Sports Entertainment Xtreme
Main Event Mafia
Aces and Eights
The New Church
The Beat Down Clan
So above is just a sample of the factions TNA has featured in their 13 year history. This is just off the top of my head without drilling down deep and doing a top down Google search. TNA's fascination with factions, stables, or anything dealing with three or more people is unparalleled. Why? I feel so compelled to understand what this fascination stems from that I just can't help from asking the question.
On one front, it puts a ton of people into one storyline all at once. On another, all factions have little cracks in their armor; it's just how factions work, which makes the drama work well on a wrestling show. On yet another, factions get one heel character over. Just one. No more, no less. Don't even try to bring your Shield argument to me. The Shield wasn't about ANY of them. It was about who hired them. Who's the boss? THAT is the important part of a faction. The man in charge. That's who gets the credit for hiring some muscle to get your agenda across.
As for the downside....if overdone, it gets stale. There is a balance between action and revelation that must be maintained in a delicate up and down level in order for a faction story to run its course. If that balance is not well oiled and gone through, you get stagnant and the faction begins to lose the casual fans' interest....hence The Aces and Eights. So what hasn't been done? In regards to stables and factions? I can only think of a couple of scenarios that COULD work, if done well, slowly burning into an inferno.....
1. Interpromotional factions
The Bullet Club is the faction right now taking over the world. TNA had the chance to jump on board with this idea, but they waited when they should have capitalized. With members spanning from GFW to AAA to New Japan, The Bullet Club contains some of the best and brightest in the indy circuit. AJ Styles, The Young Bucks, Jeff Jarrett, the list grows longer and longer. Could this still grow to include TNA? I DO have a way to book that, but that's another column.
2. All out war
We've had two factions at any given time in TNA. No more have ever been allowed to run with their own agendas. Why not more? More is more, right? I get this suspicion from TNA management that a 3 or 4 faction roster war might confuse those watching everything unfold. My argument is very similar to that of watching Blade 2 for the first time: if you have to have it all spelled out for you in order to understand what's going on, you shouldn't be watching the second movie first to begin with. In like fashion, you have to expect people to be watching and play your cards as if you are playing off the deck so that no one knows what's coming next.
Let's say that World Elite had debuted at Lockdown during a Lethal Lockdown event featuring The Frontline and the Main Event Mafia. Or what if The Aces and Eights had attacked during the reign of Immortal and ushered in the reformation of the New Church? The possibilities are virtually endless and that's just with three powers vying for the reins.
In my humble opinion, the only way to introduce this faction war is with the throttle wide open. Why? Because the faction has been done before and doing something new HAS to begin quick, with the first faction running completely over everything. If this is done well, the second faction to enter the fray won't be a surprise, but the THIRD and every faction thereafter will. We can tackle that again in another column as well. The point of it all is to either do this up like it hasn't been done before OR give it up altogether.