The best factions in wrestling history have seen incredible wrestlers add to their legacy by joining them. Hulk Hogan added a second iconic run to his career by forming the New World Order in WCW. Triple H and Shawn Michaels are still referenced for their DX time, despite their incredible singles careers. Even the legacy of Ric Flair is tied to his success as the leader of the Four Horsemen. Unfortunately, not all talented wrestlers will easily fit into factions.
We will look at some of the rare instances of impressive wrestlers that proved to be a poor fit in the group they joined. These talents were either better off on their own or they just didn't mesh with everything the faction was going for. Find out just why these stories didn’t work out, despite the talent involved.
10 Owen Hart (Nation of Domination)
Owen Hart joining the Nation of Domination was an interesting development. There were some fun moments for Owen throughout his time with the group, but he never really connected in terms of the style needed from the faction.
WWE had no idea what to do with Owen after Bret Hart and the rest of the Hart family left the company. This was a short-term idea that didn’t help him move up the card or get many memorable storylines.
9 Kurt Angle (The Shield)
Kurt Angle only joined The Shield for one night, but it was still an incredible scenario worth mentioning here. The Shield was scheduled to face a group of heels in a TLC Match until Roman Reigns was pulled from the show due to an illness.
WWE replaced Reigns with Angle, in his first match for the company in over a decade. Angle looked out of place in the Shield gear and didn’t fit into the group. The match was still interesting for its unique nature, but Angle didn’t represent The Shield again.
8 Joey Mercury (Straight Edge Society)
The Straight Edge Society found success, with CM Punk’s heel character forming his own version of a wrestling cult. Luke Gallows ended his Festus gimmick to join and Serena Deeb shaved her heat to show devotion to Punk’s vision.
Joey Mercury was the next (and final) member to join the group, after a long absence. Mercury, unfortunately, felt out of place and could no longer perform at a high level.
7 Braun Strowman (The Wyatt Family)
The presence of Braun Strowman in the Wyatt Family did provide more muscle to help solidify the group’s dominance. However, Strowman never impressed as a member of the group. He had some of his most disappointing matches during this chapter of his career.
The end of the group came during the start of the brand split and draft in 2016. Strowman started to break out on his own during a feud with Sami Zayn. The big man became a valued member of WWE moving forward, after treading water as an afterthought in the Wyatt Family.
6 Daniel Bryan (Nexus)
Daniel Bryan only spent one night as part of the Nexus group before being fired. Nexus claimed that they kicked Bryan out for showing regret after his brutal attack.
Bryan eventually made his return helping the WWE team combat Nexus in a SummerSlam main event. It was never a good fit, as Bryan played an underdog face character at the time. A slot as one of the secondary talents to Wade Barrett may have seen fans cheer for Bryan over Barrett, hurting the appeal WWE may have expected from the faction.
5 Adam Cole (Bullet Club)
The Bullet Club became the most dominant faction outside of WWE in recent years, for New Japan and Ring of Honor. Talents like Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks became huge stars in the group. Adam Cole was one of the wrestlers from ROH to join.
Cole's role did see him have great tag matches, teaming with the Young Bucks. However, his overall presence in Bullet Club didn’t stand out like the other members. Cole thrives better as a leader (as seen with Undisputed Era) rather than just being another member, as he was in the Bullet Club.
4 Ken Shamrock (The Corporation)
Ken Shamrock was an exciting part of the Attitude Era after making the move to WWE from UFC. The intensity of Shamrock, along with his violent style and submission moves, made him a standout talent. Shamrock turned heel by joining The Corporation faction representing the McMahon family.
Vince and Shane McMahon put together a group of hired talent trying to protect them from faces like Steve Austin. Shamrock never felt like a good fit in The Corporation, as he didn't come off well as a lackey. This slowed down all of Shamrock’s momentum and ended his WWE career faster than expected.
3 Edge and Christian (The Ministry of Darkness)
The tag team of Edge and Christian showed tremendous potential early in their WWE careers in The Brood. That slowed down when The Brood joined the Ministry of Darkness. Edge and Christian were being wasted as henchmen for Undertaker rather than breaking out on their own.
Once they left the group, the tag team could finally showcase their charisma and in-ring skills. Edge and Christian became the top team of the Attitude Era, defeating the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz in the iconic TLC factions.
2 Dean Malenko (Four Horsemen)
The Four Horsemen usually showcased some of the best wrestlers in the world, with names like Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Chris Benoit having good runs at different points. Dean Malenko joined the new version of the group in 1998 when Flair returned to WCW.
It seemed like a great fit on paper, as Malenko was one of the best in-ring performers in the world. However, Malenko did not stand out at all and lacked chemistry with the rest of the faction. This version of the Four Horsemen failed to make an impact and ended quickly.
1 Curt Hennig (New World Order)
The run of Curt Henning in WWE showed that he was second to none in the ring and had a great deal of charisma. WCW brought Hennig in to join the Four Horsemen in 1997. Later, he turned on them to reveal he was a member of the New World Order all along.
Hennig joining the nWo was a foolish move, given the number of members of the group. The stint in the faction would see Hennig get stuck in the mid-card with no chances of moving up. Hennig was even in the B-Team version of the nWo before getting kicked out. WCW wasted him by forcing a poor fit into the faction.