"Got it guys? It's not the Four Horsemen. It's the same fingers, but it's Fourtune! It's TNA, and it's time for a change!"Fortune
(originally spelled Fourtune
) was a Power Stable
in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
which started in 2010 and came to an end in late 2011, formed by Ric Flair
and prominently led by AJ Styles
Flair first came to TNA on January 4, 2010 as part of the massive influx of name value talent courtesy of Hulk Hogan
and Eric Bischoff
coming in, and didn't take too long before striking up an alliance with then-World Heavyweight Champion (and face of the company) AJ Styles, with Flair being AJ's manager and mentor. AJ would adopt Flair's lifestyle, cheating ways, sequined entrance robe (albeit with a hood), and even a couple of his moves as tribute, while Flair kept AJ on top until he lost the world title three months later to Rob Van Dam
. Shortly thereafter, recently-returned former X-Division Champion Kazarian came into the picture, and he and AJ started fighting over being Flair's top guy to the point they couldn't work together long enough to beat Jay Lethal—until Flair introduced the solution: take AJ, Kaz, and fellow Team Flair allies Beer Money Inc.
and Desmond Wolfe, and give them the chance to come together under the modified Horsemen banner of Fourtune.
Desmond's losing streak ended up keeping him out of the Fourtune lineup, while the Core Four (as they referred to themselves) were soon joined by Kaz's rival and X-Division Champ Douglas Williams, along with Matt Morgan
as Flair's personal bodyguard, to make up the numbers against a band of ECW Originals
who would henceforth be known as EV2.0 due to trademarks
on the company name. Fourtune hated EV2 for the perception of their being overrated Garbage Wrestlers
as well as outsiders taking spots away from the guys that built the company. (Also during this feud: the spelling of the stable name was tweaked to its more known version because everybody kept pointing out that they had more than four wrestlers
After virtually dominating the feud with EV2 and joining with Hogan and Bischoff's latest rehashing of the nWo
to get the power to fire most of the Hardcore crew, Fortune contained most of the titles and most of the credibility within the Immortal alliance. And on February 3, 2011, when real life wrote the plot
, they took that credibility and turned on Immortal with it, costing then-Antichrist Heel Jeff Hardy
the World Heavyweight Title. The ensuing feud kept true to Fortune's original purpose, turned them into the faces the crowd always believed they were, added the return of Christopher Daniels
to join the stable when they needed someone to fill in for AJ heading into Lethal Lockdown
, led to a litany of noteworthy moments which had TNA diehards jumping for joy, and set the seeds up for the future character directions of all involved (although Flair missed out on much of the awesomeness, as he chose Immortal over Fortune).
Said future character directions took hold with the group's gradual disbanding in late 2011, what with the latest installment of Daniels Betrays AJ Styles Over Envy and Pride
being arguably the best one yet (particularly as it led to Kaz and Daniels forming the infamous duo known as Bad Influence
), Bobby Roode returning to his heel roots as one of the best proudly selfish win-at-all-costs villains
wrestling has had in years, and James Storm and AJ Styles being compelling players with constantly sympathetic storylines, trials and tribulations, while having all-too-brief flirtations with the World Heavyweight Title. As for Flair, he would, as the pattern goes, return to WWE as an ambassador in the aftermath.
As usual, The Other Wiki
has a more extensive article on the history of Fortune.
"We are, we are! Fortune Tropes!":
- The Ace: Forever AJ, not just for the stable but for TNA in general.
- Affably Evil: Considering they had Ric Flair, a bunch of well-liked TNA Originals, and a purpose the fans agreed with, it was pretty hard to hate them when they were heels. More often than not during their entrances, fans were legitimately not booing, but instead going "Wooo!"
- The Alcoholic / Best Beer Ever: Storm.
- Anti-Villain Quirky Miniboss Squad: As heels.
- Arch-Enemy: EV2, Immortal.
- Badass Longrobe: Flair. He also had AJ donning these during the beginning of their partnership.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Especially AJ, who on several occasions had led suit-clad beatdowns on Flair and Fortune's enemies prior to their face turn.
- Bash Brothers: Storm and Roode (Beer Money). AJ was this with both Kaz and Daniels.
- Berserk Button / Dude, Where's My Respect?: Their hatred for both EV2 and Immortal pretty much boils down to they got tired of being overlooked by big name outsiders exploiting the company they built.
- Flair betrayed them after their Heel-Face Turn because they made that decision without consulting him.
- Blasphemous Boast / God Am I: Flair literally thought of himself at the time as wrestling's incarnation of God.
- Book Ends: The first four non-Flair members of Fortune, the core four members of Fortune, the last four members of Fortune. Also, the first and last matches that could be considered part of Fortune involved AJ and Kazarian tagging up against Samoa Joe and a partner from the UK.
- Calling the Old Man Out / "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Fortune were built on this, especially during the initial stages of their Heel-Face Turn.
- Chekhov's Gun: Unintentional, but it still counts. Flair was originally saying "They" were Fortune during the initial Immortal conspiracy. Cue Ironic Echo when the "Them" that Kurt Angle and Crimson were promising would come after Immortal heading into 2/3/11 turned out to be Fortune making their move.
- Combat Pragmatist: Flair, Roode, and Kazarian in particular, though AJ was deceivingly good at this as well.
- Conspiracy Redemption Heel-Face Turn
- Cool Old Guy: Flair.
- The Dog Bites Back: Treating AJ Styles and Matt Morgan like crap came back to haunt Eric Bischoff, as it caused Morgan to pull a Heel-Face Turn on him as well as solidified AJ and Fortune's plan to form the first real threat to Immortal. Between this, Sting's return, and Jeff Hardy falling off the wagon, Immortal stopped being The Illuminati of TNA and started really being, ironically, the disjointed pseudo-ripoff of the original nWo that fans saw them as all along.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The Fourtune spelling.
- Five-Bad Band: As heels.
- Five-Man Band: As faces.
- Foreshadowing: Much like the Chekhov's Gun above, unintentional but it still counts. During their time with Immortal, Fortune were giving constant hints in backstage segments toward how they could only trust "the core four" (each other/themselves), and Robert Roode even once said in an interview that he envisioned them holding all the gold, even going so far as to say he saw AJ regaining the World Heavyweight Championship. This was while Jeff Hardy was World Heavyweight Champion.
- Four Is Death: The concept of the stable was inspired by Flair's former Four Horsemen stable. The first four members referred to themselves as the "core" four members. Even after the members list became more than four, they continued to invoke the trope, what with the logo with two 4s and the theme song saying "Fortune Four". Oh, and there were eight actual members total in the history of Fortune (8 = 2 x 4).
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Core Four.
- Sanguine: James Storm.
- Choleric: AJ Styles.
- Melancholic/Leukine: Bobby Roode.
- Phlegmatic: Kazarian.
- Green-Eyed Monster / Pride: What ultimately killed the group following the end of their objective. Crept up in Daniels towards AJ (again), then in Roode towards Storm after the latter won the title.
- Insistent Terminology / Canon Discontinuity: When Roode, Kaz, and Daniels later formed the Extraordinary Gentlemen's Organization, they termed it as a new alliance despite having previously acknowledged Fortune during prior attempted team-ups.
- Jack of All Stats: Especially Styles, Daniels, and Kazarian.
- Large Ham: Flair first, the others following thereafter.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Flair, with the others inheriting this from him. As usual.
- Mook Horror Show: On the July 14, 2011, edition, Sting (who's been "coincidentally" mimicking Heath Ledger's "Joker" with his new makeup design) set loose a small group of clown-masked minions on Immortal. What follows pretty much played out like a slasher flick, with the clowns picking off Immortal one by one. Gunner even attempts to invoke Final Boy on them, which fails. The guys under the mask? Turned out to be Fortune.
- Motive Decay: Flair's defection to Immortal caused this big time for his role in TNA, both in-universe and out. In-universe he betrayed his own plans to both finally defeat Hogan once and for all and to remake the Horsemen with TNA homegrown talent and proved it was all about the power for him. Out-of-universe he seemed to float around with no purpose, as there wasn't exactly much potential to elevate amongst the Immortal ranks, what with the one young rising star in Gunner being lost in the shuffle at the time. He was such an ineffectual member with Immortal that people were speculating he was being a Reverse Mole to help either Fortune or Sting with taking out Hogan, but this never materialized.
- Nice Hat: Storm.
- Out-Gambitted: Had a habit of doing this to Immortal, especially when they worked together with Sting.
- Parental Substitute: Flair was this to AJ.
- Popularity Power: Probably the most popular (or at least the most unanimously well-liked) faction in the history of TNA.
- Power Stable
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Originally the "Them" from 2/3/11 was supposed to be the return of the Main Event Mafia as babyfaces. This plan was screwed thanks to Kevin Nash hardballing his way out of a contract and instead returning to WWE along with Booker T at the Royal Rumble just days before the date in question. Luckily, there was a certain option in place which mostly every TNA fan had wanted to see all along…
- Sacrificial Lion: AJ became this shortly after the face turn when Immortal's brute Bully Ray paralyzed him with a superbomb through a table. Considering his role as the leader, the group was looking rough until a certain individual decided to return and take up his sword for a month until his return.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: The main sign that this group was Flair's brainchild. Their attires became somewhat more casual after Flair turned on them, but still kept to the spirit of it. See Badass in a Nice Suit.
- Spell My Name with an S: For the stable's first few months, the name was spelled "Fourtune" in honor of the Four Horsemen. However, since more and more people pointed out that the stable has six people in it (seven if including Flair) after including Morgan and Williams, it was switched to "Fortune".
- To make matters worse, exempting Flair in that number would become pretty dicey considering that he, against all common sensenote , would occasionally lace up the boots and get in the ring himself.
- Spiritual Successor: Flair intended Fortune to be this to the Four Horsemen, with AJ being his own successor. Didn't quite work out that way.
- Team Dad: Flair, until he turned on them.
- Took a Level in Badass: Both members of Beer Money, most notably Bobby Roode, who first showed signs of becoming the magnificent talker and big time singles star that he is today during Fortune's run as faces when calling out Hogan and Jarrett.
- True Companions: Particularly the Core Four and Daniels. At least, until Daniels and Roode both became driven by ambitions of the self.
- Undying Loyalty: Kazarian especially. It wasn't until after the stable died that Daniels convinced Kaz to reserve it for him and vice versa. Also, the group's purpose had this in spades to TNA, what with the core four being instrumental pieces in the company for years and Styles and Storm in particular having been there since day one.
- "We Are" Song: Fortune 4!
- An offshoot of AJ's tradition with his theme being a straightforward "I Am" Song, one version of which had the same drum/cymbal beat as the Fortune theme—showing subtly that he was the shot-caller of the group among the active wrestlers.