10 Defences Of Horrible Wrestling Moments

Revising history in the spirit of holiday generosity: starring MJF, Kevin Nash, and WrestleMania IX.

The Devil AEW

It's the holiday season.

It's a time of doing the same things you always do because you love to do them. You watch Home Alone because it never gets old watching Daniel Stern take a nail to the foot. It gets harder and harder to sympathise with the mother, mind. That situation goes down in real life, and you think she had something to do with it.

You eat turkey, and it's great, and if it isn't, you're cooking it about has hard as Shawn Michaels goes on a Tuesday!


You probably don't care about the wrestling so much, or at least you didn't. December used to be something of an unofficial offseason, but CM Punk's shocking return to WWE, coupled with AEW's exceptional Continental Classic, is making that rather difficult.

You spend an age seeking out the best gifts for your loved ones while praying internally that you don't get more tat because your home is already full to the brim of it. Great, another mug. There's more chance of Chris Jericho offering to work somebody cold in AEW than you using it, but it's still nice of them. It's a time of pretending to smile and actually smiling alike.

It's also a time of generosity, and so, with that in mind, here is a defence, of sorts, of some universally loathed wrestling moments...

10. John Cena Going Over The Nexus

The Devil AEW

At SummerSlam 2010, John Cena, one minute and 30 seconds after taking a DDT onto exposed concrete, won a handicap match within a match. He steamrolled over Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett so definitively that their careers all but ended there and then.

It was excruciating watching that version of John Cena every week in real time. WWE, meanwhile, was both incompetent at and apathetic about creating new stars. The finish to the SummerSlam 2010 main event was dire on principle, and wasn't exactly a good idea, but realistically, how many great, promising careers were truly ruined?

Wade Barrett had something - presence, confidence - but was he so great that this one finish stigmatised him as a loser forever? Or was he just not quite "it" as a main event-level talent?

Darren Young has done magnificently well to reinvent himself, but a superstar? No. David Otunga and Michael Tarver were actively bad. Heath Slater was at least an amusing, knowing geek. Justin Gabriel was fun for that company in that era, but as a high-flier was lapped several times over throughout the 2010s. Skip Sheffield had a go as Ryback in 2012, but he most certainly benefitted from there being so few other options to get behind.

The Nexus weren't a group of future megastars; even at the time, it was a rare victory for hide-the-negatives booking. And, for all his many well-earned faults, it's not out of the realms of possibility that Vince McMahon did not in fact view Justin Gabriel as the next Stone Cold Steve Austin.

They were a Monster Of The Week-calibre opponent for a man who was the hero to the most important members of the demo.


Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and current Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!