Part 1 in a series called ‘Gang Warfare’ – 7 years ago last week, The Nexus debuted in the WWE creating one of the most exciting factions in years. In honour of their debut, we’re looking at some lesser known factions in the world of professional wrestling (at least to the mainstream audience). In Part 1, our Irish correspondent Alex Richards gives us five factions from the British Isles (United Kingdom and Ireland) you may not be aware of.
All of these stables come from the recent BritWres boom as during the World Of Sport days factions were not used at all and post WOS era the scene consisted mainly of American tribute acts.
#5 The Origin
Promotions of note: PROGRESS
The Origin had a long run as a heel stable in PROGRESS featuring four fearsome talents in Nathan Cruz, Zach Gibson, El Ligero and Dave Mastiff. Two former PROGRESS World Champions, as well as the most over heel in the “whole werld” (admit it, you said that in his accent) in Zach Gibson. The Origin debuted as “The Faceless” in a mysterious angle and debuted all the way back at Chapter 19, beating down Tommy End (now Aleister Black). The Origin went on to have two runs with the tag titles and occasionally being positioned as a big threat to the main event scene. Unfortunately they didn’t always have a clear direction and the end stuff with the babyface “Banter Edition” means that they were never as big as they could have been.
#4 The Wards
Promotions of note: Over The Top Wrestling (OTT), Preston City Wrestling (PCW)
Luther Ward, a no nonsense, cool, bare-knuckle brawler was the leader of the family which acted as a unit. The former NXT prospect was the biggest star in OTT with his family in tow. The faction acted as a rebel style unit channeling the old Irish spirit of rebellion, as a tribute to the Irish rebels who faced the British in our previous rebellions. The other members were pretty average and none as successful as their leader but with Ward being such a big part of OTT history, they are a step above the Origin.
#3 The Kings Of The North
Promotions of note: OTT, PROGRESS, WCPW
The KOTN made up of Bonesaw, Damian Corvin and Dunkan Disorderly are the most talented team in Ireland and are currently dominating the OTT tag division with Bonesaw and Corvin the usual team. Disorderly easily slotting in for trios matches, they are also one of the only Irish acts to have made their way to PROGRESS, which proves just how talented this team is. They raise there hands in the air with Bonesaw wearing a red glove to symbolize the red hand of Ulster which is an area of Ireland which is still a part of the UK and is technically its own country, the controversial nature of their allegiance to the English royalty causes them to be the most hated act in OTT as they play on centuries old divisions between the North and South. Not only are they the best in the ring but also they are the Irish version of The Hart Family anywhere North of the border they are heroes and anywhere South they are hated and usually receive the loudest reactions of the night. An act that effectively toes the line on war torn history to gain the desired reaction without coming across badly COUGH Jinder COUGH. As much as it pains me to say it the KOTN are without doubt the best stable to ever come from Ireland.
#CCK (Commonwealth Catch Kings)
Promotions of note: ATTACK! Pro Wrestling, Revolution Pro Wrestling, Fight Club Pro, PROGRESS, CZW
CCK are made up of the ultra talented Travis Banks and Chris Brookes, with the always improving Kid Lykos. This team began in 2016 in ATTACK! wrestling (owned by Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews) in Wales and have gone on to become 3 time tag team champions and one of the most over acts in the country. Being so over, they quickly spread to other major promotions in the UK and Ireland, recently debuting in PROGRESS to one of the biggest pops in company history. This great faction features three great wrestlers and regularly tear the house down no matter what company they are performing for. CCK have even recently won the CZW tag team titles which is a big move and shows just how highly regarded the team is. A faction that has the cool factor that is so essential to survive in wrestling with Brookes, a guy who has all the tools needed to be a star, acting as the group’s leader. The hype machine is fully behind CCK and if they continue putting on great matches like they are then they could eventually be considered as the greatest stable ever produced in the UK.
British Strong Style
Promotions of note: PROGRESS, OTT, Lucha Forever & Fight Club Pro
There can be no mention of factions from the UK without mentioning the most successful and talented of all time, which similar to The Shield, was made up of three guys talented enough to make it on their own but had insane chemistry with each other. British Strong Style is made up of three of the most talented men in the UK – and arguably the world – in Trent Seven, Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. Currently the biggest act in PROGRESS, with every main storyline involving these men, they have been getting heel heat not seen since Jimmy Havoc‘s reign of terror, recreating an awe-inspiring aura around their big matches that only Havoc can replicate. The fact that two of these men (Bale and Dunne) are also the biggest stars of the WWE UK brand shows just how good these guys are. British Strong Style has made each man into an international Superstar and skyrocketed each man’s career. BSS will go down as one of the greatest factions of all time.
In the BritWres boom, UK and Irish based factions are becoming more common and achieving huge success and hopefully we see many more in the years to come.