Top Fifteen Stables in Wrestling: Number Thirteen
Our next stable is the only stable that was created and existed entirely outside of either the WWF or WCW. The stable, however, did include some of the biggest names to come out of WCW and WWF. How can you not expect a stable that includes Sting, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, Booker T, and Scott Steiner to do anything but find a way to dominate their promotion during their existence. The entire existence of the Main Event Mafia was in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (TNA).
In the summer of 2008, during TNA’s pay-per-view Victory Road, during a bout between face Samoa Joe and heel Booker T, Joe would go on a rampage. He would attack security, referees, and Booker T. Sting would enter the ring to stop Joe, but was rebuked by Joe. Sting would retaliate by attacking Joe with a baseball bat, turning heel. Sting would then be off TNA television in a wrestling role, appearing only sitting in the rafters of arenas. On the July 31 episode of Impact, Joe was again brawling Booker T when a baseball bat fell into the ring on a wire. Booker T took the bat and hit Joe with it, showing signs of a possible alliance between Booker T and Sting.
At August’s Hard Justice, Sting attacked AJ Styles, an ally of Samoa Joe, who had just attacked Kurt Angle following their encounter. On the August 14 episode of Impact, Sting would state reasons for the attacks were because he felt the young wrestlers were disrespectful toward the veteran wrestlers. He would also that he was the age of Styles and Joe, when he had a match with a veteran, he would pin his opponent and walk away, not add insult to injury by trying to end careers. This sparked rivalry between Sting against Styles and Joe. Angle and Booker T would also become involved in the feud.
At September’s No Surrender, during a match between Sting, Angle, Joe, and Christian Cage, Jeff Jarrett would return for the first time in over a year and helped Joe to retain his TNA World Heavyweight Championship. At October’s Bound for Glory, Jarrett would defeat Angle in a match that had Mick Foley as Special Guest Enforcer. In the main event, Sting would win the TNA world title over Joe after Joe was hit with a baseball bat by Kevin Nash. At the following Impact, Nash would explain he attacked Joe for insulting his long-time, real-life friend Scott Hall for not appearing the past December’s Turning Point.
On October 23, The Main Event Mafia became official with Booker T, Kevin Nash, Sting, and Kurt Angle joining forces to begin a “war” against the younger talent to take what they deserved, respect. The following week, they would add Scott Steiner, who would come down to the ring and, with a lead pipe in his hands, would clean out Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and their allies. Steiner seemed to spare his protege, Petey Williams, backing off as soon as he saw him.
At Turning Point, Booker T retained the TNA Legends Championship against Christian Cage, who was forced to join MEM with the loss. The Mafia, however, would attack Cage and kick him out of the faction because they believed he was leaving TNA– which turned out to be true, as Christian would rejoin WWE. MEM would also go on a rampage, placing “hits” on the likes of Brother Ray, Samoa Joe, Petey Williams (with Steiner doing the deed), B.G. James, Rhino, Jeff Jarrett, and AJ Styles– injuring each of them.
Booker T would win the TNA Tag Team title at Genesis with Kip James– a last minute replacement for Nash who was forced to miss the match due to a real staph infection. Kip wasn’t intended to be a full-time member of MEM, quickly disappearing form the scene when all five original members returned to action. At Destination X, Booker T would lose the Legends title to Styles, while Sting would retain the TNA World title over Angle with Jarrett as the special guest referee and Mick Foley as the special guest enforcer.
After a bad pay-per-view for MEM at Lockdown, Sting would defeat Angle, Jarrett, and Foley in an Ultimate Sacrifice match at Sacrifice to become the new Godfather of the Main Event Mafia. Sting would make an immediate impact, by dismissing Sharmell (Booker T’s valet and real-life wife), Jenna Morasca, Nash’s valet, and Angle’s security men Big Rocco and Sally Boy.
Heading into Slammiversary, Matt Morgan had expressed an interest in joining the Mafia. Morgan would face Angle in a match and, after Angle won, Angle shook Morgan’s hand showing respect and showed he would want Morgan in the Mafia. During a King of the Mountain qualifying match between Angle and Sting, Morgan would interfere and helped Angle win. Angle then agreed to ask Sting to allow Morgan to join MEM. Sting agreed to give Morgan with him and if Morgan won, he would become a member of MEM. Sting would defeat Morgan at Slammiversary. Later in the night, Angle won the King of the Mountain match to become the new world champ. He won with the help of Samoa Joe, who turned heel, who would interfere on Angle’s behalf and become the newest member of the Main Event Mafia– also betraying TNA Frontline in the process. MEM would explain that they invested in and made Joe a member of the Mafia because they couldn’t defeat him. On June 25, MEM and Matt Morgan would attack Sting, removing him as Godfather, and Angle claiming that he was back in charge of the Mafia.
Sting would help Styles from an attack from his former stablemates, hitting each member with his baseball bat and stole Angle’s world title belt. Just before Victory Road, Sting claimed he would reveal Samoa Joe’s secret adviser. Later in the show, Sting would disguise himself as Joe and attempted to force the adviser out of his car before Joe attacked Sting and placed him in his Coquina Clutch. Joe would then return the world title back to Angle. At Victory Road, the Main Event Mafia gained all the power. Booker and Steiner would win the tag titles over Beer Money Inc., and Nash would defeat Styles for the Legends title. Also at the same event, Angle retained his world title by beating Foley. Taz would also be revealed as Joe’s adviser. Taz, however, would claim to only be an ally of MEM and not a member.
On August 6, 2009, MEM would announce they would be joining forces with World Elite to form a super faction. At Hard Justice, MEM would solidify their position, with Nash regaining the Legends belt and Samoa Joe winning the X-Division Championship. Booker and Steiner would retain their tag titles, as would Angle with his world belt. The alliance with World Elite ended on October 1, with an all-out brawl erupting with the 2 factions. The Mafia would then go on a title losing streak, which started when Angle lost the World Heavyweight title to AJ Styles No Surrender. After the brawl Joe lost the X-Division title to Amazing Red after Bobby Lashley interfered. The losing streak continued at Bound for Glory, with Booker and Steiner losing the tag team belts to Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus, of World Elite. Nash would also lose the Legends title, losing to World Elite leader Eric Young. The end of the Main Event Mafia began as it was announced that Booker T had left TNA, and Angle would come and say he was wrong about the young guys– he would praise Matt Morgan and AJ Styles, turning face. Steiner would continue wearing the MEM outfit for a few weeks before he left TNA in February 2010, effectively the Main Event Mafia.
While a face version of the stable would revive the Main Event Mafia in 2013, it wouldn’t have the same kind of impact or success over TNA that the original faction had.