Welcome to the newest article series of WrestleEnigma.com, titled “Professional Wrestling: From A-Z.” This series is designed to focus on various aspects of the industry we all love. Each week, a new word will be the focus of an article, and in that article, the writer will explain how that word relates to pro wrestling. Some of the greatest internet wrestling writers will be taking part in this series.
Now, on to the letter S:
The letter S is one of the best letters in the alphabet. Why? Think about the words that begin with S: Smooth, Silky, Sex, Seth (my name). When it comes to professional wrestling, the letter S could stand for many things as well. For example, screwjob, sell, shoot, smark, sports entertainment, squash, superstar and finally stable. That is where the story gets even more interesting.
What is a stable? To quote the famous Wikipedia, a stable is, “a group of wrestlers within a promotion who have a common element—friendships, either real or storyline, a common manager, or a common storyline—which puts them together as a unit.”
Thee have been many memorable, significant stables that included some of the best superstars and storylines. But what makes stables memorable, significant and important to wrestling? There are three possible answers: control, gimmicks and opportunities.
In terms of control, stables tend to gain a lot of it. Stables can gain control over a company, such as when NWO took over WCW or when the Nexus invaded WWE. Stables can also gain control over individual superstars. This was the case as recently as when we witnessed 3MB vs. Team CoBro (Santino and Zack Ryder). With a three-man stable against a tag team, there will always be that extra guy to distract a referee or help out in a different way. Regardless the situation, stables find ways of gaining control over people, other groups and even companies.
In terms of gimmicks, stables give one to superstars who don’t necessarily have a gimmick, or have a weak gimmick. The same argument could be made for Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre in 3MB, but instead of repeating, let’s look at another example. The famous stable D-Generation X first started with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chyna and Rick Rude. Although Shawn Michaels had his gimmick of being the “Heartbreak Kid,” the others did not have a specific gimmick. Triple H’s gimmick has changed over the years. However, it was forming a stable that gave Triple H the edgy and controversial gimmick that he kept for years. So by being in a stable, superstars are automatically given a persona to work with.
Finally, there are opportunities for more superstars to be given exposure and time on air. With three hours of Raw each week, we are seeing many short one on one matches that are not competitive at all. If WWE were to add more stables, they would be able to show the same number of characters and superstars in a shorter period of time. A number of superstars have complained recently about TV time and lack of exposure. The answer to them should be figure out a way to create a stable.
These reasons, among others, give you glimpse as to the important, significant and vitality of stables in professional wrestling. While many superstars have used stables to kick off their illustrious careers in the WWE (The Rock in the Nation, Triple H in DX), stables give wrestlers more opportunities for success then trying to reach the top without being in one. So next time you become frustrated that your favorite wrestler isn’t gaining the right amount exposure, tell them to join a stable!
Seth Guttenplan is a teacher by day, writer by night. In addition to being a WrestleEnigma writer, Seth is also a Bleacher Report Correspomdent, Monday Night Raw reviewer for CamelClutchBlog.com and a host for ProWrestlingPowerhouse.com Radio. To read more from Seth, follow him on Twitter (@sethgutt) and visit http://guttwrenchpowerblog.com