Top Fifteen Stables in Wrestling: Number Fifteen
Beginning in the 1980’s, when professional wrestling was beginning its transition from territorial promotions to major national promotions, promoters needed something to spark the battle between heels and faces. This led to the creation of stables, or factions as some would call them. Most stables would be created as heels joining up to take out a face or to keep one of the members at the top of title heap. There have been many stables over the last almost 30 years; some have were easily forgotten while others will have fans talking about for years and years to come. I am going to focus on the top 15 factions that we have witnessed up to this point in professional wrestling.
At number 15, we have the Varsity Club. In late 1987, Kevin Sullivan recruited Rick Steiner and Mike Rotunda to create the Varsity Club– a stable of wrestlers with an extensive amateur and collegiate background. Each member would wear their alma mater’s letterman jackets to the ring to show their extensive technical experience over their opponents. Rick Steiner was an alum of the University of Michigan, while Rotunda had wrestled for Syracuse. Sullivan was the only member not to have actually wrestled collegiately but was kayfabe said to have the same experience as his stablemates.
The club first feuded with Jimmy Garvin when Sullivan wanted Garvin’s valet Precious for himself. Garvin would get help from his “brother” Ron Garvin and “Dr.Death” Steve Williams against the Club. Rotunda defeated Jimmy Garvin at the first Clash of the Champions in a “College Rules” match. Three months later, Jimmy and Ron Garvin would beat Rotunda and Steiner; creating the first sign of friction for the Club. Sullivan and Rotunda would mock Steiner as being “slow-witted.” After the Garvins teamed with Steve Williams and the Road Warriors to defeat the Varsity Club with the Russian Assassin, Al Perez and Ivan Koloff in a Tower of Doom match, Steiner would reach his breaking point with the Varsity Club. He would attack Rotunda, turning face and setting up a match for the WCW TV title. Sullivan was locked in a cage to keep from interfering, but he had an ace up his sleeve. That ace was University of Oklahoma alumnus Steve Williams, though he was unable to keep Steiner from winning the TV title.
The Steiner-Rotunda feud would go a long way to introducing Steiner’s younger brother, Scott– Scott and Rick would go on to form one of the best tag teams in wrestling history. The Varsity Club still remained strong with the addition of Williams, as Williams and Sullivan brought gold back to the Club by winning the US Tag Team Championship.
In early 1989, they added University of Georgia alum Dan Spivey in an effort to dominate WCW– the Four Horsemen had recently disbanded at this time. The domination got off to a rocky start, as Rotunda would lose his TV title to Sting on March 31, 1989. Two days later, however, Williams and Rotunda would win the NWA Tag Team Championship from the Road Warriors, thanks to a fast count by referee Teddy Long– who was bribed by Sullivan. They would eventually be stripped of their titles because of their constant disqualifications and other tactics used by the Club to keep the tag titles.
They would never be able to regain any gold and would eventually fold up as Williams would leave to stable. That was followed by Spivey leaving to work with Sid Vicious as part of the Skyscrapers tag team. The Steiner Brothers would make their team debut by defeating Sullivan and Rotunda. Rotunda would eventually turn face and form a crew with Abdullad the Butcher and Norman the Lunatic to take on a team formed by Sullivan– made up of Cactus Jack, Buzz Sawyer and Bam Bam Bigelow. Almost no mention of Rotunda’s and Sullivan’s relationship as the Varsity Club was ever mentioned. Rotunda, as Irwin R. Schyster, would team with “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase in WWF to form Money Incorporated. Money Inc. would feud with the Steiners and lose the WWF tag titles to the Steiners twice.