Stables in wrestling have been an integral storytelling cog from their heyday of the 80s, through some weird gang warfare in the 90s, to present day and the likes of New Japan’s massively successful faction heavy roster.
In an ideal world, the perfect stable arguably consists of a main eventer, a mid-carder, and a tag team. But this rule plays fast and loose, and any combination of three or more wrestlers makes for a damn good faction.
We all have our favourite stables, for good reasons and bad, and there have been far more brilliant stables than crap ones.
But how do you pick the best? You have to consider longevity, success, legacy, and influence, amongst other traits.
So naturally, before we start, there are some honourable mentions to get through first:
The Corporation, Bullet Club, Los Ingobernables, The Main Event Mafia, Age of the Fall, The Mount Rushmore of Wrestling, The Elite, The New Day, The Dudleys, The Undisputed Era, The Nation of Domination.
10. The Heenan Family
At times a close knit unit, at others a loose collective under the watchful eye of Bobby The Brain Heenan, The Heenan Family ran roughshod over the AWA and WWE in the 70s, 80s and early 90s and featured a who’s who of the industry; Andre the Giant, Ravishing Rick Rude, The Brainbusters, Ric Flair, Stan Hansen, Nick Bockwinkel, and Mr. Perfect were all members of The Family at some point of its existence.
The Family and notably Heenan himself were heels that you prayed would get their come-uppance, but time and time again they’d use some sneaky trick or underhand tactic to walk away unscathed.
Starting out in the AWA, The Family reached new heights when Heenan joined the WWE in the mid 80s, his new family first focusing their attention on Andre the Giant, and soon Hulk Hogan, with Heenan being a thorn in the Hulkster’s side for the best part of two decades.
Despite Bobby Heenan stepping away from the ringside area and focusing on commentary in the early 90s, his work with Flair and Perfect in 1992 was sublime, turning his schtick from ruthless tactician, to smarmy sports agent, a bit like a proto Paul Heyman.
Because hey, the WWE wasn’t fair to Flair.