary mouthpiece for the stable.
All’s not lost for either of these two wrestlers. Something tells me that Barrett won’t suffer too much wrath from the front office when he comes back, and given Danielson flat out said on Sunday in Cleveland that he’d have to pass on going to TNA (jokingly or not) at the Chikara show, I think it’s safe to assume we haven’t seen the last of Daniel Bryan in a WWE ring either. Still, for the superstitious among us, having the two most important wrestlers in a large, angle-centered stable suffer problems that keep them off TV for prolonged periods of time would seem like definitive proof that this angle is cursed. Hell, the tenor of the angle even chased Bret Hart away from the WWE if rumors are to be believed. There’s your third casualty. At this rate, the only people left standing might just be Tony Garea, Michael Cole and Jillian Hall.
[adinserter block=”2″]Of course, that’s another overreaction. Still, it stands to reason that while this angle has been well-executed so far, it could be so much better than it is, and part of that reasoning stems from out-of-character happenings rather than anything they’ve done during TV time (that terrible car crash segment at the end of RAW two weeks ago notwithstanding). Whether bad luck or bad judgment, I’d be pretty worried if I were a member of the Nexus right now, and not because of the kayfabe feeling that Cena and company are out to get me either.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.
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