Factions in professional wrestling have been around for years and years. Fans have their favorites and not so favorite groups. The key to a certain faction’s success is getting the right wrestlers to be added to the group. Wrestlers who gel together can make a faction look unbeatable. When faction’s just add wrestlers without giving any thought to their purpose, it can spell disaster. This piece focuses in on factions who almost had members added but for various reasons it didn’t happen.
Val Venis- DX
Degeneration X was a very successful group and one of the keys to the then WWF’s success during the Monday Night Wars with WCW. Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman revealed in an interview, that former WWF head writer Vince Russo almost had his way with an unlikely addition to the faction. Russo wanted Val Venis added to DX and as weird as that sounds, it almost happened.
The only reason Venis wasn’t added as a member, was the actual members of Degeneration X. They put their foot down and refused to allow Russo to make the move. Val Venis was out before he even got in.
Judas Devlin- The Wyatt Family
During the early days of Bray Wyatt’s faction known as the Wyatt Family, the WWE wanted to expand the group which already consisted of Bray, Luke Harper and Erik Rowan. A former NXT wrestler known as Judas Devlin began posting cryptic tweets talking about his admiration for Bray Wyatt and Sister Abigail. Devlin was earmarked to join the group soon after posting those tweets.
The reason Devlin never joined the Wyatts was that he suffered a back injury that sidelined him for a number of weeks. By the time Devlin recovered from his injuries, the Wyatt Family and creative decided to go in a different direction. Judas Devlin was eventually released from the company.
Kassius Ohno- The Shield
The Shield was arguably the most successful faction in WWE history. According to CM Punk, the idea of the Shield was originally his. He wanted a group of talented wrestlers to be his protection when he was WWE champion. Punk said the original group was to have Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Kassius Ohno.
Vince McMahon and WWE creative loved the idea but insisted that Roman Reigns be part of the group instead of Kassius Ohno. By that time, Ohno was quickly falling out of favor with WWE management while Roman Reigns was quickly becoming a favorite. We all know who won that discussion…
Gino Hernandez- The Four Horsemen
Ah yes, the Four Horsemen, perhaps considered the single greatest faction in pro wrestling history. We all know the greats that have been affiliated with them. Whether it be Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn and Ole Anderson etc. Way back when there could’ve been another member added to this prestigious group.
Tully Blanchard revealed in several interviews that he wanted WCCW star “The Handsome Halfbreed” Gino Hernandez as a member of the Horsemen. Gino and Tully were very good friends who tag teamed together in other territories. Gino was apparently really close to becoming a member, but Jim Crockett Jr. nixed it before it happened. Hernandez would die from a cocaine overdose a month later.
Kaitlyn- The Divas of Doom
The Divas of Doom were a team that consisted of Natalya Neidhart and Beth Phoenix. There was a point in time when the WWE wanted to expand the group by one more member. As a matter of fact, it was expanded. On a taping of Smackdown, the Divas of Doom added none other than Kaitlyn to the group.
Kaitlyn turned heel on her longtime friend and partner AJ Lee and sided with Natalya and Beth. Before the heel turn actually aired a couple of days later, WWE management changed their minds and decided not to air the heel turn. Therefore the addition of Kaitlyn never actually existed, at least to viewers on television anyway.
Christopher Daniels- The Brood
The Brood was long term project that was spearheaded by its “leader” David ‘Gangrel” Heath. Vince McMahon was never completely sold on the idea that it would work but eventually gave the group a shot and it took off. The members of the three-man group consisted of Gangrel, Edge and Christian.
According to Gangrel, the idea did not originally have Christian in the Brood’s plan. The third member of the group was supposedly going to be the independent star “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. The reason Daniels never joined the Brood was apparently that Edge stepped in and lobbied hard for his good friend and fellow WWE signee Christian get the gig and he did.
Mark Jindrak- Evolution
Evolution was a WWE based faction that blended old wrestlers with both current and young wrestlers. As we know, the main members were Ric Flair, Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton. There was one wrestler who was supposed to be in the group before Batista was chosen.
That wrestler was Mark Jindrak formerly of WCW. They even filmed promos and vignettes with Mark Jindrak as an official member of the faction. Not surprisingly with the WWE, things were changed last minute and Batista was selected in place of Jindrak.
Cliff Compton- Aces and Eights
We’ve discussed the group called Aces and Eights here in the past. A group of masked wrestlers that invaded TNA wrestling. The original concept was to be very much like the nWo’s original concept, a faction comprised of all former WWE wrestlers. The group was originally planning on having Cliff Compton be a key member of the faction.
Compton was known as “Domino” in his WWE tenure. Anyway, according to Compton plans were made to bring Compton into Aces and Eights but a week before he was set to appear, plans were abruptly changed. Cliff Compton believes the reason is TNA was having financial difficulties at the time and decided to use talent they already had on their payroll, so his membership was canceled.
Chris Benoit- The Million Dollar Corporation
The Million Dollar Corporation managed by ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted Dibiase consisted of several WWF wrestlers like Psycho Sid, King Kong Bundy, Tatanka and Kama Mustafa. Around 1995, the WWF brought in Chris Benoit who was managed by Dibiase in a series of dark matches.
Benoit wrestled the likes of Adam Bomb, Bob Holly and Owen Hart but was never signed, most likely due to his size at the time.
Those are just a few factions that came close to having members added to their ranks but, in the end, just didn’t make the cut.