A lot of the factors in pro wrestling are subjective. Some people enjoy this, some people enjoy that. Some fans prefer a better in-ring technician, some like a strong promo guy and others enjoy a great character. No one is wrong, because it’s all personal preference.
Generally speaking, when an editorial features a list, it’s “the best of” or “the worst of.” Today, we are going to switch gears a bit.
In keeping with the subjective theme, today we are going to look at who I personally consider to be the five best factions in the history of the business. Not the five best, my five favorite. And I’ll explain why, starting with …
#5. The Varsity Club
Many of the current generation of wrestling fans may have never even heard of The Varsity Club. Growing up, they were one of my favorite wrestling stables.
The original group consisted of Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda and Rick Steiner, all of which wore their amateur wrestling letterman jackets. The guys were among the most legitimate tough guys in the business at the time, and the group had the perception of being the baddest son of a bitches on the planet.
As is the case with any wrestling stable, as time went on the group was watered down. Members such as “Dr. Death” Steve Williams and “Dangerous” Dan Spivey were added to the mix, and before too long, the group ceased to exist. While they were around though, in my opinion, they were pretty damn cool.
#4. The Fabulous Freebirds
As far as I’m concerned any writer who doesn’t include The Fabulous Freebirds on their “top stables” or “top factions” lists should have their head examined. The Freebirds were as cool as it got when I was a youngster.
The group was led by Michael “P.S.” Hayes, a current WWE creative team member who is credited with introducing theme music to the ring-walk portion of the professional wrestling presentation. The group consisted of Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy and Buddy Roberts. Roberts was considered a great in-ring technician, and prior to the Birds, had a lengthy career worthy of Hall Of Fame status. In fact, Roberts was part of the original “Hollywood Blondes” tag-team, a name that was later used for the team of “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Flyin'” Brian Pillman. Gordy was a legend in Japan and portrayed the “enforcer” role in the group. Hayes was a rock star and easily one of the most charismatic wrestlers of his time, if not of all-time.
Later on, Hayes and Jimmy “Jam” Garvin would bring back The Fabulous Freebirds as a straight tag-team act. How this group has yet to receive an induction into the WWE Hall Of Fame confuses me to this very day.
#3. D-Generation X
I’m of the belief that there is not a fan of North American professional wrestling that has not heard of D-Generation X. That would mean they did their jobs and left a lasting legacy in the business.
D-X consisted of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chyna and Rick Rude. When the group officially formed, you could make the argument that along with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, they officially ushered in the infamous “Attitude Era” in WWE. They did things for shock value at a time when Howard Stern, The Jerry Springer Show and many other shock-television style shows reigned supreme. It was a natural fit, and the group really cemented Triple H as a main event performer in WWE.
Later on, as is the case with every faction or stable in history, an attempt was made to get the gang back together, only this time — it worked. You could argue that the second version of D-X was actually more successful than the first. The second group featured Triple H as the leader instead of Michaels, and his group consisted of Chyna, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn and “The Road Dogg” Jesse James. Anyone who saw WWE RAW the night that D-X “invaded” WCW will never forget that moment. It was amazing entertainment and really symbolized the “Monday Night War” going on at the time between WWE and WCW.
D-X was brought back again in the 2000s as a straight tag-team act that featured the two original members — Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Personally, I didn’t enjoy that run nearly as much as their first run, but it was still a cool thing to see the two back together having fun.
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