Professional wrestling is most likely a family affair. I was introduced to sports entertainment by my dad, like so many other fans. While we had baseball and football as well, wrestling wasn’t as mainstream. It was ours. This doesn’t just apply to fans. A good portion of professional wrestlers come from an impressive family tree of former wrestlers. Looking at the WWE today, there’s relatives of the Harts, the Wild Samoans, IRS, Mr. Perfect and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka battling it out. With so many family members competing in the ring, it seemed like a perfect time to take a look at the nine greatest professional wrestling families.
9. The DiBiases
Perhaps the most well DiBiase was the Million Dollar Man. In reality, Ted DiBiase was adopted by wrestler “Iron” Mike DiBiase. His biological parents were Helen Hild and Ted Willis. While his dad never strapped on a pair of boots, his mother did. All three of Ted’s sons are in the business, but the most well known is Ted Jr., who’s currently in the WWE.
8. The Orton Family
Randy Orton is one of the most popular stars in the WWE. After all, he’s a six time WWE Champion. He’s also a third generation wrestler. His grandfather Bob Orton, Sr., and his dad “Cowboy” Bob Orton, were wrestlers back in the day. Even Orton’s uncle, Barry O, competed in the ring. Because of this linage, Orton was a part of The Legacy, with two other sons of former wrestlers, Ted DiBiase, Jr. and Cody Rhodes.
7. The Funks
Terry and Dory Funk, Jr. were trendsetters. Terry for his hardcore style and Dory for the creation of the Texas cloverleaf submission hold. They’re both legends and were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. But, there’s more to this family tree. Their father Dory Funk, Sr. was a wrestler as well.
6. The Rhodes Family
The family tradition of wrestling stars began with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes during the 70’s and 80’s. Today, his two sons are employed by the WWE. There’s Dustin, better known as Goldust, and Cody, who was a member of The Legacy.
5. Los Guerreros
The Guerreros have been in the industry for decades. It all began with Gory Guerrero making his debut in 1937. Since then, the family has been essentially a part of every major wrestling organization in the world (WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, NWA and All Japan Pro Wrestling). However, most fans in the States will remember the late Eddie Guerrero, and to a lesser extent, his nephew Chavo Guerrero, Jr. Eddie’s widow, Vickie, is currently featured on WWE’s Smackdown brand.
4. The McMahons
While not exactly wrestlers, it would be wrong to leave the McMahons off this list. They’re arguably, the most influential family in the history of wrestling, whether that’s a good thing or not is a debate on it’s own. Vincent J. McMahon started to dominate the wrestling world in the 50’s and 60’s with his Capitol Wrestling Corporation, which would later become the World Wide Wrestling Federation and then the World Wrestling Federation. McMahon sold the company to his son, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, in 1982. Since that time, Vince has taken the WWF, now WWE, to being virtually the largest professional wrestling company in the world. Vince’s wife Linda, as well as, their children Shane and Stephanie, have at one point worked within the company. Currently, only Vince and Stephanie are the only McMahons in the WWE. However, Stephanie is married to some guy named Triple H.
3. The Von Erich Family
The Von Erich Family defines what a wrestling family is supposed to be. The patriarch of the family was Fritz Von Erich, a heel trained by Stu Hart. His finishing maneuver “The Iron Claw” was passed on to his sons, and became a trademark of the family. While known for wrestling within NWA and World Class Championship Wrestling, he’s also a legend in Japan, after helping to restore it’s business. Fritz’s five sons (Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike and Chris) were also wrestlers. His grandson Ross, Kevin’s son, is attempting to follow in the families footsteps. Kerry’s daughter, Lacey, is working for TNA.
2. The Anoa’i/Maivia Family
This gets a bit tricky, but let’s just say that this a huge wrestling family. Family members have included the team Wild Samoans (Afra and Sika), Yokozuna, Rikishi/Fatu, Umaga, Manu and Samu. Today, a new generation of Anoa’i family members have been popping up, like Jimmy and Jey Uso, the sons of Rikishi. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka is related by marriage, whose daughter is currently WWE employee Tamina, and manager to Jimmy and Jey. While not officially related, Amituanai Anoa’i considered Peter Maivia his blood bother, which was essentially the same thing as an actual brother to him. Peter’s son-in-law was Rocky Johnson, who just so happens to be the dad of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
1. The Hart Dynasty
The Hart’s are what we think of when talking about a wrestling family. It began with Stu, a wrestler and notorious trainer because of his “dungeon”. All twelve of Stu’s children became involved in wrestling. The most famous is Bret “The Hitman” Hart, obviously. Owen was up there too, until his tragic death. While his daughters never fought, they married wrestlers. Ellie to Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Diana to Davey Boy Smith, AKA The British Bulldog, and Alison to Ben Bassarab. Today, the Hart Dynasty lives on with The Anvil’s daughter Natalie Neidhart, ring name Natalya, and Davey Boy’s son Harry, AKA David Hart Smith, both being featured in the WWE.