Professional wrestling can be a tough industry to stand out in, so it helps for an up and coming superstar to have friends who will watch their back. Tag teams can often be restrictive and pigeonhole wrestlers as always needing a partner, making stables a better bet for a new wrestler trying to etch their way into history by association if nothing else. However, if said stable has too many members to keep track of, it might turn out the WWE Universe and wrestling fans in general don’t even remember every member of the most iconic and important stables in sports entertainment history.
Overcrowding isn’t the only reason a superstar might slide through the cracks and get forgotten in a wrestling faction. They also might not stay in the group particularly long, never quite fit in, or belonged to the group at a particularly unremarkable period for them. The absolute biggest wrestling stables in history have had members almost entirely forgotten today, proving a high profile doesn’t mean fans will necessarily pick up every last minor detail. Smaller groups that nonetheless made a significant impact also had a few members that time forgot, regardless of how long they lasted or what gold was won in the process. Keep reading to remember 15 wrestlers you forgot were in legendary stables.
15. nWo Japan: Hiroyoshi Tenzan
The New World Order of professional wrestling was formed during the main event of Bash at the Beach 1996, when Hulk Hogan turned on WCW to join Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in their war against the company. Few groups were more important to wrestling history, but as this list will prove multiple times, it eventually got way too big for its own good, leading to so many members it would be hard for even the most die hard fans to keep track. In late 1996, the group even went international, when Masahiro Chono joined and created his own subgroup called nWo Japan in New Japan Pro Wrestling. nWo Japan also competed in WCW, typically seeing Chono and co-leader The Great Muta in tag team matches. Chono and Muta made plenty of WCW appearances before the nWo formed, so their participation in the group wasn’t entirely out of place. Less fitting was the involvement of future NJPW legend Hiroyoshi Tenzan, who only showed up for a handful of WCW matches, almost always wearing the black and white.
14. The Straight Edge Society: Darren Young
Espousing his true to life personal rejection of smoking, drinking, and other drug use, CM Punk formed The Straight Edge Society in late 2009 by brainwashing Luke Gallows and Serena into becoming his followers. Serena and Gallows helped him in his matches, shaved their heads, and started following the same lifestyle as Punk, meanwhile seeking out new members all throughout the WWE Universe. The closest they came to a fourth recruit was Darren Young, who also happened to be Punk’s mentee during the first season of NXT. Initially, Young was even game to join The Society, apparently doing so for a few seconds, only changing his mind when he realized it would mean shaving his wild hairdo. The funny thing about it is that nowadays Young is hanging out with Mr. Bob Backlund, who likely appreciated the strong moral core of Punk’s beliefs.
13. The Alliance: Ivory
Also known as WCW, The Coalition, or the WCW/ECW Alliance, Shane and Stephanie McMahon’s franchise-sized faction that attempted to take down their father’s WWE throughout the summer of 2001 is mostly associated with disappointment and confusion. The disappointment came from WWE refusing to let WCW get any headway, let alone book any true dream matches. The confusion was members like Ivory, who never competed in ECW or WCW throughout her long and storied career and had no particular reason to turn against WWE. It also didn’t make much sense that she joined the group as the mentor to Alliance female members Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson, and nothing was done with the trio to explain it. For the record, male Alliance members Test and Christian also had absolutely no connection to the brand, though their roles in the group were at least high profile enough most people do remember them.
12. The Flock: Horace Hogan
Leading a band of outcasts wherever he went, Raven has led enough groups that his full list of followers is almost as large as the list of nWo members, so even if you happen to be one of Raven’s fans yourself, he’d probably forgive you should you not remember Horace Hogan’s time in The Flock. Of all Raven’s groups, The Flock was definitely the most famous, existing during his peak months in WCW and, at times, looking like they could stand against the nWo. The potential of that feud is the whole reason Raven invited Horace into the group, thinking his connection to The Hulkster could be Raven’s ticket to the main event. It didn’t quite work out, as Horace didn’t do anything of note in the group, much like a good 90% of the other wrestlers Raven hired. In all fairness to Horace, at least he’s remembered at all, unlike most of Raven’s ECW lackeys.
11. D-Generation X: Jim Neidhart
The more power Triple H achieves in WWE, the more wrestling fans will be hearing about how D-Generation X was the most controversial group in WWE history. Some fans will even call it one of the best and DX was certainly one of the most impactful, both as initial four person operation with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chyna, and Rick Rude, and the wider operation led by Triple H and his new cronies throughout the McMahon-Helmsley era. Rude’s involvement has been somewhat downplayed over time, but he hasn’t suffered as unfortunate a fate as Jim Neidhart, whose ten minutes or so in DX has been erased from history entirely. On November 24th, 1997, two weeks after The Montreal Screwjob, Michaels invited Bret Hart’s former partner Jim Neidhart to join the group, only for HBK and HHH to almost immediately turn against him after he and HHH helped HBK defeat Vader. Neidhart lost a match to Triple H the next night and was in WCW by January of the next year.
10. The Heenan Family: The Brooklyn Brawler
Being a group made of whoever Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was managing at the time, The Heenan Family was one of the more intentionally hodgepodge and disjointed groups WWE has ever seen. The one thing that unified them was The Brain’s support, which is why it always felt bizarre and out of place to see The Brooklyn Brawler standing next to luminaries like Andre the Giant, Harley Race, Haku, Rick Rude, and The Brain Busters. Of course, those of us who do remember know that was the entire point, as The Brawler was Heenan’s reaction to the failure of The Red Rooster, proving he could turn anybody into a star. Naturally, Heenan’s attempt failed, although it didn’t exactly help Rooster out any when he won the feud. Heenan would still go on to manage plenty more legendary stars, while the Brawler became one of the longest tenured jobbers in WWE, maintaining some level of employment until 2016.
9. The Nation of Domination: PG-13
The Nation of Domination went through a number of distinct phases during their tenure in WWE, and in fact, WWE wasn’t even the only company they appeared in. The most shocking part of PG-13’s tenure with the group is that technically speaking it could be argued JC Ice and Wolfie D were the Nation’s founding members. The rapping tag team started the group in USWA, also joining the version lead by Faarooq when he brought The Nation to the WWE Universe. PG-13 also rapped the Nation’s original theme song, though they rarely appeared in any noteworthy matches and were even less likely to win when they did. Despite creating the group and earning significant heat with their rhymes, Ice and Wolfie were out of the group in a manner of months, long before The Nation reinvented itself with The Rock as the final leader.
8. nWo: Louie Spicolli
Our list already covered one of the various nWo offshoots and the original black and white isn’t any less guilty of having too many members for fans to keep track of. Quite frankly, it would be easy to argue the original nWo was the most bloated stable in history, although this shouldn’t be taken as an insult to members like Louie Spicolli (nor, Vincent or The Discipline, that’s another story). The problem with Spicolli was much bigger and more tragic than the typical faults with the nWo, in that his tenure with the group was suddenly ablated by his shocking death at 27 due to a drug and alcohol overdose. Spicolli had only recently become an associate member of the group as Scott Hall’s comedy minded mentee and could have become a much bigger deal if not for his untimely demise.
7. Team Canada: Jim Duggan
The bitter American-hating Canadian is one of the more oddly prevalent themes in pro wrestling and virtually every top promotion has had a stable or two promoting the idea. WWE had The Hart Foundation, Un-Americans and La Résistance, while WCW and TNA both had groups more plainly named Team Canada. Each group also happened to have at least one or two turncoat Americans join the fray, as well, to varying degrees of success. The least logical jump was “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, who spent the majority of his career waving the American flag as one of wrestling’s preeminent patriots. If Duggan made any effort at explaining his actions, it might have worked, but the whole point was simply for Vince Russo to trick and shock the audience, and it was a huge bomb as a result. Duggan was kicked out of the group and replaced by Mike Awesome, also not a Canadian.
6. The Legacy: Manu
With Vince McMahon’s obsession over legacy and promoting second generation superstars, it’s a little surprising The Legacy only had three long term members. Randy Orton lead the group made of the sons of WWE Hall of Famers starting in 2008, alongside Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr. The three stuck together for nearly two years, with two side members momentarily joining the fray in Manu and Sim Snuka. Either one could’ve made the list, but we picked Manu for having an even shorter stay in the WWE Universe than the former Deuce of Deuce ‘n’ Domino. Manu and Snuka were deserving of entry into the group on name alone, with Manu’s father having been Afa of The Wild Samoans and Snuka obviously the son of Jimmy Snuka. Manu was also noteworthy over Snuka for technically being a founding member of the group, having teamed with Rhodes and DiBiase prior to their association with Orton beginning.
5. D-Generation X: Handsome Harvey
The very same episode of Raw Is War when D-Generation X momentarily invited Jim Neidhart to the group and instantly kicked him out, they did the exact same thing to Handsome Harvey in the opening segment of the show. Handsome Harvey was a former WWE manager and later WWE Women’s Champion Harving Wippleman, performing a facsimile of Rick Rude two weeks after Rude walked out on the company in retaliation for The Montreal Screwjob. Harvey read Rude’s usual introduction telling the fat, out of shape sweat hogs in the crowd to shut their mouths while DX made their entrance, Michaels, Chyna, and Triple H came to the ring and instantly turned on him with a group attack. Before you argue that Harvey was never really a member, keep in mind Michaels then cut a promo making it clear they hired him to replace Rude only to kick him out for fun and prove they never needed him in the first place.
4. The Dangerous Alliance: Michael P.S. Hayes
Before the nWo, no group struck fear into the heart of WCW wrestlers like The Dangerous Alliance. Lead by the manipulative and evil genius Paul E. Dangerously, The Alliance’s main members in WCW were Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Larry Zbyszko, “Stunning” Steve Austin, Rick Rude, and Madusa. They dominated the company for nearly six months, with Rude winning the United States Championship, Austin the TV Championship, and Anderson the Tag Team Championships with both Eaton and Zbyszko on separate occasions, always serving a constant thorn in Sting’s side while they did so. Eventually, though, Sting started to get his revenge, finding a Squadron to help him defeat The Alliance in War Games and cause their slow dissolution. As they started to fade away, Michael Hayes temporarily joined as a backup manager for Anderson and Eaton. Adding a second manager didn’t make much sense, especially considering the whole point of the group was that they all shared the first manager.
3. The Dungeon of Doom: Braun the Leprechaun
More bizarre than horrifying, Kevin Sullivan and The Master created The Dungeon of Doom in 1995 to help Sullivan in his feud against Hulk Hogan. The group initially contained monstrous wrestlers like The Shark (Earthquake), Kamala, The Zodiac (a weirdly painted Brutus Beefcake), Meng, The Giant, and Loch Ness, all using their size and strength to destroy Hulkamania once and for all. Some members were more famous than others, but at least they all had the size and stature to make them seem like a threat, cartoonish though that threat was. One superstar who felt completely out of place, however, was Braun the Leprechaun, portrayed by longtime Power Plant trainer DeWayne Bruce. The Leprechaun joined very late in The Dungeon’s run and was too silly for anyone to possibly take him seriously, fading away in a manner of weeks and getting repackaged to his more well known military gimmick.
2. The Four Horsemen: Kendall Windham
Formed in 1985 by Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard and The Andersons, The Four Horsemen have been such an iconic group that the word “stable” was created in their honor. The longtime enforcer of the group, Arn Anderson, would often give epic speeches about how raising four fingers indicates you’re a member of the elite in the wrestling industry, a reputation that held true for all of the best remembered Horsemen. They weren’t all winners, though, and certain members like Paul Roma and Steve McMichael are generally considered outright embarrassments. If anything, Roma and McMichael at least fared better than Kendall Windham, who has been almost entirely forgotten from wrestling history, including his brief run as a Horsemen in 1989. Kendall joined alongside his brother Barry, Ric Flair, and J.J. Dillon, with Butch Reed also serving as a largely forgotten associate member at the time. This version of the Horsemen is forgotten mostly for its hodgepodge nature, the lack of the Andersons, and most importantly the fact it didn’t last, with Dillon and the Windhams leaving the NWA months after they started teaming.
1. nWo 2000: The Harris Brothers
Of all the various incarnations and subgroups involved with the New World Order, none have a worse reputation amongst wrestling fans than the extremely short lived nWo 2000. The last WCW version of the group, Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, and Scott Hall formed the nWo 2000 in December of 1999 by attacking Goldberg on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Bret Hart suffered a concussion in one of his matches against Goldberg around the time the group was formed, Goldberg hurt himself days later, and Scott Hall completed the trend by winding up on the injured list by the end of the month. Scott Steiner served as a decent replacement for Scott Hall, but Ron and Don Harris were nowhere near the caliber of Hart even together, only further showing how weak the nWo brand had become.
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