Professional wrestling has been around for well over 100 years, and through it all, we have seen some of the greatest moments surrounding the idea of stables. Now, some stables have become legendary with the impact it had made on the industry. There are some stables that were hot for a short period of time, and there have been stables that most of us wrestling fans would care to forget.
Well, through it all, I decided to come up with this top five list surrounding stables. I feel that stables are something that fans can really get behind if they are built correctly, but they can also been seen as distractions if they’re not booked right. Stables have seen their up and down moments over the course of many decades, but I have narrowed this list down to the five greatest stables in professional wrestling history.
Fortune: This young stable has been one of the hottest topics in TNA since becoming a faction in July of 2010. The group consists of AJ Styles, Kaz and Beer Money. I believe that this group has been solid for TNA in so many different ways, but they are not legendary status in my eyes. In order for this group to ever become as successful as other stables, they need to decide who the rightful leader is and have that man become world champion while the other members hold singles and tag team gold. Close but no cigar in my book.
The Hart Foundation: Bret Hart’s heel turn in 1997 led to this group forming. This was one of the hottest group of heels to hit the WWE in the 90’s. Led by Bret Hart, this group would lead the wonderful storyline of the United States versus Canada that rocked the WWE to its core. I felt like this stable was great, but they weren’t together long enough to earn a spot in my top five list.
Nation Of Domination: Usually, race doesn’t come up in professional wrestling storylines but this group became one of the top heel stables of the 90’s by using the race card. Originally, Ron Simmons was known as the leader of the group, but as new members were ushered in, so too was a new leader, and his name was The Rock. The Rock used this stable as his platform to superstardom and never looked back. The stable died quickly after The Rock became a main event player, so as great as the stable was, it just wasn’t good enough to make the list, if you smell what I’m cooking.
The Corporation: Vince McMahon is considered by many to be the greatest heel of all-time, so it would be fitting to mention his stable as one of the greatest groups ever assembled in pro wrestling history. The Corporation had a lot of great moments, and they feuded with some top talent like Stone Cold Steve Austin and D-Generation X. The reason that they didn’t make the list was because it just never had the proper stable feel behind the group. McMahon had too many stars in the stable to be shuffled in or out depending on the storylines. So yes, the Corporation was a great group, but they weren’t powerful enough to earn a spot on the list.
The Von Erich Family: The Von Erich Family was a very popular stable in World Class Championship Wrestling. This stable was one of the hottest groups on the wrestling scene of the 1980’s, and their feud with the Fabulous Freebirds is considered by some as the best feud of the 80’s. I know that many wrestling fans would want this family put into the list, but I didn’t feel that they were as great as some of the stables on my list.
The Fabulous Freebirds were engaged in one of the hottest rivalries in professional wrestling history when they battled The Von Erich Family. The feud led the Freebirds to fame and created quite a buzz around World Class Championship Wrestling. This group was one of the first stables to use the “three man rule” when they were tag team champions. The rule was eventually dubbed as the Freebird rule, and that shows you how much respect that the industry had towards this stable. Fans considered The Fabulous Freebirds as one of the greatest stables of all-time, and that is why they are No. 5 on my list.
D-Generation X was an original idea that would let Triple H and Shawn Michaels become the hell raisers of the WWE. The stable would eventually end up becoming known as one of the greatest groups of all-time. D-Generation X went through several stages as the industry went through its own changes at the time.
The original group formed in 1997, with the four members being Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Rick Rude and Chyna. This group feuded with The Hart Foundation and was viewed as a group of “Ass-Kissers” at the time by many within the company. After Shawn Michaels had to retire from in-ring activity in 1998, Triple H picked up the ball as the new leader and recruited X-Pac and The New Age Outlaws to the stable. D-X was one of the hottest acts in the Attitude era and revolutionized the business. D-X would have some success from 1999 to 2000, when it finally ended.
In 2006, the group was reborn, with Triple H and Shawn Michaels leading the charge. Overall, D-X may have done some harm to the industry, but they were a group of hell-raisers that took the wrestling business by storm, and for that, they are No. 4 on the list.
Triple H’s second stable was also considered a success in the eyes of many wrestling fans. Evolution formed in 2003 and quickly took Monday Night RAW by storm. This stable was lead by Triple H, and it was a group that represented the past, present and future of the wrestling industry. Ric Flair was known as the past for his 16 reigns as World Champion. Triple H represented the present, as he was then the World Champion for most of 2003 and 2004. Randy Orton and Batista were the members that represented the future of the industry, as they were touted as the next two top stars in the WWE.
The group had a ton of success, but its crowning moment was December 2003, when the stable had all three top titles that RAW had to offer at the time. Triple H was the World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton held the Intercontinental Championship and the team of Flair and Batista was crowned the World Tag Team Champions.
The stable would eventually break up in 2005, but it was a platform for Orton and Batista, as they went on to become World Champions and indeed two of the biggest stars the WWE has ever seen. With all the success this stable had, they rank No. 3 on the list.
The N.W.O was the hottest act in WCW history in my opinion. This group represented an alternative way of thinking in the world of professional wrestling. Fans were stunned to see its beginning when Hulk Hogan turned his back on all of his Hulkamanics in 1996.
The original group consisted of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan. The N.W.O. quickly became known as its own federation, and they were on a mission to end WCW. The N.W.O. quickly became a must-see attraction, and they took the wrestling world by storm when they led WCW to beating WWE in the weekly ratings for 84 straight weeks.
While the N.W.O. was known as the hottest act in WCW, it eventually would become the main reason that the WCW died. The angle seemed to be marked as stale in 1999 and would fizzle out. The WWE tried to revise the N.W.O. in 2002, but it was unsuccessful in its attempt. Overall, the N.W.O. was the main reason for WCW’s success in the 1990’s, and it is that reason that they end up being No. 2 on the list.
The Four Horsemen revolutionized the way stables were viewed from its inception. This group was led by Ric Flair and quickly became the biggest money draw for the NWA. The Four Horsemen seemed to headline every event in almost every city that the NWA visited, and they revolutionized the wrestling industry.
The original group consisted of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard and The Andersons. The stable would remain one of the hottest acts in pro wrestling until Flair left for the WWE in 1991. The Four Horsemen would be revised in the 90’s in WCW when the N.W.O. angle was going on. The stable would not be pushed the same way it was in the 80’s and quickly fell out of relevancy.
Overall, The Four Horsemen set the standards in which all stables would be viewed and would be ran. When wrestling fans think of stables, the Four Horsemen come to mind, and that leads them to be known as the No. 1 stable of all-time.