Photo Credits- EWrestling, Cultured Vultures
There have been many great wrestling factions across the years: The Four Horsemen, The Hart Foundation, The NWO, just to name a few. However these sorts of factions have fallen out in recent years. While there have been excellent factions over the years, like Evolution or the Shield, they are mostly made to elevate stars and then break them apart. One faction has bucked this trend and shown how a truly great group can make wrestling history together. I am of course talking about The Elite.
The Elite were formed by real-life best friends Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson. After Omega turned on AJ Styles becoming the leader of the Bullet Club, he and the Bucks stood alone in the ring to show the world who were truly Elite. The Elite began to tear through both New Japan and Ring of Honor, skyrocketing the popularity of those promotions and becoming the hottest act in all of pro wrestling. The Elite have accomplished plenty, winning championships all across the world, sparking the Bullet Club craze, and starting All Elite Wrestling. But this is just scratching the surface of why The Elite are so great.
The first reason that the Elite are special is the longevity. The Elite were formed in early 2016, and have been going strong ever since. There have been a long list of members who have joined and left the group, such as Adam Page, Cody, The Good Brothers, Kota Ibushi, and on and on. What has made the Elite so special is that they have found ways to stay interesting and relevant without being too involved, like the NWO back in the day. Whether it was their rise in the Bullet Club, then the ensuing Civil War, the Golden Lovers Story, or the expulsion and rise of Adam Page, the Elite have always found a way to reinvent themselves and tell interesting stories, using their long history to help ground these characters and add a consistent timeline.
Another factor is the amount of people they have been able to reach and influence. The Elite were able to raise the popularity of the Bullet Club to new heights, being seen as the best time for the black and white faction. Putting on their independent show All In, and eventually starting All Elite Wrestling, now the second biggest wrestling company in the world. A major part of this has been their youtube show Being the Elite, or BTE. BTE gave wrestling fans a peak behind the curtain and connect with Omega, the Bucks, and other members on a much deeper level, seeing their travels, brainstorming sessions, among other interesting segments.
The final reason is that the members of the Elite are some of the most talented performers in the world. Kenny Omega is seen as the best wrestler in the world, showcased perfectly in his four-bout feud with Kazuchika Okada. The Young Bucks may do too many flips for some people, but they are putting on the best tag matches in the world for my money. Another great factor is how perfectly they play off each other, able to tell and develop stories, demonstrated in the tag match between Omega and Page vs the Bucks at Revolution 2020, one of the greatest tag matches of all time.
The Elite show no signs of slowing down, finding a new story to tell. With the Elite losing their titles, they are looking to regroup as Omega goes away to heal and recover. They have also brought in Adam Cole, who may look to push a Power Struggle with his friend Bobby Fish, and maybe get an Undisputed Era reunion in AEW. Wherever the story goes, I’m invested in what’s next for the greatest faction of the 21st century.