Femme Fatales: Women’s Factions and Tandems

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One of pro wrestling’s most exciting storytelling narratives is the well crafted faction. The annals of pro wrestling history is littered with such legendary groups as The Four Horsemen, the nWo, D-Generation X and the Bullet Club. Every promotion has them, from the WWE to the smallest of local promotions. But you may notice that almost of the ones people remember are the ones featuring all males. Sure some have had female members, such as Elizabeth in the nWo, Chyna in D-X or Nikki Cross in Sanity, but what about the factions that were solely (or primarily) created and filled by women?

Photos: WWE

Sadly, the idea of an all-women’s faction has never truly caught on with the same frequency as their male counterparts. It’s had some strong runs in the indie circuit, principally in women’s promotions like SHINE and SHIMMER, and Impact Wrestling has used them with decent success in the mainstream. But like many things in regards to women’s wrestling, WWE is still a little behind on the ball.

So here’s a little look at some of pro wrestling’s best (or at least most popular) factions (plus tandems with strong presence) featuring either an all- or primarily female membership.

The Four Horsewomen: Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Bayley

Photo: WWE

Much like The Kliq, the Horsewomen were a backstage unit whose real life chemistry and friendship transcended the kayfabe. All four came up together in NXT and three (Charlotte, Banks and Lynch) debuted on the main roster together to kickstart WWE’s Women’s Revolution. They’ve been paired together for much of their first years in the WWE, from Beautiful Fierce Females in NXT (Charlotte, Sasha & Summer Rae) to PCB (Paige, Charlotte, Becky) vs. Team BAD (Sasha, Naomi, Tamina), but now all four are on their own – at least in the ring.

The Beautiful People: Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne, Lacey Von Erich

Photo: Impact Wrestling

Back at the peak of the Impact Knockouts Division in the mid-2000’s, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky’s Beautiful People were the Heathers who terrorized the Knockouts with their Mean Girls attitude. Madison Rayne made the duo a triple threat, and Lacy Von Erich (daughter of the late Kerry Von Erich) was a brief fourth, but the core was always Love and Sky. It proved to be the domain of champions though – the group’s members have held a total of 13 Knockouts Championships (6 for Angelina Love, 5 for Madison Rayne and two for Velvet Sky) as well as one reign as Knockouts Tag Team Champion (using Freebirds rule for the trio of Rayne, Sky and Von Erich).

Photo: Impact Wrestling

The Queen’s Court: Maria Kanellis, Sienna, Laurel Van Ness, Allie

Photo: Impact Wrestling

Impact’s biggest faction last year was the one run by “The Queen of the Knockouts Division” Maria Kanellis. While her husband “The Miracle” Mike Bennett was by her side, her inner court was all women. Her enforcer was former Knockouts Champion Sienna (aka Allysin Kay on the indies), her associate Laurel Van Ness (aka Chelsea Green) and her apprentice, Allie (aka Cherry Bomb). The faction was dismantled following the failed wedding of Van Ness and Braxton Sutter, and the Bennetts leaving Impact Wrestling.

Photo: Impact Wrestling

Threedom: Kairi Hojo, Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani

Photo: STARDOM

Considered by many to be three of the best women’s wrestlers on the planet, this threesome came together when Kairi Hojo united with her rivals Shirai and Iwatani to form one dominant unit in early 2016. The faction would implode by the end of last year, but not before catching the world’s attention. Hojo and Shirai are now both reportedly on their way to the WWE.

C4: LuFisto, Amber O’Neal, Andrea, Kennadi Brink, ACR

Photo: FloSlam

There the current unit holding the cards in SHINE, with leader LuFisto the reigning SHINE Champion. Former enforcer Andrea the Amazon recently departed to sign with NXT but Ivelisse’s former lieutenant in Las Sicarias ACR recently turned on her leader and completed the quartet.

The Iconic Duo: Peyton Royce, Billie Kaye

Photo: WWE

The current top heel faction in NXT now that the Revival has moved to Raw, these two Australian stars (formerly KC Cassidy and Jessie McKay) are a constant thorn in Ember Lee and Asuka’s side.

Kimber Bombs: Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb

Photo: SHIMMER

Before she was Allie, she was Cherry Bomb. Together with CHIKARA’s Kimber Lee, they were an unbeatable force in women’s independent wrestling, where they captured both SHINE and SHIMMER Tag Team gold.

Triple Tails: Kana, Io Shirai, Mio Shirai

Photo: SMASH

Asuka was a huge star in Japan under the moniker Kana, and she ruled several factions in her home country. When she allied with the Shirai sisters, she not only introduced the world to the supreme talent of Io Shirai, she began a conquest of gold that lead her to NXT.

The Dream Team: Santana Garrett, Chelsea Green

These two recently hooked up while on tour in Japan for Stardom, before coming home and defending the SHINE Tag Team titles (Green filled in for Santana’s injured champion team mate, Gabi).

The EnD: Emma, Dana Brooke

Photo: WWE

Emma came back from seeming career death on the main roster to become “Evil Emma”, taking fitness athlete Dana Brooke under her wing, becoming the surprise hit of NXT. Just as they debuted on Smackdown Live, Emma was injured and Dana went to protege with Charlotte instead. With Evil Emma back on the main roster, it appears this duo is headed for a feud instead of a reunion.

Extreme Expose: Kelly Kelly, Layla, Brooke Adams

Photo: WWE

They were WWE’s ECW answer to the Nitro Girls, three developmental wrestlers who opened each ECW show with a dance routine. They slowly began to wrestle but just as the trio gained any sort of momentum, Brooke was released and the group was disbanded. Kelly Kelly would go on to become a Divas Champion, Layla would become a WWE Women’s and Divas Champion, and Brooke Adams would find greater success on Impact Wrestling as a 3-time Knockouts Champion.

The Dollhouse: Taryn Terrell, Marti Bell, Jade, Rebel, Awesome Kong

Photo: Impact Wrestling

Former WWE Diva Tiffany went to Impact Wrestling where she debuted under her real name and found greater success. Becoming more of a wrestler than previously shown, she captured the Knockouts title and formed the villainous stable The Dollhouse with indie stars Jade (aka Mia Yim) and Marti Bell. When Terrell left Impact, Awesome Kong returned to take control of the faction, adding Rebel as well. The team disbanded shortly after Kong’s release in early 2016.

Photo: Impact Wrestling

Legendary: Leilani Kai, Brandi Wine, Malia Hosaka, Thunderkitty

Led by former WWE Women’s Champion, and Fabulous Moolah protege, Leilani Kai, this unit featured veteran women’s wrestlers from the 90’s Malia Hosaka (who competed in WCW) and Brandi Wine (USWA), determined to teach the younger stars of SHINE a matter of respect. The captured SHINE’s tag team championships once during their education classes, and even added a protege of their own in Thunderkitty.

Las Sicarias: Ivelisse, ACR, Thea Trinidad

Photo: @JasonVW

Ivelisse needed a squad to even out C4 in her quest to reclaim the SHINE Championship and she found it in her two friends ACR and Thea Trinidad. With them at her back, she won her 2nd title last year. When Ivelisse was gone to injury, ACR turned her back on Trinidad and the next PPV, turned on Ivelisse as well, joining rival faction C4 in the process.

Dark Lotus Triad: Black Lotus, Hitokiri, Doku, Yurei

Photo: Lucha Underground

The shocking and unexpected stars of the first half of the third season of Lucha Underground was the appearance of Black Lotus’ hit squad, the Black Lotus Triad. The three Japanese assassins, Yurei, Hitokiri and Doku were portrayed by Stardom’s Threedom faction. With Kairi Hojo and Io Shirai WWE bound, it’s unlikely they’ll return for Season 4.

Daffney’s All Star Squad: Daffney, Amazing Kong, Solo Darling, Nikki Roxx, Heidi Lovelace, Kimberly, Crazy Mary Dobson

For several years in SHINE, the former WCW and Impact Wrestling Queen of Scream of Daffney ran around SHINE showing off her A.S.S. – short for her All Star Squad. Her main tandem was Tag Team champions Nikki Roxx and Solo Darling, but her ranks featured many top inde stars before they moved on to greater singles success.

LayCool: Layla, Michelle McCool

Photo: WWE

Two women who began with potential career killing starts in the WWE – Layla in Extreme Expose and McCool as a fitness trainer first, then a “sexy teacher” who valeted KC James and Idol Stevens (aka Damien Sandow) – to become WWE’s Mean Girls tandem that often drew comparisons to Impact Wrestling’s Beautiful People. Regardless, they went to the top of the Women’s Division, with McCool becoming a 2-time Divas and Women’s Champion, and Layla capturing one of each herself.

ValkyrieRain, Ivelisse, Allysin Kay, Taylor Made, April Hunter, Serena Deeb, Su Yung, Tessa Blanchard

Photo: SHINE

Formed by veteran hardcore wrestler Rain (CZW, IWA Mid South, Ring of Honor) shortly after her debut in SHINE, she assembled a stunning array of future singles stars to dominate SHINE. Sadly, her 14-year career in the ring had taken it’s toll on her and she would retire in 2014.

Divas of Doom: Beth Phoenix, Natalya

Photo: WWE

In an era where the Divas where erasing all traces of wrestling in the women’s division, two true warriors united to keep the spirit of professional wrestling alive. Former indie star Beth Phoenix (Shimmer, WXW) teamed up with 3rd Generation Superstar Natalya to show that models and eye candy was still no match for braun and technique.

Valifornia: SoCal Val, Andrea, Jayme Jameson, Marti Belle, Naveah

Photo: Pro Wrestling Wikia

Former Impact Wrestling ring girl and interviewer SoCal Val left TNA in 2013 and the following year debuted in SHINE, where she began to manage a villainous stable she dubbed Valifornia. In a show of strength, Valifornia briefly united with Valkyrie to form the super faction, VALkyrie.

Team Slap Happy: Heidi Lovelace, Evie

In 2015, top women’s indie stars Heidi Lovelace (now Ruby Riot in NXT) and New Zealand’s Evie (recently signed to NXT) joined forces as Team Slap Happy, running rampant through Shimmer, where the held the Shimmer Tag Team titles for 140 days.

Pretty Mean Sisters (PMS): Jacqueline, Ryan Shamrock, Terri Runnels

Photo: WWE

During the height of the WWE’s most misogynistic time, The Attitude Era, the WWE flipped the script and created a three woman power trip – featuring former WWE Women’s Champion Jacqueline, Terri Runnels (formerly Goldust’s manager Marlena) and Ryan Shamrock (‘sister’ of Ken Shamrock) – out to show they were done with the men of the WWE. They even had their own plaything, a boy toy named Meat (played by Shawn Stasiak).

Vince’s Devils: Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson, Victoria

Photo: WWE

And just to show that Vince hadn’t completely gone women’s lib with PMS in 1998, in 2005 he made his own harem of Divas featuring Playboy playmates Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson as well as Victoria. The trio terrorized the other women on the roster until they split up over, what else? Getting the Playboy cover.

So who were your favourite women’s factions and duos of all time? Was it someone on this list or someone else entirely? Let us know in the comments?

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    • I tried to stay away from twin combos (there’s lots) to make room for factions of different wrestlers, but a very valid argument could be made for the Bellas and their Team Bellas triad with Alicia Faaaawwwwwwx.

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