For my money, there’s nothing like a good wrestling stable. If you were a wrestling fan in the 1980’s, it was the Four Horsemen or the Heenan Family. During the Monday Night Wars, it was the nWo or the Corporate Ministry. Raven’s Flock, Los Boricuas, Right to Censor, the Filthy Animals. . . The list goes on and on.
A well-put together stable allows you to showcase multiple talents in a single segment. Most importantly, it allows young talents to have a chance to grow and shine (Randy Orton in the early days of Evolution) while veteran talent who are getting on in years but can still bring it on the mic get to continue being a relevant force (Arn Anderson during the final days of the WCW Horsemen). In addition, a stable can help elevate a single superstar by having him be the focus of the group. (Straight Edge Society is one example, another one that failed dramatically was The Brood.) Also, stables can sometimes serve as a metaphor for broader issues, be it inside or outside of the wrestling world.
Here are 6 stables (4 re-iterations of a group from the past as well as 2 brand new ones) that I believe could exist in the WWE. Many of these also provide opportunities for many of the next wave of NXT stars to make their way onto the main roster, while also giving a current Superstar a leadership role.
Led by Wade Barrett, the Nexus was a group of NXT stars (back when NXT was a competition style show complete with coaches) who banded together to try to secure contracts for all its members as well as make life very difficult for one John Cena. Among its original members were Daniel Bryan and Skip “Ryback” Sheffield, and the future Bray Wyatt joined up soon after.
Barrett should reform this stable when he returns from injury later this year, giving the Bad News to the wrestling world that its time for another change in the ranks. I could see Paige being an early member of this group, and by fall, Adrien Neville (current NXT champion) could be a newcomer as well. I don’t want this to turn into an all-UK group, so let’s also add the reigning NXT Tag Team Champions, The Ascension, to the mix, who can serve as the muscle of the group.
Originally a group of evil sideshow “freaks”, the Oddities couldn’t help but be fan favorites in the late 1990’s, which is. . . ahem. . .”odd” considering one of them was wearing a leather hood and the other two looked like villains one would find in a James Bond movie.
I’m taking a little bit of liberties with the theme of this stable, going with more of a old-school circus theme (Before you start yelling, yes I am aware that TNA has recently used a circus gimmick, but no, I don’t care.). Damien Sandow would be the ringmaster of this group that would prominently feature current NXT tag team The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch), as well as either The Great Khali as an enforcer.
The 2014 Oddities wouldn’t set the WWE world on fire, but it would at least get Sandow out of a Sonic uniform and hopefully no longer a jobber. Speaking of which. . .
The JOB Squad
Led by Al Snow, the JOB Squad was a group of wrestlers who always found themselves on the losing end of matches, hoping that by joining forces, they could better their standing. This stable all but writes itself.
This stable would have been tailor made for Santino, but with him off TV, Zack Ryder could and should take the lead in this group. The fact that he found out about his participation in Sunday’s IC title Battle Royal on Twitter would be a natural impetus for him to come out on RAW and voice his frustrations, slowly joined by RybAxel, Heath Slater, Xavier Woods and Fandango. (Note: This could also be a natural way to transition Johnny Curtis off the dancer gimmick.) While this likely wouldn’t elevate any of them to main event status, it would allow them to be on TV more often, so maybe one catches lightning in a bottle.
Nation of Domination
I know that I am treading on dangerous waters here, but there is no denying that the issue of racism in wrestling has been all over the Web. The Cheap Heat Podcast (which comes highly recommended) dedicated an entire episode to it, and Mark Henry has been discussing it as well. In the past, WWE has seemed to address mainstream issues on their programming, so if that’s the case, bringing the Nation back makes sense.
While Mark Henry would be most associated with this, I’d actually prefer to see Big E take the lead of this group. I don’t know if he is intentionally trying to sound like a Baptist minister in his promos as of late, but that style would work well. Henry would naturally be the muscle of the group (though Titus O’Neill also would fit in that role), and Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Tamina Snuka and Alberto Del Rio could also be members.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be a long-running group, but it would put the issue up front, giving WWE a chance to address it on camera.
OK, time for the two new stables.
OK, so that’s a working title. Feel free to let me know if you have a better one.
Dolph Ziggler, after finding himself in the loving arms of both Summer Rae and Layla, realizes that it really is great being a good looking guy. With his new partner Tyler Breeze (who is already nailing this idea down in NXT), returning Superstars Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel and the current NXT BFF’s Sasha Banks and Charlotte, this group tries to take over every title in the WWE, all without messing up a single hair.
Whether its The Straight Edge Society or The Brood, there has always been a place for cult-type factions in wrestling. I could easily Bo Dallas attracting a small group of followers who totally subscribe to his positive philosophies. This stable would be different from the others in that it would exist solely for the benefit of Bo Dallas, rather than furthering any aims of his minions.
Again, we reach down into NXT, taking the very cheerful and bubbly Bayley as well as Mojo Rawley, who has the muscle and talent to succeed, especially if bo-lieving gets rid of the extra annoying “Stay Hyped” schtick. If Bo is super annoying on his own, just imagine if he has a posse.
Alright, time for me to step away from the fantasy booking chair. Feel free to share your thoughts. Could any of these stables work? Which ones would you like to see back in WWE? Let us know!