WWE: Top 5 Factions

By Julian Cannon
This week I’m going to be discussing the top five factions in Raw history, well in my opinion anyway. There have been loads of factions throughout the years but these five are the five which I believe to be the cream of the crop in WWE history. 

5. Nexus 

I was unsure whether to put these guys into the mix, but then I remembered the impact they made on the WWE when they came in. You had nine fresh young guys coming in and dismantling The Straight Edge Society, John Cena and everything and everyone around them! No wrestling fan in the world was expecting it to happen at all. I was surprising, it was fresh and it was great to watch. 

The nexus took over both Raw and Smackdown, interrupting matches whenever and however they wanted. This was great viewing when they first game on the scene because you literally had no idea what this rogue group were going to be doing next. Within their time they managed to have John Cena within their group as a member through Wade Barrett defeating him in a match and even being able to capture the tag team titles on three separate occasions. 

Unfortunately due to injuries and other reasons The Nexus lost several members and eventually was diluted down to a smaller group which CM Punk took over and exiling the leader Wade Barrett to Smackdown. When this happened CM Punk’s New Nexus was just a watered down version of the original and didn’t even nearly reach the heights that was expected from the group. But in other notes, CM Punk’s role as the leader was often compared to the Manson family leader Charles Manson.

The Nexus weren’t around for a great length of time and the storyline didn’t perhaps go as well as it should have. But the impact his group made within its first few months is more than enough reason for them to make it into my top five. 

4. Evolution 

Evolution are exactly what a faction is all about in wrestling, Domination! The best thing about the group was the fact that it was taking two seasoned veterans in Ric Flair and Triple H and putting them together with two prospects in Randy Orton and Batista. 

These guys literally dominated Raw for the best part of two years where they held every title that was on Raw within that time. They feuded with some of the biggest stars in the business throughout their tenure. Evolution were going through guys like Mick Foley, The Rock, Goldberg, Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels and of course the future hall of famer… Eugene. These guys are the definition of what a faction should be doing in the WWE and in any wrestling promotion. 

While you had Triple H on top they were slowly building Randy Orton and Batista to be future stars. I’m sure both of those guys could easily admit that Evolution was the thing that began their push to being superstars. They may have began Orton’s babyface push a bit prematurely but they definitely were onto something with Orton, who as we all know is one of the most successful stars in WWE at the moment but Batista’s push to the World Heavyweight championship at the time felt perfect, it was done at the right time and you had a feud where the guy at the top didn’t want to move aside for his prospect and then Batista went onto winning the title and became a huge star. 

Evolution done exactly what they were needed to do, they jump started the career of two guys and WWE should look back on this as a way to build some future stars. 

3. The Ministry of Darkness 

The Ministry of Darkness scared the hell out of me when I was younger. I would have been around eleven when these guys came about and I can remember just thinking that I didn’t want them to turn all my favourite stars into members of theirs. Fortunately they only got a hold of Dennis Knight and Mabel, phew! 

When they first started you had Farooq and Bradshaw kidnap Dennis Knight, this led to a quite disturbing (for an eleven year old anyway) scene where you got to see Dennis Knight chained up and eventually thrown into some sort of dungeon. This led to him coming back and running about mental talking about someone coming back. This led to The Undertaker’s return and he told us that Dennis Knight was now Mideon. Next on their list was Mabel who they all took out and returned as Viscera. Shortly after this you had the members of The Brood joining The Ministry which then made them a large force within the WWE. 

The Ministry of Darkness were something new on the scene at the time and something very dark. As a young child watching it I was genuinely scared that my favourite stars were going to fall victim of them and become The Undertaker’s slaves. 

The downfall of The Ministry came when they joined forces with The Corporation, which took a lot of the dark side of The Ministry away and it just showed that they were a bunch of guys working for the McMahon’s. However for the fear these guys put in me when they first came about that is exactly why they have made it into the top five. 

2. D-Generation X 

Now on DX, where do you begin with this lot!? DX have went through quite a few forms over the almost fifteen years since they first formed. The original DX were a heel group who were used to go against The Hart Foundation. Bret and Shawn’s real life feud was pretty much pushed to the max throughout this feud. During this time you had Shawn Michaels becoming the second ever European champion by defeating The Hart Foundations British Bulldog, this then led on to possibly the most famous match of all time in the Montreal screwjob. 

The screwjob did nothing but help DX be pushed towards being exactly what they needed to be, the guys who are willing to do anything required to win and not care what anyone else thinks. This version of DX quickly came to an end when Shawn Michaels severely injured himself and had to leave WWE after losing the

Wrestle flashback:Hulk Hogan vs HBK in summerslam 2005

By Julian Cannon

I have always enjoyed watching HBK ‘oversell’ in matches. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy watching him flip head over heels when he’s thrown into the turnbuckle? So I made a comment on the photo that the Michaels’ oversell always makes my soul smile. That was it, now I have some guy who has some wrestling title out of a cracker jack box, get on my case. He started talking about how Michaels was a goof, Shawn made Hogan, Summerslam, himself AND the business look bad… What the hell is this guy talking about?! I know it’s been a few years since I’ve watched it so, I checked it out again.

Did Shawn blatantly oversell everything to make Hogan look bad? Isn’t it  a better question to ask: If Hogan was so great, why didn’t he make the match look better? Over the past 30 years we have watched Hogan No sell after No sell.

And after watching SS 2005 again, I could almost see this guys point. Michaels did a slight over exaggeration of his selling of Hogan’s punches, Irish whips, clotheslines… But did he make the business look like a joke? Did he make Hogan look bad? NO! Well, the match itself was bad but, it surely wasn’t all Shawn’s fault. Let us all not forget that it’s been 20+ years and Hulk Hogan still can’t sell. He still can’t wrestle. He still can’t do much of anything.

I don’t want to take away from what Hogan gave to the business. I mean, he helped revolutionize the world. But I will say this: “Hogan can perform, Hogan can make money. Hogan can BARELY wrestle!” I’m avidly against this guy and have been for a good 15 years. But, back to his match with HBK at SummerSlam ’05….

If you watch the video I linked above, or if you somehow manage to vividly remember the match, it was slow. Hogan couldn’t do it anymore. Hogan couldn’t do much of it 8 years prior but, especially not in this match. Shawn tried to make Hogan look like the powerful force he was decades ago. Were his oversells obvious? sometimes… But, maybe he was told to oversell and make Hogan look like a force NO ONE could really handle….

So, Shawn, towards the end of the above video, busts Hogan wide open. He even slammed Hogan’s head into a ring post…TWICE! Did Hogan make it look good? Did Hogan fall over, or drop to a knee? Did he sell it? NOPE! Instead he walks around outside the ring with actions that make it look like Shawn poked him in the eyes. But, Hogan is busted open…. Shawn locks in the sleeper and now there is blood everywhere. Down Hogan’s face, all over Shawn’s arm…. But, predictable Hogan emerges from the crimson stains.

The ref checks Hogan. Lifts his arm, drops….lifts his arm…drops…. The third time you can see Hogan clearly starts to raise his arm and hold it out of sync with the referee. Obviously Hogan will now make his comeback. It gets worse. Predictable Hogan then gets nailed and pinned. But, after being bloodied and almost losing to “passing out” he lays in that familiar Big Show/Mark Henry position. Arms under HBK, hands on HBK’s chest just waiting for the 2 count before he throws Michaels off of him.

And that’s it, Hogan “Hulks Up” and beats HBK…..

Now, this guy tells me that Shawn made Hogan look foolish because of his ego. Shawn was mad he had to lose to Hogan. Can you freaking blame the guy?! Hulk Hogan was a huge name in WWF. But, he bailed and he bailed HARD on WWF because WCW would give him more money! Meanwhile Shawn was up and coming. He was loyal to WWF and worked his ASS OFF! All of a sudden, Hogan needs money and he crawls back to Vince for a few huge payoffs…Like his WM match with The Rock. His SSlam match against HBK… And the guy who has suffered career ending injuries but STILL came back to WWF/E has to put this guy over?

If I was Shawn, I would have tried to make him look even more stupid than he did.

Was this the worst match ever? No, was it slow, kinda boring and OVERLY predictable? Yes.

By the way, the worst WWE match in the history of the WWE was Rock/Cena at WM 28…. Especially when I got to watch The Rock call the next move to Cena on two different occasions. Way to go guys!