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The Empire of Pain was a professional wrestling stable in the WWE. The group originally formed in 1999 with James Harrison, Edge and Christian acting as a group of street thugs attacking other wrestlers with Viscera acting as their bodyguard. Over the next 18 years there were five different incarnations of the group which included a one-off appearance in 2012 at Raw 1000.

History

1999–2002: Formation and domination

2003–2004: Continued success and eventual dissolution

2006–2008: Revival and new era of domination

2009–2011: Infighting and second dissolution

2012: Raw 1000 return

2015–2016: Second revival

2016: Hiatus and Bullet Club infiltration

2016–2017: Feud with Bullet Club and The Shield

Members

Name Tenure Notes
James Harrison February 14, 1999–May 16, 2004
May 21, 2006–October 2, 2011
July 23, 2012
July 27, 2015–February 15, 2016
September 26, 2016–August 7, 2017
Edge February 14, 1999–May 16, 2004
January 1, 2007
–April 11, 2011
July 23, 2012
Viscera February 14, 1999–August 2000
July 23, 2012
Left the group after leaving the WWE
Christian February 14, 1999–May 16, 2004
July 23, 2012
The Undertaker May 19, 2002–May 16, 2004
Farooq February 17–October 20, 2002 Joined as part of The APA
Exiled from the group
Bradshaw February 17–October 20, 2002 Joined as part of The APA
Exiled from the group
Victoria December 15, 2002–May 16, 2004
Brock Lesnar March 30, 2003–May 16, 2004
Shawn Michaels February 23–June 24, 2003
June 1, 2008
–January 25, 2009
Kevin Nash June 7–August 24, 2003
Rey Mysterio May 21, 2006–October 21, 2011
Bobby Lashley May 21–December 3, 2006 Kicked out after attacking Mysterio
Kane October 28, 2007–February 17, 2008 Left the group
Carlito April 5–26, 2009 Joined as part of The Colóns
Left after attacking Harrison
Primo April 5–26, 2009 Joined as part of The Colóns
Left after attacking Harrison
CM Punk February 20–October 2, 2011
The Miz April 3–4, 2011
Kelly Kelly August 14–October 2, 2011
Natalya November 25, 2008–October 2, 2011
July 27
–October 25, 2015
Distanced herself from the group
Randy Orton July 27–November 2, 2015 Left the group following an injury.
Roman Reigns July 27, 2015–February 15, 2016
Dean Ambrose July 27, 2015–February 15, 2016
Cesaro August 17–December 12, 2015 Left the group following an injury.
Jimmy Uso November 12, 2015–February 15, 2016
Jey Uso November 12, 2015–February 15, 2016
Matthew Harrison September 26, 2016–August 7, 2017
Ana Sanchez November 23, 2015–February 15, 2016
September 26, 2016–August 7, 2017
Neville September 26, 2016–August 7, 2017
Chad Gable September 26, 2016–August 7, 2017
Jason Jordan September 26, 2016–August 7, 2017
Sami Zayn December 5, 2016–August 7, 2017
Braun Strowman December 19, 2016–August 7, 2017
Finn Bálor April 3–August 7, 2017

Sub-groups

Affiliate Members Tenure Type
The Brothers James Harrison
Matthew Harrison
2016–2017 Tag team
American Alpha Chad Gable
Jason Jordan
2016–2017 Tag team
Harrison family James Harrison
Matthew Harrison
Ana Sanchez
Randy Orton
Dean Ambrose
2015–2017 Stable
The Reapers James Harrison
The Undertaker
2002–2004 Tag team
Acolytes Protection Agency Farooq
Bradshaw
2002 Tag team
The Dangerous Alliance James Harrison
Shawn Michaels
2003
2008–2009
Tag team
The Colons Carlito
Primo
2009 Tag team
Randy Orton and Roman Reigns Randy Orton
Roman Reigns
2015–2016 Tag team
The Usos Jimmy Uso
Jey Uso
2015–2016 Tag team
The Bloodline Roman Reigns
Jimmy Uso
Jey Uso
2015–2016 Stable

Timeline

In Wrestling

  • Double team finishing moves
    • End Game (Iron Fury (Matthew) followed by a Phoenix Splash (James))
    • British Thunder (Phoenix Splash (James) followed by a Red Arrow (Neville))
    • Grand Amplitude (Belly-to-back pop-up (Jordan) into a bridging high-angle belly-to-back suplex (Gable) combination)
    • Shining Game (Spinning gut kick (James) followed by a forward somersault cutter (Sanchez))
  • Finishing moves
    • Ana Sanchez
      • The Final Blow (Elevated DDT)
      • X-Crush (Sit-out piledriver)
    • Braun Strowman
      • Running powerslam
      • Lifting arm triangle choke
    • Chad Gable
      • Ankle lock
      • O'Connor roll transitioned into a bridging german suplex
    • Finn Bálor
      • 1916 (Single underhook brainbuster)
      • Coup de Grâce (Diving double foot stomp)
    • James Harrison
      • Venom Strike (Fireman's carry cutter)
      • The Purifier (Belly-to-back piledriver)
    • Jason Jordan
      • Hoosier Daddy (Double underhook DDT)
      • Jordan Slam (Olympic slam)
    • Matthew Harrison
      • Iron Fury (Running powerslam)
      • Moonsault
    • Neville
      • Red Arrow (Corkscrew shooting star press)
      • Rings of Saturn (Crossface/scissored armbar combination) – 2017–present
    • Sami Zayn
      • Helluva Kick (Running big boot to a cornered opponent)
      • Reverse STO followed by a koji clutch
  • Nicknames
    • ​The Empire
    • The (Backstreet) Gang
  • Entrance Themes
    • "Master of Puppets" by Metallica (February 14, 1999–March 26, 2001)
    • "The Game" by Disturbed (April 1, 2001–May 16, 2004, May 21, 2006–October 2, 2011, July 23, 2012, July 27, 2015–February 15, 2016)
    • "Twisted Transistor" by Korn (September 26, 2016–present)

Championships and Accomplishments

*This is classed as a combined reign defending through the free bird rule.

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