Sometimes, a wrestler can’t just get over by themselves and even tag teams have a tough time connecting with the crowd. In that case, it might be better to add a third member (or even more) so that everyone can bring something to the table. When it works, a faction or a stable can end up resonating with the crowd for years, with many of the best ever ones still talked about to this day.
Not all of them work and most stables just fall by the wayside without drawing much attention. Then, there are ones that we talk about still, but not in a good way. In this list, we’ll break down those on both sides of the coin, good and bad. Who were the stables that were so good that they belong in the Hall of Fame as a group and who are others that should have gotten the creative teams fired?
Here is our list of the eight best and seven worst stables in professional wrestling history. We not only have groups from WWE and WCW, but there are also stables that have had roots in promotions like ECW, NJPW, Ring of Honor, Chikara and many more.
15 Best: Bullet Club
It’s pretty amazing when you can get a faction going in more than half a dozen wrestling companies around the world and be over at each one of them. The Bullet Club was started nearly four years ago when Prince Devitt (who you now know as Finn Balor) teamed up with Karl Anderson, Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale. Eventually, more members would join up and the faction is still going on to this day.
14 Worst: The Oddities
The Attitude Era had some of the greatest characters in wrestling history, but it also brought around some of the most...interesting ones. Among them were The Oddities, a stable of carnival freaks that paraded to the ring in ridiculous clothing while toting an Eric Cartman “South Park” plush with the Insane Clown Posse playing over the speakers.
13 Best: The Shield
Believe it or not, there was a time when most wrestling fans actually liked Roman Reigns and it came when he was a member of The Shield. After joining forces in NXT, Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins would team up and take down some of the biggest names in wrestling as mercenaries. They were good at playing the heel role and getting the bad guys to win, but they were just as good in their face run.
12 Worst: Immortal
Sometimes having a lot of wrestlers in one stable can be alright and other times it gets incredibly messy. One man is a big part of both examples, but we start with TNA faction Immortal. The heel group was formed by Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan, as the old-timers brought in Abyss, Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy. If you’re trying to figure out what they all had in common at the time, good luck.
11 Best: Evolution
What Evolution did during their run between 2003 and 2005 was fantastic, as they were able to successfully get a legend grouped up with a current main eventer and two future superstars. Ric Flair, Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista made up Evolution and it started when Flair and Triple H joined forces to screw over Rob Van Dam at Unforgiven.
10 Worst: The Dungeon of Doom
There are some very cheesy things about professional wrestling and some of them (like The Undertaker) end up working very well. Then there are times when it becomes too much and it makes you cringe looking back on it. The Dungeon of Doom certainly falls into the latter category, a group that existed for more than two years during the mid-1990s in WCW. It all started when the faction tried to end Hulkamania in one of the corniest vignettes ever recorded.
9 Best: The Corporation
The Attitude Era would not have been as popular as it was if it weren’t for The Corporation. In the late 1990s, the Vince McMahon-led faction was the biggest story in wrestling as they tried to keep down the fan favorite wrestlers in just about every portion of Raw and the pay per views. While it might have gotten stale after a bit to see The Corporation interfere in nearly every match, it made it that much sweeter in the end.
8 Worst: The No Limit Soldiers
Professional wrestling seems to have this weird obsession with mainstream celebrities in an effort to stay relevant in pop culture. This was evident toward the end of the WCW run when they brought in Master P to lead a stable called The No Limit Soldiers, named after his record company. As if that weren’t bad enough, they took a random assortment of wrestlers for the group, including Rey Mysterio and Brad Armstrong.
7 Best: The Dangerous Alliance
Most of the younger wrestling audience only knows Paul Heyman as the pudgy balding man that pals around with Brock Lesnar. There was a time, though, when Heyman was known as Paul E. Dangerously and started a faction known as The Dangerous Alliance back in the late 1980s. Heyman was with AWA at the time and formed the group with The Midnight Express and Adrian Adonis.
6 Worst: The Corre
The Nexus was a good stable for what it was worth and the offspring that it created (and even The New Nexus) could not match that popularity of the original group in any way. This group started when CM Punk booted Wade Barrett from The Nexus and eventually Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel would follow suit. Ezekiel Jackson joined up and they called themselves The Corre.
5 Best: The Four Horsemen
You know a faction hit it big when it has its own cool logo that’s instantly recognizable. Our top three factions all have that, starting with The Four Horsemen. The group consisted of Tully Blanchard, Arn and Ole Anderson and, of course, Ric Flair (his second group on the list). The group would stick together for the most part for nearly 15 years over the course of NWA and WCW, though they'd have a variety of different members (with Ric and Arn being the mainstays).
4 Worst: X-Factor
Nobody really liked X-Pac on his own that much, which is why making him the leader of his own faction was going to be a terrible idea in the first place. In 2001, X-Pac was saved by Justin Credible in a match and the two formed an instant tag team. The duo needed some muscle behind them, so they eventually added Albert (or Tensai, or Matt Bloom, or whatever you want to call him).
3 Best: D-Generation X
When we list D-Generation X as the second best stable of all-time, we’re certainly not talking about the 2006 version. The original DX would become the most well known stable of the Attitude Era and they were a big part of appealing to a younger audience with their risque demeanor and memorable matches. Although Rick Rude was once in the group, people mostly remember their run when it was Triple H, Chyna, The New Age Outlaws...and X-Pac.
2 Worst: The Spirit Squad
Of course, perhaps the 2006 run from D-Generation X wasn’t helped all that much thanks to The Spirit Squad, whom they feuded with. The idea of an all-male cheerleading squad becoming corporate stooges and interfering in main event matches was just...odd. They were annoying as they were farfetched and it was a big part of why a lot of people stopped tuning into wrestling after the Attitude Era came to an end and the CM Punk era hadn’t taken off yet.
1 Best: New World Order
There were a lot of incarnations of the New World Order over the years, but the original version is still the best. The nWo started with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall and it became headline news even in the mainstream when Hulk Hogan joined as the third man. The nWo almost handed WCW the Monday Night Wars, as their popularity was insanely high at the time, leading the promotion to almost be renamed after the group.
All in all, there would be more than 60 members over the course of nWo’s run through WCW, WWE, NJPW and TNA. The WCW times were still the most near and dear to our hearts and that even included times when Dennis Rodman became a member of the group. Sometimes, celebrities do work out after all.
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