The history of wrestling factions will usually see a star leading the rest of the group. The leaders of a faction can help make a stable important by their mere presence. Hulk Hogan leading the New World Order, Ric Flair leading the Four Horsemen, and Shawn Michaels leading D-Generation X made these groups relevant from the start.
However, there have been unique cases of stables not having a leader. The idea behind this thinking is that anyone can get over it. Some stories show no talent above the rest, while some examples just made sense for the angle. Each of the following factions have spent most of their time without a specific leader.
The magic of The Shield for WWE was that they all came out as equals from day one. WWE clearly viewed Roman Reigns as the greatest prospect of three, but that was not stated in the reservation during their time together.
Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have all had the chance to show their overall potential by making great games together. WWE fans considered the three wrestlers to be credible big names when the group broke up, and it helped them all win world titles.
WWE formed the Spirit Squad by selecting five of the top prospects in the developmental core of Ohio Valley Wrestling. Kenny Dykstra was considered the name with the most potential, but the group has remained linked by identities.
The Spirit Squad has received enough thermal heel work programs with Kane, Big Show, D-Generation X, Ric Flair and a few other big names. WWE might have benefited more from making Kenny the leader since his singles push failed after their split.
WCW reserved some of the best members of the cruiserweight division together when creating the Filthy Animals. Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Konnan, and Billy Kidman were all close friends and it showed during the formation of a faction.
The Filthy Animals received big standing ovations for the beloved act, especially with Torrie Wilson eventually joining them. No one in the group was the leader and they all proved to be equal during their time together.
The new breed
WWE’s ECW redesign featured the company hoping to create a third brand with the young stars before moving on to a bigger show. One of the biggest angles featured a stable known as the New Breed rivalry with the Originals.
Elijah Burke received more opportunities than Matt Striker, Kevin Thorne and Marcus Cor Von, but he was never presented as the leader. CM Punk’s short stint in joining the new breed was the closest thing to a leader before it turned on them after a few weeks.
The TNA version of a Team Canada faction created an act with a lot of heat at the heel. Scott D’Amore spoke most of the time as a manager, but wrestlers often held more power than he because of their actions.
Bobby Roode, Eric Young and Petey Williams were all on par as talented rising stars. Team Canada worked because of the anti-American gimmick as a way to get heat at the heel, so a leader was not as important as with other factions.
Wrestling fans have seen people like Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Kenny Omega, and Jay White as the leaders of the Bullet Club. However, the group themselves have made it clear that they never want one person to dominate others.
Bullet Club was considered a leaderless faction due to the intended outcome of making everyone count. Previous eras would see Styles and Omega say that Karl Anderson was the closest thing to a leader due to his role in starting the group.
The trio of Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Lita has become one of the most popular artists of the Attitude era. WWE found the perfect chemistry when Lita became a wrestler and joined two wrestlers who had similar personas.
Team Xtreme was the name given to the trio due to their high risk moves. Neither of them played the leading role and it even played out in a storyline when Matt and Jeff got into a mini-feud. Lita was just as important as them as the most beloved woman on the list.
The Radicalz’s WWE debut made a huge statement that WCW was reaching the end of the road. Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn all left the ship in the early 2000s and presented themselves as a faction together.
Fans naturally viewed Benoit and Guerrero as the leaders due to their success and potential at the time, but no one was a leader above the other. The Radicalz eventually broke up when the group no longer coexisted as characters.
WWE wanted to get the heel heat with the concept of The Un-Americans to come when American fans were fully in patriotism in the early 2000s. Lance Storm, Christian, Test and William Regal were all on the same level and no one. was reserved above others.
Promos have often seen Storm speak the most since he had experience with the act in WCW’s Team Canada faction. Test had a big feud with The Undertaker, but he wasn’t booked in a way that put him in the spotlight more than the others at any point.
The success of New Day proves how little it means to have an official leader if the group has enough chemistry. Kofi Kingston could have been the leader on paper at the start of the group since he achieved more than Xavier Woods or Big E.
However, the intention was for all three wrestlers to be equal and to show their real friendship as part of the act. Kingston and Big E each winning the WWE Championship showed they can reach the top together. Even though Woods is the only one who does not reach this level, he is still as important as the other two.
It can be difficult to get every member of a faction correct. Sadly, there have been occasions in the past where faction members made no sense.
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