Popular stables are often the life force of the WWE. When looking back at your favorite WWE moments, they may include stables like Degeneration-X, The Ministry of Darkness, or The Hart Foundation. In today's current storylines, groups like the Wyatt Family and The New Day are entertaining audiences with their group formations and promos. When stables form, they typically go through an evolution of adding or removing Superstars. Storylines, injuries, and backstage politics can all lead to different stable changes.
In this article we will relive some of the more forgotten members of popular WWE stables. The company's revisionist history often erases these performers as members or tries to rewrite history and act like they were never involved. Some of these inclusion are odd, random, or only lasted for a few days before WWE realized their mistake. Superstars like John Cena, Ahmed Johnson, Darren Young, and Hornswoggle were all once upon a time, a part of some popular WWE faction. Their time in the groups did little to help their careers, but it did create some compelling on-screen moments. Read through and see how different these stables were with some of the new roster additions you probably forgot about!
15 Tori – D-Generation X
When thinking of a female DX member, Chyna will come to mind for a majority of fans. While Chyna was still in the group, the WWE decided to add a second female in the form of Tori. Before Tori joined DX, she was involved in a romantic angle with Kane. Kane was feuding with DX member X-Pac, when Tori decided to turn on the Big Red Machine and declare her love to X-Pac. A few weeks later, Tori would debut with the faction, sporting DX t-shirts as she found herself a part of promos and group pictures.
After getting injured due to a vicious maneuver delivered by Bubba Ray Dudley, Tori would be off WWE television and quietly leave Degeneration-X. When she returned, she had no affiliation with the group and was a singles wrestler on the Divas roster.
14 The Hardy Boyz – The Brood
The Brood was a consistent group that included vampire-leader Gangrel and his associates Edge and Christian. Even after a brief association with the Ministry of Darkness, The Brood stayed strong together. Eventually, the tag team tandem of Edge and Christian became more popular than Gangrel and they defected from the group. Gangrel needed new minions and he chose The Hardy Boyz as his replacement.
Dubbed as "The New Brood", the Hardy Boyz spent a few weeks by Gangrel's side, but it just felt more like a copycat group. The Hardy Boyz quickly turned on Gangrel and became the infamous tag team that we know today. Gangrel ultimately served as a great platform for both teams to get some notoriety from the WWE fans. Once they found their footing, both teams were off and running re-creating the tag team scene in the WWE.
13 Clarence Mason – Nation of Domination
Who knew a geeky lawyer existed in the WWE and was responsible for starting the Nation of Domination?! Clarence Mason's rise in the WWE was their direct response to the legal team and headlines created from the OJ Simpson trial. Long after that case was over, Mason remained in the WWE, representing a variety of heel wrestlers like Owen Hart and the British Bulldog. Soon after, he would begin to form the original Nation of Domination.
Before the faction was a powerful group that included D'Lo Brown, The Godfather, and The Rock, Clarence Mason begin with just Faarooq. The nerdy lawyer didn't quite fit in with the aggressive group dynamic. When Faarooq decided to break off and recruit new members, Clarence Mason was dropped in the process.
12 The Jackyl – Ministry of Darkness
The Ministry of Darkness will be forever known as The Undertaker's group. He tortured Superstars, kidnapped Stephanie McMahon, and had memorable feuds with both Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Even though The Undertaker and the Ministry go hand-in-hand, he was not the original leader of the group. That role went to "The Jackyl". Do you remember The Jackyl? He rarely wrestled and was known for leading groups like "The Truth Commission" and the forgettable stable, "The Oddities".
Shortly after the Oddities disbanded, The Jackyl joined forces with Farrooq and Bradshaw to form the Acolytes. This would turn into an early form of the Ministry of Darkness. When The Jackyl was fired from the WWE, he was replaced by The Undertaker as their leader and the rest is history.
11 Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart – D-Generation X
One half of the original Hart Foundation and an integral part of the New Hart Foundation, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart was often feuding with members of Degeneration-X throughout the late 90s. This is why it's so surprising that Neidhart would join the group after the Hart Foundation crumbled.
In the weeks following the Montreal Screwjob, Bret Hart and British Bulldog left the WWE for WCW. Neidhart was left without his group or family and DX took advantage of this. They invited Neidhart to join DX and he agreed to the terms during an episode of Monday Night Raw. In the main event of the night, Neidhart would compete with his new faction in a tag team match. DX won the match, but the celebration didn't last long. Triple H and Shawn Michaels laughed as Chyna attacked Neidhart and kicked him out of the group just as quickly as he joined. They spray-painted “WCW” on his back and Neidhart was gone from the company that week.
10 Mason Ryan – The Nexus
The Nexus started out as a group that would only consist of rookies from the NXT roster. Things completely changed when CM Punk took over Wade Barrett's duties as leader and formed the New Nexus. One of his newest members was Mason Ryan. Looking like a mold of Batista, Ryan quickly made an impact in the New Nexus, but injuries plagued his time in the group. He had potential to be a rising star in the faction, but now he's never mentioned nowadays when the WWE looks back on the group. Ryan would spend a few weeks on TV, a few months off, and it's hard to even remember his time by CM Punk's side.
In an ironic move, months after Ryan was out of the Nexus group, he would actually join the NXT roster. He wrestled multiple times on the developmental brand before getting released from his contract.
9 Darren Young – The Straight Edge Society
Before he was a part of the Prime Time Player or getting advice from Bob Backlund, Darren Young got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was offered a spot in The Straight Edge Society. During the first season of NXT, Young had the benefit of having CM Punk serve as his coach and mentor. This was during the rise of the Straight Edge Society. Punk saw the potential in Young's talents and invited him to join the SES. After gladly accepting, Young was brought to WWE Smackdown for his full initiation.
He raised his hand proudly and was moments away from becoming a permanent member, until he realized that CM Punk would have to shave off his trademark spiked-up hair. Young decided to defect from the group just as quickly as he joined. He was punished for this with a three-on-one attack until Rey Mysterio came down for the save.
8 Crush – Nation of Domination
Crush is often associated for his time with Demolition or the Disciples of Apocalypse, but during his time between factions, he was one of the original members of the Nation of Domination. Considering that the group was known for consisting of all African-Americans, many people forget Crush's involvement. When Crush returned to the WWE in 1996, he was represented by Clarence Mason, making him a natural choice for Mason's new group. While representing the faction, Crush was in several feuds, including battles with Superstars like Ahmed Johnson and the Legion of Doom.
His time in the Nation didn't last long as Farrooq attacked him and kicked him out of the Nation. This is when Crush formed the Disciples of Apocalypse and continued to feud with his former faction.
7 Hornswoggle – D-Generation X
One of DX's biggest fans had his chance to become an official member. Week after week, Hornswoggle would beg DX to let him join the reformed faction. Triple H and Shawn Michaels would taunt and tease the little man, denying his request on multiple occasions. After getting fans to sign petitions and helping DX in a few matches, Hornswoggle finally got his request granted. On an episode of Raw, Michaels and Triple H declared Hornswoggle the official "DX Mascot".
All three teamed up in a Six-Man Tag Team Match against The Big Show, The Miz, and guest host Jon Heder. Hornswoggle won the match by pinning Heder and got his first official win with the faction. Hornswoggle's time in the group was quietly written off and he was eventually drafted over to the SmackDown roster.
6 Ahmed Johnson – Nation of Domination
One of the Nation of Domination's biggest rivals was former Intercontinental Champion Ahmed Johnson. Johnson and Farrooq had a bitter rivalry that resulted in numerous matches, brawls, and the infamous Chicago Street Fight. This is why it's so surprising to have recalled that Johnson was briefly a part of the Nation.
Johnson turned heel by attacking the Undertaker and showing his allegiance to Farrooq and the Nation. He could have been a long-term member of the group, but injuries forced him to relinquish his spot and would never return. His replacement would be a game changer in the WWE, as Rocky Maivia took over Johnson's role. He slowly transformed into The Rock and the rest truly became WWE history. Johnson's involvement in the group was largely forgotten as The Rock and Farrooq would lead the faction into legendary territory.
5 Droz – The Legion of Doom
The Legion of Doom remained as a tag team that included both Hawk and Animal. There was a 2005 version that featured Heidenreich, but the Legion of Doom was also previously a three-man faction. Referred to as "Legion of Doom 2000", the newly branded team added former NFL player Droz to their group. He would wear the spikes and compete in several tag team matches with Animal. Tension between Droz and Hawk lead to the infamous moment where Hawk fell off the WWE Raw titantron. This was used to write Hawk off television as Droz and Animal became the official LOD tag team.
The team stayed together for a few months until Droz cost them a win in a match against the Headbangers. The group quietly disappeared as LOD left the WWE and would not return to its original form of Hawk and Animal.
4 Manu – Legacy
As the WWE roster evolved, fans got to witness new generations rise up and take the mantles that their parents once had. WWE took advantage of this by forming the group "Legacy". The main group consisted of Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase, although it was a little larger when it was first formed.
Manu was the son of WWE legend Afa Anoaʻi and had recently joined the WWE roster. He was asked to join Legacy and was involved with the group for a few weeks before he was kicked out and released from his WWE contract. Randy Orton has spoken out about Manu’s backstage attitude and attributes this to one of the main reasons why he was kicked out of Legacy and the WWE.
3 Sim Snuka – Legacy
While Manu was kicked out of Legacy for backstage reasons, Sim Snuka was kicked out for different reasons. Sim Snuka is the son of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. He was never introduced to audiences as Sim Snuka until he was randomly added to the Legacy faction. Snuka was known to a majority of WWE fans as Deuce. He was a gimmicky character that won the Tag Team Championship as a part of the Grease-inspired duo of Deuce and Domino.
While Rhodes, DiBiase, and Orton were built up as generational Superstars to fans and audiences, it felt like they just tossed Snuka into the bunch and fans could immediately tell that it wouldn’t work. The same night that Manu was tossed out of Legacy, Snuka got the boot and the three-man faction was set in place permanently.
2 Mark Jindrak – Evolution
The formation of Evolution could have been a lot different than fans remember. Evolution was a great way to give performers like Batista and Randy Orton a huge boost. However, if things were to go as originally planned, then it would have been Mark Jindrak in Batista’s role.
Before the group debuted on TV, Jindrak was filmed for several taped segments and an entrance video. It’s odd to re-watch these and see Jindrak molded into the group without Batista being involved.
Plans quickly changed, Jindrak was replaced, and all of those taped segments had to be done all over again. Jindrak was never introduced to the WWE audiences as an official member and he was released from his contract shortly after. Evolution would have probably been a success either way, but this was definitely a game changer for Batista’s career in the company.
1 John Cena – The Nexus
When Nexus debuted in the WWE, they immediately set their sights on John Cena. He suffered brutal attacks at the hands of the faction and Cena faced almost every member in singles or tag-team competition at some point. During their whole feud, things took a strange swerve when Cena actually joined Nexus.
Cena didn’t join Nexus out of loyalty. He was forced to in a contrived storyline involving Wade Barrett and the WWE Championship. After losing to Barrett at the 2010 Hell in a Cell PPV, Cena had to join the group as part of the stipulation. Barrett would use Cena as his pawn to help him win matches, including a number one contender’s battle royal. Cena eventually turned on Barrett and was “fired” for his actions. A few weeks later, Cena would return and be officially out of the group that he was forced into.