Time For Some Stable-ity
December 3, 2006 by Aaron Whitaker

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Hey everyone. This is my first ever attempt at writing one of these so apologies if it is hard to read or doesn't come across with fully coherent arguments. First and foremost, I would like to just say that I fully appreciate and respect people who find the time to write one of these columns pretty much every week. It truly is a testament to the wrestling business itself and the passionate fan base it has created over the years that us, the fans, will take time out of our schedules to express our opinions on one matter or another, whether we agree or disagree with the route it is going in. Now that I've got that out of the way, I think I'd better start this.

Stables. Factions. Gangs. Cliques. Crews. Whatever you want to call them, they are everywhere. Whether it be in the film industry with Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller's group of actors that appear with each of them respectively in virtually every movie they appear in, to the music industry with the whole G-Unit circle of rappers. With that said, why is it that, in the business of wrestling, where Stables have been part of the most compelling and entertaining TV for decades, that we are without one in mainstream "sports entertainment" today. Not since Evolution, who I will talk about later, have we had a decent Stable to love or hate in a way we have in the past.

Now, I just want to make it clear that I'm not talking about great tag teams. I feel there is a great difference between a stable and a tag team. A tag team is made up of mainly two competitors and possibly a manager (think LAX and MNM from recent memory). A stable, on the other hand, generally consists of a leader (main eventer, mouthpiece), a mid-upper card wrestler (IC Title challenger possibly, or a bodyguard etc), a tag team (for the tag titles and for those handicap matches that are inevitable in a faction scenario) and possibly a woman. This covers all aspects of the business and allows a number of feuds to be developed based around one standard storyline.

If, and this is a big if, the creative team has put time and effort into making two rival factions (think Corporation vs. Ministry and DX vs. NOD, the last ones I can remember from WWE. And no, I'm not counting the Spirit Squad as a genuine stable) then you have a classic series of matches that can span a whole year if booked correctly. The matches would be fresh and different yet also keep to the general feud that ties them all together. If you have 5 members in each team then you have 25 possible singles matches that instantly have a reason and some relevance to the storyline. Then you have the handicap and tag team matches that can also take place. Take for instance, Eugene vs. Duggan from Raw this week. If they were part of rival factions, facing off for gang superiority, then the audience would have had a much bigger interest in the outcome than say the lame response that they got.

To me, a stables aim is to put over the next generation of superstars. Evolution did this to the degree that Batista is now World Champion and Randy Orton is there or there about at all times while HHH will always be there. The only flaw I could think of regarding Evolution was the lack of opposition that it had at the time. Just think if say, Goldberg had created his own stable to combat Evolution at the time. If they had taken the time to create this group, possibly named after something referencing WCW with Booker T, Gregory Helms, Chuck Palumbo and Shaun O'Haire with Bischoff leading, then just think about the many more superstars that would have been created and the state the business would be in now. There would be 3 or 4 more valid main eventers on the scene. Helms, Palumbo and O'Haire, barring backstage problems, would be, in my opinion in the same situation as the Evolution members these days as I feel they all had/have the talent to be so much more than what they went on to (Billy and Chuck marriage ringing any bells"). And when the group eventually splits up, it creates even more match opportunities with an instant relevance and interest from a fan perspective.

I know columns are meant to have a balanced viewpoint and so far it's all been positive regarding a stables formation. Personally I can't see any negative point for a stable or 2 to be in WWE at the moment, feuding and creating an engrossing storyline based on Booking 101. TNA is a different story as with only an hour TV time it cant afford to only focus on one storyline (although its doing this at the moment with all emphasis being placed on Joe-Angle, but I do actually like TNA and wont say anything bad in this column about it as that would be way off topic).

WWE needs the next crop of talent to arise in the next year or so as there's only so far Cena, HHH, Edge, Booker, Batista and Undertaker can take you into the future of the business.

With all this said, here are my two stables who I feel would create entertaining TV and also prepare new stars for the future.

Worlds Greatest Stable

1. Mouthpiece, Main Eventer: EDGE
2. IC Challenger: Shelton, Haas and Nitro
3. Tag teams: any combination of the above
4. Woman: Melina

The Great wrestlers/Comedy stable

1. Mouthpiece, Main Eventer: HBK
2. IC Challenger: Carlito
3. Tag team: Cryme Tyme (anyone who saw the HBK/Cryme Tyme segment a few weeks ago can see the comical chemistry these would have)
4. Woman: Maria or Mickie James

I can't quite think of a reason the HBK stable would initially get together but this feud would create many opportunities for good to great matches and storylines which I'm sure any real wrestling fan can think of from the talent that is involved. It's also a way of pushing Shelton, Haas and Carlito to Main Event level, where they so desperately deserve to be in a year or so's time.

Any way, thanks for reading if you have bothered to get this far down and feedback and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Even your own stables would be interesting.

by Aaron Whitaker..

Josh Preneta wrote:
Pretty decent column. I especially liked the HBK/Carlito/Cryme Tyme stable idea. The amount of comedy that would produce would be nothing short of amazing. I also agree with quite a few points you've made. During the WWE's height in the late 90's/early 00's the company was filled with decent stables, which I really think they could use now to spice up Raw and SmackDown! a little.

I think what WWE should do is start another Evolution-type stable. Evolution did wonders for Randy Orton and Batista, and pretty much got them over with the fans and made them better performers overall. I'd like to see this done with two more veterans and some up-and-coming guys, but with a new twist of some sort added. I'm sure if they did as well as they did with Evolution, they'd have no problem getting over the young guys involved with the stable.
Kain wrote:
I have to admit that was a great piece the only disagreement is with TNA I think its the future of the industry. Apart from that I can't fault this piece one bit. It is well written and is exactly what I have wanted in Wrestling for the past 7-8 years. I mean the glory days of this sport was when it was DX vs NOD like you mentioned nWo vs WCW was my personal favourite. Even creating the Wolpac had it's upsides. Now wrestling is a bunch of tag teams. A good stable in my opinion would be:

1. Main Eventer: King Booker
2. IC Challenger: Chris Masters
3. Tag Team: London + Kendrick
4. Bodyguard: Bobby Lashley
5. Woman: Mickie James
Brent Matthew Denny wrote:
I have to say Aaron there is absolutely nothing in this column that I can argue or disagree with (except maybe the TNA stuff but that's by the by)

On the whole this is an excellent column and your right in what you say, back in the late 90's as you pointed out there where factions in all three of the big federations.

ECW, WCW and WWF and the ratings where sky high, and there is no doubt that being a member and then the leader of the NOD (Nation Of Domination) certainly helped The Rock and being a member and being leader of DX helped Triple H. The same goes for Undertaker when he was the leader of both Ministry and Corporate Ministry.

An to tell you the gods honest truth, I really do think we need to go back to that. I'm not saying bring back the NOD or Ministry or any of the others least of all DX (I think they've played that faction into the grave and beyond just like WCW played the NWO faction(s) into the grave and beyond) but we need to have factions brought back.

An I would just like to give my personal opinion on who I think should be in a faction.

Faction name: D-Generation X 06/07
Leader and Mouthpieces: Triple H and Shawn Michaels
IC title contender: CM Punk (I know he's not on RAW but I recon it would be cool if he was)
Tag Team title contenders: The Hardyz
Manager: Kelly Kelly
Faction name: The Rated R Superstars
Leader and Mouthpieces: Edge and Randy Orton
IC title contender: Chris Masters
Tag Team title contenders: MNM
Manager: Melina

Faction name: The Fan Favourites
Leader and mouthpiece: Jim Duggan
IC title contender: Carlito
Tag team title contenders: The Highlanders
Manager: Torrie Wilson

I also wouldn't mind seeing The Legends that teamed up at Survivor Series become a faction
Faction name: The Legends Of Wrestling:
Leader and Mouthpiece: Ric Flair
IC title contender: Ron Simmons
Tag Team contenders: Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair OR Arn Anderson and Ric Flair
Manager: The Enforcer Arn Anderson


Faction name: The Future
Leader and mouthpiece: Chavo Guerrero
US title contender: Gregory Helms
Tag team title contenders: Mr. Kennedy and MVP
Manager: Vickie Guerrero

The Collision

Leader and mouthpiece: Batista
US title contender: Chris Benoit
Tag Team contenders: Undertaker and Kane
Manager: """"""""""

Faction Name: The British Forces
Leader and mouthpiece: William Regal or Fit Finlay
US title contender: Fit Finlay
Tag Team title contenders: Dave Taylor and William Regal
Manager: Little Bastard

The Miz-fits

Leader and mouthpiece: The Miz
US title contender: Tatanka
Tag team title contenders: K.C James and Idol Stevens
Manager: Michelle McCool

Chris wrote:
Aaron, nearly everything you had said was true but there is one factin that you are forgetting about the steven richards led Right To Censor.

RTC had its manager/mouthpiece: Steven Richards -- IC/European contender: Val Venis -- Tag Team contenders: the Goodfather and Bull Buchanan -- Women's title: Ivory

altohugh they were a hell faction tehy were a good faction. lead from the front by Richards and always working as a team. although all of the RTC member were not all massive 'superstars', they made that angle work. and if you want a great facton it must be on smackdown.


Main eventers: John Cena & Bobby Lashley Us title: Jeff Hardy Tag team: Cryme Tyme/ Hardy Boys Crusierweight title: Matt Hardy -- manager: Kelly Kelly or Ashley Massaro

imagine how this faction would dominate Smackdown and make it so damn popular and with two tag teams then they could rotate what titles they went for. Two possible Heavyweight champs. Two possible tage team champs. that would be awesome
Shante wrote:
I agree with you that stables are very entertaining and WWE should make more factions. Especially with wrestlers like Chris Masters and Shelton Benjamin who are still needing a push. Here's what I think should happen:

D-X -- Triple H, Shawn Michaels, X-Pac (Get him back), C.M Punk, Brian Kendrick, Paul London, + Ashley Massaro (X-Pac and Punk for Mid Card, London + Kendrick for Tag Team, Ashley Competitive and Manager)

The Nation Of Domination -- Farooq, Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry, Monty Brown, Kristal Marshall (Farooq for Main Event, Benjamin for Mid Card, Brown + Henry for Tag Team, Kristal Competitive and Manager)

The Caliber Club -- JBL (Return to ring), Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Chris Masters, Gregory Helms
Chris Evans wrote:
While I agree that stables can be a essential function to help push new stars, it also has a serious negative. The biggest negative can be illustrated by looking at the nWo. The nWo continued to grow and added members, many of which were not doing much in the company at the time. The only benefit it had for them was simply more TV time. They weren't really showcased or pushed or got anything out of it. If anything, the nWo was weakened because it. The thing with stables you gotta be careful of is the number of people in the stable and the premise for forming a stable. If, for example, Goldberg had formed a stable to combat with Evolution, would anyone have cared" Wouldn't it have just been an excuse to have an 8-man tag match" A stable should be created for superstars to gain notoriety and to be able to excel in the company where they might not have done so well before. So, for example, I feel a great stable would consist of the following members. I am ignoring brand divisions.

FACE: --- Leader: Carlito --- Reason for Starting: He begins forming relationships with some "boys" backstage and they naturally form an "I'll Watch Your Back If You Watch Mine" mentality. Members: Matt Hardy and CM Punk. Three young talents. One is up and coming and associates himself with former stars. Carlito is on the rise and Matt is a former star looking to recreate himself.

HEEL --- Leader: Edge --- Reason for Starting: Because he's a heel and heels always thrive having a crew. After all, who is gonna do those run-ins" Edge would start because he starts a "with me or against me" type of environment backstage, and he wants the cream of the crop to be associate with him. Members: Greg Helms, Ken Doane Shelton Benjamin and Chris Masters. These four desperately need something to do. Associating themselves with Edge might not be a bad idea. Plus, it could lead to a great feud break-up match between Edge and any member. For example, Edge might always take credit for his members' title wins which could create friction.
ATTENTION!!: Feedback should not be perceived as an invitation to just think up new Stables and fantasize about future factions.. Just give your thoughts on the article and move on. Thank you!
Brian J. Adkins wrote:
The idea of stables seems to be a short-term solution to a possible long-term problem,which is to get the fans to care about the wrestlers on an individual basis. Look at all the factions WWE had at one point in `97,the only one to emerge with any success was The Rock. It can make a match involving them seem to have more meaning at that time but after someone is gone from the group some may feel his better days are now behind him,instead of in front of him.


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