On a recent episode of The Arn Show, Arn Anderson discussed the highly talked about issue of John Cena burying Nexus, and weighed in on the subject by saying the Nexus angle was cut off way too soon. He also credited the guys in the group for having a great look that could have been capable of so much more.
“I think The Nexus had probably another year and a half that you could have been piling the heat on them,” Arn said. “That got cut off way too soon. You had some really, really young and upcoming stars in that group. Guys that could perform. They looked good; they were good. I mean, they were exactly what we said they were. They were the future of the business, and Cena was the perfect guy to put in the hot seat for them to use to get heat on, and I think every example that you had where those guys came out and did their thing and got away with it. It worked. This night would have been no exception.”
Arn went on to speak specifically on Wade Barrett and Heath Slater, stating both guys always performed well with whatever was given to them. He also mentioned how he always felt like the King Of The Ring angle was outdated and more of a comedy act that damaged Barrett more than it helped him.
“Well, you can dissect the members of Nexus and what they had to offer,” Arn said. “God knows they had it in them. You take Heath Slater for example – when given the chance, he did well with everything that was presented to him. Wade Barrett, too – he’s a big, tall, good-looking guy, good worker, very creative on his promos, everything. There were no holes in weight anywhere.
“He was a guy that if you were to just continue to groom and build his character and take your time with him, God knows the limits this guy could have had,” Arn added. “When you start fiddling with it – that whole King of the Ring thing concept to me was just dated, and it was a ‘haha’ act. And [I question] why they felt the need to put that on him. I think it damaged him more than it helped him.”
While weighing whether or not Wade Barrett beating John Cena cleanly would have hurt Cena, he referred back to the tried and true angles that heel factions have always used their strength in numbers to overcome the babyface.
“No, I think he [Wade] should’ve won, which he did, and the whole benefit – what you always have to do is strengthen numbers,” Arn said. “The factions that were successful throughout history had strength in numbers, and the reason they were so frightening, and so scary, and so effective is they would utilize those numbers in careful ways to where you could beat all of them individually if you’re a babyface. When they’re all together, they were unbeatable, and that was the story you should tell with Nexus and you could have run with that for God knows how long.
“You cannot account for all eight guys at every waking moment, and there’s the one that you didn’t see that gets you,” Arn added. “It’s a pretty simple concept, but man, you can build some heat and some frustration with the audience by using those numbers.”
It has been reported that the original plan was for Nexus to go over in the SummerSlam 2010 match, but Cena had the finished changed to where he won by eliminating Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett by pinfall and submission, respectively. Cena weighed in on this back in 2017 and stated that he felt like the way the original finish was slated just “wasn’t palatable”, and that he guessed wrong on how it was being presented. He believes that’s why people have been talking about it since. He finished his statement saying out of all the stories he’s told, he “was wrong once”.
“In that particular moment, it was too much,” Cena said. “I think if presented in another way, it could have been a little more palatable. But I can’t change the television show, I’ve never had that power and that’s something I don’t do. If you look at a laundry list of my opponents, you can tell that it’s exactly how I operate. I guessed wrong on the way that the story was told, and I guess that’s why people are so up-in-arms about it. But we tell so many stories. I was wrong once.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.