At one time, factions and stables were all the rage in professional wrestling. Whether in WWE, WCW or the AWA, it seemed that quite often a collection of talent was assembled to form a group. It makes sense when you consider it gave a number of different wrestlers a role while they were part of their promotion. World Championship Wrestling was known for providing the good, bad and the ugly of wrestling during its existence. Besides really campy and over the top personalities, or seriously dated and goofy gimmicks, WCW had a number of different stables. Even though the company went through a number of management changes and different creative directions, it seemed bad stables were always around.
The company definitely deserves credit for pushing the envelope and trying new and different things. The problem with that in their attempts to try to be different, the stables they created had a very short shelf life. In some ways, it was great that the factions they created were used to help elevate mid-card talent, but the groups often didn’t elevate them. Whether the groups were southern inspired, suggested that they were homosexual, from a different country, old and wealthy, or young and hungry, it didn’t seem to matter as WCW attempted to explore all potential concepts. So while a number of stables are easy to recall, some were forgotten for one reason or another.
Did you forget any or all of these factions in WCW? Let us know what you think and feel free to share on social media.
15. Standards and Practices
The team first came about after the Turner Broadcasting company was under an exorbitant amount of pressure to end the tag team gimmick of Lenny and Lodi. That team went by the name The West Hollywood Blondes, (seen in the above photo) and were considered highly controversial because of their representation of homosexuals, inciting the crowd with stereotypical homosexual behaviour. The crowd’s reaction to them being beaten up by other wrestlers was seen as giving permission to have harm done to gay people, and thus considered quite insulting. The company also received criticism by GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). As such, the characters were removed from television for nearly half a year, and when they returned they went under the name of Standards and Practices with Miss Hancock (played by Stacey Kiebler) as their manager. It was a clear shot at their previous gimmick being halted, but this one didn’t fare much better.
14. No Limit Soldiers
This faction was somewhat confusing: the sheer number of them made them more like an entourage. The group included the following members: rapper Master P, Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr, Swoll, Chase Tatum, BA (Brad Armstrong) and 4 x 4. Their primary feud was against the West Texas Rednecks. The faction was supposed to bring mainstream exposure to the company since the leader was a prominent musician, but Master P’s only appearance on television actually confused fans, as he assaulted Curt Hennig. Master P believed it was the lack of racial diversity within the audience that contributed to their lack of success. Mysterio and Konnan moved on to creating the Filthy Animals, Armstrong went back to using his own name, and Swoll and 4 x 4 would not have their contracts renewed. It seemed there was a limit for fans of WCW when it came to watching this faction.
13. Misfits In Action
One of the more comical factions in WCW’s history, the Misfits In Action managed to blend a military image with largely silly antics that fans absolutely adored. The group first came about when a group of wrestlers were berated for not coming to the aid of another group known as The New Blood. The group included Lash LeRoux, Hugh Morris, Chavo Guerrero, Van Hammer and Booker T. Each week they would come out to help each other, much to the dismay of Eric Bishoff, which led to their storyline firing on-screen. When they returned, Hugh Morris became General Hugh G. Rection, Chavo became Lieutenant Loco, Lash LeRoux became Corporal Cajun and Van Hammer became Major Stash. They were accompanied by the only female member of the group, Major Gunns. Later, new members were added such as Booker T, who dug up an old gimmick he used while on the independent scene and went under the name G.I Bro.
12. Diamond Exchange
This was one of those factions that underwent slight tweaks to their name while competing in two different promotions. Towards the end of the American Wrestling Alliance’s existence, Diamond Dallas Page began working as a manager in the promotion. He led the team of Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond, known as Badd Company, but when AWA champion Curt Hennig was aligned with AWA women’s champion Madusa Miceli they joined Page’s Diamond Exchange. Once the group disbanded, Page was still involved in wrestling, and Dusty Rhodes brought him into WCW where he created a faction known as The Diamond Mine. At the time, Page managed the Fabulous Freebirds along with the Diamond Studd (Scott Hall), Scotty Flamingo (who later became Raven) and Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash). The relationship with Hall, Nash and Page were later used in an angle to try and recruit Page into the nWo, an angle that catapulted Page into main event status.
11. Jersey Triad
One of the shortest lived factions was one that referenced where the members called home. Sadly, the only still living member of the faction is Diamond Dallas Page, who was considered the leader of the group. The group consisted of Page, Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Kanyon. The group came about after Page and Bigelow lost their tag team championships to Perry Saturn and Chris Benoit. Page brought in Kanyon, and together they recaptured the titles. As champions they also invoked the Freebird rule which saw any two of the three members able to defend their titles, something The New Day has used quite regularly in recent years with the WWE. The team split up by the end of 1999, with a feud ensuing between Page and Kanyon. It would have been interesting to see how long they could have remained together as a faction.
10. Magnificent Seven
Unlike the popular western film, this group was so short-lived that it was easy to forget about them. They stayed together for just over two months, which is hardly enough time to make a difference. As the name suggests, there were seven members and their notoriety and popularity with WCW over the years were supposed to be what made them “magnificent.” The seven included; Ric Flair, Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell, Lex Luger, Rick Steiner, Jeff Jarrett and Road Warrior Animal. The group came together on one of WCW’s last pay per views when Scott Steiner was defending the title against Jeff Jarrett, Sid Vicious and a wrestler who was later revealed to be Road Warrior Animal helped Steiner keep his title. The group wasn’t memorable and disbanded when the WWE purchased the company. Of all the members, only Flair and, later, Scott Steiner, was brought into the WWE after the company closed its doors.
9. Sullivan’s House of Animals
If you forgot about this stable, it’s probably because this rather creepy and scary group was before WCW gained huge notoriety in the mid-1990s. The group was led by Kevin Sullivan, and included some of the most frightening characters in wrestling history: Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher, Big Van Vader and One Man Gang. The sheer mass of humanity that this group assembled was quite imposing. There were also smaller wrestlers who were quite good as workers, including The Diamond Studd, Buzz Sawyer and Kevin Sullivan himself. The group didn’t last very long, but it seemed to be a suitable fit for Sullivan. Later, Sullivan led other similarly haunting groups such as the 3 Faces of Fear and The Dungeon of Doom. Each faction appeared to have very similar traits to one another, but none of them were all that memorable.
8. Natural Born Thrillers
This group was made of seven wrestlers that came from WCW’s developmental training system, the Power Plant. They were backed by Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo and was similar to what WWE did years later with The Nexus. The group included, Chuck Palumbo, Sean O’Haire, Mark Jindrak, Reno, Mike Saunders, Johnny the Bull and former WWF wrestler Shawn Stasiak. “Above Average” Mike Saunders was the savviest on the microphone of anyone within the group. The group captured the WCW tag team championship and the WCW cruiserweight title, but split up after being together for about a year. The primary reason was tension among group members. Once WCW was purchased by WWE, anything that could have had legs to grow in World Championship Wrestling was quickly dropped. It also doesn’t help that a number of the members signed with the WWE once the merger took place.
7. Stud Stable
It was a faction that was part of not only WCW, but Southeast Championship Wrestling and the Continental Wrestling Association. The group was originally formed by Ron Fuller of SCW, and after being revised by a couple of different promotions, Col Rob Parker formed it in WCW with Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, Terry Funk , Dick Slater (when Terry Funk left the company) Blacktop Bully, and Parker’s muscle for hire, Meng. The group feuded with the likes of the Rhodes family, Brian Pillman, and Harlem Heat. It’s remarkable that the group was together and revised so many times with different members. The WCW version had a number of wrestlers that were solid mid-card workers who benefited from an easy to dislike mouth piece in Parker.
6. The Deadpool
The group was a new outfit for Raven, and included the likes of the Insane Clown Posse and Vampiro. It was one of the aesthetically coolest looking factions, but if you were to ask Vampiro, much like everything else about his time in WCW it was forgettable. For anyone not familiar with the Insane Clown Posse, they were a rap group who sport hockey jerseys and face paint. They weren’t wrestlers, but they were an active part of this faction and would often provide enough of a distraction and outside interference to ensure either Vampiro or Raven was successful. The group had feuds with the likes of Konnan, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr. The group was so short-lived that they ended almost as soon as they began, debuting and disbanding in 1999.
5. Team Madness
They were led by none other than the late ‘Macho Man‘ Randy Savage. The group didn’t achieve very much, and had more females than males in it. Savage’s muscle was Sid Vicious, who represented for the team, similar to what he did for Shawn Michaels when he was part of the WWE in the mid-1990s. The rest of the group was Savage’s real life girlfriend Gorgeous George, Madusa Micelli and Miss Madness, who would later go on to compete as Molly Holly in the WWE. The group came together in 1999, and if anyone from the group turned heads it was Miss Madness. She would appear like a beauty pageant contestant, but would wrestle like the Cruiserweights in WCW. Fans were already familiar with Madusa being a past women’s champion, while George was arm candy for the group’s namesake.
4. Millionaires Club
A group based on ego, entitlement and money, they were a who‘s who of several men and one woman that were synonymous with professional wrestling over the previous twenty years. The group came about after Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo came on screen and vacated all the championships with the idea of starting over. The group would feud with the younger talent in the company that was being held back, who became known as the New Blood. While the Millionaires Club was supposed to be getting jeered for being the old guard, protective of their spot, they were ultimately cheered by fans. The group consisted of Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Rick and Scott Steiner, DDP, Randy Savage, Goldberg, Sting and Lex Luger, just to name a few. The group was resurrected once again in TNA a few years after WCW closed, but were known as the Main Event Mafia.
3. West Texas Rednecks
The group was led by the late Curt Hennig, who professed that “rap is crap.” The group was short– lived, but included the Windham brothers Kendall and Barry, Bobby Duncam Jr, and Curly Bill. They were also a very weak ‘music band’ and went on to challenge the No Limit Soldiers, who would profess to support and defend rap music. The group debuted in June 1999 and disbanded in October 1999. It was somewhat amusing because Hennig was actually from Minnesota, but was billed from being from Texas and didn’t have a southern accent in the slightest. It was unlike any other southern inspired faction or stable because the group were given instruments and held different roles with the ‘band’. Hennig was lead vocals and guitar, Duncam Jr was lead guitar, Barry played drums and Kendall played the bass. They weren’t to be taken seriously, and given how long the faction was together, they weren’t.
2. Team Canada
The group had different incarnations, even after WCW closed its doors forever. It was led by Lance Storm, and several members that weren’t actually Canadian, whether it was Tylene Buck, Elix Skipper, Mike Awesome or even Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Skipper played in the Canadian Football League and was thus considered Canadian by association. The group put a Canadian spin on everything, renaming the Cruiserweight championship the 100 Kilos and Under championship, the United States Championship the Canadian Heavyweight Championship and the Hardcore title the Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title, the group truly was able to capitalize on everything that was good and Northern. The group also had as associates Carl Qulette, Jacques Rougeau and Bret Hart, but they were never completely aligned with the group. The group was together for just under a year, but despite ending with the closing of WCW, the idea was carried on in the WWE with a similar concept called The Un-Americans.
1. Alliance to End Hulkamania
The faction was actually a hybrid of two different groups, and may in fact be the shortest lived group in WCW’s history, lasting only a month together. As the name suggests, the goal was to end the reign of Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania, the common enemy of Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom and the Four Horsemen. They brought in an old enemy such as Zeus, who was known as Z Gangsta, and another sizeable monster named The Ultimate Solution. Hogan’s only ally at the time was Randy Savage, and the duo faced nearly insurmountable odds as this alliance consisted of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan, Lex Luger, The Barbarian, Meng, The Ultimate Solution and Z Gangsta. You definitely won’t be surprised to hear that they ultimately failed in their attempt to end Hulkamania. Hogan usually prevailed during his feuds, and this was just another example of strong booking in favor of the Hulkster.