There are a large number of families around the world for whom professional wrestling is the family business. There is no shortage of second generation superstars who have made a name for themselves, managing to separate their image from the image of their father or mother (though usually father). Current WWE Superstars such as Bray Wyatt, Charlotte Flair, and Randy Orton have all done a stellar job establishing themselves as top stars in the company independent of their parents. In fact, as a multi-time world champion, Randy Orton can boast that he has had a far more distinguished career in professional wrestling than his father “Cowboy” Bob Orton.
However, there are many second-generation professional wrestlers who failed to capture the imagination of the wrestling world. For whatever reason, they were unable to climb the ladder to success in the same way as their fathers before them and are today forgotten by the majority of pro wrestling fans. While their successful parents enjoy a well-earned retirement from the ring, these unsuccessful second-generation performers are forced to seek out a living on the independent scene or at “legends” of wrestling events. Some of them have even abandoned their dreams of main eventing a WrestleMania, retiring from the ring in favor of a “real job.”
Those forgotten sons and daughters of more successful sports entertainers will be brought to life once more, if only for a couple of hundred words in this article where we will discuss their parents, their careers, and what they did after leaving the biggest wrestling promotion in the world.
Here are 15 forgotten second-generation WWE Superstars and what they’re up to now.
15 Rockin’ Robin
Rockin’ Robin was perhaps the biggest star of the then WWF’s Women’s division during the final years of the Golden Era. In fact, Robin was such a big name in women’s professional wrestling that she held onto the WWF Women’s Championship for two years and was the last person to hold the belt before it was retired in 1990.
Although it was not revealed on WWE television, Robin’s half-brother was Jake “The Snake” Roberts, one of the top competitors in the entire company at the time. Both Robin and her brother were second-generation wrestlers, sharing the same father, pro wrestler Grizzly Smith.
Much like her half-brother, Rockin’ Robin struggled with alcoholism for much of her career and her substance abuse worsened after she retired from the ring. Thankfully, Robin has managed to overcome her demons and today operates a successful real estate appraisal company out of Hammond, Louisiana.
14 Grand Master Sexay
Grand Master Sexay - real name Brian Lawler - owes much of his success to his famous father. Lord knows he doesn’t owe it to talent and hard work. Lawler, as his second name would suggest, is the son of Memphis wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler.
Grand Master Sexay experienced his greatest success in WWE as a member of Too Cool, alongside Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi. While his tag team partners went on to have successful solo careers, Sexay struggled to get by on his own and was released from the company in 2001.
Today, Lawler Jr. remains active on the independent wrestling scene, booking his own shows and appearing at others throughout the United States and beyond. He also maintains a career as a motivational speaker, drawing on his own troubles with alcohol and drugs to show school children the dangers of substance abuse. As of Valentine’s Day 2015, he is engaged to his girlfriend Jessica Asberry.
13 Ray Gordy
Ray Gordy’s father, Terry Gordy, achieved his greatest fame as a member of The Fabulous Freebirds. Alongside Michael “P.S” Hayes and Jimmy Garvin, Terry Gordy redefined not only tag team wrestling but the entire business. Ray Gordy did not.
Gordy spent the latter half of the 2000s in WWE, first competing alongside a comatose Luke Gallows as Jesse and Festus and then as a solo wannabe rapper by the name of Slam Master J. Unsurprisingly, Slam Master J didn’t catch on in quite the way management had hoped and the younger Gordy was released from his WWE contract in 2010.
Ray Gordy is no longer active in professional wrestling and has instead carved out a quiet, normal life for himself in Atlanta, Georgia, where he works as a police officer. He resurfaced at the 2016 Hall of Fame Ceremony to honor his father, who was being posthumously inducted alongside his former tag team partners.
12 David Flair
The son of the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, David Flair was pegged by many to be a future star in the professional wrestling business. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.
After the closure of WCW, Flair hit the independent circuit, though he had failed to build up enough celebrity to be any sort of draw. He had short stints with both WWE and TNA but just couldn’t seem to find his footing.
David Flair remains active to some degree in the wrestling business today, but he seems more focused on family life and the running of his own business. Alongside his wife Robin, David manages the Seal Wire Company, which sells “wires for every industrial need.” Although Flair is probably proud of his sister’s success in WWE, it must bug him a little to watch her main event Monday Night Raw and compete in Hell in a Cell matches, while his wrestling career never got off the ground.
11 René Duprée
René Duprée is the son of wrestler and promoter Emile Duprée. Because wrestling was the family business, René began training for a career at an early age and made his in-ring debut at just 14. Not long after, he was snapped up by WWE and began appearing on Raw as part of La Résistance.
Duprée spent much of his time in WWE as a singles competitor but failed to achieve any real success. After a couple of makeovers and a failed jump to the revived ECW brand, he was released from his contract in 2007.
Since then, Duprée has become a mainstay on the independent scene. He has traveled all over the world to compete for small wrestling promotions, using a combination of WWE fame and immense wrestling talent to keep himself relevant. Duprée is still a young man and at just 33 has all the time in the world to enjoy his passion. There may even be a return to WWE for him somewhere down the line.
10 Ted DiBiase Jr.
Like René Duprée, Ted DiBiase Jr. was the son of a professional wrestler. However, his father was quite a bit more well-known to American wrestling fans than Emile Duprée.
From the moment he made his main roster debut, it was made clear to fans that Ted DiBiase Jr. was the son of the legendary “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Unfortunately for him, he was never able to switch the emphasis from the Ted DiBiase part of his name to the Jr. part. After an underwhelming career, he left WWE in 2013.
Since leaving WWE, DiBiase has become heavily involved in his community. Spurred on by his love of Jesus Christ, he works with underprivileged children to show them the joys of the great outdoors and physical activity. His work with The Ted DiBiase Foundation was covered recently by WWE in the first installment of its rebooted Where Are They Now? series.
9 Bruce Hart
The son of Stu Hart and a member of the infamous Hart family, Bruce Hart should have had a great career in WWE. During the early 90s, when Bret Hart was essentially running the company, he scored his brother a couple of appearances with the then-WWF, but it just didn’t work out. Bruce has made a couple of appearances for WWE in the two decades which have elapsed, but he has never been the center of attention and most fans have had to be reminded of his name.
After leaving the world of professional wrestling, Hart embarked on a career as a teacher. Nowadays, he resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he serves on the Calgary Board of Education. He also trains aspiring professional wrestlers who want to learn the sport through the hard-hitting, unapologetic style Stu Hart utilized to turn his sons Bret and Owen into international wrestling stars.
8 Richie Steamboat
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is considered by many to be one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time. His clashes with Ric Flair and Randy Savage are legendary, so fans expected a lot from his son Richie when he was signed by WWE in 2009.
Unlike a lot of second-generation wrestlers, Steamboat didn’t crumble under the pressure of having a famous father. In fact, he became one of the top stars in FCW, the precursor to the modern-day NXT. However, Steamboat’s career floundered in NXT after a series of injuries put him out of action. The nail in the coffin came in the form of a back injury which forced him into retirement just as NXT was becoming a major brand.
Today, the younger Steamboat struggles to accept the untimely end to his professional wrestling career. He fills the void with non-physical appearances at indie shows and wrestling conventions, occasionally popping up for a podcast or shoot interview. He talks openly about the heartbreak he experienced after being told he could never wrestle again and has stated that he has not given up hope he might one day return to the ring.
7 Shaul Guerrero
The daughter of the late Eddie Guerrero, Shaul Guerrero could have been a major star in WWE. As Raquel Diaz, she was a key figure in the FCW Women’s division, holding the Queen of FCW title for over 100 days.
Many pegged Guerrero to be the leader of the developmental Women’s division after FCW was rebranded as NXT. However, that role fell to Charlotte Flair after Shaul left the company in 2014. Although she did not make it clear at the time, Guerrero later revealed that she left WWE to deal with an eating disorder.
Since her WWE departure, Shaul Guerrero has managed to defeat her eating disorder and take back control of her life. Rather than returning to the world of professional wrestling, she has focused her time on building a family with her husband, current WWE Superstar Aiden English.
Carly Colón made his WWE debut in 2004 by defeating John Cena to win the WWE United States Championship in his very first match. Of course, it is no surprise that Carly, then competing as Carlito Caribbean Cool, was so quick to achieve success in WWE.
Carlito in the son of Carlos Colón, arguably the most famous wrestler in the history of the Puerto Rico pro-wrestling scene. Although Carlos never worked full-time with WWE, he has close ties to the company which is why he was able to negotiate such a great deal for his son. However, all of Colón’s pull couldn’t have saved Carlito from getting released from his WWE contract in 2010.
Since leaving WWE, Carlito has established himself as a major name on the indie circuit and has competed all around the world, earning bookings on the strength of his WWE fame. He remains active on the indies, although reports of a potential WWE return have been running rampant since the brand split.
5 David Sammartino
Usually, we express our surprise when the son of a WWE legend fails to repeat the success of his father. But was there ever really any chance of David Sammartino filling the shoes of his father, the longest reigning WWE Champion in history, Bruno Sammartino?
David Sammartino began competing in WWE during the early 1980s, though many believe Vince McMahon Jr. only hired him as a way to keep Bruno, who was still a draw, around. Most of David’s career was spent being overshadowed by his father, who appeared as both his manager and tag team partner.
David Sammartino left WWE in 1985 and lost contact with his father, who disapproved of his increasing steroid use. After winding down his in-ring career, Sammartino began to work as a personal trainer, which proved quite a profitable venture for him. Although he is now in his 50s, he occasionally pops up at various wrestling events.
Former superhero in training Rosey spent a period as one of the top stars of WWE’s Tag Team division, proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Rosey’s father, Sika Anoa’i achieved his greatest fame in the wrestling business competing alongside his brother in The Wild Samoans. Today, Sika is considered a bonafide wrestling legend. Rosey, however, is not.
Rosey was released from his WWE contract in 2006, shortly after his tag team with The Hurricane came to an end. After being cut from the WWE roster, Rosey took his name power and experience to the independent scene, often traveling overseas to perform. He made sporadic returns to WWE for non-televised events, but nothing ever came of them.
Rosey remains active in the pro wrestling business to this day, which is no great surprise considering his second name. Working alongside his father, he owns and operates the Florida-based Epic Championship Wrestling.
3 Sim Snuka
Sim Snuka’s greatest achievement in WWE came when he captured the WWE Tag Team Championships as a member of Deuce N’ Domino, the 1950s themed tag team tag which brought leather jackets and doo-wop to SmackDown in 2007.
After the tag team disbanded, Sim acknowledged that he was the son of WWE legend “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka. After a number of failed attempts to join The Legacy, Snuka faded into obscurity and made his last appearance of any note as the cameraman The Undertaker almost killed at WrestleMania XXV.
After leaving WWE, Snuka booked a couple of appearances on the independent scene before retiring from wrestling altogether and embarking on a quiet normal life. These days, he resides in Arizona and works in the research and development department of a health supplement company.
2 David Hart Smith
A member of the Hart family and the son of “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, David Hart Smith seemed destined for success in WWE when he debuted on the main roster in October of 2007. However, Smith never really caught on with WWE fans. His Hart Foundation 2.0 tag team with Tyson Kid fell flat and he was let go from the company in 2011.
Not ready to give up on the family business, Smith took his recently released self to Japan and began performing with New Japan Pro Wrestling. While in NJPW, he set about rebuilding his image after his disastrous WWE run and managed to convince the notoriously difficult Japanese fans that he was a legitimate contender inside the ring. Smith remains active in Japan to this day, but at just 30 years of age, there is plenty of time for him to return to WWE.
1 Shawn Stasiak
Shawn Stasiak’s dream was to capture the WWE Championship and make himself and his father – Stan “The Man” Stasiak - the only father/son duo in history to both hold the title. However, it didn’t quite work out like that. After a failed WWE run in the late 1990s, Stasiak returned to the company in 2001. This run proved just as unimpressive as his first and he requested his released the following year.
After leaving WWE, Stasiak retired from the wrestling business and pretty much vanished off the face of the earth. He retrained as a chiropractor and moved to Texas, where he scored a job with Advanced Comprehensive Medical.
In 2015, Stasiak resurfaced in a bizarre video posted online in which he declared his intentions to return to WWE and finally become WWE Champion. No progress has been made.