It’s been 13 years since Summerslam 2010, and the wounds are still fresh following John Cena defeating Wade Barrett and The Nexus.
When The Nexus arrived as a faction at Fatal-4 Way (Costing John Cena his WWE Championship), they kicked off the biggest angle of that summer.
The group became a force to be reckoned with in the WWE. They attacked multiple top WWE stars, including Cena, Edge and Bret Hart, spoiling multiple shows in their quest of being noticed.
They caused havoc on Monday Night Raw, and immediately were pushed into the main event. Wade Barrett was the charismatic leader of the group, who seemed destined to become the first English WWE Champion of all time.
However, this was not to be, thanks to the meddling arm of the 16-time World Champion, John Cena.
John Cena Buried Wade Barrett (Literally)
Summerslam 2010 should have been the moment where The Nexus became the biggest faction in WWE history.
They battled team Cena in a match they needed to win, to cement themselves as the most frightening team in the company.
The win could have built 7 new main event stars in one night. The 7 Nexus members would have been made men, had they beat the team involving the likes of John Cena and Edge.
The members of The Nexus that night were;
- Wade Barrett
- David Otunga
- Justin Gabriel
- Heath Slater
- Darren Young
- Skip Sheffield (Ryback)
- Michael Tarver
The group took the WWE by storm, in their debut weeks earlier. They trashed the ring and caused absolute bedlam.
They destroyed both CM Punk and Rey Mysterio and tore the ring apart. Daniel Bryan was even fired for the incident, after strangling Justin Roberts with his own tie.
This immediately established them as credible heels, and they beat down stars like John Cena and Edge in the coming weeks. This led to John Cena leading his team into Summerslam, which included;
- John Cena
- Chris Jericho
- John Morrison
- Bret Hart
- Daniel Bryan
The titanic clash was expected to end in victory for The Nexus, establishing themselves as the top heels in the company.
However, both Vince McMahon and John Cena decided that was not the case. McMahon was reported to have claimed that Summerslam needed “a happy ending”, and see John Cena go over the young stars.
Meanwhile, the nature of the ending was down to John Cena. While it seemed obvious that Wade Barrett should pin the legend, instead it was Cena who would come back from 2-1 down, beating both Barrett and Justin Gabriel.
The ending of the match was what buried Wade Barrett. He hit Cena with a DDT on the concrete outside, something was known to keep wrestlers out of action for weeks, sometimes months.
Instead, John Cena popped to his feet, quickly defeating both men to win the match for his team.
He would later be forced to join The Nexus, and was actually “fired” for not helping Wade Barrett beat Randy Orton for the WWE Championship (he did wrestle on live events under a mask, as “Juan Cena”).
Wade Barrett eventually got his one-on-one match with John Cena, and it was a truly the “last chance saloon” for the Englishman. His momentum was in the dust, and beating Cena was the only chance for him to retain some credibilty.
So of course, John Cena literally buried Wade Barrett after their chairs match at TLC 2010. After handily beating the Nexus leader in the main event of the show, he dropped a string of chairs that hung from the titantron, burying Barrett below them.
Wade Barrett never truly recovered from the feud with John Cena. He languished in the mid-card for years, winning multiple Intercontinental Championships but never ascending to main event status (although WWE’s rejection of Bad-News Barrett is to blame for that).
He left the WWE in 2016, after his last match following WrestleMania 32, and retired from wrestling soon after. Barrett since returned to the WWE as a commentator, where he works to this day.
Wade Barrett On What Happened At Summerslam 2010
Former WWE Superstar Wade Barrett revealed all about the infamous finish to Summerslam 2010, when John Cena buried him and The Nexus, live on pay per view.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes, he candidly spoke about the day leading up to Summerslam, and how they went from winning the match to being told to losing the bout.
“Not only did we think we were gonna win because it was really the first test of this killer group that we had. It was like, okay, this is the first time we’re put to the test against these top WWE Superstars. We’ve been termed rookies the whole time.”
“We can’t lose this because we have a ton of hype. We have all this attention. Now is our chance to prove our credibility. We’ll win this.” And then, we were told a week beforehand by one of the agents, I remember who, that yeah, you guys are going to be winning. We’re just figuring out all the details.”
“So anyway, a week later we turn up at SummerSlam, and it’s in LA at the Staples Center, a huge arena. And we get there, and we get down to the ring, and Edge and Chris Jericho, who were part of the team that we were fighting against, they’re already down at the ring. But we all come down, there we are in our suits, I’m looking all smart, being a good boy still, and just go over and say hey.”
“And I say, “Hey, guys, we’re just trying to figure out how to make you guys look like stars today.” And we kind of chuckle about it, and we go off to the caterer and get some food.”
“And then, we come back down later on and we’re pulled to one side, and Arn Anderson says, “Hey, guys, here’s the finish. It’s gonna be you eliminating him, he’s gonna eliminate this guy, this guy’s gonna eliminate this one.” “
“So it’s kind of like, you know, dominoes are falling. This guy’s out. And then, we get down to the final three, which is myself and Justin Gabriel on the Nexus side against John Cena. And then, we’re told, “Okay, Cena’s gonna beat you both and go over.” At which point, I kind of thought he was joking just to gauge our reaction. And now, I realize, no, he’s not joking. This is serious. John’s going over.”
“So we bring up, you know, why is John going over? We really need to win this match. And Arn puts his hands up and says, “Nothing to do with me. You’ve got to go and speak to Vince about this.” So, trying to get your hands on Vince during a pay-per-view day or a TV day or anything is tough.”
“So it took about an hour or so for us to track him down and wait outside his office and get to speak to him. We go in there and have a chat with him and say, “Hey, Vince, here’s the situation. We’ve just been told that John’s going over in this match. We think it’s a bad idea. We think we need to go over.” And Vince looks me in the eye and tells me, “The reason we’re doing this is because SummerSlam needs to have a happy ending.”
Wade Barrett then went on to mention that he “didn’t believe” the reason McMahon gave for the ending of the match – hinting at his suspicion that John Cena was behind the finish, without directly saying it.
“There’s not a lot you can do with that point. We’ve argued our case, Vince. We need to go over.” And Vince says, “Here’s what I need. I need this to go over well at the end. I need the kids to be happy.”
“So, I knew at that point I was being lied to. I knew it was a nonsense, a nonsense reply. I didn’t believe it at all. I don’t believe it to this day. I thought it was a terrible idea.”
“I don’t think you’ll find anybody who will come forward and say that any level of rationality says, ‘Yeah, that was the right decision that day.’ But that’s what it was, and there was nothing we could do about it. The decision had been made.”
“How they got to that decision, I don’t know. But Vince looked me and told me that was the reason. I don’t believe it, but there we go.”
It was later revealed on Talk is Jericho, by Edge and Chris Jericho, that John Cena was the man behind the finish of the match, that saw him take a DDT on the concrete, yet come out the victor.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.