49) Ivan Koloff & The Powers of Pain
50) Junkyard Dog, Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich
While this trio may sound a bit random at first blush, they were actually the first WCW Six-Man Tag Team Champions, having defeated the equally random combo of Buddy Landel, Dutch Mantel and Dr. X at a house show in 1991.
Managed by Paul Jones, these three feuded with Dusty Rhodes and The Road Warriors in the late 1980's and briefly held the NWA Six-Man straps until Warlord and Barbarian jumped ship to the WWF.
Another seemingly random trio, these three also managed to hold the WCW Six-Man belts for about two months in 1991.
These three were managed by Canadian Bulldog's World LJN Wrestling Figure Hall of Famer Luscious Johnny Valiant in the WWF and combined to take on The Fabulous Rougeaus and others until Brutus Beefcake was kicked out and Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo became The New Dream Team.
47) Big Josh, Dustin Rhodes & Tom Zenk
48) Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake & Dino Bravo
The three biggest names to come out of Mudlick, Kentucky, The Hillbillies were always able to provide support for each other, even teaming against Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura and Bob Orton on an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event.
Most people think of Pritchard and Lane (or later, Pritchard and Jimmy Del Ray) as Smoky Mountain's Heavenly Bodies, but for a brief time, Lane's former Midnight Express member Eaton was also in the mix under the tutelage of James E. Cornette.
3LK was one of the first factions in TNA, lasting from 2003 until 2005. They even performed a song on pay-per-view and carried on until Kip "Billy Gunn" James was added into the mix and caused dissention.
Brought in as Shane McMahon's "muscle", the trio battled the likes of X-Pac and Test for their childhood friend, and as a result they managed to last quite a while in the WWF. Also? They're probably the only trio in wrestling history to sport sweater vests.
44) The Heavenly Bodies
Tom Pritchard, Stan Lane, Bobby Eaton
43) The Hillbillies
Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer, Cousin Luke
45) 3 Live Kru
Ron Killings, B.G. James, Konnan
46) The Mean Street Posse
Pete Gas, Rodney, Joey Abs
Did The Machines ever compete as a trio? Honestly, it's tough to say. Originally billed as a duo from "Japan", but Big Machine came in because Giant (Andre The Giant) couldn't wrestle often. There were also Hulk Machine, Piper Machine and others who also stepped in from time to time.
When Edge and Christian needed backup for their three-way ladder match at WrestleMania X-7, they looked to Rhyno, their old running buddy from the Canada/Michigan independents. Together, the three competed together on a handful of occasions.
Although Apollo and Machete were eventually added in at various times, The Latin American Xchange was primarily a three-person combo, generating controversy for discussing the anti-Latino oppression they'd received at the hands of TNA.
The original NOD squad had only one thing in common, their manager (Clarence Mason). Still, the trio gained power in the WWF until they dissolved, paving the way for each competitor to form their own faction. The Nation eventually added The Rock, D-Lo Brown, Mark Henry, Owen Hart and others.
42) The Machines
Giant Machine, Super Machine, Big Machine
41) Edge, Christian & Rhyno
39) Nation of Domination
Faarooq, Crush, Savio Vega
Konnan, Homicide, Hernandez
Although there were other members over the years, including Eddie Guerrero, Juventud Guerrera and Disco Inferno, the final incarnation of the Animals before WCW's demise in 2001 was a trio managed by Tygress.
Although one of the best trios ECW could have put together on paper, the team didn't last long, breaking up after defeating the original Triple Threat (more on them later) at November to Remember in 1998.
Although they've only been together a short while, the MVP-led trio has already helped Lashley climb to the top of the TNA mountain. If they remain on the same page for some time, this could become one of the factions to watch in the months ahead.
Don't remember this trio? Cena and Cryme Tyme came together in 2008 after John Bradshaw Layfield declared "martial law" in WWE. As CTC (Cryme Tyme Cenation), they destroyed JBL's limo and feuded with JBL, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase for a brief spell.
36) The Filthy Animals
Konnan, Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman
35) The New Triple Threat
Taz, Sabu, Rob Van Dam
37) MVP, Kenny King & Bobby Lashley
John Cena, JTG, Shad Gaspard
The Three Man Band was broken up earlier this year, not by jealousy or solo projects but by WWE cutbacks. Still, the group managed to make some beautiful music together during the time they were around, even if it was to job to other teams for the most part.
Recruited by Alexandra York (a/k/a Terri Runnels) to make their first names (Terry, Ricky, Tommy) more formal and relying on the advice of a magical word processor that somehow helped them win matches, The York Foundation managed to win the WCW Six-Man Tag Team Titles in 1991.
Another case where D-X was initially a larger faction (with Triple H), but eventually became a trio when The Game joined Vince McMahon's Corporation. And by 2000, when the entire group reunited as heels, The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac continued teaming from time to time.
When Crush was kicked out of the Nation of Domination in June 1997, he found biker buddies to form his own faction with. However, when Crush left the WWF later that year, the foursome became a trio and teamed against the NOD, Los Boriquas and others.
Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre
31) The York Foundation
Terrence Taylor, Richard Morton, Thomas Rich
33) D-Generation X
X-Pac, Road Dogg & Billy Gunn
34) Disciples of Apocalypse
Chainz, Skull, 8-Ball
There are, of course, many different members of this group, depending on the year and promotion (J.T. Smith, Johnny The Bull, Big Vito and others are among past members). But the most famous was the trio of Smothers, Rich and Guido, whom were portrayed as comedic characters in ECW.
Originally part of Vince Russo's S.E.X. faction (yep.... Sex. Russo. XXX. Sounds right...) in 2002, the trio decided to break out on their own and held several championships including the NWA World Tag Team Titles. Eventually, TNA forced the group to disband at Victory Road 2004, which they did until a 2007 reunion.
When Hawk and Animal turned heel in 1989, they needed a partner in order to keep their NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championships. They looked across the ocean to Tenyru, at the time All Japan's Triple Crown Champion. Although the belts weren't defended much, it made for an imposing trio.
Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart may have not become WWF World Tag Team Champions in 1987 without a crooked referee. And when said crooked referee was fired, Davis became the third member of The Hart Foundation, bringing a phenomenal chemistry to the Jimmy Hart-led stable.
30) Full Blooded Italians
Tracy Smothers, Tommy Rich, Little Guido
29) Triple X
Christopher Daniels, Low-Ki, Elix Skipper
27) The Road Warrors & Genichro Tenryu
28) The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis
What began as a controversial stable, with the Mexicans riding "Juan Deere" lawnmowers to the ring turned into more of a comedy act as a trio advanced along in WWE. Still, they held some fairly significant wins, including over The Blue World Order at The Great American Bash pay-per-view.
A great trio that never got their just due, lifelong buddies X-Pac and Credible brought the much larger Albert into the group to watch their backs. The three teamed long enough to snag Albert a run with the Intercontinental Title and X-Pac with the WWF Cruiserweight Title.
A group born out of backstabbing and politics in WCW and a mutual admiration for The Garden State, The Triad captured the WCW World Tag Team Titles in June 1999 and held them for two months, with any two members being allowed to defend the belts in a match.
Another case of a four-person faction going into a trio. When Chris Benoit challenged for the Intercontinental and European titles at WrestleMania 2000, the remaining Radicalz feuded with Too Cool and Chyna.... which led to a romance between Guerrero and Chyna that eventually disbanded The Radicalz.
23) The Mexicools
Super Crazy, Psycosis, Juventud Guerrera
24) X Factor
X-Pac, Justin Credible, Albert
25) The Jersey Triad
Diamond Dallas Page, Kanyon, Bam Bam Bigelow
26) The Radicalz
Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn
Another trio you may have forgotten, these face-painted main-eventers competed against Demolition in the fall of 1990 on the house show circuit, always getting the win. They also added Kerry Von Erich (and Demolition added Mr. Perfect) for a showdown at that year's Survivor Series.
Built from WWE's hatred of the Parent Television Council, The Right To Censor dressed in short-sleeve dress shirts, ties and matching slacks, vowing to oppress controversial superstars. Before Val Venis and Ivory joined the cause, RTC was a trio, with Buchanan and Goodfather winning the WWF World Tag Team Championships.
When Edge & Christian were totally reeking of awesomeness, they invited the Olympic Gold Medalist Angle to take part in their shenanigans. Most famous perhaps for their impression of a jug band during a Monday Night Raw in Kentucky, Team ECK (as Mick Foley called them) were a force to be reckoned with.
Originally comedy characters in ECW created merely to give Raven to something to laugh about, the bWo spawned one of wrestling's hottest T-shirts in the late 1990's, ECW or otherwise. Later on, the trio brought their act to WWE's SmackDown and engaged in a feud with The Mexicools.
22) The Right to Censor
Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather
21) The Ultimate Warrior & The Legion of Doom
19) Blue World Order
Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy, Hollywood Nova
20) Edge, Christian & Kurt Angle
Scotty (Scott Taylor) and Sexay (Brian Christopher) were a comedic tag team in the WWF and Rikishi was your stereotypical dancing 400-pound Samoan in a thong. But when the three of them got together, it was magic and one of the most popular "underneath" acts during The Attitude Era.
Although hardly main-eventers, the trio were watched quite closely during the dying days of WCW, as their ladder matches against the likes of Three Count were often the best matches on any given show.
Another group that underwent several changes over the years (Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Brian Lee and Lance Storm were also members), but this incarnation of The Triple Threat was clearly ECW's most dominant stable, with each member holding an ECW Title briefly at the same point in 1998.
This trio formed on SmackDown in June 2002, and for the first few months, they were exclusively Canadian (yeah!) before welcoming Brit William Regal into the group. And let's not forget that Christian and Storm were World Tag Team Champions, defeating Edge and Hulk Hogan for the "honours".
15) Too Cool
Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty, Grandmaster Sexay
16) The Jung Dragons
Kaz Hayashi, Yang, Jamie-San
17) The Triple Threat
Shane Douglas, Bam Bam Bigelow, Chris Candido
18) The Un-Americans
Christian, Lance Storm, Test
Not many trios have been as popular in a territory as Fritz Von Erich's children. While tragedies took two-thirds of them away from the business prematurely, the idea of three Von Erich brothers banding together was usually enough to sell out the Dallas Sportatorium on any given night.
Perhaps the most famous babyface trio in NWA history, Hawk, Animal and Dusty routinely took on The Four Horsemen and other heels of the era until The Warriors dumped Dusty and attemped to stab his eye out with a metal spike. What a rush!
Wrestling's first boy band trio, Three Count ended up being a formidable squad in WCW, competing for cruiserweight singles and tag team belts. Plus how could one argue with entrance theme song lyrics like "We like The Backstreet Boys/and N'Sync too/Britney Spears is kind of cute"?
In 2008, Orton attempted to create the success he'd found in Evolution, selecting a pair of second/third generation wrestlers with famous pedigrees. The group clicked on many levels, although later attempts to add Manu and Sim Snuka were ill-advised. At one point, all three Legacy members held WWE gold.
11) The Von Erichs
Kerry Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich, Mike Von Erich
12) The Road Warriors & Dusty Rhodes
13) Three Count
Evan Kariagas, Shane Helms, Shannon Moore
Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase
The Wyatts have gone from a top attraction in NXT to pretty much the same level in WWE in roughly a year -- not an easy task when you consider the gimmick is identical. Over time, it's conceivable that Bray and his hairy family will become one of the top trios in wrestling history.
While it's true that Evolution was originally a four-person squad with Ric Flair, The Nature Boy often stepped back as a manager to let the other three shine. Plus, the trio teamed without Flair for a pair of pay-per-view matches earlier this year.
While they weren't necessarily on the same page in ECW, the brothers Dudley were a dependable trio when they reunited in the WWF in 2001. In fact, Spike helped his bigger brothers acheive championship success many times in WWE before joining Team 3D again in TNA as Brother Runt.
Beyond their ultra-cool entrance which consisted of a Depeche Mode-esque theme song and the trio rising through a ring of fire, The Brood were goth warriors in 1998, years before vampire culture was "in". Plus they were recruited as a sub-faction into The Undertaker's Ministry Of Darkness in 1999.
7) The Wyatt Family
Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan
Triple H, Batista, Randy Orton
9) The Dudleyz
Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Spike Dudley
10) The Brood
Gangrel, Edge, Christian
With apologies to later Freebirds Jimmy Garvin and Badstreet, THIS was the trio that terrorized World Class, NWA and UWF rings for many years. And while The Koloffs and Demolition could have any two members defend their tag titles, there's a reason it's called The Freebird Rule - the boys from Badstreet, USA did it first.
When The Legion of Doom signed on with the WWF in 1990, Ax and Smash decided to up the ante and added Crush to their crew. Much like the Russians, any two Demolition members were then allowed to defend the WWF World Tag Team Titles from that point on, making them even more dangerous.
How do you make The Koloffs, a pair of stereotypical Cold War-era Russkies even more evil? Add Khruschev to the mix, which is what the NWA did in 1984. To make matters worse for the Americans, any two of the three Russians were somehow allowed to defend the NWA World Tag Team Titles.
Because of their past friendship in WWE, Nash, Hall and Waltman quickly became a breakout faction from within the nWo. Even today, the trio can be seen together at autograph signings and the like, proving that their alliance truly is "4 Life."
3) The Fabulous Freebirds
Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts
Ax, Smash, Crush
5) Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff & Krusher Khruschev
6) nWo Wolfpac
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx
More than any other three like-minded competitors, Hogan, Nash and Hall represented a sea change for professional wrestling when they formed in 1996, forever changing how the business was perceived. Although dozens of nWo members were eventually added, it's these three men that were heavily recruited by WWE in 2002, some six years after their WCW debut.
The Hounds of Justice didn't quite last two years in WWE, but the fact remains that they defeated a massive range of three-man combos -- some permanent, some temporary - during that time. And though they've since dissolved, this is the trio that all three-person teams will likely be measured by in the future. Believe that.
1) new World Order
Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall
2) The Shield
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns
While lists that count down wrestling's top tag teams have been done to death (and even sprouted a DVD), three-man squads (or trios) are largely left out of the conversation. Yet there have been a surprising amount of successful six-man tag team combinations over the years. Here are my Top 50. The criteria:
These are teams that have competed in the last 30 years or so; e.g. the time that I've been a wrestling fan.
While not every team will have been featured on a pay-per-view, they should have at least been involved in a few prominent matches on television or big events.
While some trios are part of larger stables, they had to have competed exclusively as a three-person team at least once and in a prominent way.
I've excluded inter-gender teams for the simple reason that weren't really many competitors that could face, say, Matt and Jeff Hardy and Lita, so it's tough to compare them to other teams on this list. Same could be said for Los Matadores and El Torito, etc. - very limited competition.
And finally, while I'm sure that luchadore squads and indy teams that compete in the King of Trios are great, I can't say I've watched many of those matches.... so these are mostly tied to the likes of ECW, NWA, TNA, WCCW, WCW and WWE.
All set? Here we go!
Any trios missing from this list? Leave your feedback in the Comments section below...