Wrestling world has seen a lot of factions and some of them have been able to cement their place in the glorious history of this form of sports. There have been factions with 5 members, 4 members, 3 members or even 2 members. In this article, I will try to list 6 of the top 3-member factions that I have ever seen to step foot in a wrestling ring. This is a list that I have consolidated based on my personal admirations, so, if you have anything else in mind, I urge you to share that through the comments feature.
Before I proceed with the list, I must mention that I have excluded some quality teams from it as those were never consistently 3-man teams. I love Dudley Boyz, but, they only sometimes added Spike Dudley to the mix. Even Von Erichs sometimes fought as a threesome; however, the legendary family was not limited to Kerry, Kevin and Mike only. Many times, I saw Lance and Fritz Von Erich joining them in the battle too. I kept D-Generation X and Evolution out of this as well. These were great as teams; however, they were not 3-man teams for most of the time they existed.
Dusty Rhodes and The Road Warriors
If you pair up one of the greatest tag teams in the history of wrestling with a charismatic former world champion, you are bound to be overwhelmed with the star power. This team later became a foursome with inclusion of Nikita Koloff though. I would have personally loved to see to stay this team work together for a longer period of time than they actually did.
It started when the constant attacks of the Four Horsemen on Dusty Rhodes prompted him to find a couple of other partners. This helped Rhodes to even out the numbers advantage that otherwise Four Horsemen would have. Sheer power and toughness were brought by the two face painted and spike wearing members of the Road Warriors.
The trio went toe-to-toe with the Four Horsemen on several occasions. The NWA six-man tag team titles were won by the trio a couple of times as well.
Dusty Rhodes will always be known as a smooth talking charmer, whereas, the Road Warriors were known for being the brooding powerhouse. In that sense, the combination was sort of odd. Still, this faction, undoubtedly, won hearts of numerous fans of wrestling.
The Midnight Express
It ended up becoming a standard tag team and there were numerous partners who claimed the very same name. When it started, the team used to be a 3-man squad consisting of Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose and Norvell Austin (Before Jim Cornette became their manager).
The freebird rule didn’t even have a name, when the trio invoked the same. Much of the early 1980s were dominated by them as the tag champions of the Southeastern Championship. Austin was actually a foe of Condrey and Rose, but when he lost the tag team championship to the latter two in 1981, he joined forces with them.
At one point of time, Midnight Express had everyone from Wayne Farris to Bobby Eaton in it. Certainly, this is the one of the most influential 3-man teams that the wrestling world has ever witnessed.
TNA has definitely not reached where it aspired to when things started (At least till this time, it’s not a match if compared with WWE). However, if there are some teams which should be named when we talk about the best stretch that TNA has so far, we have to mention Triple X. This team consisting of three super talented wrestlers Elix Skipper, Low Ki and Christopher Daniels dominated many of the early years of TNA. This small faction won and lost the NWA World Tag Team Championship on several occasions and was able to exhilarate fans along the way. I loved the athleticism that all of three members showed. The speed of all three demands applauds as well.
I personally was disheartened when I saw Low Ki exiting from the group for his exodus to Japan. The group was disbanded after this; however, Triple X will stay one of the very first great teams in the history of TNA.
If you like a wrestling team to intimidate you, it is probably not possible for you to forget the Russians. The team had 3 members in form of Ivan Koloff, Krusher Khruschev and Nikita Koloff. The legacy of this tag team lies not only on gold, but fear and villainy as well. Some of the famous battles of the Russians were with Dutch Mantell & Bobby Jaggers, The Road Warriors and The Rock & Roll Express.
The NWA tag titles were won by the Russians twice. The 6-man NWA Tag Team championship was won by the team twice as well. Mainly because of the distrust of the Soviets, the Russians quickly became one of the most despised groups in the wrestling history. During the dominant run of the faction, they often used bear hugs, chains and clotheslines as their main weapons.
The Fabulous Freebirds
This team was extremely hated at their peak and the ability to get such high amount of heat from the audiences has cemented this team’s place in the history of wrestling. Not only the matches, but the team was apt at cutting awesome promos as well. The gang of Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Robberts (Later Jimmy Garvin came in) started the trend of having entrance music. At the beginning, the group used to have Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” as the entrance theme. Later, it started to use “Badstreet USA” as the entrance music as it was composed specifically for the faction.
The team was extremely successful if we talk about title reigns. It won the 6-man tag team title of the WCCW 6 times. Later, when the team came into WCW, it captured not only the WCW 6-man belt, but, the standard tag titles as well.
New World Order
Many will raise their eyebrows upon reading this name! I agree that from a 3-man team, New World Order essentially became a small army. However, the dominance and influence that the team had with the trio Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan is something unbelievable.
Nash and Hall left WWE for WCW and when Hulk Hogan joined them, it came as a surprise for most of the viewers. WCW, undoubtedly, received an enormous boost just because of NWO. The group was actually a central entity in WCW and these irreverent bad boys did it all – from spray painting the rings with their logo to taking over the company.
These are the top 6 3-man teams for me. I didn’t try to rank these in any order, but, if you wish to do so, you are most welcome. I understand that your favorite 3-man team can be left unmentioned in this article. If you feel some other 3-man team deserves a place in this list, please feel free to share the name. I’ll love to hear out from all of you and even may incorporate your suggestions.