Welcome to Tale of the Tape, a feature in which we compare the best of TNA against the best of the WWE.
In the past few weeks, both promotions have begun to feature the emergence of two stables that feature young, up-and-coming talent, with designs on taking over.
The WWE's main eventers have come under attack by the former NXT rookies, now calling themselves the Nexus. Meanwhile in TNA, former World Champion Ric Flair has began designs on forming his own group, called Fortune.
Let's take a look at how both of these stables match up to one another and their potential for success.
Members of Nexus
David Otunga, Darren Young, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield, Wade Barrett (this is assuming Barrett's visa issues are worked out).
Members of Fortune
AJ Styles, Desmond Wolfe, Kazarian, James Storm, Robert Roode.
Obviously, the Nexus are considered rookies as far as the WWE fan is concerned. However, these guys have established themselves during their time in FCW and introducing themselves to the world during Season One of NXT.
That said, they are still considered rookies.
On the other hand, Fortune consists of TNA's top homegrown talent in Styles, Storm, and Roode, who have each been involved with TNA for years as the foundation of the promotion.
Also, Kazarian has had a (very) brief stint in WWE as well as having multiple gimmicks in TNA during his "Suicide" appearance.
Finally, Desmond Wolfe was well known as Nigel McGuinness during his days at Ring of Honor.
This would've been a lot closer had the WWE not released Bryan Danielson, but as a result, TNA's stable wins out on experience.
Barrett has established himself as the de facto leader of Nexus, especially after his Season One victory, which guarantees him a title shot at a future PPV. His mic skills are very good and he comes across as a snarky heel, in the mold of his NXT mentor, Chris Jericho.
That said, Fortune's mouthpiece is none other than the "Nature Boy" himself.
There is still no one in wrestling who can draw an emotion or entertain on the mic better than Flair. He brings instant legitimacy to the group and knows how to bring the heat to anyone who associates with him; just look at what he's doing for Jay Lethal.
Barrett is on the way to being a top talent in the WWE, especially on the mic, but as of now, the Nature Boy still reigns supreme.
This is a tough one to analyze, especially since we're talking stables and not individuals.
Let's take a look at Nexus first.
They are still green in the ring, yet Gabriel's 450 splash is a thing of beauty: I really enjoy how he just stands there with no emotion before he executes. The only other move of note is Otunga's sit down powerbomb called The Verdict. That said, Barrett has shown the most ability with his power attack.
TNA's Fortune is stocked with talent from Styles, Wolfe, Beer Money, and Kazarian. Of course this has a lot to do with more time in the ring, but these guys have shown the ability to put on five-star matches whenever called upon.
Again, had Danielson not been released, this would have been tilted in Nexus' favor, but I have to give the nod to Fortune in regard to who can bring it in the ring.
Nexus went straight for the top dog in all of wrestling, err, sports enterainment—John Cena. They even got Cena to the point where he requested the help of his rival Sheamus to take out Nexus.
Cena now knows he has to go through Nexus in order to clear a path to regain his title.
Meanwhile, over in Dixieland, Flair and Fortune have had trouble getting rid of Jay Lethal.
While Lethal is talented, he's no Cena. Flair is going to battle Lethal at Victory Road, and perhaps then the group can move on to bigger things.
The key to a successful stable is based on the status of the guys trying to knock them off.
Fortune's having a hard time beating an X-Division challenger, while Nexus is going after John Cena.
'Nuff said, Nexus wins.
Main Event Potential
When comparing individual wrestlers, tag teams, or stables, you have to ask yourself one question—can they find success in the main event?
Granted that is always up to the booking, but sometimes fans can tell from the onset who has "it" to make it to the next level.
Since this is a comparison of stables, we'll pull individuals out of each group that possesses that ability to one day main event PPVs.
In Nexus, Barrett is the only guy in the group that has the overall package to compete with guys like Cena, HHH, Randy Orton, or the Undertaker. He has the mic skills and the ring ability to, one day, headline a PPV.
Although Otunga has the ability to bring it on the mic, I think he will seriously have to develop his power game in order to go beyond the mid-card.
The remaining members of Nexus would be great additions to the WWE's lagging tag team scene, and even the US/IC title scene, but nothing more.
However in Fortune, Styles has already been a TNA World Champion, and Wolfe has the potential to become one in the future if they can just start booking him based on his extraordinary talent and mic skills.
Beer Money has had years of experience ruling the tag scene but I can't see them going any farther than the secondary title scene as individuals.
Finally, Kazarian has always been on the cusp of greatness and I do see him one day hoisting the top gold in TNA. Being around Flair will improve his mic skills and, eventually, his stature in Dixieland.
Even if Danielson was involved in Nexus, I don't see him or anyone else in the group besides Barrett headlining PPVs. TNA has the guys in place who can take over the World Championship scene for years to come, so I'm giving Fortune the nod.
As a stable, I can't see the Nexus dominating for too much longer, simply because of the WWE pecking order. We've seen these guys attack commentators, legends, and even Vince McMahon on Raw, but what will happen when these guys go one-on-one or even as a tag team in actual matches with the top stars?
It won't end well.
Meanwhile, Fortune can still dominate their matches and won't need to always resort to attacking everyone in groups. I see TNA giving them a run with all of the titles to establish their presence and send all of the faces going after them.
While Nexus may be stealing the headlines, in the long run, I see Fortune being the more-dominant stable in wrestling.
That's all for now, let me know who else you would like for me to compare on Tale of the Tape!
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