The Stomping Ground: Nexus vs The Corre, Round 2

Welcome back to another edition of The Stomping Ground with your host, the incomparable Mike Gojira.

A slight problem I have with being responsible for an end-of-the-week column is that by the time Friday comes around, most of the big news stories are no longer fresh in the minds of readers and are written to death by various other web journalists by the time yours truly arrives on the scene. However, that’s not going to stop me from talking about the biggest news we’ve heard all week.

Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!

That’s right, the return of The Rock. While I am just as psyched as everyone else, I’ve noticed that some people are jumping the gun and assuming that Rock will come back for one more dream match with John Cena. While that scenario is not a guarantee, I do recall an interview in recent weeks where The Rock was quoted as saying he would love to return to the WWE, but not in a wrestling capacity. Now, while you can never say “never” in wrestling, the likelihood of that match is pretty slim. The only conceivable way I can see Rock vs Cena is if Morrison wins the Elimination Chamber this Sunday and goes on to face The Miz at Wrestlemania.

With that out of the way, I wanted to touch upon a subject I brought up a few weeks ago as a guest columnist on Glazer’s Morning Backlash, which you can read for yourselves right here. To make a long story short (though I must insist that you read my first mini-column or suffer my wrath), I spoke briefly about the New Nexus and the Corre, judging their futures on television based on what we had seen so far.  This time, I’d like to go a little more in-depth and see if anything has changed.

The New Nexus (Raw)

CM Punk: The leader of the New Nexus is treating his flock like the second coming of the Straight Edge Society, talking down to the fans and superstars alike for their “immoral” ways….and you can’t help but agree with most of the rhetoric he spews!  Punk is one of the few heels who can legitimately back up their smack talk with solid evidence as opposed to flat-out lying through his teeth like most heels.  Here’s a recent promo from Punk that I particularly enjoyed:

Punk’s got a real eye for the business, as he was responsible for reminding Creative about his past with Orton.  That, plus his great chemistry with Cena, make Punk an awesome leader for the New Nexus and lends them some credibility.

Rating: A+

David Otunga: I get that the ‘E didn’t want a heel vs heel match two weeks ago when Sheamus was set to face “A-List,” but it just brought more attention to the fact that Starscream is still too green in the ring.  His matches are often relegated to one or two spots in a tag match, or a two-minute “classic” against someone clearly better than him.  The following clip doesn’t show much offense from Otunga, but if you notice his mannerisms he seems to have trouble selling well and finding himself in the ring.

If given more opportunity, he can definitely improve, but right now all he has going for him is his wife and his decent wordplay on the mic.

Rating: C

Mason Ryan: After Ryan’s surprise appearance a few weeks back, my friend Richie began calling him BatisTwo for rather obvious reasons.  He shows a lot of promise as a big man and is the muscle the New Nexus sorely needed.  I don’t count Husky Harris since the ‘E apparently thinks he needs some work; hence the punt.  Here’s some footage of Mason Ryan as FCW Champion facing off against Richie Steamboat:

That wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination but it shows that Ryan has some promise.  Until we see more, his rating won’t break the B barrier.

Rating: C+

Michael McGillicutty: It’s weird seeing Curt’s face on his kid, but with a short haircut.  Regardless, McGillicutty seems to be getting more of an opportunity to showcase his skills.  He shows decent ring presence in his tag matches but he still needs more one-on-ones before I can give him a decent rating.  The following clip doesn’t really show off his skills, but his mannerisms are a clear indication that he’s capable of so much more:


Rating: B-

The Corre (Smackdown)

Wade Barrett: I think we all know that Barrett is still treating himself as the leader of the Corre, since he seems to direct traffic a lot lately when the Corre  is ready to attack guys like the Big Show.  I enjoy his mic work and he is certainly improving as a wrestler.  Here’s a clip of him versus good ol’ Paul Wight himself:

Barrett will go far this year, probably around Summerslam, but for now he’s a midcard heel since Del Rio is poised to become the top heel on Smackdown.

Rating: B+

Ezekiel Jackson: I liked Big Zeke as a face on Raw because he reminded me of Ahmed Johnson back in the late 90s.  The ‘E is doing a great job with him, but it remains to be seen if he can get a decent big man match out of Big Show.  Hell, not even Big Show can pull that off.  Zeke needs to be a dominant monster and hold the US title, destroying everyone in his path.  This next clip shows what he’s capable of:

Damn!

Rating: B-

Heath Slater: Slater just seems too damn generic for my tastes.  I’m sorry, but the One Man Rock Band hasn’t shown me how he can stand out from the crowd.  Even his finisher is bland and tasteless.  However, he’s not too bad in the ring.  He needs a real gimmick or he’ll be the next Primo once he’s out of the spotlight.  Sorry to be so harsh, but that’s how I see it.

Rating: C+

Justin Gabriel: Gabriel has got some skills, especially as a high flyer.  He hits an impressive 450 Splash, as evidenced by both the Nexus AND the Corre utilizing him as the exclamation point of their various beatdowns.  The company clearly sees something in him as well, as he lasted until the end of the Raw vs Nexus Summerslam match and put on a great match with Cena on Raw around that time.  I can’t wait to see Gabriel versus Kofi, Bryan, or even Bourne, as he reminds me of a young (not-so-drugged) Jeff Hardy.  Here’s a match between Gabriel and Slater on FCW:

Rating: B+

Well, that’s my analysis of both factions.  This topic got me thinking about past heel stables and how they compare to more recent ones.  In light of that, I’ve decided that next week will be devoted to heel stables of the past and present, ranging from WWE, WCW, and ECW fame.

Here’s the latest from Jonah Kue where he discusses the best of The Rock’s promos.

The always entertaining Andrew Wheeler is back with his latest Judicial Review of Raw.

Check out the latest This Week in ‘E from Mark Allen.

As always, leave your comments where they belong…in the comments section.  Duh.

Until next time, so long…and thanks for all the fish.

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