August 16, 2010
REAL NAME: Stuart Bennett
In October 2007, he was signed to a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment and assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling competing under the Stu Sanders ring name, later forming a tag team with Paul Burchill. On January 2, 2008 Sanders and Burchill defeated Colt Cabana and Charles Evans for the Southern Tag Team Championship. Sanders and Burchill held onto the titles for nearly two months, losing it to Los Locos in a four-way tag match also involving The Insurgency and The Mobile Homers. He moved to Florida Championship Wrestling after WWE ended their relationship with OVW as a developmental territory.
He formed a tag team known as The Empire with Drew McIntyre, together they defeated The Puerto Rican Nightmares to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. They didn’t hold the gold for long as they lost the belts back to the Nightmares on July 17, 2008. This loss proved to be the last time the duo teamed. Sanders began wrestling under the name Lawrence Knight until In August 2009, when he was renamed yet again to Wade Barrett. He started working as a colour commentator for the company after Josh Mathews and Byron Saxton started work as commentators on the ECW brand.
On February 16, 2010 it was announced that Chris Jericho would be Barrett’s mentor and that he would be competing on the first season of WWE NXT. He made his debut on the inaugural episode the following week when he introduced his mentor Jericho, before Jericho's match with Daniel Bryan. On June 1st it was announced that Barrett had won the NXT competition, gained a WWE Championship shot and a WWE contract, by defeating David Otunga and Justin Gabriel in the season finale.
The following week on Raw, Barrett lead the NXT rookies as they attacked John Cena, CM Punk and the announce team. The next installment of Raw, Barrett and the other rookies demand that General Manager Bret Hart give them all full-time contracts but instead he fired Barrett and the other rookies. Later in the show the rookies brutalized Hart when they shoved him in a limo and smashed the limo into other cars. The following Sunday at the Fatal 4-Way PPV, the rookies again interfered and attacked John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge, and Sheamus during the four way match, in the end they cost Cena the title. Following this on Raw the next night, Vince McMahon announced that all seven season one NXT rookies had been signed to contracts.
The group once again attacked Cena and even Vince McMahon. The following week, the group was named The Nexus. Cena was offered a spot in the group but he turned down, citing that he had assembled his own army to take down The Nexus. At SummerSlam John Cena’s team consisting of Chris Jericho, Edge, Bret Hart, John Morrison, R-Truth, and Daniel Bryan beat The Nexus in a 7 on 7 elimination match.
-- compiled by Darren Wood