Posts Tagged ‘History Repeats Itself’

Will The Nexus get Spirit Squad’ed?

August 30, 2010

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

~ Philosopher and novelist, George Santayana, 1905

In January 2006, five relatively unknown wrestlers were put together by the WWE and were called the “Spirit Squad”. They feuded with the likes of John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Triple H, who ‘were’ the main event faces of that era. They were endorsed on-camera by Vince McMahon and were heavily featured on Monday Night Raw every week.

They didn’t necessarily put the wrestling world on notice or turn the industry on its head, but they did create a necessary heel presence for the faces to battle on Raw. The Spirit Squad was an entertaining faction of young athletic guys who worked well as a unit. Sound familiar? They carried the spirit of Vince McMahon but also possessed youth and athletic ability to hang with Shawn Michaels and other established main event wrestlers in the ring. A feud with Vince McMahon was considered old news and the Spirit Squad provided the WWE audience with someone new to hate.

Nine months later The Spirit Squad was disbanded and literally shipped off to OVW. Yep, that’s right. Nine months. On November 27, 2006 DX and Ric Flair defeated the Spirit Squad in a three on five handicap match and then shipped them off in a container with an “OVW, Louisville, Kentucky” label.

In my opinion, the Spirit Squad could have gone on to do bigger and greater things. Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky, and Mikey were not the greatest workers but a few of them had decent upsides that warranted steady to great careers if they were utilized to their potential by the WWE.

With the exception of Nicky, who is now Vicky Guerrero’s disco stick, Dolph Ziggler, the rest of the Spirit Squad are no longer with the WWE. This leads me to the question of:

Will The Nexus get Spirit Squad’ed?

First, let me present to you the definition of being “Spirit Squad’ed”:

On June 7, 2010 The Nexus premiered on Raw in big fashion. They destroyed the ring area and practically obliterated the number one guy in the company, John Cena. At that moment, the WWE became cool again. Old wrestling fans who have become disinterested suddenly became interested again. Many pundits saw the first horrifying acts of the Nexus as the second coming of the nWo. The angle was instantly white hot and it would only become hotter.

On August 15, the Nexus were part of the main event of Summerslam. Seven relatively unknown wrestlers co-headlined a major WWE pay per view with six of the biggest names of the wrestling business not named Undertaker or Rey Mysterio. The match was booked very well and the Nexus looked strong for the most part. However, conventional wisdom prevailed and John Cena was the last man standing for the forces of good and the crowd was sent home happy.

The next day on Raw, the angle took a step back in my opinion when John Cena verbally buried The Nexus one wrestler at a time. The Nexus wrestlers were featured in singles matches. Michael Tarver, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater barely won their matches via questionable tactics. Only Skip Sheffield, David Otunga and Wade Barret looked somewhat formidable. The Nexus kicked Darren Young out of the stable for losing his match to Cena. That put their numbers down to six members. Skip Sheffield then broke his leg at a house show in Hawaii, which will probably be explained on tonight’s episode of Raw.

Where does the Nexus go from here? It’s only been two and a half months and The Nexus has lost a little bit of steam. The original group of eight members is now down to five. To rebound from that set back and to move a step forward, The Nexus need to start gaining titles. I hope that before their run is over The Nexus holds every title in the WWE at the same time at least once. It has to be done. There’s not a single wrestler in the WWE that needs to hold a title right now more than the Nexus wrestlers do.  The Miz and Randy Orton’s pushes to the WWE Championship can be postponed for a moment so that Wade Barret can lead the way with the WWE Championship belt around his waist.

Seeing every title in possession of the Nexus would keep the angle hot and overall story of Raw so much more compelling. It would be a shame to not to see all the Nexus standing on one side of the ring in a Survivor Series match in November. How interesting would the Royal Rumble be if the majority of the Nexus were in the ring at the same time? The opportunities to get the Nexus over are endless and I hope the WWE sees that they have a plethora of options in front of them. Unfortunately, history proves that the WWE will just abandon and disband the stable once John Cena or a returning HHH ultimately destroys them.

The Spirit Squad lasted nine months before they were wiped off the face of the WWE landscape. The Nexus are two months in and are still very much the focus on Raw. I see a lot of Nexus t-shirts scattered among the crowd on Raw broadcasts. Also there were quite a few Nexus t-shirts being sported last month at Summerslam Axxess in Los Angeles. For every positive sign that the WWE will continue to push The Nexus angle, there’s always that lingering feeling that Vince and company will inexplicably screw the angle up.

The Nexus is the WWE’s chance to learn from its past mistakes and to entertain its fans with something truly new and different. We’ll see what direction the WWE is willing to go tonight and in the months ahead.