Time for some WWE Stable-ity
by, 08-04-2011 at 11:19 AM (5245 Views)
Stables. Factions. Gangs. Cliques. Crews.
Whatever you want to call them, they are everywhere. Whether it be in the film industry with Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller’s troupe of actors that appear with each of them respectively in virtually every movie they appear in, to the music industry with the whole G-Unit circle of rappers. With that said, why is it that, in the business of wrestling, where Stables have been an integral part of the most compelling and entertaining TV for decades, that we are without one in WWE today. Not since Evolution, who I will talk about later, have we had a decent Stable to love or hate in a way we have in the past; to succeed in grooming the future stars of the industry.
Now, I just want to make it clear that I’m not talking about great tag teams. I feel there is a great difference between a stable and a tag team. A tag team is made up of mainly two competitors and possibly a manager (think Kendrick / London and MNM from recent memory). A stable, on the other hand, generally consists of a leader (main eventer, mouthpiece), a mid-upper card wrestler (IC Title challenger possibly, or a bodyguard etc), a tag team (for the tag titles and for those handicap matches that are inevitable in a faction scenario) and possibly a woman. This covers all aspects of the business and allows a number of feuds to be developed based around one standard storyline - one gang doesn't like another gang, it's simple storytelling.
If, and this is a big if, the creative team has put time and effort into making two rival factions (think Corporation vs. Ministry and DX vs. NOD, the last ones I can remember from WWE. And no, I’m not counting the Spirit Squad vs DX as a genuine feud) then you have a classic series of matches that can span a whole year if booked correctly. The matches would be fresh and different yet also keep to the general feud that ties them all together. If you have 5 members in each team then you have 25 possible singles matches that instantly have a reason and some relevance to the storyline. Then you have the handicap and tag team matches that can also take place. Take for instance, the New Nexus (also not a faction due to the total burial and lack of feuds they had – since when is constant gang beatings a legitimate way to get new talent over??) vs. Ryder and Santino from Raw this week. If they were part of rival factions, facing off for gang superiority, then the audience would have had a much bigger interest in the outcome than say the lame response that they got, barring Ryder.
To me, a stables aim is to put over the next generation of superstars. Evolution did this so flawlessly that Batista was a genuine main eventer and Randy Orton is the golden boy of Smackdown while HHH will always be the main guy. The only flaw I could think of regarding Evolution was the lack of opposition that it had at the time. Just think if say, Goldberg, Steiner or Booker T had created their own stable to combat Evolution.
Now, I’ve never been a fan of “fantasy booking”. Everyone has their own ideas about what works and we will never truly know how each individual scenario would play out in a live environment.
However, if the WWE had taken the time to create this group, possibly named after something referencing WCW with wrestlers like Booker T, Gregory Helms, Chuck Palumbo and Shaun O'Haire with Bischoff as the mouth-piece, then just think about the many more superstars that would have been created and the state the business would be in now. There would be 3 or 4 more valid main eventers on the scene. Helms, Palumbo and O'Haire, barring backstage problems would be, in my opinion in the same situation as the Evolution members these days as I feel they all had the talent to be so much more than what they went on to (Billy and Chuck marriage ringing any bells?). And when the group eventually splits up, it creates even more match opportunities against each other i.e) Slater vs Gabriel from Smackdown a few weeks ago. These matches, while quickly thrown together with no fanfare, have an instant history and interest from a fan perspective.
An example of this potential was Chuck Palumbo. He was really starting to make a name for himself on Smackdown as the bike riding, no nonsense brawler in the same mould as the American Badass era Undertaker but was then unceremoniously “RAW-ED” (my own term for talents being wasted via draft to Raw – Drew McIntyre and Mark Henry from recent memory).
I know columns are meant to have a balanced viewpoint and so far it’s all been positive regarding a stables formation. Personally I can’t see any negative point for a stable or 2 to be in WWE at the moment, feuding and creating an engrossing storyline based on Booking 101.
WWE needs the next crop of talent to arise in the next year or so as there's only so far Cena, HHH, Orton, Christian and Undertaker can take you into the future of the business. Granted, guys like The Miz, Sheamus, Mark Henry, John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler are there or there abouts at all times but the point is to create icons of the business, not just transitional characters to fill a small time frame.