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.
While many of the members are spread out over different organizations, the stable is still alive and well. Their most notable stretches have come with New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor, but you can still see members such as Balor, Anderson, Doc Gallows and A.J. Styles in the WWE today.
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.
Even though there were members like Kurrgan and Golga that could have been viable threats, you never really felt that The Oddities had a chance of changing anything in WWE. They were a big hit with the Juggalo community (I’m assuming), but it was pretty hard to watch for the rest of us. While we might have enjoyed The Oddities as children during the era, re-watching those old Monday Night Raw segments with the faction is tough.
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.
The highlight of The Shield came in their two matches against Evolution, both of which would end in a Shield win. Things would change in June 2014, however, when Seth Rollins attacked the two other members to split up the trio. It was possibly the biggest moment in wrestling over the past five years, as The Shield was massively popular. At least the faction created three viable main event level wrestlers.
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.
Eventually, it seemed that 45 more wrestlers would join the group and they even had their own championship belt. It felt like a blatant rip-off that worked in the worst way possible, and fans weren’t into it in the slightest. The group would finally split up after a year and a half, calling it quits in April 2012.
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.
Not only was the group very believable in their efforts and had a ton of charisma, but they had an awesome theme song to go along with it. Randy Orton and Batista would also have very memorable departures from the group and people were marking out hard when they joined back up to take on The Shield in 2014. Though they didn’t win, they did get the last laugh when Seth Rollins betrayed The Shield.
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.
There were plenty of members in The Dungeon of Doom, but by far the worst one had to be The Yeti. The bear hug that The Yeti gave Hogan was awful and it’s even worse when you realize the other guy involved in the bear hug would go on to become The Big Show.
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.
People were waiting for The Corporation to get their comeuppance, mainly from the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin. The feud between Austin and McMahon is quite possibly the biggest part of WWE winning the Monday Night Wars,and the merger with The Ministry of Darkness wasn’t all that bad either (except for the payoff).
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.
The faction could not get over with the crowd, since apparently WCW forgot what their demographic was. The worst part was that Eric Bischoff made the decision to pay Master P $200,000 for each show that he was on as part of the faction. If you want to know why WCW isn’t around anymore, this is just one of the many reasons.
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.
The group would die off, but eventually started up again in 1991, this time with WCW. Although that wouldn’t last forever (again), the group was revived once more in a third promotion, ECW. The group would eventually put Steve Austin on the map originally and also included some great members like Arn Anderson, Sabu, Tazz, Jimmy Snuka, Larry Zbyszko and more. It also laid the groundwork for Heyman as a manager and one of the best promos in wrestling.
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.
The Corre got old almost immediately as nobody really cared about the remnants of the old Nexus and all that really came out of it was one of Barrett’s numerous forgettable Intercontinental Championship runs. The group split up in June 2011 after just five months to pretty much no fanfare and Heath Slater is the only one that’s still around these days.
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).
The type of longevity that The Four Horsemen had was second to none and they played the heel faction perfectly as they took down some of the top stars, gaining instant heat. Having Flair around really helped out with that and their contributions to WCW was able to land them into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.
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).
The faction made no sense and it was just three superstars that weren’t all that relevant to begin with. It was basically 3MB for the early 2000s, but at least we got some memorable moments from 3MB. So far, the only redeeming quality that people have found from X-Factor was their theme song, which is loved ironically by most fans.
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.
DX was everything that was “cool” at the time and their mainstream popularity was undeniable. Kids were getting into trouble all of the time during the late 1990s for telling their elders to “suck it,” but it wasn’t always just potty humor. The group was massively over and we’ve gotten a couple of reunions out of it since then, though not all have been great.
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.
There weren’t many redeeming qualities from The Spirit Squad, save for the fact that Nicky would end up becoming Dolph Ziggler. Even in the reunions that we’ve seen in WWE from some members of The Spirit Squad since then, they have been met with resounding silence.
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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