Stables have a key role in professional wrestling storyline. They set up matches and rivalries between performers by proxy. They can be used to bolster a main event level act by providing him or her with kayfabe cronies to help win. Meanwhile, better established stars can offer newer talents the rub via association, both building their credibility in the eyes of viewers, and often offering real life mentorship behind the scenes. For all of these reasons, stables have been important to wrestling for a long time and are worth pursuing in today’s WWE environment as well.
Another fun dimension of stables is the possibility of a reunion or revival. Just look at the buzz around The Shield in the two occasions Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose came together again in recent history. The group coming back had nostalgia appeal, and the group felt bigger than ever for its component members’ accomplishments. On top of that, their eventual split set off even more new storylines.
Of course, not every faction can or should broach the main event level or alter the WWE landscape around them. Some are vehicles for less impactful storytelling, but nonetheless better defining characters and giving the mid-card something interesting to do.
Where should WWE go with its factions next? This article takes a look at ten new stables WWE should form in the months ahead, and ten old ones worth revisiting sooner than later, be it with some of the original members or totally new casts of characters.
20 New Stable: The Four Horsewomen Of MMA
The Four Horsemen are on the short list for the most iconic wrestling stables of all time. When Ric Flair’s daughter Charlotte rose to prominence, it’s little surprise that talk of a Horsewomen stable arose, and the fact that she, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley referred to themselves by that name backstage in NXT only spurred on speculation. Another Horsewomen faction may rise first, however.
Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir, and Jessamyn Duke referred to themselves as the Four Horsewomen of MMA before any of them but Baszler got serious about participating in pro wrestling. With Baszler, Shafir, and Duke already aligned in NXT, it would only make sense for them to come up as Ronda Rousey’s ultra credible backup.
19 Revive: The Dangerous Alliance
The Dangerous Alliance tends to go overlooked for only lasting a year or so, and not having the obvious impact of the Horsemen or the New World Order. The faction was hit, though, brilliantly combining a range of top heel workers including Ricky Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Eaton, and Madura all under the leadership of mastermind manager Paul Heyman.
Heyman remains one of wrestling’s best talkers, and is only more credible for his work heading up ECW and for his association with top guys like Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. Given a proper faction to talk for and to mentor behind the scenes, Heyman could be a huge player in today’s WWE.
18 New Stable: Daniel Bryan, The Revival, And Friends
Daniel Bryan’s new heel character talks a lot about environmentalism, but the real story is his in ring work being more vicious and grounded than it ever was when he was a face. This technically sound, back to basics style notably matches well with the aesthetic of a team like The Revival.
The Revival has been mostly squandered in the main roster, but a move to SmackDown and affiliation with Bryan could be just the thing to get them back on track. Add another old school, technical heel or two and it could be quite the stable, and help fans more fully turn against Bryan.
17 Revive: Legacy
Legacy isn’t one of WWE’s best remembered stables, in part because it ultimately failed to get over Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. at a higher level, instead largely only reaffirming Randy Orton’s main event status.
The concept of the group was reasonably sound, though, with Orton as the top heel leading younger guys, with the hook that everyone involved was at least a second generation wrestler. Orton could quite reasonably front a group like this again with some new sons (or even daughters) of wrestlers past sitting under his learning tree. There's certainly plenty in WWE to choose from.
16 New Stable: The Balor Club
WWE has had talk of The Balor Club it simply The Club, with Finn Balor or AJ Styles enjoying backup from their old Bullet Club running buddies, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The groups never formalized into proper factions, though, ultimately leaving “Balor Club” more of a t-shirt design than a super group.
Balor has been mostly stagnant and lost in the shuffle this past year. WWE could do a lot worse than to push him with a stable behind him. A heel turn could offer plenty of intrigue, too. Not only that, but Gallows and Anderson may be revived from such a move as well.
15 Revive: The Hart Foundation
With Bret Hart at the helm, 1997’s Hart Foundation consisted of real life family and friends, but all the more so guys who represented the tradition of the business as by and large in ring technical wizards.
Four out of five of the group’s original members are no longer with us, and Bret Hart isn’t in any condition to wrestle at this point. However, Natalya—Hart’s niece and Jim Neidhart’s daughter, is in so many ways a successor to this faction’s legacy. If WWE were to plug her into one more high profile storyline in the twilight of her career, and particularly cast her as a threat to Ronda Rousey, relaunching the Hart Foundation in the women’s division, with her in the lead, could create plenty of intrigue.
14 New Stable: The Rotunda Family
Bo Dallas looked like a star in NXT, particularly in his heel faux-motiviational speaker gimmick. However, he never quite connected with the main roster audience and has mostly been used for comedic spots over the last couple years. His real life brother Bray Wyatt enjoyed far greater success as the leader of the Wyatt Family, but when he left television, it was after a year of sliding downward, feeling played out and directionless.
It may be time for WWE to take advantage of the previously unacknowledged family connection between these two, and perhaps also their agent father, Mike Rotunda—better known as IRS. The Rotunda family members are all skilled workers who have developed compelling heel personas in the past. They could make a captivating unit together.
13 Revive: Evolution
One of the metrics of a stable’s success is how it contributed to the long term careers of the talents involved, even after the group dissolved. By that standard, Evolution is special. Sure, leader Triple H has continued as an all time legend and won additional world championships. More so, the group’s greatness comes from it being able to claim responsibility for setting up Randy Orton and Batista as top tier stars.
It wouldn’t necessarily make sense to get another run from Evolution’s original members. However, placing Triple H or Orton in particular at the helm of a new group of rising stars whom they could give the rub on screen and mentor backstage could be a great way of elevating two or three newer stars.
12 New Stable: Team Lashley
Bobby Lashley presents a real conundrum for WWE. Given his look, size, athleticism, and real life credentials in amateur wrestling and MMA, he seems like he ought to be a top level star. However, questionable creative and not effectively working around the big man’s limitations have resulted in an awkward upper mid-card act WWE doesn’t seem to know what to do with.
Building a faction around Lashley could be effective in masking his weaknesses, particularly as a talker, while also making him look all the more imposing as a heel for having running buddies who can do some of his dirty work and help him win.
11 Revive: The Nation Of Domination
The Nation of Domination originally looked like a vehicle to push Ron Simmons, but became much more as a launching pad for The Rock and a platform for WWE to tell some interesting storylines around racial lines. WWE could use the foundation of the Nation name and history for a new group today.
One outside the box concept for the group would be to anchor it in the women’s division. Nia Jax recently drew attention on social media for pointing out that WWE didn’t highlight any women of color in a graphic celebrating the women’s division’s accomplishments in 2018. Featuring women like Jax and Tamina who are already aligned, alongside other overlooked stars like Sasha Banks and Naomi could tell an interesting meta-story and give everyone involved some greater focus.
10 New Stable: The Paige Turners
When WWE removed Paige from her position as the general manager of SmackDown, the McMahons indicated she would still have a role in WWE. Given the sadly early end to her in ring career and her continued popularity with fans, one option would be for her to become the manager and mouthpiece for a stable.
While having Paige back fellow female superstars would certainly make sense, she could also be an intriguing heat magnet for male acts. Combining her gift for gab and her looks, she could be an old school manager to draw extra attention to some rock solid in ring workers.
9 Revive: The Union
During the Attitude Era, a face faction briefly rose up to challenge Shane McMahon and The Corporation, calling themselves, the Union of People You Oughta Respect, Shane. The acronym spelled UPYORS, but the name The Union tended to stick more. While the group was dropped fairly quickly and didn't have much success as a unit, it's a concept that could work today with a new cast of characters.
A revived group like this could be composed of heels standing up to the ostensibly face new McMahon regime presiding over both Raw and SmackDown, or could be developed to challenge the McMahons in the not unlikely case of them eventually turning heel.
8 New Stable: The Bro Code
Matt Riddle made an immediate impact upon his NXT debut. In squashing Kassius Ohno in seconds at NXT TakeOver War Games this fall, he was established as a player and will likely ride his unique personality and MMA-informed style straight to prominent positioning on the main roster.
When Riddle gets there, his King of Bros gimmick would fit nicely for a partnership with The Hype Bros. While Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder haven’t teamed in a while, it’s not as though they have much better things to do, as Ryder was off TV most of 2018 and Rawley was by and large lost in the mid-card shuffle. The tag team could benefit from Riddle’s buzz, while having underlings who are well established with the WWE audience could add to the King of Bros’s credibility right out of the gate.
7 Revive: The Mega Powers
The Mega Powers partnership forever bound Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Miss Elizabeth as one of wrestling’s definitive star teams, destined to set up an iconic rivalry. Savage and Hogan spent nearly a year atop WWE, side by side, en route to a heated program going into WrestleMania V.
Savage and Elizabeth are no longer with us, and Hogan has no business in a wrestling ring at this point. WWE could be well served to revisit this straight forward concept, though, with another pair of top faces who could have a solid run as a main event level tandem before coming to blows.
6 New Stable: The Ambrose Asylum
Dean Ambrose is still finding his footing as a heel solo act in WWE. While he no doubt has the talent to make it work, he could move along his heel character by becoming more hate-able with henchmen doing his dirty work.
Ambrose has already set up a foundation with anonymous masked followers accompanying him for promos. It wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to group some wayward souls coming up from NXT, or out of the mid-card shuffle to enhance his act. Ambrose's heel run has felt pretty flat so far, but this could be a way of taking his act to the next level.
5 Revive: 3MB
During 3MB’s run, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre came across as the very definition of lower card comedic fodder. The group was a stepping stone in proving Slater’s ability to get any gimmick over, though. Meanwhile, though Mahal and Slater were released coming out of this faction, they both wound up back in WWE and having much better runs than their original trajectory would have suggested.
While 3MB never was and never should be a main event group, revisiting the concept with Slater and a couple under appreciated acts without anything better to do isn’t the worst idea.
4 New Stable: The Velveteen Dream And Breezango
Velveteen Dream has been a surprise success story in NXT. He has thrived in his eccentric flamboyance and shrewdly paying homage to selected legends in his garb and in ring style. Fans do worry, however, that his act may not translate so soundly to main roster booking and fans.
Clustering Dream with Breezango would set him up to work with a pair of talents who had similarly had extended NXT residencies and thrived in that system. The personas match up well enough and that would offer Dream a natural starting off point. Maybe the trio could rise up together; more likely, Dream could ultimately break out on his own and exceed these humbler beginnings.
3 Revive: Team Angle
Back in 2002-2003, Kurt Angle had Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas for henchmen and protégés. They were his backup, particularly against Brock Lesnar, and fit Angle’s gimmick well as athletic young studs with amateur pedigrees.
Now that he’s out of an authority figure role, WWE could do a lot worse than having Angle as the mentor and mouthpiece to a new breed of stars like Chad Gable, Jason Jordan (if he makes it back to the ring), and even Benjamin fit old time’s sake. Angle is still under contract and is still a valuable on-screen presence. A heel Angle would definitely serve as a great mouthpiece for a new duo (or trio) of proteges.
2 New Stable: The Perfect Ten
One of the roles of a stable can be to provide an identity and direction for talents otherwise lost in the shuffle. Tye Dillinger has certainly fit that description since his call up from NXT, and Curtis Axel is another example of a guy who has been in the bubble of that role for most of his main roster tenure.
Combining The Perfect Ten and the guy who has claimed to be Better Than Perfect would be a harmless enough experiment. Moreover, WWE could go all in on the mid card stable with them assembling ten guys to work together, throwing in fellow lost souls like Bo Dallas, Apollo Crews, No Way Jose, or The Colons. At worst they could offer singles and tag team enhancement talent; best case scenario, maybe a star or two could rise from the group’s ranks or intra-group squabbles could set up some fun programs.
1 Revive: The Miztourage
The Miz may not be a favorite of hardcore or the most traditional fans. Nonetheless, he is a skilled talker with marked longevity who has proven himself within the WWE machine time and again. The Miz’s grouping with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel as his cronies gave two talented, directionless guys something to do for a year. Moreover, he indirectly lent the momentum for their most decorated run as The B Team.
WWE could do a lot worse than to cloister some more unused talent with Miz as his heaters, and to let him garner them extra attention by association.