Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
|Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel|
|Name(s)||Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
|Heights||Slater: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Gabriel: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
|429 lb (195 kg)|
|Billed from||Slater: Pineville, West Virginia
Gabriel: Cape Town, South Africa
|Debut||June 7, 2010|
|Disbanded||July 16, 2011|
After both having runs in WWE's developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, Slater and Gabriel debuted on the first season of WWE NXT. Their partnership began on the June 7, 2010 Viewer's Choice edition of Raw, when they, along with the rest of the season 1 rookies (Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Skip Sheffield, Darren Young, Daniel Bryan, and Michael Tarver), debuted during the main event between WWE Champion John Cena and CM Punk sporting matching armbands with the letter N. Season 1 winner Wade Barrett led the group in an attack on Cena, Punk, Luke Gallows, Jerry Lawler, Matt Striker, Justin Roberts, and other WWE personnel around the ring, as well as destroying everything at ringside, including the announce table and the ring itself. Barrett named the group The Nexus. A week later, the group explained their actions as retribution for the poor treatment they received from WWE management during their time on NXT. The attack was also to threaten WWE into giving the remaining six members (sans Daniel Bryan, who had been released from WWE) contracts. Raw General Manager Bret Hart declined the demand and fired Barrett. When Hart then ordered the whole Raw roster to stand guard at the ringside and stage areas during the main event, Nexus attacked Hart backstage by forcing him into a limousine and crashing it into other vehicles.
The group then spent the next few weeks attacking various WWE figures, such as Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon who tried to take credit for Nexus' actions. When Bret Hart was removed in favor of a new anonymous Raw General Manager, the Nexus were given contracts. The Nexus were in the main event of SummerSlam, losing a 7-on-7 elimination tag team match against Team WWE (John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, John Morrison, R-Truth and a returning Daniel Bryan). The group then went through some changes, leading to the removal of Darren Young and the additions of Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty.
On the October 25 edition of RAW, Slater and Gabriel won their first WWE Tag Team Championship by beating John Cena and David Otunga after Wade Barrett ordered Otunga to lie down and let Slater pin him. Gabriel and Slater held the championship for nearly two months, before losing it to Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov in a four-way elimination match also involving The Usos and Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu on the December 6 episode of RAW. Gabriel and Slater received a rematch for the championship at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 19, but lost by disqualification when Nexus member Michael McGillicutty interfered. Soon after, Barrett was ousted as the Nexus leader and CM Punk became the new leader of the group, dubbing them The New Nexus. Punk demanded backstage that Slater and Gabriel beat each other with kendo sticks as per their initiation into The New Nexus. But after hesitating to attack one another, the two dropped their weapons and refused to join the group.
Slater and Gabriel moved to the SmackDown brand where they rejoined Wade Barrett along with Ezekiel Jackson to form The Corre when the four of them attacked The Big Show on January 14, 2011 airing of SmackDown and started a feud with him. After winning a non-title match against the champions Kozlov and Marella on the February 4 episode of SmackDown, Gabriel and Slater received a match for the WWE Tag Team Championship two weeks later, but lost via disqualification when the other members of The Corre interfered. They received a rematch at the Elimination Chamber PPV on February 20 and defeated Marella and Kozlov to win the championship for the second time. The following night on Raw, Gabriel and Slater lost the championship to John Cena and The Miz, but won the titles back minutes later after Barrett invoked The Corre's rematch clause and The Miz turned on Cena, giving Slater and Gabriel their third championship.
Things took a turn for the worse for the Corre when the group was soundly beaten at WrestleMania XXVII in an 8-man tag team match against Santino, Kofi Kingston, Big Show, and Kane in under 2 minutes. One day later, the Corre attacked John Cena and The Rock, but the duo overwhelmed them. On the April 22 edition of SmackDown, Slater and Gabriel lost the tag team titles to the team of Big Show and Kane. After Ezekiel Jackson was exiled from The Corre, Slater and Gabriel walked away from the group a few weeks later on the June 10 edition of SmackDown, disbanding the stable.
After they parted ways with Barrett, they went on to win matches in the following weeks over likes of The Usos. On the July 8 edition of SmackDown, The Usos defeated Slater and Gabriel, after which Slater and Gabriel showed tension between one another. On the July 15 edition of SmackDown, Slater and Gabriel faced each other in a match, before which Slater said he was tired of sharing his spotlight with Gabriel and that he should be on top of the WWE. Gabriel won the match. They wrestled their last match as a team at a house show on July 16, losing to Big Show and Kane.
They then both competed in the SmackDown Money In The Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, which was won by Daniel Bryan. Slater and Gabriel faced off again on the December 22 edition of Superstars and December 28 edition of NXT Redemption with Gabriel getting the pinfall over Slater once again.
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
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- "Justin Gabriel". World Wrestling Entertainment.
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- "History of the WWE Tag Team Championship: Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (2)". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2011-02-20. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
- "History of the WWE Tag Team Championship: Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (3)". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2011-02-22.