We are the bold / United souls / We live to win another victory / Our sacred scars / Show who we are / And tell the story of our memories We are one / We are one / We are one / We will stand together ~ 12 Stones, "We Are One", the entrance theme of The Nexus.
In 2010, WWE canceled the ECW brand after a three-and-a-half year run; they replaced it with a show named "NXT", which would follow eight WWE "rookies" (in reality, members of WWE's developmental system) as they trained alongside WWE "pros" (established WWE wrestlers) for the right to become the next "breakout star". The winner of the competition would receive a WWE contract and the right to challenge for any championship they wished on a live pay-per-view.The first "season" saw NXT Rookies Wade Barrett, Michael Tarver, David Otunga, Skip Sheffield, Darren Young, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, and - last but not least - Daniel Bryan fighting against each other and the Pros in matches, competing in different challenges (including a promo contest), and generally attempting to get themselves over with the crowd. About halfway through the first "season", Rookies started getting eliminated...but some rookies returned to NXT to speak out against the eliminations and the Pros, saying the Pros had offered little help in the competition. Eventually, Wade Barrett won the competition. And then six days later...all hell broke loose.During a main event match between CM Punk and John Cena on the June 7 2010 edition of Raw, Wade Barrett started making his way down to the ring; this was not altogether curious, since it's a longstanding pro wrestling tradition for heels with a title shot on their hands to "scout" the competition. The observant fan may have noticed the yellow armband he was wearing with a black "N" printed on it.Then Michael Tarver showed up in the crowd, decked out in his ring gear and wearing a bandana over his face that made him look frightening. A few moments later, Tarver and the other six NXT Rookies jumped the barricade, all wearing the same armband as Wade Barrett. And then the group that would later be known as The Nexus started laying waste to anything and anyone in their path: the Straight Edge Society, ringside workers, announcers, and - especially - John Cena (the top guy in the industry), who received one of the most one-sided, brutal, viciously beautiful beatdowns in his career at the hands of every member of the group.Since then, The Nexus blazed a trail of destruction, terrorizing both Raw and SmackDown to make a name for themselves (part of a larger plan, including making Wade Barrett the WWE Champion). Nobody, from John Cena to Sheamus to Barrett's "Pro" Chris Jericho to even Bret Hart and Vince McMahon, was safe from their wrath.Following a do-or-die match at Hell in a Cell 2010, John Cena was officially forced into the group, where he found out that on orders of the Raw General Manager that if he refused to follow orders from Wade Barrett, his WWE contract would be terminated. With Cena's last hope - destroying Nexus from the inside out - dashed, it remained to be seen if Cena would be a reluctant Nexus member or if he would become a willing part of the group. As it turned out, he resisted temptation and remained the hero, even if it did "cost him his job" for a few weeks (Barrett let him come back).After TLC 2010, The Nexus disappeared for a week...only to come back to Raw on the last show of 2010, announce they were under "new management", and beat down John Cena once more - leading to The Reveal that CM Punk was now the new leader of The Nexus.Daniel Bryan was booted out of the group following its initial attack on Raw (for reasons to be explained below), Darren Young and Michael Tarver were excommunicated from the group following failures in the ring, Skip Sheffield was stated by a WWE.com article to no longer be a member for failing the group by getting injured, John Cena left the group upon his "firing" from WWE, and Wade Barrett was ostensibly excommunicated from the group by CM Punk himself in the very first Raw of 2011. Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel followed the next week after refusing to go through with CM Punk's initiation into the New Nexus. On the Raw following the Royal Rumble, Husky Harris was written out via a punt to the head from Randy Orton. Then in late February and early March respectively, Michael McGillicutty, David Otunga, and Mason Ryan were written out the same way. However, Otunga, McGillicutty and Ryan returned on the 4/13/2011 edition of RAW to cost Orton a victory over Dolph Ziggler in a #1 contender's gauntlet match, and then beat the hell out of him post-match. With Punk's contract expiring, followed by his subsequent return & feud with John Cena, Ryan's injury in June, and Otunga and McGillicutty receiving new music & a new Titantron; The Nexus effectively ceased to exist on 7/29/11.On the same week The New Nexus was formed, Wade Barrett faced The Big Show on SmackDown, and during said match, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater - as well as a newly-heel Ezekiel Jackson - interfered in the match and assisted Barrett, forming a new group named The Corre. They were a force to be reckoned with at first, with Gabriel and Slater winning the Tag Titles (twice) and Barrett winning the Intercontinental Title.Then at Wrestlemania, they lost in 30 seconds to The Big Show's team. Shortly after, Ezekiel Jackson was kicked out of the group for being his own man. Jackson responded by eventually taking Barrett's IC Title. Barrett began leaving Gabriel and Slater to fight his battles for him during this time, which led to them ditching him to form a separate tag team, leaving Barrett on his own and ending the Corre. Tropes used in The Corre follow this section.
Tropes associated with The Nexus before they divided into New Nexus and Corre include:
Aborted Arc: The Nexus attacked The Undertaker at Bragging Rights 2010, helping Kane win a Buried Alive match. This was never explained.
We still don't know exactly what the bigger picture was.
At one point, The Nexus brutally injured Bret Hart by putting him in the back of a limousine and then backing it into another vehicle. Since all members of The Nexus were present at the time of the attack, speculation ran wild of a secret leader of The Nexus or Daniel Bryan, who was fired shortly before this attack took place still being employed. The limosuine driver remains a mystery to this day.
Anti-Climax/Invincible Hero: The end of the Team WWE vs. Team Nexus match at SummerSlam 2010. Thanks to PPV time constraints, we get an extremely awkward finish to this particular match. Wade Barrett hits a DDT on John Cena on the exposed concrete on the floor and throws him back into the ring. He tags in Gabriel so he can finish Cena with the 450 Splash...only for Cena to move out of the way and pin Gabriel. Then Barrett comes in and immediately gets caught in the STF and taps out. All of that happened in about a two minute span, so it came off as though Cena just shrugged off a DDT on concrete to make the two most talented members of Nexus look like total tools.
In a less direct show of invincibility and Plot Armor, John Cena completely no-selling his "firing" by showing up at Raw every single week afterward. In fact, he did more damage to Nexus at this point than in the entire angle previous.
CM Punk, doing RAW commentary duties as he recovered from an injury, would point out every time that Cena was fired yet somehow still be involved with RAW every week. Which actually turned out to be a tip as to who he would be targeting when he took over Nexus and why.
Arch-Enemy: John Cena was the most prominent, but the Nexus managed to have the entire WWE roster fall under this at one point.
Curbstomp Battle: The Nexus vs the team of Yoshi Tatsu, Jerry Lawler, the Hart Dynasty, Goldust, Mark Henry, and Evan Bourne in a 7-on-7 Elimination Tag match on Raw in August 2010. The Nexus didn't suffer a single elimination.
Deus ex Machina: So a bunch of rookies who could barely hold their own against the likes of William Regal are suddenly able to blow through John Morrison and go toe to toe with five star main eventers like Jericho and Edge despite showing barely any growth?
Evil Costume Switch: A subtle one, but it works oh-so-well - high-flying pretty boy Justin Gabriel, who'd worn white tights during his full run on NXT, started wearing black trunks when he turned heel as part of the NXT Riot.
Fire-Forged Friends: One of the distinguishing characteristics of The Nexus is their unwavering respect and loyalty to each other. In the promo following the "NXT Riot", Wade Barrett said this is because they all came to loathe WWE management during NXT, in spite of the fact that they were in competition with each other. Their grievances included Pro/Rookie pairings that were designed to fall apart or work against the Rookies, the humiliating "challenges" they were forced to endure, and last-minute rule changes that cost some of them their spot on NXT. Thus, the only people they found to be sympathetic to their individual gripes were each other.
Since that time, Daniel Bryan and Darren Young were excommunicated from the group. In addition, the other members let Michael Tarver get decimated by Cena, and since that same episode, Otunga and Barrett were showing signs of dissension. It would seem that they may not be as fire forged as we first thought.
In that respect, it may be this trope that embodied Wade Barrett's Nexus. As they lost more members, they became progressively more divided until they essentially split into two, with only one member of the original 8 in the "New Nexus".
Five-Bad Band: During the period when the Nexus had five members, they fit this perfectly:
Big Bad: Wade Barrett of course, as the leader and the one who took on the main eventers and got the WWE title shots.
The Dragon: Justin Gabriel was the workhorse of the bunch, and the only one other than Barrett who routinely faced main-eventers like Cena and Orton one on one. His 450 Splash was also the Nexus' strongest weapon.
The Evil Genius: David Otunga, who graduated Harvard and was the most well-spoken. He was also a classic Starscream, constantly challenging Barret's authority verbally and coming up with his own schemes that never quite worked out.
The Brute: Michael Tarver, who behaved like an attack dog, often delivering the most vicious beatings during a Nexus attack, and who could knock anyone out in 1.9 seconds.
The Dark Chick: Heath Slater definitely didn't fit in with the rest, being more goofy than threatening.
Follow the Leader: In-Kayfabe example - the NXT Season 2 "Rookies" (minus the season's winner, Kaval) decided to stage their own riot on the final episode of their season, which would presumably have led to a similar stable. Unfortunately, their riot was a terrible version of the original NXT Riot, and the idea was quietly shelved. Two of the more promising Season 2 rookies, Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris (the sons of "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig and Mike "IRS" Rotuna, respectively), have since joined Nexus proper.
Shortly after the Nexus Riot, TNA have had the debuting ECW Originals EV 2.0 faction randomly attack TNA wrestlers to end a show; and 6 (7 if you count Ric Flair) existing members of the TNA roster create the group Fourtune, who have a similar MO to Nexus.
Michael Tarver also previously appeared on WWE TV as a member of Floyd Mayweather's WrestleMania 24 entourage.
Wade Barrett once made an appearance on an episode of Raw in 2006 as a security guard.
Hidden Depths: David Otunga's current "Harvard-bred lawyer" gimmick isn't for show; he actually attended and graduated from Harvard before wrestling.
There has been some debate of how much of an actual lawyer he is; he did win a pro bono appeal against the New York Dept. of Labor, but there has been some debate about whether he could officially go into a court of law as an attorney.
Hijacked by Ganon: Averted - In their third week, Vince McMahontried to take credit for the Nexus, after they attacked Raw GM Bret Hart & forced him to leave his position as GM. The Nexus promptly attacked him, too.
CM Punk would take over leadership of the Nexus after TLC 2010.
Later played straight, when The Undertaker returned on the 02-21-11 episode of Raw, and didn't even so much as look at the men who helped Kane bury him alive several months earlier.
It should be noted that Undertaker's return occurred after the New Nexus/Corre split, and with the exception of Otunga, The New Nexus weren't involved. However, The Corre were also at the show to defend the newly won Tag Team titles.
Kick the Dog/For the Evulz: The brutal beatdown of Ricky Steamboat and other WWE Legends in the middle of a plug for Ricky's new DVD set was probably the Nexus's most heinous act to date. The next week, Skip Sheffield commented on it and said they did it just for fun.
Laser-Guided Karma: The Nexus began by ambushing people and tearing apart WWE until they got contracts. After Wade Barrett "fired" John, he goes on a crusade to destroy Nexus until he gets his hands on all of them but also to get his job back.
And when he does compete, you can see why. He's not very good.
Morton's Fork: The Free or Fired match at Survivor Series 2010. If John Cena declares Wade Barrett the winner, he is free from his duties to The Nexus. If John Cena declares Randy Orton the winner, he would be fired from the WWE. Even Taking A Third Option was not a good plan, as that was merely calling the match down the middle and letting fate decide Cena's future instead of intentionally siding with one of the two competitors.
And that is just looking at it from Cena's perspective. Looking at it through the perspective of an impartial onlooker, if John Cena declared Wade the winner, he would win the WWE title and almost assuredly force The Nexus's two biggest rivals against each other (and they never likedeach other to being with). If Cena were to declare Orton the winner, the biggest thorn in the side of Wade Barrett and The Nexus would be forced into retirement, and the morale of the locker room and the WWE Universe would be devastated in the process.
Motive Decay: Early on, Nexus made it clear they were only using John Cena as a stepping stone toward their "bigger picture" due to his position and harbored no real ill will toward him. Then the bigger picture subject dropped and Nexus became solely about terrorizing Cena.
New Rules as the Plot Demands: The original rules of John Cena having to join Nexus was just that - he had to become a member of Nexus. On the Raw following Hell in a Cell, the anonymous Raw GM informed Cena that he also had to follow each and every command Barrett gave him, and failure to do so meant Barrett could officially fire him.
The logic being that being a member of Nexus meant doing what Wade Barrett says since all of Nexus does what he says.
This held true until the 12/6/2010 Raw, where Barrett ordered The Nexus to attack John Cena, and they left instead. When Barrett confronted his men, they gave him an ultimatum, get Cena rehired or Barrett would be kicked out of the group. Ironically, Cena was fired because he refused to follow a Wade Barrett order, and he got his job back because the rest of Nexus did not follow a Wade Barrett order.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Remember Michael Tarver, perennial loser who tapped out to drinking soda? Remember Skip Sheffield, wacky Good Ol' Boy more interested in getting his catchphrases over than listening to his WWE Pro? Remember Justin Gabriel, white-meat babyface with a cool finish and a winning smile? Yeah, those guys are gone now.
Subverted by Heath Slater and Darren Young; Slater, as evidenced by his segment with Edge on the 8/16/10 Raw, is still the complete goof he was in NXT, except now he's supposed to be booed by the fans. Young, on the other hand, was pretty much consistently the fall guy of The Nexus and was kicked out of the group for being the obvious weak link.
Oh Crap: Wade Barrett's expression in the 12-6-10 episode of RAW where David Otunga told him to rehire Cena or the other members would kick him out of Nexus is priceless.
Perspective Flip: Nexus' theme song, "We Are One" by 12 Stones, was originally written as a song dedicated to the heroic sacrifices made by the troops. Nexus' use of the song essentially changed it more into a song about a militaristic force, standing together unstoppable. The flip is more evident when 12 Stones made a Darker and Edgier remix of the song for Nexus.
Made especially clear when Barrett came out to this song for a match during Tribute to the Troops and was booed by the soldiers there.
The Heir Apparent/The Enforcer: Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Daniel Bryan
The Muscle: Skip Sheffield & Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, Michael McGillicutty & Husky Harris
The Hanger-On: Darren Young
Putting on the Reich: The armbands, their raised right arm salute and their brutal teamwork is a rather nasty image.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Daniel Bryan's firing necessitated a kayfabe explanation, and when Barrett finally got the chance, he explained that when WWE officials asked the Nexus to apologize for the NXT Riot and other subsequent actions, Bryan was the only one who showed remorse - and was kicked out of the group for it.
Michael Tarver was expelled from The Nexus in kayfabe after being defeated by John Cena, but was really moved out of the group due to injuries.
Smug Snake: Wade Barrett plays the role to perfection, reveling in the GM-invested power to make John Cena do his bidding. The fans' seething hatred for Barrett is palpable.
Social Semi-Circle: One of those that applies to all three groups. More often than not, all members will be facing in the same direction while conversing with each other, Last Supper style. Sometimes they justify this by having them watch something on a monitor, but just as often they're simply standing there, talking to someone over their shoulder.
Made abundantly clear on the November 5 2010 episode of SmackDown, where he led The Nexus (minus Wade Barrett and John Cena) in an assault on the Blue Brand's roster - this was confirmed to be without Barrett's knowledge on the following episode of Raw.
Barrett's also aware of Otunga's desire to replace him as the leader, as even after Barrett decided to punish Otunga for the trip to SmackDown by having him face Cena, he still tried to get the rest of the group to be ringside for him, only for Barrett to immediately order them backstage with a smirk on his face.
Otunga's been looking to usurp Barrett's leadership since the Raw after Summerslam when he was very clear that Wade had to win his match with Jericho to stay in Nexus since the rest had to win theirs to stay in the group.
Now Otunga has successfully organized the rest of Nexus against Barrett, telling him that if he doesn't rehire Cena to stop the attacks, he'll be kicked out.
It didn't last long. The next RAW, Barrett reasserted his leadership and led The Nexus away from ringside, leaving Otunga as Cena's proverbial punching bag.
Throwing Down the Gauntlet: After multiple beatdowns, run-ins, and two lost WWE Championship shots, John Cena got sick enough of the Nexus' crap that he revealed he'd put together a group willing and able to go up against them and take them out once and for all at SummerSlam 2010.
Enemy Mine: This all-star team included the likes of Edge and Chris Jericho working together with John Cena. This team was so volatile that leading up to SummerSlam, Edge and Jericho left the team and rejoined in a two week span. The only thing that kept the team together was the mutual hate for The Nexus.
A few weeks later, the five remaining members (Young had been kicked out, Sheffield was injured) of The Nexus faced Cena, Edge, Jericho, Sheamus & Randy Orton in a 10-man tag team match, with all of the opponents of The Nexus being booked to face each other (and Barrett) in a Six Pack Challenge for the WWE title. However, this time the results were radically different, as Edge and Jericho got themselves eliminated intentionally within the first minute of the match.
Throwing the Fight: John Cena being ordered by Wade Barrett to eliminate himself from a No. 1 Contender's battle royal, thus ensuring that Barrett won it.
David Otunga being forced to lay down for Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, giving them the tag titles.
Also Daniel Bryan. For this very reason, he wasn't in The Nexus very long.
Trailers Always Spoil: Cena's joining Nexus; practically everyone expected Cena to lose his match to Barrett due to prior advertising posters for the Bragging Rights PPV including the Nexus logo. Even worse, WWE aired one of these ads during Hell in a Cell, before the Barrett vs. Cena match took place!
Even failing that, the two PPVs following Hell in a Cell are Bragging Rights and Survivor Series, PPVs built on multi-man tag team matches. It would be annoying to break up the WWE's biggest Power Stable going into these two events.
While that is good logic, it turned out that the tag team aspect of the Nexus didnt come into play at either PPV.
While ironically, two sets of Unified Tag Team Champions did come out of Nexus' roster - Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater (once in Nexus and once in the Corre), and the team of David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty (under CM Punk's leadership as the New Nexus). Actually, you can also add Cenaand Otunga, as they were the ones that laid down for Gabriel and Slater to win the titles the first time.
True Companions: When the group first formed, this was a crucial part of the group's dynamic. For example, Skip Sheffield declared that he was not afraid of having to face Cena's team of WWE superstars at SummerSlam because it would be a team of individuals, whereas The Nexus all trust each other and would willingly sacrifice themselves for the good of the group. Since their loss at SummerSlam, this has been mostly talk, with Darren Young and Michael Tarver being brutally excommunicated out of the group and David Otunga working to make a name for himself. In fact it was the loss of this dynamic that led to CM Punk hijacking the group and effectively splitting it down the middle between his Nexus on Raw and the Corre on Smackdown.
Underwear of Power: This applied to all three groups until 2011, as none of them have worn pants up until this point.
Lampshaded by John Cena and he is the only exception.
Heath Slater became the first person to switch to long tights in May 2011.
Wham Episode: Wade Barrett coming down to the ring during a match involving the WWE Champion? Not so odd. The seven eliminated NXT Rookies showing up and following Barrett's lead as they destroy John Cena and lay waste to Raw? Either a Shocking Swerve or a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. While many fans believed that some of the NXT Rookies would eventually find their way back to WWE's big shows in time, nobody expected that it would be six days after the end of the first "season" of NXT - and nobody expected them to come in like that.
The 12/27 episode of RAW - David Otunga apparently leads Nexus to the ring to apologize to Cena and offer a truce. Cena turns him down. Otunga leads Nexus halfway back up the ramp. Then, suddenly, orders the rest of his teammates to storm the ring and beat down Cena once again, each of them hitting Cena with their Finishing Move in quick succession. Then CM Punk, who was essentially the reason that Cena had come down to the ring in the first place, shows up...and hits Cena with the GTS (Go To Sleep). He gets a chair, starts to whack Cena with it, stops... and then sits down in the chair, contemplating a Nexus armband for a moment. With a smile on his face, he slips the armband onto his bicep, establishing himself as the newest member - and as the audience found out next week, the new leader - of The Nexus.
What Could Have Been: The dynamic between Wade Barrett & David Otunga, with Otunga trying to usurp leadership and undermine Barrett, feels like as if it would've worked much better with Daniel Bryan involved as neither Barrett nor Otunga seem as if they have any business turning face. Daniel Bryan as a Nexus member in general is another example, as he was fired within a week of the stable forming and returned as an anti-Nexus WWE babyface.
Worth It: On the September 20, 2010 episode of Raw, John Cena agreed to any stipulation Wade Barrett wanted just to finally get his hands on him in a one-on-one match. Barrett said that he'd tried to recruit Cena to The Nexus before, but this time, he'd leave him with no choice: if Cena loses to Barrett at Hell in a Cell, Cena joins Nexus. Cena fired back with a stipulation of his own - if he wins, Nexus is history - but considered the risk to his career path worth it just to finally get his hands on Barrett in a one-on-one match. This backfired painfully; Cena lost the match and was forced to join The Nexus, and per the anonymous Raw GM's orders, he had to obey Barrett's orders or he would be fired.
You Have Failed Me: When Darren Young was unable to win his post-Summerslam match on Raw, the rest of Nexus turned on him pretty quickly.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Michael Tarver received a beatdown from John Cena after losing to him on the Raw following Hell in a Cell, with no Nexus members around to help him; Barrett later told Cena he was going to kick Tarver out anyway.
With Wade Barrett's recent humiliating defeat at TLC 2010 (as well as the various injuries he suffered at TLC 2010), there's no doubt he'll get excommunicated as well.
He did. With new Nexus leader CM Punk not only costing Barrett a shot at the WWE title, but ripping Barrett's own Nexus armband off in the process as one hell of an exclamation point.
However it looks like things didn't go quite according to plan for Punk's coup, as Barrett's apparently taken Slater and Gabriel with him to Smackdown leaving Punk's Nexus with a total of four members, only one of whom were in the original lineup.
David Otunga has been considered the weakest link in the Nexus due to his limited wrestling ability and, at least in the Barrett-run group, self-preserving tendencies. He's the most prolific champion in the history of the Nexus, winning the tag team titles with two different partners, and also the only member that lasted in the Nexus the entire time.
Demoted to Extra: What happened with the group once Punk declared he would leave WWE with the WWE Championsip. Otunga and McGillicutty was the only one left of the group, Mason Ryan was out with an injury, and Husky Harris had been sent back to their developmental system. They lost their tag team titles to Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston. Otunga was later repackaged with a lawyer gimmick, while McGillicutty was sent to NXT.
Don't Try This at Home: After CM Punk's brutal initiation rituals for New Nexus, every week, Jerry Lawler has been giving what amounts to an anti-hazing PSA whenever Nexus is brought up.
Finishing Move: Punk's Go 2 Sleep, Otunga's standing spinebuster (dubbed "The Verdict"), McGillicutty's McGillicutter/Fisherman Suplex, Husky Harris's Running Senton Splash/Spinning Reverse STO, and Mason Ryan's Big Boot/Spear/Side Effect. In many of the group assaults since the New Nexus began, McGillicutty and Harris' finishers have followed each other (McGillicutty hits someone with the McGillicutter, then Husky hits the Senton immediately after).
Big Bad: CM Punk - he is the leader as well as the one with the most experience.
The Dragon & The Dark Chick: David Otunga - he was this to Wade getting Punk to kick him out as well as the only original Nexus member in the group. However, for all of Otunga's posturing as the "strongest" within the old Nexus, he's shown himself to be a gigantic coward.
The Evil Genius: Michael McGillicutty - he did get all the NXT season 2 rookies to beat on Kaval and fight Kofi, M.V.P, Mark Henry, Zack Ryder and John Morrison, as well as being trained by his father and grandfather Larry Hennig and Mr. Perfect.
The Brute: Mason Ryan & Husky Harris share this role within the New Nexus - Mason Ryan being the biggest physical threat within the New Nexus, and Husky Harris being an uncontrollable beast in-ring.
Revolving Door Band: A non-musical example to the point that within seven months, Otunga is the only survivor from the original lineup.
Selective Obliviousness: CM Punk's motivation for joining the Nexus and opposing John Cena stemmed from his What the Hell, Hero? logic of John Cena coming back after being fired and attacking The Nexus. People that do not work for the company attacking members of the Raw roster in attempt to get contracts and using unnecessary brute force? Are we talking about John Cena or The Nexus?
Arch-Enemy: Theirs seems to be The Big Show... which makes sense, since Big Show was the biggest enemy of the Original Nexus on the Smackdown side of WWE, as well as being pretty much the biggest possible enemy of anyone in WWE.
Black and Grey Morality: Corre is the grey compared to The Nexus (being the black) in the idea of being the lesser of two evils. Slater and Gabriel joined Barrett because they didn't agree with Punk's method of initiation. Plus Barrett claims that he made a mistake in making the Nexus all about him, and that in the Corre there is no leader, they are all equal. However, once again, this became a fatal flaw as the extreme individuality and lack of leadership lead to the Corre splitting up.
Bullying a Dragon: The Corre seems to like doing this quite a bit. First main target on Smackdown? The Big Show. Second main target (because he didn't follow their instructions)? Kane.
Defector from Decadence: Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater. First from Nexus in order to join Barrett to form the Corre, then from the Corre when Barret's All About Me attitude became too much for them.
Demoted to Extra: For Wrestlemania XXVII. Their match against Team Big Show was a thirty second squash with Big Show winning. They really never got back any of the steam they've had since then.
Smarks were already drawing comparisons between the Nexus and the New World Order since the group formed and the IWC has already given the new stable ("The Corre") the Fan Nickname of "Nexus Wolfpac", in a nod to the different branches of the nWo. It doesn't help that The Corre on the first night already carried out the Nexus MO of putting the GM out of commission, surrounding a main eventer for a beatdown, and said star being on the receiving end of everyone's finisher.
The Corre adamantly denied attacking Teddy Long, and it turned out to be true, as Dolph Ziggler was eventually revealed to be the one that put Teddy Long out. However, the timing was such that people did make that connection, and it made The Corre seem more powerful.
Finishing Move: Wade Barrett's Wasteland, Heath Slater's jumping reverse STO (jumping complete shot), Justin Gabriel's 450 Splash, and Ezekiel Jackson's Lariat and the Book of Ezekiel (a standing one-arm side slam).
When facing Big Show, Slater will use an STO with Big Show on his knees, and Zeke will settle for the good old fashioned Body Slam.
Fire-Forged Friends: It seems that The Corre has now hijacked this aspect lost from the New Nexus.
Of course, conversely, Wade constantly reminds everyone that there is no leader while the commentators insist that he -must- be the leader (if in no small part due to him being the former leader of the Nexus).
The Dragon: Justin Gabriel - being the most loyal member to Wade Barrett in the old Nexus, and by being the second-in-command within the Corre.
The Evil Genius & The Dark Chick: Heath Slater - his in-ring abilities get him the Genius tag, and he STILL looks like the least threatening member of the Corre (and ANYBODY who's been part of this storyline).
Gone Horribly Right: Barrett getting kicked out of The Nexus was supposed to be a Break the Haughty moment, which it was. It also turned out to be the best thing to happen to him, because the resulting humility allowed the Corre to obtain the Tag Team and Intercontinental Titles.
But then he let the success and the greed go to his head again…
The Juggernaut: EZEKIEL. JACKSON. So far, nothing has been shown to even be able to slow the man down, and mows over similarly sized larger wrestlers like The Big Show like a truck over a speed bump. The only real time he was shown to be at a disadvantage was at the Royal Rumble, where it took fellow monster Kane to eliminate him - and it took Kane using his BRAINS to get him out by low-bridging Zeke after ducking a clothesline attempt.
Barrett joked in an interview that they sent Slater to the trademark office to register the name, and since Slater's not the smartest guy around...
Most people complain that Corre is spelt with two R's... But it's short for Correlation, "A reciprocal, parallel or complementary relationship between two or more comparable objects"... Which actually describes the group fairly accurately.
Multinational Team: The Corre consists of a Brit (Barrett), a South African (Gabriel), a Guyanese (Jackson) and an American (Slater).
In a really bizarre coincidence, South Africa, Guyana, and America were all former British Colonies.
And in another bizarre coincidence, all three representatives of said colonies broke away from the Brit Barrett.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villains: Attack The Big Show four-on-one? Okay, maybe that works. Antagonizing Kane to the point where he and Show team up? It didn't prove to be one of their better ideas, and from there things only went downhill, until their breakup happened.
Not Us This Time: The Corre were adamant that they weren't the ones to attack SmackDown GM Theodore Long, despite doing that exact thing to then RAW GM Bret Hart several months earlier - Hell, Long's assault even occured roughly the same amount of time after the Corre's formation, that the assualt on Hart did following the formation of the Nexus. Turns out they weren't lying.
Self Plagiarism: When WWE saw how well the Nexus went over, they decided to split them up and create another one on Smackdown with the Corre. Slightly different in execution, but same idea.
Token Minority: Ezekiel Jackson. I mean, come on, he wasn't even in the original Nexus...
Subverted in that Heath Slater is the only member of the Corre billed from somewhere in America, but the other members of the group are all from different countries aswell. Which actually ties into the whole "We are equals" motif pretty well.
Not to mention, Justin Gabriel isn't exactly a white boy…
Yes he is, he's a South African of European descent (much like Charlize Theron) his skin complexion comes from tanning.
True Companions: The Corre retained this element from the original Nexus, with former-Nexus leader Barrett insisting that all four men are equal. On top of that, it's why Slater & Gabriel refused to attack each other at the urging of CM Punk, and can be seen as to why they immediately reunited with Barrett on SmackDown.
Of course, Slater and Gabriel eventually split from Wade and were heading towards being True Companions, but one bad loss to The Usos split them up as well.
Underwear of Power: There's finally a bit of a subversion, not that Heath Slater has switched to long tights.