Factions (or stables) are one of the more fun and endlessly repeatable concepts in pro wrestling. Having groups of wrestlers formally unite as a team — heel or face — means that certain characters always have a reason to team up, and has led to a number of fun faction vs. faction feuds. Every major promotion including WWE and especially AEW have at least a few factions running around.
That said, not every group can be The Four Horsemen. In fact, there’s no shortage of unsuccessful factions, teams that failed to win over crowds due to factors like bad booking or weak lineups. Let’s take a look at the past 13 years of wrestling and explore the worst group of each year.
14 2010: EV 2.0 (Impact)
Four years after WWE’s first One Night Stand, Impact Wrestling had an ECW revival of its own, putting on Hardcore Justice and even having an ECW Originals faction in the form of EV 2.0. Pretty much formed to set up said pay-per-view, EV 2.0 at least boasted an impressive lineup of ECW alumni including Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam and Raven. After feuding with Fortune and later Immortal, EV 2.0 quietly dissolved as its membership dwindled with various departures from Impact.
13 2011: The Corre (WWE)
The Nexus was easily the hottest thing WWE came up with in 2010, but the following year it had an unfortunate offshoot in The Corre. Led by former Nexus leader Wade Barrett after being ousted from the New Nexus and including stablemates Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, the SmackDown-exclusive Corre certainly had some potential. But booking was the problem with this group — The Corre quickly slid down to jobber status and broke up after about six months.
12 2012: Immortal (Impact)
Debuting at the end of Bound For Glory 2010, Immortal — initially composed of Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy, Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, and Eric Bischoff — was one of many heel factions that attempted an nWo-esque takeover of Impact Wrestling.
By 2012, the faux-nWo shtick had worn thin, and Immortal’s four remaining months of existence involved an incredibly weak father vs. son feud between Eric and Garrett Bischoff that ended in the group’s dissolution.
11 2013: Main Event Mafia (Impact)
Later in 2012, a new nWo-esque heel group called Aces & Eights staged their own attempted takeover of the Impact Zone. In response, Sting, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe reformed their old Main Event Mafia faction as a babyface stable to combat the group, including Magnus and (briefly) MMA fighter Rampage Jackson among its membership. While it was a decent lineup to oppose Aces & Eights, this new MEM failed to have the spark that the original had — which was also a group that attempted a hostile takeover of Impact.
10 2014: The Revolution (Impact)
Impact Wrestling really did have a streak of presenting the worst factions of the 2010s. The Revolution wasn’t another nWo-esque group, it did fulfill a different bad habit from Impact of the era: ripping off a good WWE idea. Led by an out-of-character James Storm, The Revolution was a cult-like group that was very evocative of WWE’s Wyatt Family. With a lineup that included The Great Sanada, Manik, and Abyss, the only memorable thing involving the Revolution was the time that James Storm threw Mickie James in front of a train.
9 2015: The Rising (Impact)
During his criminally forgotten run in Impact, Drew Galloway (a.k.a. Drew McIntyre) formed his own group, The Rising — with Eli Drake (a.k.a. LA Knight) and Micah (a.k.a. Tanga Loa) — to oppose MVP’s heel faction Beat Down Clan in 2015. While interfactional war is fun, the forgettable Rising only managed to last three months before BDC beat them in a match where the losing team had to break up.
8 2016: The League of Nations (WWE)
Composed of Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, and Rusev, The League of Nations was a heel group with a low-effort concept (international bad guys) and a single raison d’etre (feud with Roman Reigns). That was in late 2015, and by early 2016, the group seemed pretty adrift.
After finishing up with Reigns, The League of Nations moved on to a disappointing WrestleMania feud with The New Day then a feud with The Wyatt Family that ended prematurely due to injury.
7 2017: Titus Worldwide (WWE)
A perennial team player, Titus O’Neil wasn’t much of a singles star but was a great guy to have in a faction or tag team, so it made sense when he formed his own stable in Titus Worldwide. It even had a pretty decent membership with Apollo Crews and Akira Towawa, not to mention Dana Brooke as their statistician. It’s a shame they never gained much traction as a group, so Titus Worldwide always felt like a disregarded undercard act.
6 2018: Riott Squad (WWE)
On 11/20/2017, WWE debuted a new villainous trio in the Paige-led Absolution, which sought to take the Raw women’s division by storm. The following night, WWE did the exact thing again on SmackDown, except it was called The Riott Squad. Led by Ruby Riott (a.k.a. Ruby Soho) and including Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan (a.k.a. Valhalla), The Riott Squad certainly outlived Absolution, but the group ultimately felt unimportant, which is a shame because all-female factions weren’t common in WWE.
5 2019: Nightmare Collective (AEW)
Easily one of AEW’s worst factions ever, The Nightmare Collective saw Brandi Rhodes turn evil and form a heel cult with Awesome Kong, a disciple named Mel, and hardcore wrestling legend Luther. Formed to help out Awesome Kong, who was ultimately winding down in-ring career, the Nightmare Collective never won over audiences, resulting in Rhodes herself quickly pulling the plug. On top of that, the group never quite made sense in the grand scheme of AEW kayfabe, especially when it came to explain why Brandi was a spooky villain while her husband Cody Rhodes was a massively popular babyface.
4 2020: Retribution (WWE)
WWE has never given up on a potentially huge angle quite like they did with Retribution. Introduced in the summer of 2020, Retribution started out as a faceless horde of malcontents terrorizing WWE and wrecking the Performance Center where they were taping television episodes. But the moment the group was officially unveiled, it all went downhill.
All mystique was obliterated once Retribution turned out to be a group of NXT call-ups repackaged with dumb masks and even worse ring names. It wasn’t long before Retribution was relegated to jobber status.
3 2021: House of Torture (NJPW)
Another big moment of summer 2020 in wrestling saw EVIL turn heel on his mentor/stablemate Tetsuya Naito, ditching Los Ingobernables De Japon in favor of Bullet Club. Initially put forward as the new BC leader, EVIL ended up forming his own subunit, House of Torture, with Gedo, Dick Togo, SHO, and Yujiro Takahashi. While House of Torture eventually found a niche as comedy heels more recently, the group’s constant interference in matches quickly wore thin with NJPW fans who prefer more competitive bouts.
2 2022: The Trustbusters (AEW)
As alluded to earlier, AEW has introduced a lot of factions over the past few years, but they can’t all be The Elite or the Blackpool Combat Club. Among the many that failed to gain traction, The Trustbusters was one of the ones that was quickly deemed dead on arrival. As the privileged Arya Daivari spent his kayfabe trust fund on putting together a faction of AEW’s least important wrestlers — a hilarious gimmick, for sure — the whole thing seemed destined to only show up on AEW’s old YouTube shows and ROH on HonorClub.
1 2023: The Outcasts (AEW)
Given how often fans accuse AEW of relying on ex-WWE talent, it’s only fair that they lean into it sometimes and actually turn that idea into a kayfabe matter. And thus was born The Outcasts, where heels Ruby Soho, Saraya, and Toni Storm united against the AEW women’s division’s “homegrown” talent like Britt Baker and Willow Nightingale. While it’s a fine concept, the execution feels perfunctory, with the bad guys doing things like throwing up Ls on their foreheads and spray painting their opponents.