A major complaint about TNA over the years has been the company’s obsession with factions. For a long time, they couldn’t go without some new version of “evil supergroup out to take over TNA.” This led to Immortal and Aces & Eights, both factions who were way too large and unwieldy to work yet TNA pushed them hard for two years each. They’re not the only cases as there’s also been the Beat Down Clan, OVE and other groups who kept going despite how fans didn’t take to them. There are also some poorly done and insulting factions such as Mexican American which didn’t win folks over.
Yet every now and then, TNA could offer something good in a faction. They could score well with some top-notch stars and make them work well in dominating the company. Most were, of course, heel groups but there were a few good face ones as well. While most fans dwell on the bad factions, TNA could offer a few good ones to balance it out. Here are the 5 best and 5 worst factions in TNA history to show how this company’s track record on supergroups is rough even by wrestling standards.
10 WORST: The Menagerie
This was just bizarre. In 2014, Mike Knox (wrestling as Knux) was shown returning to his home town to take up ownership of the carnival his family was suddenly said to have owned for years. He was joined with Rebel, Crazzy Steve and the Freak as a circus-themed bunch complete with music and coming out with odd props. It was a blatant knock-off of the Wyatt Family and just too nutty for fans to get into. They didn’t last long as Knox left TNA in 2015 and without their leader, this batch disbanded faster than a real circus would.
9 WORST: Serotonin
This ranks among the shortest-lived stables in TNA history. In 2006, Raven was still a top star for the company and was taking on an even darker character than usual. He gathered Havok, Kaz, and Martyr into a force to take on others. The twisted idea was after a match, win or lose, Raven would come out and hit everyone with a kendo stick.
It was weird as Raven didn’t even do promos. But TNA didn’t seem to know what to do with them after they formed so they had forgettable PPV matches. They disbanded with little fanfare and most have forgotten they existed.
8 WORST: The Kongtourage
Awesome Kong was a fantastic force in TNA. She reigned as Knockouts champion and was a true monster easy to crush all in her path. In other words, she wasn’t a person who needed a stable around her but TNA tried anyway. First, they made the baffling decision of taking Cheerleader Melissa, one of the most talented and gorgeous workers around, and have her dress in a hood as Kong's manager, Raisha Saeed. Joining them were Rhaka Khan and Sojourner Bolt whom fans didn’t care for. Even TNA realized this wasn’t working so in no time, Khan and Bolt turned on Kong who proved she didn’t need anyone’s help to be a star.
7 WORST: The Next Generation
Don’t feel bad if you’ve forgotten this one. Way back in 2003, when TNA was in its infancy, David Flair, Erik Watts, and Brian Lawler formed a new group boasting of how they would soon eclipse the greatness of their dads.
Ric Flair, Bill Watts, and Jerry Lawler are all Hall of Fame legends but the trio soon proved the apple can indeed fall far from the tree. Their matches were embarrassing as they never clicked at all and were disbanded as soon as they formed. One can hope their respective fathers just ignored their sons’ foray into TNA.
6 WORST: The Band
The arrival of Hulk Hogan and Erich Bischoff in 2010 is cited as a bad turning point for TNA. Among the terrible ideas was to bring together the New World Order under a new name. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Shawn Waltman were “The Band” and acting like it was still 1996 all over again. They tried to add on others like Eric Young and even Sting but fans hated seeing these old guys continuing to dominate. They held the tag titles before Hall and Waltman were out of the company due to their personal issues. It’s another case where TNA failed to replicate the past.
5 BEST: Fortune
It looked bad at first with Ric Flair forming a new version of the Four Horsemen after a horrible program making AJ Styles a “new Nature Boy.” Thankfully, they chose well with Styles, Kazarian and Beer Money joining as heels.
The big move was Fortune turning on Immortal to fight for TNA against Eric Bischoff. They would add Christopher Daniels, meaning they had five of the best workers in TNA in one group. They sadly split apart for various reasons but when they worked, this group of TNA originals was a lot more fun to watch than the older stars lumped together.
4 BEST: TNA Front Line
It’s always interesting when the real-world implications of a feud spill into the show. When the Main Event Mafia formed, there were complaints from fans on how TNA was pushing a bunch of older WWE/WCW guys over their original stars. As it happened, these stars agreed. AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, the Motor City Machine Guns, Beer Money, Petey Williams, and Eric Young would unite into the Front Line to “defend” TNA with Christian and Team 3-D also helping at times. All that star power was pretty impressive and even though they often came up short against the Mafia, they gave it their all.
3 BEST: Planet Jarrett
TNA fans can complain about Jeff Jarrett hogging the spotlight so much in 2005 and ‘06. Yet it can’t be denied that Jarrett’s posse was a major force in TNA. Jarrett himself was NWA champion and soon gathering allies with Monty Brown, a newly heel America’s Most Wanted (the NWA tag team champions), Gail Kim, Alex Shelley, and Team Canada added as aides.
While making sure Jarrett kept the belt, the group could also embark on some major feuds with AJ Styles, Christian, and other stars and stand out well. They eventually drifted apart but were a huge factor in TNA.
2 BEST: Team Canada
This early TNA faction was also a powerful one made up of some top Canadian workers. Scott D’Amore was their coach and they had great success in 2004. Petey Williams won the X Division title while Bobby Roode and Eric Young held the tag team titles twice as well. Johnny Devine also aided him as the unit stayed strong, challenging for the tag team and X Division belts in a mix of pairings. They eventually disbanded but given the future stardom of Roode and Young, this showing of Canadian pride worked great in TNA.
1 BEST: Main Event Mafia
In terms of star power, it’s hard to top this. The Main Event Mafia formed in 2008 and was a huge deal with several veteran stars joining together. Sting and Kurt Angle shared leadership with Kevin Nash, Booker T and Scott Steiner falling behind them. They would add Christian and Samoa Joe and would dominate TNA for a time. The second version in 2013 had Sting, Angle, and Joe with Magnus and Rampage Jackson. The first version is still a powerful group of stars that would hold multiple titles and while there were complaints about the older guys on top, they were an effective team.