In professional wrestling, when something turns out to be a smash hit, there’s no shortage of promotions trying to recreate the magic. This isn’t just limited to gadgets, match types, and scenarios, either – it applies to entire stables as well. Since the Four Horsemen banded together in 1985, many unforgettable factions have followed, including the New World Order, Main Event Mafia, The Shield, and Bullet Club, among countless others.
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It only makes sense to make the lighting strike twice by reviving a defunct faction or trying to replicate the formula. It doesn’t always work out, so let’s take a look at 10 of these failed stables who tried to recreate a classic in promotions like Impact Wrestling, WCW and WWE.
ten Main Event Mafia
Formed in 2008, the Main Event Mafia was a group of veterans looking to dominate Impact Wrestling and win the respect of young talent. The original MEM disbanded in 2009, but Kurt Angle and Sting decided to revive the group in 2013 to oppose the invading Aces & Eights faction.
Despite a solid lineup featuring Samoa Joe, Magnus, and Rampage Jackson for a hot second, this new MEM babyface felt like a misguided rehearsal, given the original MEM’s goals. In the end, it wasn’t even the Main Event Mafia who brought down Aces & Eights, but rather former Aces member Mr. Anderson.
9 University club
The Varsity Club originally existed in WCW from 1988 to 1989 – before the society was officially named WCW. Made up mostly of wrestlers who were athletes in college, the group boasted an impressive array of talent, including Rick Steiner, Mike Rotunda, Kevn Sullivan and “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, captured a few tag titles and kicked off a memorable feud with The Road Warriors. The Varsity Club was randomly revived in late 1999, featuring Sullivan, Steiner, and Rotunda, with Leia Meow (formerly ECW’s Kimona Wanalaya) as the cheerleader. This revival was brief, however, with their last televised match in WCW taking place in mid-January 2000.
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8 n Wo 2000
Since the New World Order dominated WCW television from 1996 to 1999, countless promotions have attempted to recreate the iconic heel faction in one way or another. Considering this, it’s hilarious that the nWo revival plans began in WCW four months after the group’s initial disbandment.
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Called nWo 2000, this new version formed in December 1999, with Bret Hart turning heel on Goldberg in a title match and lining up with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett and later Scott Steiner. While nWo 2000 felt more focused than previous bloated editions, it still felt like a rehash, and injuries to Bret Hart and Kevin Nash stalled much of the band’s momentum.
seven Fabulous Freebirds (1989)
Originally made up of Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts, the Fabulous Freebirds are considered an all-time great in professional wrestling, having set up a classic feud with the Von Erichs in the World Class Championship. Wrestling and won countless tag team titles. everywhere. After splitting up in 1988, the Freebirds reformed the following year in WCW, with Hayes and Gordy being joined by Jimmy Garvin, Brad Armstrong (as “Badstreet”) and others. This release lasted three years, but fell short of its previous iteration.
6 D-Generation X (2008)
Attitude Era favorites D-Generation X, fronted by Shawn Michaels and Triple H, were a bunch of rude dudes (and Chyna) whose heel antics were so funny fans couldn’t help but cheer them on. Their secular humor was a perfect fit for the Attitude Era, which made DX’s 2008 revival such a disappointment. Reduced to a team of Michaels and Trips, the band’s sense of humor had to be adapted for the PG era, making DX a pale shade of its former self, especially when the duo added Hornswoggle to their ranks.
5 Lucha house party
When Lucha House Party formed in 2018, The New Day was already a proven hit with WWE fans, tried and tested merchandise movers and a legendary faction in the making. By grouping masked luchadores Kalisto, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik into a fun trio, trading pinatas and batons for unicorns and paperclips, it looked like WWE was intentionally trying to create a New The new day is coming. While all three were talented, the group failed to relate in the same way, especially since WWE was constantly booking one-sided “Lucha House Rules” matches which made the group deeply unsympathetic.
4 nWo in WWE
Given that the New World Order is the concept that helped WCW dominate WWE during the Monday Night War, it makes sense that WWE would bring the group back after buying the company in 2001. At the time, Vince McMahon lost ownership of the WWE (in kayfabe), so he hired the nWo to help destroy it.
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True to the original nWo, some members of the WWE version were a bit confusing, like Booker T and Shawn Michaels. What’s worse is that injuries kept the members apart and the group disbanded after about four months.
3 The new link
One could describe the original Nexus as a failed faction on their own, but there’s no denying that, despite some questionable bookings, the group made a huge impression in 2010 when they staged their initial attack on John Cena, dismantling the whole Raw defined in the process. In early 2011, a New Nexus emerged, with CM Punk replacing Wade Barrett as leader. While the New Nexus arguably had a much better t-shirt than the original group, the roster was much weaker than the previous iteration and quietly disbanded once Punk began pursuing the WWE Championship of Cena.
2 3 riders
After their formation in 1985, the Four Horsemen underwent various membership changes and brief respites until Ric Flair’s dismissal from WCW in 1991. With Ric Flair’s return to WCW from WWE in 1993, the moment had come to create a new Horsemen. However, this iteration would prove to be the weakest – thanks to a deal with Tully Blanchard that fell through, it would be a trio instead of a quartet, with Horsemen stalwarts Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard being joined by the music specialist. WWE team Paul Roma. This forgettable version of the Four Horsemen lasted about six months.
1 The group
Back when Impact Wrestling was known as TNA, the promotion was regularly criticized for relying on aging veterans and ripping off WWE and WCW stories wholesale. So it makes perfect sense for TNA to attempt to recreate the nWo, given how many former nWo guys it had on its roster. And so The Band was formed, with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx-Pac – and later additions like Eric Young – attempting a hostile takeover of the Impact Zone. Like all previous nWo revivals, it did not have the same impact as the original and disbanded once several band members were released from the company.