Ranking the 5 Best Stables in WWE and AEW Today

Philip LindseyContributor IJuly 14, 2021

Ranking the 5 Best Stables in WWE and AEW Today

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    Photo credit: WWE.com

    Stables are an integral part of professional wrestling. Every popular era is synonymous with a rambunctious collective such as The Four Horsemen, nWo, D-Generation X or Bullet Club. Sure, they can appear to be outdated at times, but it's a concept that never quite goes out of style.

    Today, stables are back in a big way at every major company.

    All Elite Wrestling seems to rely on a system similar to New Japan Pro-Wrestling or Stardom where units are a vital part of the storytelling and matchmaking process. Meanwhile, NXT has made great use of factions like The Undisputed Era, and it continues to introduce new entertaining groups that fit its audience.

    Unfortunately, WWE split up many of the interesting groups on SmackDown and Raw before they could make a long-term impact. The Hurt Business was the most recent casualty. The dapper foursome were an invaluable act during the pandemic era, so it's hard to understand why the company disbanded them so prematurely.

    After all, a great stable isn't simply a way to put noteworthy stars together in a supergroup. It's a way to raise the profile of midcarders like Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin.

    Nevertheless, these are five AEW and WWE factions that have managed to elevate their members and produce engaging storylines.

Honorable Mention: The Inner Circle

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    One could make a strong argument that The Inner Circle belong on this list because they have had a consistent presence on AEW Dynamite since the series premiere in October 2019. However, Chris Jericho's hodgepodge crew of scoundrels have kind of run their course.

    The group debuted as a villainous counter to The Elite, and that's when they were truly at their best. They're not nearly as compelling as good guys. Still, Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, Santana and Jake Hager have created countless memorable moments together and contributed to some fantastic matches.

    The Inner Circle have also served their purpose in introducing Guevara and Proud and Powerful to a new fanbase. However, it's time for The Spanish God to pursue championship gold as a singles competitor and the highly favored tag team to make their mark on the company.

    Their current feud with The Pinnacle still has some legs, but MJF's homage to old-school stables like The Four Horsemen has much more potential right now.

    They could have easily landed on this list, but AEW needs to allow them to step into the position The Inner Circle vacated, and it will be hard to do that when they're still attached at the hip.

5. The Dark Order

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    The Dark Order are one of All Elite Wrestling's biggest success stories. Their creepy cult gimmick initially didn't connect but they've inexplicably become fan favorites.

    Original members, Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, debuted at Double or Nothing in 2019. AEW repackaged them into a bizarre denomination complete with an endless herd of masked followers called "creepers" and an unyielding slogan: Join The Dark Order.

    The Exalted One, the late Brodie Lee, helped the stable improve leaps and bounds. His presence transformed a faction that could have failed miserably into a legitimate threat. Then, his death in December 2020 turned the rag-tag group of screw-ups into unlikely babyfaces.

    Now, their adorable friendship with "Hangman" Adam Page is the centerpiece of a gratifying long-term story. Uno and the gang are determined to see their resident cowboy live up to his full potential and challenge for the AEW World Championship. Who would've guessed that they would potentially be a part of the culmination of his personal journey?

    Nevertheless, The Dark Order have also created several stars in the making like Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Preston Vance, Alan Angels and Anna Jay. That's the group's true benefit to AEW in the long run.

4. Hit Row

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    In 2019, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott joined WWE as the hottest free agent in independent wrestling. Following his NXT debut, it took some time but the Orlando native finally found his niche.

    In February, he turned heel during his match with Leon Ruff and has since enlisted an entourage consisting of Top Dolla, Ashante "Thee" Adonis, and B-FAB to form Hit Row.

    At NXT: The Great American Bash, the hip-hop clique produced a championship cypher to celebrate Swerve's North American title win. It was exactly what the black-and-gold brand needs as WWE continues to try to reach a new demographic and evolve as a weekly network television show.

    Hit Row is a fresh and relevant act that will help the company fill the void that The Undisputed Era left behind. It would've been impossible to duplicate their dominant run, but this is a chance to do something different. This is an opportunity to give younger Black wrestling fans positive representation.

    More importantly, Swerve and his crew look like they're having the time of their lives working together. It's always a pleasure to see performers find a creative direction that works and thrives, especially someone as talented as the 30-year-old. If you didn't know, now you know.

3. The New Day

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    At the end of June, WWE named The New Day the greatest tag team in its history. It was another well-earned accolade for one of the most consistent acts in the company.

    The 11-time world champions' legacy as a tag team speaks for itself with an incredible list of records and accomplishments in just seven years. However, The Purveyors of Positivity are also an amazing collective of singles competitors.

    Kofi Kingston is possibly the best pure babyface of his generation and first African-born grand slam champion. Over the past year, Big E has developed into a star in his own right on SmackDown apart from the other two members. Even Xavier Woods has proved his merit in recent months.

    Fans already knew he was an exceptional mouthpiece and the creative mastermind who brought the trio together. Now, Woods is demonstrating underrated in-ring prowess. On the May 24 episode of Raw, the Atlanta native took part in an excellent match with Riddle, and he pinned Bobby Lashley on the go-home edition ahead of Money in the Bank.

    Although all three members of The New Day held gold during Kingston's reign as WWE Champion, there's still so much they could achieve as a faction. Hopefully, though, they will all continue to develop individually.

2. The Elite

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    Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks have a long history together dating back to their stint with New Japan. Their friendship and the popularity of Bullet Club partially led to the creation of AEW.

    The Elite can be polarizing but the trio have been vastly superior with AEW since they started to lean into their roots as cowardly heels. Matt and Nick Jackson are much better in this role because they're inherently arrogant and divisive. Additionally, Omega is on his best run with the company, as his character work has caught up with renowned match quality.

    It's easy to say they're just heavy on nostalgia from their time in Japan, but this iteration of The Elite doesn't have much in common with their days as Bullet Club. Don Callis adds a completely different dynamic to the group and the Belt Collector angle gives The Best Bout Machine's motives a wider scope.

    Because The Elite is currently holding four titles, even their biggest detractors would have a hard time arguing against their spot on this list. In fact, they would've landed at No. 1 if it wasn't for another familial trio.

1. The Bloodline

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    Roman Reigns is currently the biggest star in professional wrestling. His shift to become the self-proclaimed Tribal Chief has been a revelation for SmackDown.

    The second-generation star's current storyline is the highlight of the blue brand every week, and he has managed to galvanize the universal title picture around this career-defining run. Even more, Reigns has upgraded his cousin, Jey Uso, into a breakout star and a main event player.

    As such, many fans couldn't wait to see The Usos reunite and take their place at the top of SmackDown's tag team division again. WWE has brilliantly crafted a story around Jimmy's return and their Samoan ancestry. Their weekly story arc is the best thing the company has produced in a long time, and it's only a matter of time before all three men hold championship gold.

    The Bloodline is the best stable in WWE outside of NXT and NXT UK because they have made SmackDown into the "A show."

    You're not missing much if you pass up on Raw, but Fridays on Fox are must-watch television thanks to The Head of the Table and The Usos.