No one is happier about The Shield reunion than this site right ‘chere and you know it’s true. It’s damn true. Hey, Kurt Angle is the Raw GM, so he gets partial credit for allowing it to happen, yeah? In celebration of the Hounds Of Justice being let off the leash again, let us take a trip in the slightly-way-back machine and review some of best WWE factions from the past decade.
I know, I know. I know. They stuck around in storyline for way too long and we’re all one USA junior executive note from them coming back, but credit where credit is due. Put simply: The Authority worked.
Without The Authority, we don’t get Main Event Wrestlemania Champion Daniel Bryan and The Yes Movement. Without The Authority, we don’t get the Evolution Reunion (minus The Nature Boy, but nobody’s perfect.) Without The Authority, we don’t get J and J Security and Brock Lesnar going all Binwin Bronzebottom on a cherry red Caddy on RAW. Without The Authority, we don’t get “There’s always a Plan B.”
Without The Authority, The Shield couldn’t reunite. It’s just the facts.
We always say that the best gimmicks are the ones where wrestlers just play themselves cranked to (Nigel Tufnel Voice) “11.” Is there any doubt that anyone in The Authority was doing anything other than that?
The Wyatt Family
Take a knee, everybody. I know The Wyatt Family as we knew them is no more. With the debut on Monday’s Raw of Lydia Deetz Bray Wyatt and the debut on Tuesday’s Smackdown of The Super Smash Bludgeon Bros. (™ BOC Industries), that spooky ship has sailed.
But, man, what a fantastic beginning! Just take a minute and re-watch their debut on Monday Night Raw from a million years ago when Kane was wrestling Christian for a chance to be in the Money In The Bank ladder match.
How goddamn great was that? It felt fresh and purposeful. It was only a short time later these guys were getting “This Is Awesome” chants for just standing across from The Shield.
There were so many misfires and miscues with this faction I don’t even know where to begin. Cena Child Distraction-gate. Blink And You Miss It Wyatt Family Daniel Bryan. Everything Randy Orton. The list goes on and on. I know this is the sort of long term booking that WWE would never do in a million years but I can’t help but wonder what would have been if we had been given 1/10th of a (dear God help me for using this as a positive example) Aces and Eights potential storyline where The Wyatt Family debuts and just started assimilating jobbers and mid-carders like a backwoods bayou Borg collective.
Imagine heels and faces both being scared shitless that they would be jumped in the WWE Universe Backstage Hallway, having it actually happen and then showing up next week on Raw wearing the Sheep Mask. Or Hell, put ‘em in the Hawaiian shirts. You think it would have hurt his career to be Panama Jack Swagger for 6 months?
Sorry. My bad. I’m going to take a moment and re-watch this clip of Bray Wyatt summoning his Roman Reigns Panther Familiar as The American Wizard Dusty Rhodes and pour a large Scotch. Please know that I hate Scotch.
(P.S.: The Wyatt Family gave us Braun Strowman. Nuff said.)
The Social Outcasts
The League of Nations
The Real Americans
Please stop. This is embarrassing. Dutch Mantell hasn’t strapped them up in three decades.
Well. Here is where I lose all of you, isn’t it?
Hi, my name is Brian and I think the Nexus is overrated. (HI BRIAN. GTFO.)
The Nexus is the first ever one-hour drama that AMC put up before they really knew what they were doing. The pilot episode was incredible. I mean, easily one of the best of all time. Then the next few episodes were … good, but something felt off. Then they fired the showrunner and put Robert Evans’ nephew in charge and the whole thing limped along for another year because they had already picked up the season and spent the advertisers’ money.
I nearly left them off this list before Cooler Head Bill Hanstock rightfully reminded me that they deserve a mention. I’m sorry, Brandon Stroud. I love you.
I believe The Nexus is the single biggest waste of talent AND misguided booking in the last 25 years, and it is not even close. This is a faction that should be having their second or third reunion right now, and instead one of the only members to last the entire run of twists and turns just rocked a fedora so badly it made Sami Zayn turn heel. The other one’s got kids, man. He needs this job.
Every single opportunity to make The Nexus a “thing” was wasted and when you actually take a step back, what we are really talking about is what could have been, what we wanted it to be and not what actually happened. When we say, “Bring back The Nexus” what we’re really saying is “Do the thing we love but in the way we love it” and that genie can’t ever be put back into the bottle.
At the end of that pilot episode, they showed you a scene from next week’s episode where they kill off the best character, Daniel Bryan. Then in the Season One finale, they show you John Cena bending the knee. Then Season Two started two weeks later and John Cena hasn’t even washed the Nexus t-shirt he got, beats all of them by himself and now you’re suddenly watching Season Two of Heroes, I guess. Then they bring in CM Punk to be the new lead character and they hope his star power will save the show but someone at the network decided that it needed the lamest re-brand imaginable (The New Nexus) and now you’re trying to remember why you started watching this show in the first place.
Old executives are fired, new executives are brought in and two spin-offs are made from The Nexus. One successful one (Summer of Punk) where you totally forgot that his character was in the original show and one unsuccessful one (The Corre) that ended after 6 months but still before the question “Why the second ‘r’ in Corre?” was answered.
When I look at The Nexus and where the former members are now instead of at the top of the card, it just makes me furious. But what the hell do I know? Maybe The Shield stands over The Miz at TLC and then right before they go off the air, we’ll hear a hydraulic whine and a Welsh accent growl out “I’m afraid I’ve got some Bad News …”
The Straight Edge Society
Ah, now we’re talking.
I loved this group. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Call this CM Punk’s The Road To Pipebomb. Call this the Beginning of The Women’s Division Non-Tropicana Model Era. Call it simply a blessing for getting Festus off of TV by any means necessary.
Just look at CM Punk here. Look at this motherf’ing first ten minutes of the origin story of a faction.
Beautiful. Talk about taking who you are and cranking it up to 11 and then having the audacity to make others do it. Shaving people’s heads as a sign of loyalty, putting on a mask when it happens to you and freaking the hell out when your bald head is exposed. God, that’s just good, old-fashioned, shave-a-head money making even Jim Cornette could love. Actually caring about the interpersonal relationships of a heel faction is really hard to pull off. If near the end of your run you’re feuding with Kane and Kelly Kelly, are you really the heels anymore?
I don’t read spoilers and I don’t read dirt sheets but I will say that any break-up of a faction that ends with the henchmen members being released from the company in real life is so kayfabe I might as well be dictating this article into a skinny microphone.
The New Day
This team shouldn’t exist. This team is a miracle. This team is literally magical unicorns. This team was saddled with a gimmick so DOA it made Adam Rose look like The Undertaker.
I’ve already written way too many words here to go into a lengthy diatribe about how Bad Idea Jeans it is in the 21st Century for the billionaire white owner of a publicly traded company to force three black employees to dress up in Adidas track suits and be in a choir but let’s just all sip some tea and move on.
It is crazy to me how three guys were handed a gimmick so bad they went from supposed-to-be babyfaces with Xpac Heat to heels back to longest running tag team champion babyfaces and just competed in one of the best Hell In The Cell matches ever. A team with Xavier Woods. Do you hear the words coming out of my mouth? Of course you can’t. You’re reading this.
This is a Hall Of Fame faction. Easy. No questions. They not only saved their own careers but they gave the Usos a chance to save theirs as well. I’ve come around so hard on the Usos I don’t even know my name anymore. Call me Meghan. Meghan is a pretty name. I have a friend named Meghan who is rad, so let’s just end up there.
Just stellar in-ring work, on the mic, merchandising, everything. They were the most over thing at WrestleMania this year and they hosted. Standing ovation, gentlemen.
The. Rumors. Are. Over.
(PS: Heal up, Jeff and grow up fast King Maxiel. The future is … delightful.)