Professional wrestling is not just a career that some men with talent in the ring participate in. There are some wrestling superstars that were not only building a career, but were actually taking part in a family tradition. There are some family-owned companies that have been around for generations, and when their kin reaches a certain age, they too join in and continue the tradition of running the company they started from the ground up.
Who knew that wrestling could also be a family tradition? These are 10 families that have been a big part of the WWE, and also had a lot of influence over it. Because WWE is all about showmanship, it is very likely that members of these prominent wrestling families did not wrestle under their real names. After all, what is more exciting? A name like Goldust or the name Dustin Runnels?
Wrestling can be a family legacy for some, and even to this day there are wrestlers passing down the torch to the younger generation. It’s a tradition they should be proud of and one that has helped make the WWE the biggest wrestling organization in the world.
10. The Runnels Family
Also known as the Rhodes family, the Runnels family has been in the wrestling business for a few decades. The Runnels family started in the wrestling business with “The American Dream” the late Dusty Rhodes. However, the most famous Rhodes in wrestling today is Dustin Rhodes, who is also known as Dustin Runnels, or by his ring name, “Goldust.” Rhodes has a half brother who is also a wrestler and goes by the name Cody Rhodes, and more recently Stardust. Dustin Rhodes has not only wrestled in the WWE, but WCW and Nonstop Action Wrestling as well. Over the course of his career in the WWE and WCW, Dustin Rhodes has won a totally of 17 championships.
9. The Von Erich Family
The Von Erich family is originally from Texas, and their real names are the Adkissons. While the Von Erichs were once considered WWE royalty, the family has met with a lot of tragedy and death. Tragically, some of the Von Erichs passed away due to accidents or illness, while others ended up committing suicide. One of the most famous Von Erich wrestlers was Kerry, who wrestled under the name the “Texas Tornado.” Kerry Von Erich shot himself at the age of 33, but in 2014, his daughter Laney made her wrestling debut with TNA. Despite their tragic history, the remaining family members still continue to be involved in the wrestling business.
8. The Hart Family
The biggest family that was ever involved in wrestling has been the Hart family from Canada. Stu and Helen Hart had 12 children, and all but one would enter the world of professional wrestling. Even the daughters, and there are four of them, married wrestlers, and now their kids are the third generation of Harts to enter the world of professional wrestling. Two of the biggest Hart wrestlers were Bret and Owen. Bret retired from wrestling, but Owen was killed when a stunt went wrong at a WWE live event. There is another Hart relative who made it big in the ring; Roddy Piper is also part of the family, but he is a distant cousin.
7. The Guerrero Family
The Guerrero Family is another one that has a lot of family members who were involved in professional wrestling. The head of the family, Salvadore Guerrero, had four sons, and each one of them would head right into the business of wrestling. The most famous Guerrero was Eddie Guerrero, but his wrestling career was cut short when he died at the age of 38. However, Eddie was not the only one that grew in popularity, Chavo Guerrero did too, and Eddie’s widow, Vickie, has also been involved in the WWE. Vicki Guerrero was a manager for WWE Raw and Smackdown, and now her daughter Shaul is also working in the WWE as a valet.
6. The Anderson Family
One unusual family in the world of wresting is the Anderson family. This family was a blended one that was made up of brothers and their cousins. Being from the Minnesota area, the Anderson family started wrestling under the name, “The Minnesota Wrecking Crew” in the late 1960s. The Crew consisted of Lars and Gene Anderson, and eventually they were replaced by Ole and Arn Anderson. The Anderson family invited their storyline cousin Ric Flair, and together with Ole and Arn, they formed the famous “Four Horseman” wrestling stable.
5. The Dibiase Family
The Dibiase family has now three generations that have been in the world of professional wrestling. The most famous Dibiase is Ted, and he was actually the son of a female wrestler named Helen Hild. Hild married a wrestler named Mike Dibiase, and he adopted the young Ted. Who can forget Ted when he was the “Million Dollar Man” in WWE? However, the wrestling legacy does not stop there, because Ted has three sons of his own, and they too have signed with the WWE. Will the Dibiase tradition continue? The answer is probably yes considering the family legacy of wrestling that started from the beginning with two wrestlers getting married!
4. The Poffo Family
The Poffo family has a rather colorful family history. Their wrestling legacy begins with Angelo Poffo, who was both a wrestler and a wrestling promoter. Poffo had two sons named Randall and Lanny, and both of them ended up following their father’s footsteps. The most famous Poffo of them all is Randall, also known as the “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Both Randy and Lanny were in the WWE at the same time, but Randy was the one that climbed high up on the ladder of WWE success. Lanny had his share of successes too, and at one point he took on Hulk Hogan and beat him for the championship belt.
3. The Anoa’i Family
The Anao’i family has had a number of relatives in the WWE, including one of the most famous wrestlers in the history of the sport, The Rock. Their legacy of wrestling began with the Wild Samoans, who were also known as Afa and Siki Anoa’i. Afa had three sons who were all wrestlers, and even his daughter married a wrestler. However, there were many Anao’i family cousins who also entered wrestling, such as Eddie Fatu, who went by the ring name Umaga, and Rodney Anao’I, who was also known as the late Yokozuna. Another famous Anao’i family member was Jimmy Snuka, who was the famous “Superfly.” Currently, the WWE features Jimmy and Jey Uso as well as Roman Reigns, all of whom represent the Anao’i family.
2. The Vachon Family
The Vachon family also has a wrestling legacy, but it began in the NWA, and then later with the AMA. The two brothers, Paul and Maurice Vachon were the ones that first delved into wrestling, and later on another generation of Vachons went into the WWE. Paul Vachon had a daughter named Gertrude, but the world would soon know her by another name, Luna Vachon. In addition to WWE, Luna’s brothers Damian and Pierre wrestled with Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling. Luna Vachon married a wrestler named Gangrel, and was his valet for a period of time. On a side note, another Vachon who is a wrestler, but not in any league, is Ian, a famous arm wrestler.
1. The Orton Family
Randy Orton, whose real name is Randall Keith Orton, is part of the third generation of Orton family members involved in professional wrestler. Randy is the son of Bob Orton, Jr, who was also known as “Cowboy” Bob Orton, the son of Bob Orton, Sr. Robert Dale Orton began wrestling in the 1950s with Florida Championship Wrestling. However, in 1961, Orton signed with Vince McMahon and his World Wide Wrestling Federation. In 1968, Orton returned to the WWE, and he was partnered with future WWE announcer, Gorilla Monsoon. Bob Orton, Sr. had his last wrestling match in 1980 against Barry Windham, but he lost the match and would not retire from the wrestling business until the year 2000.