Factions have existed in WWE for a long time. True, WCW had more of them not to mention TNA and several very famous. Yet WWE has been able to showcase a few themselves. True, several have been short-lived and forgettable (3MB, the Social Outcasts and various female stables) but others have been huge deals. The best stables get together guys with true potential, a mix of established stars and younger names who can get the rub and take off (see Evolution). They can last a while and the star power is a huge deal to make it work. Of course, a few can fall apart due to bad booking and presentation but as long as they have the right guys, they can succeed.
Sometimes, not every member of a stable works out right. Even the Four Horsemen have had a few duds over the years (see Paul Roma) as too often, a guy has been thrown into a group in hopes of him taking off but it just doesn’t work. They don’t contribute enough and sometimes are out of the entire group pretty fast.
Even an established star can fade once they’re inside the group and circumstances can combine to cause their tenure to be pretty bad. When fans looks back at some of these factions, they tend to pick out one member who didn't really add much. Here are 20 members who just weren’t that useful to otherwise great WWE factions and showcase how putting together a stable is trickier than it seems.
20 Camp Cornette: Vader
In early 1996, no one could have imagined Vader flopping in WWE. That was especially true given who was managing him. After a slow start, Jim Cornette was taking off as a major heel manager with his “Camp Cornette” group. It started out with Owen Hart and Yokozuna winning the tag team titles. Cornette then convinced Davey Boy Smith to turn heel, a move that sparked up his career.
When Vader debuted in 1996, it was expected that he would take off majorly. However, he needed time off right away for an injury and seemed slowed down by it when he returned. His feud with Yokozuna was poor and he fell victim to backstage issues to lose in various matches against Shawn Michaels. Vader just never came off the huge star he could have been in WWE and didn't contribute much before the Camp was disbanded.
19 The Authority: Corporate Kane
Triple H and Stephanie were always great at using their real-life personas to fuel up fan heat. This showed when they formed The Authority, with Hunter basically playing up to his reputation among hardcore fans and Stephanie backing him up. The Shield were allies before turning on them and then Seth Rollins became their chosen champion. J&J Security existed just to be beaten up by others so you can’t slam them too much. However, “Corporate Kane” was something else.
Having the Big Red Machine as the suited “Director of Operations” was an odd touch and while he had good promos, he just didn’t fit into the role well. It made his matches strange to watch and robbed him of some of his mystique. The Authority was good yet Kane as their corporate enforcer was an odd touch.
18 The Million Dollar Corporation: Nikolai Volkoff
In 1994, Ted DiBiase had retired from in-ring action but still had a great persona. It made sense he would form his own group of heels called the Million Dollar Corporation. While they didn’t have much success, he did have a lot of major players like King Kong Bundy, Kama, Bam Bam Bigelow, Sid, 1-2-3 Kid, IRS and even Steve Austin. Nikolai Volkoff, however, was a truly odd choice.
Once a great foreign heel, the man had fallen hard and was past his prime. He was the joke of the team with the idea of him being so poor that he was willing to work for a cheap price. He even had tights with a penny logo to show how little DiBiase thought of him. It was obvious that rubbed off as Volkoff was barely above jobber status and used to be beaten on by others. The Corporation had some good stars but Nikolai was a bad investment.
17 The Union: Test
In 1999, as The Corporation grew, it made sense an alliance would form between those they had ticked off. Mankind, Test, Big Show and Ken Shamrock came together as the Union of People You Oughta Respect Son (see the acronym) to face the Corporation. It wasn’t a bad idea with some good feuds building between Test and Shane McMahon and Mankind and Triple H.
Like a lot of face stables, it didn’t last too long as fans enjoy watching guys on their own facing major odds. Test was clearly being set up by WWE as a new star yet his Union stint was pretty underwhelming. His big contribution was his “dating” Stephanie McMahon which later set up her on-screen partnership with Triple H. The Union didn’t last long yet Test is notable for a guy who hadn't done much to pay his dues.
16 The Corre: Ezekiel Jackson
When The Nexus had a major break-up, Wade Barrett was instantly viewed as a new leader. Sure enough, he got together Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel to form a break-off group called The Corre. They had major promise thanks to Barrett’s terrific leadership and WWE seemed ready to push them. Slater and Gabriel would hold the tag titles twice while Barrett held the IC title. True, CM Punk was leading the regular Nexus yet The Corre did well in various matches and feuds.
However, Jackson appeared the odd man out, mostly used for muscle but not as skilled in the ring as the others. He would split from the group to feud with Barrett which soon led to its dissolution. Most cite Jackson as a pretty bad worker and star so it's no surprise he was the weakest part of the group.
15 The Legacy: Ted DiBiase Jr.
The idea of Legacy was terrific with a pack of multi-generational wrestlers coming together. Randy Orton made perfect sense as the leader, already established as a main event star. Cody Rhodes had the legacy of his father Dusty and brother Dustin while Ted DiBiase Jr. carried the weight of his own terrific heel dad. The group had a lot of turns as they clashed with the McMahons and others and Orton held the WWE title a few times.
Rhodes and DiBiase held the tag belts twice and showing off nicely. However, while Cody clearly had the goods, DiBiase seemed a bit in his shadow as well as that of his father. The duo would eventually break from Orton to go on their own. Cody became a star but Ted Jr. fared nowhere near as well.
14 Wyatt Family: Braun Strowman
This may seem odd given the major success Braun has seen in WWE. However, when you look at his history, his time in the Wyatt Family wasn’t that notable. The group was always amazing with Bray’s promos mixed with the tag team of Eric Rowan and Luke Harper. They were captivating and rose up as a major threat to John Cena and others. When Rowan was out, Strowman made his debut with the group and it looked like he’d be their fantastic monster.
Yet despite that and a great turn in the Royal Rumble, Strowman didn’t do as much for the Wyatts as one might hope. He would split off from them as the Wyatts shifted to include Randy Orton before falling apart. Braun has done great since but his tenure in the Waytt’s was the black sheep turn of the family.
13 King Booker’s Court: William Regal
The idea of Booker T as a “royal” type was ridiculous on paper. But Booker managed to pull it off wonderfully by committing to it and made his run as “King Booker” amazing. He was a great World Champion and fans loved his over-the-top promos. Naturally, a King needed a Court so Booker added on William Regal and Fit Finlay. Regal made sense with his own UK background while Finley was a bit of an odd duck. However, Fit did win the US title off Bobby Lashley to show himself off nicely. Regal, however, was pretty much stuck to being Booker’s enforcer. The Court itself didn’t last long despite how fun it looked as Regal showed he was better as a “royal” type in his own right rather than backing Booker so much.
12 La Familia: Curt Hawkins
It’s a bit forgotten today but in 2007, this group was dominant on SmackDown. It began with Edge pairing up with Vickie Guerrero, the GM of the brand, in a blatant attempt to put himself in power. Chavo Guerrero was naturally alongside them and was soon joined by rookies Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. Edge would dominate as World Champion with Ryder and Hawkins also held the tag belts. However, it became clear the duo were more used to interfere in Edge’s matches and take the beatings of his opponents.
Ryder, at least, showed the spark he’d use for his later singles runs. Hawkins didn’t have that, the true whipping boy of the group. The group split in 2009 after a good run but Hawkins just kicked off what would be a truly lackluster career in WWE.
11 League of Nations: Wade Barrett
The League of Nations was a good idea. Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett and Rusev gathered together as a pack of foreign heels who boasted of their greatness. They had serious potential with an awesome entrance theme, with Sheamus as WWE Champion and Del Rio as U.S. champion. Rusev was rising up nicely as a heel and Barrett always had great mic skills. Sadly, Barrett was affected by his near constant trend for injuries and a promised feud with the Wyatt Family was thrown off when Bray was hurt. Then there was Del Rio’s backstage issues causing trouble with Barrett doing okay but just not able to rise up to the same level as the others.
The team was disbanded in early 2016 when Del Rio was fired and Barrett also was let go. It's a shame as Barrett had the potential to take off but his tenure in this group wasn’t that good.
10 Undisputed Era: Bobby Fish
Right now, the Undisputed Era is doing great in NXT. These former ROH guys are dominating in the brand with amazing bits like the War Games battles and it’s hard to accuse any of them of being a “weak link.” However, if you have to, then Bobby Fish is it. When the UE formed, Fish and Kyle O’Reilly were good at first as a team, winning the tag titles. Then Fish broke his leg, which put him on the shelf for months. In the meantime, Roderick Strong turned heel to join the Era and take Fish’s place as tag champion.
Many feel he and O’Reilly are a much better pair than O’Reilly and Fish and have dominated as champs. Fish has returned yet seems a bit out of place now and while the UE is a long way from being finished, Fish’s contributions haven’t been as major as the other three.
9 Ministry of Darkness: Viscera
The Undertaker was always good at shifting up his act over the years. In 1999, he took on a much darker persona than usual, setting himself up as a true cult leader. His Ministry included the future APA, Mideon and briefly The Brood. Also along was Viscera, once known as Mabel. Now boasting a darker coat and contacts, he still was absolutely sloppy in the ring which put co-workers at risk. His bouts were slow and ponderous as he failed even as the monster enforcer. At least Mideon got a European title run but Viscera couldn’t even do that and was a little lost. The Ministry became The Corporation with Viscera later shifting to his “Big Vis” act to show how time did little to make him any better in the ring.
8 Evolution: Ric Flair
Now hear me out. No one can deny Ric Flair’s standing as an icon of the business. His work in WWE still solidifies his fine legacy. The idea of Evolution was sound with Triple H and Flair giving two younger guys the rub. The lucky two were Randy Orton and Batista and they did indeed become major stars thanks to the group. Orton rose up as IC and then World champion before the poorly done face turn marred him but later recovered. Batista and Flair held the tag titles but it was rather obvious Flair was finally showing his age.
Sure, he had his charisma but no longer had the work-rate in the ring. Indeed, Flair was often used as the guy on the team to be beaten up on, a step down from his once amazing standing. Again, Flair is a legend but of the four members of Evolution, he wasn’t the most notable in the ring.
7 Nation of Domination: Ahmed Johnson
After a flopped gimmick in WWE (including a ridiculous costume), Farooq remade himself in late 1996. He became leader of the Nation of Domination. They targeted Ahmed Johnson for a long feud that also brought in L.O.D. Eventually, Farooq announced he was disbanding the Nation to create a smaller, but tougher unit. He kept on D-Lo Brown while recruiting Kama to his side. Surprisingly, Johnson then turned heel to join which seemed like a good idea to re-spark his character.
However, Johnson didn’t seem to fit in as well with his former rivals. Not helping was Johnson got hit by an injury that ruined what was going to be a main event feud with The Undertaker. He was turned on by the group who then added Rocky Maivia and the rest is history. It’s another bit where Johnson’s injuries took away what could have been a good push.
6 The Brood: Gangrel
Gangrel had an awesome look when he debuted in WWE. He was a bit ahead of his time with this brooding character rising up from a platform by the entrance ramp surrounded by fire and drinking from a goblet. He was good on his own but then added rising stars Edge and Christian as his “brother” aides. They had a good chemistry going, including clashing with the Ministry of Darkness. However, it soon became obvious Edge and Christian were the true stars, a brilliant tag team who were taking off with fans.
Gangrel was soon pushed aside as WWE clearly saw E&C as the future. They did a split angle with Gangrel fading away while Edge and Christian became mega-stars. Thus, we had the odd situation where the supposed leader of the group ended up being the one forgotten by the fans.
5 The Hart Foundation: Jim Neidhart
Bret Hart has been open that “The Anvil” deserved more credit for making the Hart Foundation tag team work. While Bret rose up to be a major singles star, Neidhart didn’t do as well, often lost in the mid-card and being saddled with some poor follow-up teams. In 1997, Bret reunited the Foundation with Owen, Davey Boy Smith, Neidhart and Brian Pillman. Owen and Davey Boy were great workers as tag champions, Davey Boy European champ and Owen becoming IC champ. Pillman was slowed by injuries but was still brilliant on the mic.
Neidhart, however, was rather forgettable, clearly lost in the star power on the team. He really had little to do until Survivor Series '97 essentially disbanded the group and Neidhart had a bad run after that. While he was good as Bret’s main partner, The Anvil faltered as part of a bigger Foundation.
4 The Heenan Family: Red Rooster
For a time in the 1980s, Bobby Heenan had a great stable of wrestlers. He was a brilliant manager as he led a pack of guys, mostly out to take down Hulk Hogan. He had Andre the Giant and King Kong Bundy and led Rick Rude to the IC title and The Brainbusters to the tag titles. However, The Red Rooster was a major downgrade. Terry Taylor had been a truly talented worker in the Mid-South region when he was signed up in 1988.
Instead of getting a suitable gimmick, he was given a red streak in his hair and crowed during promos. Obviously, buying this guy as a serious heel was ridiculous and fans never took to it. His work with the family was limited before he turned face but that wasn’t enough to salvage it. It’s no surprise one of the worst gimmicks in WWE history has to rank as the black sheep of the Heenan clan.
3 The Nexus: Michael Tarver
The Nexus remains one of the greatest debuts in WWE history. This pack of rookies coming out of nowhere to trash the entire ringside area, including the announcers, and tear it apart got fans going big time. The concept was sound with them banding together to make a mark and the promise was huge. True, it fell apart in the end but it was still a great bit that made WWE watchable in 2010.
It had some great stars like Wade Barrett and was notable for a few that didn't stand out at the time but then became better later (see Husky Harris turning into Bray Wyatt). However, Michael Tarver just didn’t fit in. He didn’t stand out among the crowd and possessed little flash on the mic or in the ring. An injury cut him down more and he was released in mid-2011. While The Nexus had a lot of guys with potential, Tarver just wasn’t right for the group.
2 The Corporation: Big Boss Man
The Corporation was a good idea as Vince McMahon went ahead with his latest plan for control and clashed with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He had a pretty big batch of guys like The Undertaker, Triple H and various others. The Big Boss Man’s presence, however, was a bit off. While a loyal company guy, Boss Man was clearly on the downside of his career at this point and it showed. True, he and Shamrock held the tag titles briefly but Boss Man’s contributions were basically being beaten up by others and a dud of a Hell in the Cell match with Undertaker. Boss Man himself seemed okay with his run but it really seemed off for the Corporation to employ a guy past his prime as their key enforcer.
1 D-Generation X: Rick Rude
When DX first formed, it was just Shawn Michaels and Triple H with Chyna as their backup. Rick Rude was added for a bit more heat and should have been convincing given his years as a fantastic heel. But by 1997, bad back injuries had forced Rude into retirement and cut down his physicality. Thus, he was basically just standing around in suits and glowering at the camera rather than anything serious.
Plus, given how terrific Shawn and Hunter were, they didn’t really need Rude as an “enforcer” type, especially as he didn’t really do anything. Rude agreed and jumped to WCW which led to the epic moment of Rude appearing on “RAW” and “Nitro” on the same night. DX went on to much bigger success with X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws while Rude’s tenure was forgettable.