The WWE is mostly based on individual stars and their stories, or two-man tag teams, as there is no Trios Championship in the WWE, unlike companies in Japan, Lucha Underground and Ring of Honor, so you don’t see too many of them, but when three performers come together to achieve a common goal, most of the times you will see success, and even when a trio can’t find success, their story is often interesting. Whether it’s three individuals on equal footing, a leader with two followers, a tag team with a manger, trios are always fun to see on WWE TV, and although there are only two active currently in the company, there have been many fantastic ones in the past few decades, and today, that’s what we are going to look at.
It’s hard to quantify success for a trio, because of the many different combinations of performers mentioned above, but today we think we’ve compiled a list of 8 of the best and 7 of the worst trios in the WWE history.
15 Best – Too Cool & Rikishi
Too Cool, consisting of Scotty 2 Hotty and "Grandmaster Sexay" Brian Christopher, were a comedic tag team that were nothing more than undercard talents during the Attitude Era, as fans couldn’t take them as a genuine threat, and their act grew boring quickly. But the duo added the gigantic Rikishi to their group, and suddenly Too Cool were one of the best acts on WWE programming. The trio may not have had the Championship success that others did at the time, but in terms of fan reaction, there was barely anyone who could match the dancing trio at the time. Unfortunately, they didn’t last too long, and none of the three members went on to any significant solo success (if you don’t consider “I did it for The Rock” success, which you shouldn’t), but many wrestling fans will look back on these three with incredible fondness.
14 Worst – The Parade of Human Oddities
The '90s were an odd time for WWE, as Vince McMahon was often known for bad ideas with regards to his onscreen characters, but hey, at least he was trying, and the Parade of the Human Oddities (later renamed The Oddities) weren’t such a bad idea, they just didn’t pan out, at all. The original trio were brought together by the Jackyl, and consisted of Golga (formerly Earthquake), Kurrgan and Giant Silva, and despite their odd look (get it, the oddities?), they looked like a force to be reckoned with, but it turned into absolutely nothing. The Jackyl then left the group to go on to bigger and better things, and just like that, the heel group that looked like they had a little bit of potential was gone, without winning any titles or making any lasting impact.
13 Best – The Brood
Edge & Christian are two of the best performers to ever step foot in a WWE ring, both as individuals and as a tag team, and their relationship in the company began in a very odd way, as members of The Brood with Gangrel. It’s safe to say that this kickstarted their career on the right note. It’s hard to look back on The Rated-R Superstar and Captain Charisma and see them as vampires, coming to the ring surrounded by fire, but they did, and it was incredibly successful for them. It was their success against The Hardy Boyz in a ladder match that propelled them to becoming a true threat in the tag team division (as The Hardys would go on to form the New Brood), but as we all know, first impressions last a lifetime, and this was the perfect way to introduce these two as a team to the WWE Universe.
12 Worst – 3MB
On their own, Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre are all reasonably talented performers, but when they came together, fans saw nothing but a joke of a group, and that joke unfortunately continued on for way, way too long. At a time when the WWE was struggling to present a deep, impressive tag team division, a group like this could have been effective if used well, but the company had no interest in that, and they became an annoyance and an unnecessary part of Monday Night RAW. Thankfully, the trio were broken up, as each man has gone on to great success since, with Slater winning the first-ever SmackDown Live Tag Team titles with Rhyno, Mahal becoming the current WWE Champion, and McIntyre setting the independent scene on fire, only to return to NXT looking like a different man. Let’s just hope the three never come together again on the main roster.
11 Best – DX (HBK, HHH & Chyna)
Individually, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Chyna were all fantastic performers, and some of the most influential in the history of the WWE, so when off screen best friends HBK and HHH came together and brought Chyna into the company, they clicked like nothing else the organization had ever seen before. Not only were all three of them physical forces in the ring, but they were incredibly entertaining, and the degenerates were exactly what the company needed during the Attitude Era. We all know what has happened between Triple H and Chyna since, but when you look back on the Attitude Era, you can’t deny the pure entertainment value that these three provided for the fans. HHH and HBK's DX reunion in 2006 may not have been as successful, but during the late-'90s, these three were as important as anyone in the WWE.
10 Worst – X-Factor
As one of the lower members of D-Generation-X or the nWo, X-Pac thrived. But when WWE put him in the role of stable leader, with Justin Credible and Albert in his team, no less, that was a major mistake, and the trio known as X-Factor weren’t destined to last very long due to this. Individually during this time, both X-Pac and Albert picked up some championship gold, but the faction struggled to even last a year, and given that they were no real threat to anyone on the roster, we have to have them as one of the worst trios in WWE history. Credible left the trio for the Alliance during the invasion, and when X-Pac suffered an injury, Albert went on to team with Scotty 2 Hotty, thus ending their alliance as quickly and ineffectively as it began.
9 Best – Legacy
We have seen many multi-generational talents in the WWE, and it seems like every time they come together, good things happen, and Legacy is no exception, as the trio consisting of Randy Orton (a third-generation star), and Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase (both second-generation stars) ran roughshod over RAW’s main event scene for the majority of their run together. Cody and Ted became the World Tag Team Champions, and Randy was on top of his game, introducing the WWE Universe to the "Age of Orton," and it was clear the company held all three in very high regard. All three have gone separate ways since, with DiBiase out of wrestling, Cody tearing it up on the independents and Orton still in the main event (snore) of the WWE, but the time they were together was fantastic, as they provided a dominant and refreshing trio at the top of the Monday Night RAW program.
8 Worst – The Mexicools
We all know that Vince McMahon and the WWE have had a history of creating racist and just downright offensive characters for their programming, but if you thought that by the mid-2000s, that would be over, think again. Instead, the WWE decided to debut a trio on SmackDown known as the "Mexicools," who would display all the known stereotypes of Mexican people that anyone can think of, from coming to the ring on a law mower to calling everyone "gringos." To the surprise of no one, they didn’t succeed or stick around for too long. What made this even worse was the fact that the faction was made up of three of the best Latino performers WWE had ever showcased – Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy and Psicosis – and was another case of McMahon’s craziness ruining what could have and should have been a great trio.
7 Best – Team Xtreme
The Hardy Boyz are one of the most popular tandems in WWE history, as evidenced by the thunderous pop they received upon return at WrestleMania 33, but the most popular version of the high-flying, daredevil brothers was when they were paired with the hot, fiery Lita, who provided the perfect support to them while they were battling with The Dudleyz and Edge & Christian in the original TLC days. Lita often tangled with the men in the WWE, especially when the other two teams had Spike Dudley and Rhyno by their sides, and she then went on to have one of the best in ring careers of any women in history, showing just how good that trio were. The trio split in a very unsavory way, as Lita was found to be cheating on Matt Hardy, but looking back on it, all three of these performers will be seen as some of the best in this generation, if not all time.
6 Worst – The Wyatt Family
In terms of character and potential, there is no one in the WWE better than Bray Wyatt, but for some reason, the WWE just don’t seem to be interested in pushing Wyatt as a true threat, as he continually talks a big game that he can’t back up, and that not only hurt him, but his followers Erick Rowan and Luke Harper when they were together too. Upon debut, it looked like they could become one of the most dominant forces in WWE history, with many pegging Bray Wyatt to replace The Undertaker as the supernatural being at the top of the card, but after losing program after program, the trio became nothing more than a joke, and were eventually broken up to little fanfare. This hasn’t stopped since their split either, as all three haven’t been treated very well (despite Wyatt winning the WWE title, as he held it less than a month), and this trio might go down in history as the WWE’s biggest missed opportunity of the era.
5 Best – nWo (Hall, Nash & Hogan)
The New World Order were simply huge in WCW, and turning Hulk Hogan to align with heels Scott Hall and Kevin Nash was one of the biggest moments in wrestling history, and although they weren’t treated too well upon returning to the WWE, they were one of the most monumental and illustrious trios in the history of the business. Strictly speaking, they didn’t win any titles or last very long, but their influence and star power during their time with the WWE was something to admire. Like it did in WCW, the nWo gained more and more performers in the WWE, from HBK to Booker T to the Big Show, so their impact definitely petered out, but the original trio were something to admire, and one of the best in recent wrestling memory.
4 Worst – Mean Street Posse
The premise of the Mean Street Posse, a group in the late-'90s consisting of Pete Gas, Rodney and Joey Abs was that they were from the upper class portion of society, which was shown in their attire, consisting mainly of sweater vests and dress pants. While that doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea to gain heel heat from the crowd, they just never clicked. Despite Pete Gas and Rodney having strong ties to Shane McMahon (inside and outside of kayfabe), the group didn’t go anywhere, as they were reduced to enhancement talent shortly after splitting from Shane. Despite all three men holding the Hardcore title for a brief amount of time, they’re remembered as nothing but a footnote in the history of the WWE and the Attitude Era.
3 Best – The New Day
After Big E and Xavier Woods arrived on the main roster, it looked like the company had no clue what to do with them, and while it looked more than a little racist when the two were combined with Kofi Kingston, the best friends have made it work in an incredibly entertaining manner. They began as babyfaces that the fans absolutely hated, but they turned that heat into success, as they used their charisma gained from being best friends behind the scenes to turn into merchandise machines, and they are now quite possibly the most entertaining trio in WWE history. Like we all know, the WWE love to over expose acts when they get hot (see: Ellsworth, James), so the heat for the New Day and fan support has definitely died down, but they continue to remain relevant, and look to take over the SmackDown Live tag team division in their ongoing feud with The Usos.
2 Worst – New Evolution
If we were writing a list about the greatest factions of all time, you would no doubt see the original Evolution near the top, but when Batista, Triple H and Randy Orton reformed to battle The Shield, they were a shell of their former selves. Batista was coming off the back of a Royal Rumble win that didn’t make him at all likeable in the fans' eyes, and both Orton and Triple H had grown incredibly stale in fans eyes. With the young, hungry Shield as their target, fans didn’t expect much of them. Despite that, their two collisions were epic, with The Shield coming out victorious in both bouts, and after just a short time, the group were done with Batista quitting the company. Although the Authority gained Seth Rollins as HHH's "Plan B," it highlighted just how weak and old the New Evolution had become.
1 Best – The Shield
We all knew this was going to be number one, as The Shield, consisting of NXT debutants Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose ran roughshod over the entire WWE roster for the length of their entire WWE run. Since they split up to become singles stars, they have all reached the peak of the WWE. They intervened to save CM Punk and his WWE title run at Survivor Series 2012, and from that point on, they took on some legends of the wrestling industry, from The Undertaker, Kane, The Rock and everyone on the current roster, and succeeded each and every time. The moment Seth Rollins turned on them will live in infamy for eternity, as the entire WWE Universe was collectively broken hearted, and that speaks volumes about how great the two-year run of The Shield was.