wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Spookiest Wrestling Factions

May 22, 2022 | Posted by Steve Cook
Wyatt Family Image Credit: WWE

If you’ve watched pro wrestling lately, you’ve surely noticed the outbreak of spooky factions. Over in AEW, Malakai Black has formed the House of Black with Brody King & Buddy Matthews. They seem to be recruiting Julia Hart via brainwashing mist, but it’s taking longer than one would have thought. Meanwhile, Edge has formed the House of Edge the Judgment Day with Damian Priest & Rhea Ripley on Raw, and is recruiting new members.

One of these factions could end up being the pre-eminent spooky faction of its era. They also have to contend with Dark Order, who were spooky in the beginning but are more goofy now. Death Triangle is kind of spooky sometimes, like when Penta Oscuro brings out tombstones. Then there’s whatever Joe Gacy is up to on NXT. He seems kind of spooky without druids.

They’ve all got a way to go before making this magnificent list, where we count down the seven spookiest wrestling factions!

7. Decay

Abyss & Crazzy Steve had been bouncing around Impact for awhile from group to group when they found each other. Eventually they found Rosemary, and Decay was formed. They targeted the Tag Team Championship, winning them from Beer Money Inc. in what ended up being James Storm & Robert Roode’s last match as a team. Their first run is most notable for their feud with the Broken Hardys, which led to a Delete or Decay match along with Decay’s defeat at Total Nonstop Deletion.

Decay reemerged in 2021 when Crazzy Steve returned to Impact and re-joined forces with Rosemary, who had become a babyface in the years between. They’ve since been joined by Black Taurus & Havok to form a four-person team that always has some kind of weirdness going on. They might be fan favorites now, but they’re still pretty darn spooky.

6. Disciples of the New Church

Father James Mitchell led this group during the early days of TNA. While it was meant to be a mid-card heel group to get some heat and put people over, the Disciples became tremendously popular with much of TNA’s audience. You’d even hear the Nashville fans chant “EVIL” during some of their segments where they’d decimate some poor ineffectual babyface. This happened for two main reasons:

-James Mitchell was a tremendous promo, one of the most underrated of the 21st century.
-Their theme music was awesome.

For future reference, if you’re a spooky group that doesn’t have awesome theme music and somebody that can cut a tremendous promo, you might as well close up shop & move onto your next gimmick. Mitchell led the likes of Slash, Tempest, Malice, Brian Lee, Sinn & others through feuds with America’s Most Wanted & Raven.

5. Disciples of Synn

Early 2000s Ohio Valley Wrestling saw a number of factions trying to dominate the Kentuckiana area with talent that would eventually make their way to WWE. One of them was led by Synn, a domme that had a knack for leading men to do evil. Disciples like Slash, Damien, Payne, Seven & Bane would win OVW’s Southern Tag Team Championship on five separate occasions, defeating men like Brock Lesnar, Shelton Benjamin, Steve Armstrong, Tracy Smothers, Lance Cade & Rene Dupree in the process.

There was one Disciple of Synn that went on to greater success than the rest. Leviathan was summoned from the depths of the Ohio River in a segment akin to a lot of the bizarre stuff the group was doing at the time. This monster dominated OVW during his time there and would move on to WWE, holding multiple world championships as Batista. Batista didn’t speak well of his time in OVW in later years, but it certainly was memorable for the fans that saw it. Leviathan definitely took this group to an even more demonic level.

4. The Brood

Was there ever a group that looked cooler than The Brood? The music, the ring of fire & the lighting made for a classic presentation that’s still fondly remembered to this day. The bloodbaths they would give opponents led to other promotions dumping red liquid from the rafters with varying results. There’s no denying the fact that Edge & Christian would become big stars after leaving the Brood, and the faction served as a good place to establish them with the fans.

The thing keeping me from ranking them higher? The Brood really didn’t accomplish that much in the ring. Christian held the Light Heavyweight Championship, but lost it to perennial enhancement talent Duane Gill. They would merge with a group appearing later in this list, but largely became whipping boys for that group. Edge & Christian would become stars, but they had to dump Gangrel first. Gangrel then joined up with the Hardy Boyz to form the New Brood, but Matt & Jeff had seen how Edge & Christian had used Gangrel as a stepping stone. It wasn’t too shocking when they did the same thing.

3. The Wyatt Family

Bray Wyatt was one charismatic motorscooter ten years ago. He was able to convince a number of wrestlers to follow in his evil footsteps towards the top of WWE. Bray became one of the top stars of early NXT through his promos about how time was on his side and he had the whole world in his hands. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan were at his side when the Wyatt Family debuted on the main roster and laid waste to everybody in their path. Daniel Bryan even joined the group for a period of time because he got tired of being beat up by them.

There would be a rotating cast of characters. Sometimes it would be Harper & Rowan. Other times, Braun Strowman would be along for the ride. Randy Orton joined the group towards its end, and helped them win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Of course, Orton had a large hand in ending the group, with Harper justifiably not trusting him & striking out on his own, and Bray eventually winning the WWE Championship and not convincing Orton to not challenge him for the title at WrestleMania. Gold often causes more problems than it solves for cult leaders.

I wasn’t a fan of spooky Fiend stuff, but I was all about early spooky Wyatt Family stuff back in the day.

2. The Ministry of Darkness

As the WWF approached the Attitude Era, everybody was looking for a way to boost their signal. Undertaker had done fine over the past several years, and the Kane feud had kept his relevancy going pretty well, but he was going to need to take things to another level to assure his spot as one of the company’s top stars. The Dead Man always had a Dark Side, but it was time to increase that Darkness by several levels.

Enter the Ministry of Darkness. Undertaker re-aligned himself with Paul Bearer & attempted to enbalm Stone Cold Steve Austin. That part didn’t work out, but Undertaker found some evil-doers like the Acolytes & Brood to do his bidding, and even went to the trouble of sacrificing souls to become Mideon & Viscera. He then targeted Mr. McMahon’s family in an attempt to take over the company, including an attempted dark wedding with Stephanie. He joined forces with Shane to form the Corporate Ministry. All this time Undertaker would talk about a Higher/Greater Power that really pulled the strings. Of course, it wound up being Vince because this was the WWF in 1999.

Undertaker looked really cool though, and there were some pretty spooky segments with people getting crucified & sacrificed & whatnot.

Honorable Mention: Dungeon of Doom

On paper, this seems like one of the scariest groups of all time. The Master sent Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan a collection of monsters to achieve the goal of ending Hulkamania. Plenty of established heels with experience dealing with Hogan were part of the group. Unfortunately, the whole thing came off more goofy & cartoonish than creepy & spooky.

It is quite a list of talent. Kamala, The Shark, The Yeti, Big Van Vader, Hugh Morrus, The Barbarian, Meng, One Man Gang, The Zodiac, Loch Ness. Lex Luger was kind of a member. Perhaps what the group is most remembered for is introducing the world to Paul Wight. The Giant would go on to be a force in wrestling long after the Dungeon of Doom was forgotten.

1. Kevin Sullivan’s Army of Darkness

Here’s the thing: The Florida territory didn’t have the amazing production values that the WWF did. Nobody did, it was a large part of why the WWF won the wrestling wars. When one compares Sullivan’s work in Florida to Undertaker’s Satanic phase, the WWF stuff looks a lot better. That being said, Sullivan managed to come off much creepier & his angles came off with more of a “how in the world did they let this air?” vibe to them.

The fact that Sullivan was doing this stuff only in Florida helped as well. We know Florida has a large percentage of people that think they’re good Christians & certainly aren’t down with devil worship, but the limited availability of Sullivan’s work was what really made it stand out. If you didn’t live somewhere airing Championship Wrestling from Florida, or if you weren’t part of the tape trading scene, the only information you had about Sullivan and his band of misfits came from the magazines. The air of mystery gave Sullian’s Army of Darkness that extra oomph.

Sullivan managed to keep his group going against Dusty Rhodes, Blackjack Mulligan, Barry Windham, Mike Graham and other goody two-shoes from 1982-87. He’d also appear with ICW in the Northeast with some of his minions like the Purple Haze, Bob “Mayha Singh” Roop & Fallen Angel. The group gave the world Luna Vachon & Woman. Sullivan was so convincing in his role here that conspiracy theorists want to blame him for things he didn’t do to this day.

Thanks for reading! Hit me up on the social media, e-mail [email protected] or down in the comments. Until next time, true believers!

article topics :

Impact Wrestling, WWE, Steve Cook