One of the most successful superstars in WWE history rested his laurels on the phrase “don’t trust anybody.” While that worked for the Texas Rattlesnake, an endless list of wildly successful tag teams prove that a wrestler can trust at least one person and still become a huge name in the wrestling industry. On semi-regular occasions, a third, fourth, and so forth, member may be part of the group and turn it into what the wrestling world calls a stable.
From The Four Horsemen, who originated the term despite not quite being the first, to groups like the New World Order and DX who controlled the 90s, to teams like The Authority who continue to do so today, stables have always been a dominant and important force in the wrestling industry. That isn’t to say there have been a few stables that were less successful. Some were poorly conceived, some just didn’t have much of a point, and others still were flat out embarrassing in hindsight. Some may prefer to debate their favorites, but lovers of wrestlecrap should read on if you want to learn about 15 wrestling stables WWE wants you to forget about.
15. X Factor
What the hell was the point of X Factor? The group consisted of X-Pac, his real life pal Justin Credible, and Albert for some reason. Somehow they achieved a modicum of success when Albert won the Intercontinental Title, and the whole point was to give X-Pac lackeys when he won the Lightweight Title. Not that the Credible really ever had anything to do with that, as he only popped up as a part of the team in random tag team matches. They fell apart as quietly as they appeared the night ECW re-invaded in July of 2001, which caused Credible to leave the group.
14. The Disciples of the Apocalypse
In late 1997 through 1998, WWE spent a great deal of time focused on a storyline now referred to as Gang Wars. Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to blur the line and view it as a race war. There was the all-black Nation of Domination, the Latino Los Boricuas, and the white Disciples of the Apocalypse. The Nation had previously had white members, but by this point they actually made a point of it to kick out all members who weren’t black. There’s nothing wrong with black pride, but the point of this was to garner boos, which puts it in dicey territory to begin with. But the real problem is the team of white bikers who fought them for no well explained reason—especially considering that team of white bikers contained The Harris Brothers, who are actually white nationalists.
13. The Corre
Both the original iteration of the Nexus and the revived New Nexus under CM Punk were highlights of WWE television during their year of existence, regardless of whether or not John Cena may or may not have cut them off at the legs. However, the group made up of Nexus cast-offs that randomly aligned with Ezekiel Jackson is remembered far less fondly. The other members were Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater, and they simply in no way managed to capture the success of the team they branched off of. The group never achieved a great deal of success outside of a cursory World Tag Team Title reign for Slater and Gabriel, and they broke up in less than six months.
12. The NWA
From the early 90s to 2001 when the concept finally jumped the shark, the story wrestling fans always seemed to love the most was an invasion. It started in Japan when the UWF invaded NJPW, which WCW replicated with the nWo. ECW tried a few invasion storylines as well, first with SMW doing a minor invasion into ECW, and then with the much bigger ECW invasion and takeover of Raw in February of 1997. It’s impossible to forget the last big invasion, when WCW invaded WWE, but it’s actually really easy to forget another war that got lost in the shuffle.
The National Wrestling Alliance was the biggest wrestling conglomerate in America prior to the 80s, but by 1998, both WCW and ECW had broken away from them and mocked them on television for being irrelevant. That didn’t stop Jim Cornette from bringing NWA World Champion Dan Severn, NWA North American Champion Jeff Jarrett, and NWA Tag Team Champions The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express into WWE in early 1998. The less said about it the better, so we’ll sum it up with one sentence—The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express were champions in 1997.
11. The Un-Americans
Patriotism regularly plays a big deal in wrestling, with babyfaces loving their country and defending it to the death against evil foreign heels. The problem, of course, is that this necessitates evil foreign heels, who have to mock and disgrace the country they perform in. In the summer of 2002, Canadian wrestlers Lance Storm, Christian, and Test formed The Un-Americans. Unlike other factions of foreign heels who simply loved their home country, the Un-Americans actively hated America, going so far as to threaten to burn an American flag on multiple occasions. Eventually the British William Regal joined the group, but even the wrestlers soon realized this team was in pretty bad taste, and they quietly disbanded only a few months after they formed.
10. The Dudley Brothers
Everyone within the WWE universe knows the Dudley Boyz, Bubba Ray and D-Von. The two formed arguably the most dominant tag team of the millennium, having won the Tag Team Titles in virtually every major promotion that has existed since they formed in 1996. Less familiar with some fans, but still decently well known, is Little Spike Dudley, their diminutive brother who joined the two in WWE from 2001 to 2005. Never mentioned on WWE television is the fact there were a cavalcade of Dudleys beyond even that, including Dudley Dudley, Snot Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, Chubby Dudley, and Dances with Dudley. Considering Little Spike didn’t even get to return to WWE to join his “brothers” when they needed help against The Wyatt Family, it’s unlikely neither he nor any of the others ever will.
9. The Million Dollar Corporation
The Corporation is generally considered one of the greatest stables of all time, and would never end up on a list like this, but oh what a difference a few years and an extra dollar sign make. The Million Dollar Corporation was a group lead by Ted DiBiase in the mid 1990s. DiBiase was freshly retired and beginning a managerial career, and in classic WWE fashion his clients formed a villainous stable. The problem started with the quality of members, with the first four consisting of Nikolai Volkoff, Irwin R. Schyster, Bam Bam Bigelow, and The Fake Undertaker. Tatanka, Sid, Kama, King Kong Bundy, The 1-2-3 Kid and even Steve Austin would all join, but the group never seemed like more than a midcard distraction. Ultimately, the MDC are only really noteworthy for debuting Stone Cold, and for him quitting the group to start his rise towards superstardom.
8. The Radicalz
WWE is still extremely proud of ¼ of the Radicalz, and another ¼ of the team still works for the company to this day. Between the other two, no one has any real problems with Perry Saturn, so as with all wrestling, the elephant in the room with the Radicalz was Chris Benoit. The group of Benoit, Saturn, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko were a huge deal when they debuted in WWE, as they represented the dozens of wrestlers suffering through years of wasting their talent in WCW. The problem is that Benoit was the ostensible leader and the main selling point, and as everyone knows, he later went on to murder his wife and 7-year old son. WWE doesn’t really like bringing him up in general, and the fact Eddie was standing next to him looking cool doesn’t really help take away the sting of Benoit’s presence.
7. The Dungeon of Doom
For the most part, this is a list of stables that existed in WWE, in accordance with their longstanding policy to ignore all other wrestling companies. However, we absolutely needed to make an exception for the Dungeon of Doom. The Dungeon of Doom birthed out of the equally stupid Three Faces of Fear, with both teams lead by Kevin Sullivan during his tirade to end Hulkamania once and for all. The Dungeon were the focus of a series of ridiculous and heavily insulted vignettes featuring Hulk Hogan that took up an entire year of main event focus in WCW. While WWE might want us to remember this and think about just how inept their rivals occasionally were, the ordeal was actually so cartoony and embarrassing we think they’d rather we just forget the whole thing.
6. The New Brood
Fans fondly remember the original Brood, consisting of Gangrel, Edge, and Christian, but the New Brood was basically blinked out of existence. The original group was gothic and vampiric, looking like cool extras from The Lost Boys, and featuring an entrance worthy of legends that saw them rise from beneath the Titantron in a ring of fire. The trio dominated for the first half of 1999, only growing stronger after they joined The Ministry of Darkness. Then came the stupid idea, which was Gangrel turning on Edge, followed by Christian turning on Gangrel, and then followed by Gangrel teaming up with their rivals, The Hardy Boyz. The only purpose of the team seemed to be for Gangrel to replace Michael Hayes as the Hardyz manager, but the Hardyz kicked Gangrel to the curb in less than a month, rendering the whole thing curiously useless.
5. Pretty Mean Sisters
The Pretty Mean Sisters, or PMS, were Terri Runnels, Ryan Shamrock, and new WWE Hall of Famer Jacqueline. While a stable of female wrestlers could work in today’s WWE, during the Attitude Era, women’s wrestling was barely even a thing, as exemplified by the fact two of the women in this group weren’t even wrestlers. The stable of valets introduced Shawn Stasiak to the world as Meat, whose gimmick was that he spent all his time acting as the girls’ sex slave, making him too tired to perform as a wrestler. It’s hard to see who this stable was supposed to help, but it wasn’t really an issue as it quickly fell apart after Ryan Shamrock left the company and Jacqueline turned on Terri.
4. The J.O.B. Squad
It isn’t really fair to call The J.O.B. Squad a bunch of losers, since that was the whole point. A certain other famous faction at the time bragged about how they were “4 Life,” but the J.O.B. Squad were “1-2-3 for Life,” meaning they always lost matches. The tongue-in-cheek group claimed to stand for Just Over Broke, implying they didn’t get paid much for their appearances, but fans casual and hardcore both knew what the name really meant. The group didn’t last very long, but are notable for causing the infamous year and a half long WWE Light Heavyweight Title reign of Gillberg, by interfering in his match against Christian and helping him win the gold. Although Gillberg’s title reign set records, the J.O.B. Squad wasn’t nearly as long lived, and they split up barely a month after the big victory.
3. The Mexicools
A few of the stables on this list had some pretty questionable undertones connecting to them, but nothing really compares to the outright racism that was The Mexicools. Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis were incredibly talented cruiserweights who wowed wrestling fans in WCW, and Super Crazy was a similarly skilled superstar who did the same in ECW. It makes sense to pair up such like-minded individuals like WWE did when they all debuted together in 2005, but there’s absolutely no justifiable explanation for why they had to make their grand entrance by riding lawnmowers out to the ring. The point was supposed to be some kind of comic parody, but it just played off as offensive, with absolutely no storyline explanation for their behavior.
2. The Union
The Union, originally known as the Union of People You Ought To Respect, Son (UPYOURS…yup), actually featured some pretty significant star power. WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, former WWE World Champion the Big Show, and Intercontinental Champions Test and Ken Shamrock aren’t exactly an unimpressive force. The problem then, as usual, was that there wasn’t any great reason for them to be teaming up. They were all upper midcard or main event babyfaces in mid 1999, and had another thing in common in that they were all unjustly ousted from The Corporation, so it kind of made sense to put them together. However, the whole point of a stable is to help each other win matches, and babyfaces, especially main event ones, should be doing that on their own. Also, we feel like Vince McMahon probably doesn’t want people associating wrestling with unions in the first place.
1. The Corporate Ministry
The Corporation was cool, and the Ministry was pretty awesome too, but something about combining them just didn’t work. We aren’t going to deny their awesome theme music, but outside of the tunes, the Corporate Ministry didn’t have much to offer. The big problem is that the Corporate Ministry had three primary enemies in Steve Austin, The Rock, and Vince McMahon. That seems fine until you learn that less than a month into the group’s existence, it was revealed that their secret leader…was Vince McMahon. It would take too long to go into the confusing intricacies of the group, but that about sums it up. When two groups filled to the brim with megastars to begin with go from feuding to merging, things get way too convoluted way too fast, and it’s easier to just forget about the whole thing when it’s over.
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