The inclusion of factions in pro wrestling has always been beneficial, as they’ve added a compelling concept to the promotions. Many of the great factions became synonymous with greatness and made shows better by default. The New World Order being formed in 1996 was a major factor in WCW’s rise to ignite the Monday Night Wars and create the most successful time period in wrestling history. In recent history, The Shield added a new dynamic by delivering new excitement on Raw and SmackDown. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose all became the new top stars of the current era thanks to the successful faction.
Wrestling history views the memorable factions in various forms. Some stables are looked at with great memories and others are ridiculed due to their lack of success. Quite a few factions have been exposed as being less entertaining than we remembered. The opposite story has seen underrated groups stand out positively with their work standing the test of time. We’ll look at both sides of the industry with the eight most overrated factions and seven most underrated factions in wrestling history.
15. Overrated: D-Generation X
There’s no doubt that D-Generation X helped contribute a great deal to the Attitude Era and WWE changing their culture to catch up with the times. The problem is WWE tries to rewrite history to make it seem like DX was up there with the New World Order and The Four Horsemen as one of the greatest factions of all-time.
DX provided entertainment, but they were never the most important facet of a wrestling show. Steve Austin and The Rock reigned supreme over D-Generation X during the majority of their successful days. DX reformed many years later with Shawn Michaels and Triple H tainting the legacy of the faction’s once storied history. Their later run were silly, as it was hard to watch two with 40 plus year old men trying to make juvenile jokes reserved for young adults and teenagers.
14. Underrated: Team Angle
The introduction of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin to WWE in 2002 was the best case scenario for them, as they entered a faction led by Kurt Angle. Aptly named Team Angle, the trio worked together as a unit of talented stars with amateur wrestling backgrounds trying to make sure Kurt remained on top of SmackDown. Angle held the WWE Championship, while Haas and Benjamin were the WWE Tag Team Champions.
The chemistry between all three wrestlers made it a great fit and one of the more compelling things on SmackDown during the original brand split. Angle came off like a bigger star by having his own protégés backing him up every week. Benjamin and Haas were given instant credibility working with a top guy. Everyone benefited greatly from being in such an effective faction.
13. Overrated: The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family are unique performers that found a great gimmick to stand out in NXT and the main roster. However, they have not lived up to their potential. Bray Wyatt is the leader of the faction and has found a relevant role on television. The issue is that he always loses his major singles feuds, making him look far less successful than the rest of the top stars in the company.
Luke Harper is arguably the most consistent wrestler in the faction but has done very little of note. Erick Rowan is an afterthought. Braun Strowman was a solid enforcer but added nothing to the group. Randy Orton is currently helping The Wyatt Family stay relevant. Sadly, it may be too late as they’ve been unable to come through when the fans showed interest in them becoming something special.
12. Underrated: Mount Rushmore
Factions don’t only exist in the bigger wrestling companies, but also on smaller levels. One of the best wrestling stables to ever form on the independent circuit has to be Mount Rushmore. Kevin Owens, Adam Cole and The Young Bucks merged together in PWG to create an incredible group of top stars uniting to dominate the company by holding all of the titles.
Owens was the top singles star on the independent circuit, Cole was the top rising star and The Young Bucks were the top tag team. Everyone was on fire and it led to entertaining content both in the ring and on the microphone. The run helped to show that Owens was ready for his WWE run and that the other three guys were capable of picking up the slack on the independent scene without him. We can only hope the stable reunites in WWE one day.
11. Overrated: Bullet Club
The Bullet Club is another successful faction that took place outside of the WWE and is still running today. The early days of Bullet Club in New Japan Pro Wrestling were outstanding with Finn Balor leading the group of foreign talents. Many compared it to the New World Order and it ended up having the same issues. Too many people joined Bullet Club causing the group to lose its luster.
Their expansion into Ring of Honor has helped the likes of The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Adam Cole comes off as bigger stars. Sadly, it is impossible to care about names like Adam Page and Bone Soldier being the latest members. Bullet Club should be remembered fondly for the early years, but the latest era will hurt the legacy of the stable.
10. Underrated: Filthy Animals
WCW wasted away many of their young talented stars. Eric Bischoff put all of his eggs into the baskets of the older stars like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Roddy Piper. One case of the talented younger stars finding a way to stand out was The Filthy Animals. Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman teamed together with Torrie Wilson and Konnan by their sides.
The trio delivered outstanding matches on a weekly basis in a lower spot on the show. Kidman, Mysterio and Guerrero were also given a rare chance to show glimpses of their personalities. It was like a less noteworthy version of D-Generation X. If you watch WCW shows back from 1999, The Filthy Animals are among the rare bright spots on the show. WCW not finding more to do with them was a shame.
9. Overrated: Legacy
Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. formed the trio known as Legacy. The faction consisted of second generation wrestlers uniting through their common bonds. Orton remained a top heel and WWE Champion thanks to his stablemates having his back. Rhodes and DiBiase saw their stock rise, but the group always lacked something. They remained effective without ever reaching a top level like The Four Horsemen or Evolution.
WWE tried adding Manu to the group, but it was a colossal failure. Legacy continued without him until the company decided it was time for everyone to become singles stars. One important benefit from a faction is having new stars made. The stint in Legacy didn’t lead to either Rhodes or DiBiase getting to main event status. That’s just one of the reasons Legacy is overrated in a historical perspective of wrestling stables.
8. Underrated: Triple Threat
The best stable in ECW history would be the Triple Threat of Shane Douglas, Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Candido with Francine and Tammy Sytch by their sides. Paul Heyman was a mastermind at putting his performers in the best positions to succeed. Douglas led the faction as the top heel and the ECW World Champion during the majority of the run.
Bigelow and Candido were both severely underrated after WWE failed to use them properly. ECW allowed them to showcase their skills without restriction. The trio worked absolutely perfect together with each filling a role, but no one having to sacrifice for the others. Douglas was the biggest name, but everyone shined. ECW had many great acts during their best years and the Triple Threat deserves to be mentioned among the best ideas of Heyman.
7. Overrated: Main Event Mafia
TNA has been home to several of the worst factions in wrestling history and everyone knows how bad they were. One faction that has fond memories despite not being all that great is The Main Event Mafia. The veterans of Sting, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner united to hold their top spots against the younger stars of the company. On paper, the idea seemed genius with such stars uniting together.
The Main Event Mafia was a cool idea providing an interesting storyline, but the lack of passion from the veterans, aside from Angle, hurt the potential. Booker clearly didn’t care about anything in TNA, Nash never cared about doing what was best for business and the other two guys were dealing with the aging process limiting their potential. The storyline between tTe Main Event Mafia and Frontline did little to help TNA, making it a pointless stable in the grand scheme of things and a big time opportunity wasted.
6. Underrated: nWo Wolfpac
The New World Order growing too large was a huge issue, with the faction falling apart, but it did lead to one good thing. WCW decided to split the stable into two groups with nWo Hollywood as the heels led by Hulk Hogan and the popular nWo Wolfpac led by Kevin Nash. The fan favorite nWo group saw legends like Nash, Sting, Lex Luger and Randy Savage unite together, with Konnan joining them, creating a cool rival group.
Everyone wanted to love the nWo from day one and the Wolfpac gave us the ability to cheer them on a weekly basis. The wrestlers were all cool and appeared to have a great time. Nash became a legitimate main eventer with the stable’s popularity before WCW ruined it by merging the two nWo factions back together. Still, the Wolfpac is celebrated today. Sting’s Wolfpac face paint “Funko Pop” is one of the top WWE sellers.
5. Overrated: The Flock
Raven’s time in WCW was a missed opportunity with his fascinating character never progressing. His career peaked in ECW with his faction Raven’s Nest, with Stevie Richards and Blue Meanie. WCW tried to recapture the magic by having him lead another stable under the name of The Flock with new wrestlers. The names selected for the faction are what ultimately caused it to be disappointing.
Wrestlers like Van Hammer, Scotty Riggs and Horace Hogan were the wrestlers selected to follow Raven’s leadership. The company selected wrestlers that had nothing to do and stuck them with Raven. Many fans remember the group fondly due to the fact that Raven was cool, but the stable was a hot mess. If you want to find Raven’s best faction, check out ECW content featuring Raven’s Nest rather than The Flock.
4. Underrated: Team ECK
A highly entertaining faction that rarely gets the love it deserves is Team ECK. The trio of Edge, Christian and Kurt Angle provided the perfect combination of comedy and in-ring talent. Angle started to find his voice as a top heel moving into the main event picture with Edge and Christian being the top tag team in the company.
All three men gained credibility from working together. The humor can sometimes harm wrestlers from being taken seriously, but it worked for ECK. Fans were entertained by their comedy but they still wanted to see Edge, Christian and Angle get their comeuppance by the faces. Team ECK is among the more underrated stables of the Attitude Era. WWE saw three new stars progress in their development thanks to the great work of Team ECK.
3. Overrated: The Nexus
The Nexus could have been one of the most iconic factions in wrestling history, but WWE did not book them right. Wade Barrett led a group of rookies coming into the company with the intent to take over the company. Their debut with a guerrilla style takeover and them beating up John Cena, CM Punk and all the other employees at ringside was unlike anything else to ever happen on WWE television.
The interest was high, but it ended abruptly when they suffered one too many losses to Cena. The Nexus no longer being a threat made them lose all relevance, with their stock falling every single week. Barrett went from a potential main event heel into a mid-carder for life. We all like to remember The Nexus’ great moments, but it was short-lived and an overall disappointment when looking back at what could have been.
2. Underrated: The Hart Foundation
The most underrated faction in wrestling history is The Hart Foundation. Bret Hart turning heel against the United States fans led to him uniting with relatives Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart, along with family friend Brian Pillman. They formed The Hart Foundation and delivered some of the best heel work you’ll ever see.
WWE fans were strongly invested in The Hart Foundation’s feud with the likes of Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Bret evolved into the top heel in the company thanks to the execution of The Hart Foundation. The short tenure of the stable skews history, but they were as great as any faction during their peak. WWE Network is helping add to the legacy of many historical acts and it’s doing just that for The Hart Foundation today. Watch the old WWE shows back and you’ll realize how spectacular they were.
1. Overrated: The Corporate Ministry
The worst thing for a stable is to have horrible writing ruin their purpose. The Undertaker’s Ministry faction was fine on its own with his satanic gimmick setting up a main event heel run. The Corporation achieved some success as Vince McMahon’s group was trying to stop Steve Austin from dominating the WWE. Everyone was shocked when they merged to form The Corporate Ministry.
McMahon feuded with Undertaker when ‘Taker tried to abduct Stephanie. It made no sense for Vince to be behind it all, but it caused the new faction. There were too many members with no true common interest aside from feuding with Austin. Naturally, with all of the members working together, they couldn’t even take down Austin. The Corporate Ministry accomplished nothing and exposed the poor writing of Vince Russo.
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