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3MB vs. 3 Count: Behind the music

The Rise of 3MB

Zack Ryder & Santino Marella team up against 3MB members Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal.

Ever since Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre joined forces to form the musically inclined 3MB in early October, the fortunes of the three formerly erratic Superstars have quickly changed. Utilizing a renewed energy, a true sense of teamwork and some impressive air guitar playing, the power trio has gone from also-rans on the WWE roster to potential noisemakers.

While it remains to be seen just how hard 3MB will end up rocking the foundation of WWE, parallels can be drawn to a previous crew that serenaded WCW more than a decade ago: 3 Count, a triumvirate of harmonic hunks in the vein of 'N Sync and The Backstreet Boys.

So WWE Universe, join WWE.com in looking back at the singular stylings of 3 Count, how 3MB stacks up with WCW’s crooning heartbreakers and what that reveals about where the rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ triad of Slater, Mahal and McIntyre could be headed.

3 Count

Despite being one of the most annoying trios ever, 3 Count impresses the crowd in a match against Jung Dragons.

Get up on your feet
Put your hands together
Sing along with 3 Count
We’ll party up forever

Like something torn from the pages of a mid-1990s Teen Beat magazine, 3 Count skipped into WCW in 1999. Boasting some good in-ring skills and some great dance choreography, 3 Count — composed of Evan Karagias, Shannon Moore and Shane Helms — noticeably lip-synced their theme songs, “Can’t Get You Outta My Heart” and “Dance With 3 Count,” during their entrances, setting the stage for their “unique” matches.

A long rivalry with fellow WCW Cruiserweights the Jung Dragons and a three-way split of the WCW Hardcore Championship defined the trio’s time together in WCW. But as a musician far less talented than 3 Count once said, “All things must pass.” As it has happened so tragically with so many bands before, the in-fighting began in 2000. Moore and Helms accused Karagias of attempting to steal the spotlight, leading to his dismissal from the group. That proved to be the beginning of the end as 3 Count unceremoniously dissolved in 2001.

They are remembered for their impressive teamwork, as evidenced by being able to dance and fight in unison, and their supreme confidence in their own abilities, even if some might argue it was slightly misplaced. That self-assurance and attention-seeking bravado allowed them to overcome limitations in size, talent and popularity to carve out a niche for themselves in wrestling history as a notable music-loving trio.

But, now there could be some “new kids in the block.”

3MB

3MB crashes the stage at Honky Tonk Central in Nashville.

While Heath Slater’s longstanding woes against WWE Legends and various members of the active WWE roster were very well-documented, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre hadn’t been doing much better themselves. But that appeared to change with the exciting creation of 3MB.

For Slater, Mahal and McIntyre, losses have been few and far between since the beginning of October when they formed their alliance. The sudden rise in victories goes to show that 3MB is a force to be reckoned with, and it could carry its members to both individual and group success.

They’ve got a lot going for them, too. Each obviously talented in their own ways, the Superstars of 3MB also boast impressive resumes. Mahal has been a dangerous member of the SmackDown roster since his 2011 debut, while Slater is a three-time WWE Tag Team Champion and McIntyre is a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion and a one-time Intercontinental Champion.

So how does 3MB stack up when compared with their “predecessors” of 3 Count?

Boyz II Men?

Santino Marella & Zack Ryder face the newly formed team of Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal with Drew McIntyre showing support at ringside.

Just as 3 Count did, 3MB brings self-assurance, talent and versatility to the ring. The two groups, though separated by more than a decade, have a similar confidence in their numbers and what they can accomplish by working together. As musically-themed trios, they line up for an easy — and logical — contrast.

Compared to 3 Count, however, the Superstars of 3MB are bigger, stronger and grittier. All of the members of 3 Count were shorter than 6-feet, whereas all the affiliates of 3MB are taller than 6-foot-2. This difference in power and physicality isn’t just on paper either. While 3 Count initially made their presence known in WCW with a series of music videos, 3MB alerted the WWE Universe to their rise by brutally stomping out fellow Superstars and releasing a number of “hits” on rivals like Santino Marella, Zack Ryder and Brodus Clay. It’s a “striking” difference between the trios.

It’s also a noticeable distinction that 3 Count followed in the footsteps of ‘N Sync, 98 Degrees and similar boy groups, while 3MB harkens back to old school rock ‘n’ roll bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. It’s the difference between prearranged dance choreography and rowdy air guitar, and the difference between wearing a sweater around the waist and rocking a leather jacket. It’s the difference between three boys and three men.

Behind the music

Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, & Jinder Mahal offer a a unique behind-the-scenes look into the 3MB.

While 3 Count achieved moderate in-ring success, created a handful of memorable moments and forged a place in wrestling history, 3MB could possibly have an even bigger influence and more staying power.

With Superstars larger in size, experience and quite possibly talent, in addition to drawing on extremely diverse backgrounds and skills, 3MB could be the next big act to go to the top of the charts in WWE. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre appear to have what it takes to eventually “go platinum,” but it remains to be seen what 3MB has planned next on their world tour.

Rock on, 3MB. Rock on.

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