-Today marks my 33rd birthday and I celebrate with another episode of WWE Countdown. Probably not intentional, but the topic this week is top factions and 18 years ago today, Scott Hall debuted on Nitro to start in the motion the birth of quite possibly the #1 entrant on this countdown. I will say that I expect the Horsemen to be #1 on this list, so time to get to it.
-Talking heads discuss what constitutes a faction. Heyman puts over needing chemistry and how the group has to act as one. Woo Ravenís Flock actually gets some face time. Renee Young talks about a faction needing a leader and how everyone plays their part behind him (or her in some cases). They discuss how the theory of the group should be to groom the younger guys to become the next stars (and this how we get tension from that and groups splintering).
10: The Heenan Family
-To me this was more about the manager than it was about the individual wrestlers. Ambrose mentions that being with Heenan was an instant stamp of credibility. The main target of the Heenan Family was Hulk Hogan and how Heenanís main goal was to manage the WWF Champion. Cody says the best chance Heenan had was with Andre and of course we get the ending to Mania III. They put over how the loss at Mania III crushed Heenan. Heyman talks glowingly of Heenan and you can tell he has a ton of respect for the guy. Cesaro says that Heenan never cheated and only helped his clients win. I love Cesaro! The best example of Heenan doing what it took and it paying off was when he helped Rude defeat Warrior for the IC Title at Mania V. Okerlund sums things up best when he says the best thing about The Heenan Family was Bobby Heenan. All respect to The Brain!
9: The Dangerous Alliance
-Hell Yeah! This was basically the precursor to the n.W.o. as Heyman formed a hell of a faction to battle WCW and try to take the company down from the inside. Heyman tells the story of picking the name of the group and it was just so he could get his name out there even more. He mentions he was suspended and at the same time they signed Rick Rude. Heyman then used Rude to start the group and declared war on WCW and their top stars: starting with Sting. He then puts over the night that Rude beat Sting for the US Titles. His next goal was to groom Steve Austin as the next big star in WCW. Austin and Natalya put over Heyman and how great he was on the mic. Personally this group should be higher, but Iím just happy they even made the list.
8: The Nation of Domination
-If not for the rise of the Rock, this group shouldnít even crack the Top 10. It definitely shouldnít be above the Dangerous Alliance, but againÖ.The Rock. He joins the group and that heel turn makes him into the next mega star of the century. The talking heads discuss the growing dissension between the Rock and Simmons. Ron shows up and keeps kayfabe alive with a slight smile on his face as he calls The Rock one of his kids and he had to beat his ass to teach him a lesson. I guess looking back you do have a former WCW Champion in the group and then it jump started the careers of The Rock and future World Champion, Mark Henry.
7: The Corporation
-It seems that this is the original Corporation and not the Corporate Ministry. In this case it was Vince, The Rock, Shane, The Big Show, Boss Man, Kane, Shamrock, Chyna, and the Stooges. Much like The Heenan Family wanting to destroy Hogan, the Corporation was in place to make life hell for Steve Austin. Ambrose pops up and says he felt sorry for Vince at times because of the stuff Austin did to him. The star of the group was The Rock and he was perfect in his role as the corporate champion. They cover Vince winning the Royal Rumble with The Rockís help, and Rollins says that it put a stamp on how powerful Vince was.
6: The Hart Foundation
-Jericho calls the Harts the most famous and legendary family in pro-wrestling history. Kofi calls every member of the Foundation an All-Star. Natalya covers how the faction was formed on RAW when Bret made peace between Owen and the Bulldog in a rather touching family reunion. Bretís look was tremendous as he looked at the crowd with disgust as they booed what a decade earlier would have been viewed as a touching moment. Rollins mentions that Bret didnít turn on the fans as much as the world was changing around him (mostly in the US). Their run in 97 was unbelievable and featured some of the hottest crowds you will ever see in a wrestling arena. Canadian Stampede is touched on and Nattie calls it her fondest memory of the group. That had to be a hell of a night for the family. Bret calls it the loudest pop of his career and that is a major understatement. Every wrestling fan needs to watch the show on the Network just for the crowd during the 10 Man Tag. We see a young Nattie in the ring celebrating with the family, and itís just great to see the family at a good time before all the tragedy with Bulldog, Owen, and Pillman.
-Figured they would be on here somewhere and I can live with this placement. Sandow puts over how it was 3 generations of wrestling and Flair calls it closest anything got to the Horsemen. Batista says it is what he needed at that stage of his career and of course Orton was the future of the group form the moment it was formed. Flair was the veteran tying things to the past and HHH was the centerpiece. At Armageddon the 4 men won all the titles available to them and it was kind of cool seeing a dominant group like that again. HHH brings up that Randy was destined to be the star and of course he wins the World Title from Benoit (not shown) and then gets turfed form the group the next night in a Horseman move. Cole gets a little crazy though as he calls it one of the most memorable nights in the last 20 years of RAW. Batista was the one catching fire though with the fans and unlike Orton he wasnít booked like a pussy and got to dominate HHH. The main goal was to give HHH a group similar to the Horsemen and to make Orton and Batista stars and it worked perfectly.
4: The Four Horsemen
-Holy hell! How is this group only #4? I am stunned they arenít number 1 and at worst I figured #2. DX is going to end up being ranked higher and I will lose my mind if they end up at the top of this list. Anyway, the Horsemen were cutting edge and were awesome. They are the faction that every faction since is measured by and compared to. Okerlund brings the funny as he mentions that you had to have a strong liver to be a Horseman. Ric is awesome as he brags about how much his wardrobe cost and someone asks Flair what the lifestyle was like being a Horseman. He says he canít say as it will get everyone in trouble. They cover the trademark hand sign and Cesaro doing it looks right for some reason. Flair calls it the greatest faction ever, and again, I am fucking stunned they are ranked this low. What the hell WWE fans? Damn!
-We take a break to cover Right to Censor. The group was basically Vince taking a shot at the PTC and all the groups wanting RAWís attitude era censored. AJ pops up and calls Richards a douche, but it gets censored, which is kind of funny. Lawler mentions he wasnít a fan of the RTC and they cover how Val (porn star) and Godfather (pimp) turned to the RTC and how the lack of the HO Train was depressing to him.
-Seriously? Fucking DX is going to end up on top of this thing! I seriously worry about generation of wrestling fans that would vote n.W.o at 3 and Horsemen at 4 of top faction list. Hall and Nash debut on Nitro and bring a war with them. They are joined by Hogan on July 7, 1996 and I promptly ran around my house screaming. Bryan says it was the first time he was interested in Hogan in years. CM Punk finally shows up and he calls the n.W.o unpredictable. Santino says they were like the game Grand Theft Auto, and Brodus wonders why they werenít arrested. The shirt is discussed and outside Austin 3:16 shirt, I donít know of a more popular shirt. Booker says they were probably the coolest faction of all time. Nice touch as they end the segment with the n.W.o bullet point saying this was paid for by the New World Order. Well, we have 2 spots left and Iím already pissed knowing The Horsemen and n.W.o have been voted this low.
2: The Brood
-The Brood? Are you kidding me? Cool entrance sure, but this group was barely even together long enough to even make a dent in this business. Edge and Christian had tremendous careers after the fact, but that had nothing to do with The Brood. The fact they spend most of this talking about the entrance and music shows that after that there wasnít much to the group. I mean I love The Brood as much as anyone, but #2? The rest of the time they talk about the blood bath, and again, what they hell else is there to talk about. Edge mentions the Blood Bath idea came from the movie Blade. Hell with this letís just get to number 1 and end this fiasco.
-Recap of this nonsense as we just have to endure the DX blowjob coming.
1: D-Generation X
-Screw every one of you that voted this #1 or screw you WWE for rigging this shit to once again put over HHH and Shawn. Sure DX was influential, but outside of the Shawn/HHH/Chyna version at the start, the group was nothing more than an Upper Mid Card group that played second fiddle to Taker, Rock, and Austin. The only time they sniffed the Main Event was in 2000 when HHH joined up with Stephanie. The reunion with Shawn and HHH was fun at first, but got old quick as they couldnít come close to doing any of the stuff they did in the Attitude Era that made them cutting edge in the first place. The group deserves a spot on this list and I would have been ok with them at 3, but ranked over n.W.o and Horsemen is insane. Hell, the DX parody of the Nation was a rip-off of n.W.o. doing a parody of the Horsemen. I am done with this list. All the talking heads give a verbal blowjob to DX and we are out for this week.
The 411: When I started watching and reviewing this show, I took it for what it was worth. Now I have reached the point where I question the sanity of wrestling fans as a whole that votes for these things. Again, the WWE could be messing with things to make sure they come out looking great (instead of something created in the NWA or WCW). This week's list was a joke and sure while it doesn't mean anything, I at least don't want my intelligence insulted with something like The Brood being 2nd greatest faction of all time. Damn! All grumblings aside there was some fun stuff on here with the talking heads, but boy were there some factions skipped and then ranked way too high or too low.