Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: The Brood

The Brood – WWF, 1998-1999


In 1998, the WWF was debuting a large amount of new talent. One of the newcomers was a mysterious young man going by the name of Edge. In the beginning, Edge was a very enigmatic and mysterious figure that would always enter the ring from the crowd. Then entered a man named Gangrel, a man with a vampire gimmick (and real-life husband to Luna Vachon). Edge immediately began feuding with Gangrel. Gangrel retaliated by bringing out another mysterious young man by the name of Christian, who defeated Taka Michinoku for the Light Heavyweight title in his debut match at the 1999 Judgment Day. Christian was then revealed to be Edge’s brother who was under the control of Gangrel. Sound like a promising feud?

Wrong. Edge wound up joining Gangrel’s group on the October 26 Raw for no reason at all and the Brood was born. The good part of this was the group’s awesome entrance. The lights went red, a circle of fire appeared on the stage, and the three were raised up through it. Very visually impressive.

The bad was how they were used. In their debut match, they were attacked by Kane who was on one of his periodic rampages. The second was Edge vs. Kane. This time Kane obliterated the entire group and prepared to turn them (and the referee) into barbecue, courtesy of some gas and a blowtorch. Only Christian competed at Survivor Series, and he lost the Light Heavyweight title to Gillberg. Next Edge and Gangrel took on the LOD (Animal and Droz) in a tag match. This was the infamous match where Hawk “fell” off the Titantron. On the plus side, Edge and Gangrel did win by countout.

Things didn’t get much better for a while. Gangrel and Edge won a tag match against D’Lo and Mark Henry when Chyna came out and flirted with Mark Henry. They lost a shot at the tag team titles when Christian got them disqualified. They lost… or won – well, the match ended anyway – a match against the Headbangers when the Oddities ran in and attacked. A loss to Val Venis and the Godfather got to Gangrel. He promised that there would be a bloodbath the next time we saw the Brood.

Tiger Ali Singh had just started out to the ring when the lights went out. A strobe effect started, showing the Brood surrounding him. More strobe lights followed, and when the lights came back up, Tiger was covered in WCW’s infamous “red liquid.”

More bloodbaths followed. Al Snow was next, during a match with Gangrel. Al flipped out. He fought Edge the next week (still covered in the mysterious red liquid), and the match was thrown out when Al’s faction (the JOB Squad) and Edge and Christian charged the ring.

Going into 1999, everything was different, except the things that stayed the same. The Brood’s involvement in bad angles was one of the latter things. Edge was taking on D’Lo on the first Raw of the new year, which ended in the infamous Terri Runnels miscarriage angle.

Edge took on Triple H on the next Raw and the usual occurred – Brood showed up, DX showed up, Road Dogg got liquided. A week later Road Dogg got his revenge by successfully defending his Hardcore Championship in a match against Gangrel. Next RD and Al Snow defeated Gangrel and Edge in a hardcore tag team match.

The next week things took a turn for the – well, they took a turn. The Brood was inducted into the Ministry of Darkness. The downward spiral continued as Gangrel and Edge welcomed Public Enemy to the WWF with what else? A bloodbath. A feud was teased and went nowhere after Rocco Rock was abducted by the Ministry.

For the next few weeks, the Brood settled comfortably into their roles as the Undertaker’s goons. They’d help beat up people, but only rarely get actual matches on Raw.

Finally on April 2, Undertaker showed his displeasure with Christian, so Edge and Gangrel rushed to his rescue. Edge and Gangrel had a match against the Acolytes (Bradshaw (now JBL) and Faarooq (now Ron Simmons) which ended when Ken Shamrock attacked the Acolytes with a baseball bat, which resolved absolutely nothing but apparently ended the feud.

Following this, the bloodbaths started again. Dok Hendrix got one on the first Smackdown. Then Kane after Edge and Gangrel lost a tag team title match against him and X-Pac.

Unfortunately for the Brood, Dok Hendrix (now going by Michael Hayes) held a grudge. On the May 16 Heat, he challenged the Brood to try ruining another one of his outfits. The bloodbath failed when the Brood were jumped by two new clients he would be managing – Matt and Jeff, the Hardy Boys.

A match was made for the next night’s Raw – a six man tag with the Brood taking on the Hardys and Michael Hayes. This one went out of control in a hurry with the four youngsters showing everything they could do. Finally the referee gave up and called for the bell.

The feud that would make stars out of these four young men had begun.

For the next few weeks, there was a lot of back and forth between the two teams until finally Edge found himself with a singles run, mostly as a generic opponent to help advance other feuds. Finally on July 5, things changed. After a match with the Big Boss Man, Edge found himself on the wrong end of a beatdown. Christian ran out to help, so Boss Man simply handcuffed him and went to town on both he and Edge with his nightstick.

Things went even worse on the next episode of Heat. The Brood was facing off against Viscera, Mideon, and the Big Boss Man. Gangrel ended the match by hitting the Impaler (his finisher) on Edge. The next night Edge squared off against Gangrel in a singles match, which ended when Gangrel pushed Edge into the fiery hole he rose up from.

The feud ended on August 2, when Gangrel faced Edge again. This time, the match was a bloodbath match, where the winner was decided by soaking the other man in WCW’s Mysterious Red Viscous Liquid. With Christian’s help, Gangrel got doused and the two brothers reunited.

Things would go wrong again on the next episode of Raw, as Gangrel faced off against Christian in a one-on-one match. The Hardys ran in to attack Edge and Christian, and then turned their attention to Michael Hayes. Gangrel had found his New Brood.

That didn’t last very long, though, as things changed on the 30th’s edition of Smackdown. Terri Runnells, recently dumped by the Mean Street Posse, was on the prowl once again. She had her sights set on either the old Brood (Edge and Christian) or the New Brood (Hardys). To decide which young studs she wanted, she established the Terri Invitational Tournament – where the winner would get $100,000 and her managerial services.

The first two matches went to Edge and Christian. After the first, Gangrel had vanished. The Hardys took match 3. For the next match Gangrel returned and the Hardys took match 4.

Going into No Mercy 1999, the stage was set for a ladder match between the two teams with a bag of money suspended from the ceiling. The match itself was spectacular. Finally Jeff grabbed the money and the Hardys left with Terri and the win.

The next night on Raw, Matt and Jeff came out first and declared that they were the Hardys – not the Brood. Edge and Christian came out and congratulated them in a show of respect. Then Gangrel came out with Terri and hinted what they’d been up to all night, so both teams joined forces and obliterated him. The Brood was dead.

The Brood started off slowly. They had an incredible visual entrance, much like Rey Misterio today. Edge and Christian could definitely bring it in the ring.

When the Brood joined the Ministry of Darkness, they slid back to the back row of talent and were wasted as henchmen. The break couldn’t have come soon enough. Still, despite all of this, it took the arrival of the Hardys to make magic in the ring and stars out of all four.

Where are they now?

Gangrel is still active on the indy scene. Last September, he and Viscera returned to the WWE for a couple of weeks to help JBL attack the Undertaker.

Edge is in the WWE on the Raw roster, and has recently become infamous as “the other man” in the Matt-Lita-Edge love triangle.

Christian is also on Raw, and has now earned the nickname Captain Charisma. With the help of Tyson Tomko, his problem solver, and the support of his “peeps” in the audience, he looks forward to much success in the years to come.

Matt Hardy is still in the WWE as well, although he has been out of action since last August, when he underwent knee surgery. His website is at

Jeff Hardy left the WWE in April of 2003. After over a year of relative obscurity (Jeff participated in an Omega event, as well as one of Ring of Honor), Jeff returned to wrestling in June of 2004 for NWA-TNA, where he remains today, currently feuding with Abyss.

Terri Runnels was released from the WWE in April of 2004 and has virtually vanished from the wrestling world ever since.

Next Week
It’s time to pay a visit to Nashville as we look at the question: Do you like SEX?


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