At the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view in October, a disguised Harris and Michael McGillicutty interfered in a match between John Cena and Wade Barrett, and helped Barrett win, forcing Cena to join Barrett's stable The Nexus per the pre-match stipulation. Harris' and McGillicutty's identities were revealed on the following day's episode of Raw, though Barrett claimed he had not asked for their help and refused to make them full time members of The Nexus. The following week, Harris and McGillicutty cost Cena a match against The Miz, prompting Barrett to give them the opportunity to win membership in The Nexus. On the October 18 episode of Raw, Harris and McGillicutty failed to earn a place in The Nexus when they lost to Cena and Randy Orton in a tag team match. The following week on Raw, however, Harris and McGillicutty were inducted into The Nexus, in spite of their loss.
In January 2011 CM Punk took over Nexus and had each of its members put through an initiation. Harris passed his initiation, a lashing from the rest of the group, and was allowed to remain a member of The Nexus, alongside Punk, McGillicutty and David Otunga. Three weeks later, on the January 31 episode of Raw, Harris and McGillicutty unsuccessfully challenged Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov for the WWE Tag Team Championship. After the match Randy Orton attacked them as revenge for them interfering in his WWE Championship match against The Miz and costing him the championship, and punted Harris in the head. This was a scripted injury to write Harris off WWE television.
More than a year later, he returned to NXT, as Bray Wyatt, at the inaugural tapings at Full Sail University on May 17 and defeated Aiden English in a singles match. In early July 2012, Wyatt suffered a torn pectoral muscle, necessitating surgery. Despite the injury, Wyatt continued to appear on NXT and founded a faction known as the Wyatt Family, with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. On the February 20 edition of NXT, Wyatt returned to in-ring action by squashing Yoshi Tatsu in under a minute. On the May 2 episode of NXT, Wyatt faced Chris Jericho, but lost. Wyatt and the Family went on to feud with Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno, with Wyatt defeating Graves on the May 22 episode of NXT, and the next week Wyatt eliminated both Graves and Ohno during an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship, although he was later eliminated by Adrian Neville.
On the May 27 episode of Raw, a vignette promoting the Wyatt Family was aired. On the July 8 episode of Raw, the Wyatt Family made their debut, assaulting Kane, following his match with Christian. The Wyatt Family continued their assault by attacking R-Truth on the July 15 episode of Raw, afterwards telling Kane to "follow the buzzards". Two days later on WWE Main Event, The Wyatts attacked Justin Gabriel and 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, and Jinder Mahal) before Wyatt delivered the same message to Kane. This led to Kane to issue a challenge Bray at SummerSlam, which Bray accepted. On August 18 at the pay-per-view, Wyatt defeated Kane in the Ring of Fire match, following interference from Harper and Rowan. After the match, Harper and Rowan attacked Kane and threw the steel steps onto his head whilst Wyatt watched from his rocking chair. In late September, Wyatt would start delivering cryptic messages to Kofi Kingston after Kingston's matches, leading to a match between the two on October 6 at WWE Battleground, which Wyatt won. On October 12 during a house show match, Wyatt injured his calf. Harper and Rowan finished the match quickly and carried Bray Wyatt backstage while the doctors immediately checked on him. Despite the injury, Bray Wyatt turned up for the event on October 13 in Philadelphia. He didn't wrestle but instead sat on the rocking chair while Harper and Rowan got the job done. Wyatt then set his sights on The Miz and Kofi Kingston, with the pair battling his Wyatt cohorts unsuccessfully. At Hell in a Cell, The Miz would call out Wyatt Family, baiting them to attack them, but Kane would make his return to ward off Harper and Rowan before chokeslamming him. The next night on RAW, The Wyatt Family would attack Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. The next week on RAW, Harper would make his singles debut, losing to CM Punk. Harper would team with Rowan to defeat The Prime Time Players on WWE Main Event, but Harper would lose Daniel Bryan via disqualification on Smackdown.