Having inherited the WWE Universe from his father, Vince McMahon always considered his sports entertainment empire to be a family business in one way or another. Perhaps it’s for this reason he’s always tempted to celebrate and showcase any young talent that happens to somehow be related to a star wrestler from yesteryear. On top of his own life story, it can’t be denied that wrestling has a pretty good track record with nepotism, as examples like The Rock, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and many more have all matched or achieved everything their parents once did in the ring.
In present-day WWE, quite a few names are already looking to join that heralded few who surpassed their forefathers. Charlotte Flair is giving her father the Nature Boy a run for his money, Tamina Snuka is keeping her Superfly predecessor’s legacy alive, and Curtis Axel, well, he’s trying his best to be perfect, even if he’s just mediocre. Of course, the trend doesn’t even end there, as there are a great deal of additional young athletes just now beginning their training, hoping to continue their family’s history of tearing it up in the ring.
Give it a couple of years, and every name you’re about to read may well be a household name already. In the very least, one or two of them are bound to show up on Impact Wrestling, desperately seeking the attention their family name theoretically deserves. No matter what happens, the fact remains that their parents were all pretty amazing pro wrestlers, and there’s a solid chance they could become the same thing with the right guidance. Keep reading to learn about 15 WWE legends you didn’t know had kids training to follow in their footsteps.
15 Rachael Ellering — Daughter Of Paul Ellering
Long before attaining his current status as manager of NXT’s Authors of Pain Akam and Rezar, “Precious” Paul Ellering was world renowned as one of the best managers in wrestling history. This reputation began way back in the 1980s, when he lead the iconic Road Warriors to championship success in the NWA, AWA, and WWE. Prior to any of that, Ellering was also a moderately-successful wrestler himself, competing in Memphis and feuding with legends like Jesse Ventura and Jerry Lawler. In what is most likely not a coincidence, right before Ellering made his sudden NXT return, his daughter Rachael similarly made her debut for the brand.
While we’re sure Paul was proud just to see her compete, Rachael didn’t quite match his success, losing a few low-key matches before disappearing from the ring.
Maybe with a little more conditioning she’ll be back in the WWE Universe with her dad, either in NXT or on the main roster.
14 Ross And Marshall Von Erich — Sons Of Kevin Von Erich
Few families in pro wrestling have achieved the legend attached to the Von Erich’s, albeit at such a great cost that most would never wish to trade places with the infamous clan. First shooting to fame way back in the 1950s with the success of Fritz Von Erich, the family mostly reigned supreme in Texas territories from that decade up to the 1980s. When Fritz retired, his sons Kerry, David, Chris, Mike, and Kevin took over, achieving even greater popularity. Sadly, only Kevin survived to retirement age, with three out of five committing suicide and the other dying under mysterious circumstance.
The so-called Von Erich “curse” hasn’t stopped Kevin from leading a full life, though, nor has it dissuaded his sons Ross and Marshall from wanting to keep the legacy going.
The youngest Von Erichs, who occasionally compete as Von Erich 3G, have even made a few appearances for Impact Wrestling, but WWE has yet to come calling.
13 Cedrick And Jean-Jacques Rougeau — Sons Of Jacques Rougeau
As half of both The Fabulous Rougeau brothers The Quebecers, Jacques Rougeau is one of the most accomplished tag team specialists of the 1980s and '90s. Appropriately, Rougeau has three WWE Tag Team Championships to show for it, plus a fourth phantom reign with the belt that later went unrecognized. He also has a decent amount of solo success to his name, having spent a few days as Intercontinental Champion when calling himself The Mountie. That said, his two sons should probably focus on the old man’s tag team success when looking for a blueprint to their own careers, and not just because there are two of them.
Cedrick and Jean-Jacques Rougeau have been tearing it up together and separately throughout Canada, and the only thing that could stop their rise would be a goofy gimmick.
Well, that or a bad meeting with Vince McMahon, which Jacques claims Cedrick suffered just a few years ago. There are always second chances, though, and if these two continue to improve, Vince may have to take a second look.
12 Terrence And Terrell Hughes A.K.A. TnT — Sons Of D-Von Dudley
When it comes to blending old-school tag team formula with a hint of the extreme, few duos excelled greater than the Dudley Boyz, Bubba Ray, and D-Von. Those two weren’t really brothers, but they were certainly wrestlers of a like mind, finding success together in ECW, WWE, Impact Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling among many other promotions. Considering how well they did simply pretending to be siblings, there’s a good chance D-Von’s actual twin sons Terrence and Terrell Hughes will do all right for themselves as a team, as well.
After having made a few appearances as teens during Bubba and D-Von’s feud against one another in TNA, the duo started mixing it up in the ring, following their father’s example by forming a tag team they call TnT.
This partnership has already lead to a few reigns as Tag Team Champions in various independent promotions, and with the Dudley Boyz headed to the Hall of Fame, Vince McMahon and company may be interested in the next generation of table smashing mad men.
11 David Benoit — Son Of Chris Benoit
Of all the names on this list, it needs to be said that David Benoit has the least chance of succeeding as a professional wrestler the same way his father Chris did.
The absolute only way it could ever be possible would be for David to compete under a mask, perhaps in Japan or Mexico, and that doesn’t seem all too likely.
The unfortunate reality is that the way David’s father left this planet means the family name will forever be tainted, and no wrestling company will ever wish to promote it again. That’s not even David’s only hurdle, as he apparently started trying to get booked way before he was ready, earning employment in a Canadian independent before Chris Jericho stepped in and made sure he canceled it. This incident was a few years ago, and David’s dreams of becoming a wrestler haven’t exactly jumped into full speed, but he has appeared backstage at a few WWE events and Tweets about the business to this day, suggesting he’d still like to get involved.
10 Sean Studd — Son Of Big John Studd
Especially during the 1980s, it seemed like being “big” was practically a prerequisite for Vince McMahon taking notice of a prospective wrestler. That said, few giants in the industry were as deserving the distinction for being huge as Big John Studd, a mountain of a man who painted quite a legend in WWE. Initially, Studd found fame in the tag division by teaming with Killer Kowalski as The Executioners, together winning the WWE Tag Team Championships. Years later, he stood out on his own during an epic feud with André the Giant that culminated at the first WrestleMania.
Studd’s son Sean is much like his father in terms of size, and he seems to share the old man’s mentality as well, claiming he chooses to wrestle for independent companies and “pay his dues” for the time being rather than gun for a shot in WWE before he’s ready.
With about four years of training thus far under his belt, that time may not be too far away.
9 Colby Corino — Son Of Steve Corino
Technically speaking, “The King of Old School” Steve Corino never wrestled for WWE on a consistent basis, only making a handful of appearances as a jobber during the Attitude Era. That said, Corino later achieved significantly greater fame as the last breakout star of ECW, reigning as the extreme company’s World Champion until losing the belt at its final show. Corino also later worked for WWE as a trainer, offering his years of experience to incoming NXT talent at the Performance Center.
In this sense, it could be said Corino’s son Colby has been receiving a free education all his life, as the King of Old School had been preparing his progeny to follow him into the ring long before WWE gave him a job.
Colby and Steve have actually teamed up a few times on the independent scene, even winning Tag Team Championships together, making it clear dad approves his son’s career choice. For this reason, he might put in a good word to Vince and Triple H the minute it feels like Colby is ready for primetime.
8 Xia Brookside — Daughter Of Robbie Brookside
Truth be told, Robbie Brookside is probably one of the more obscure names on this list. Surprisingly, though, the British legend has indeed made a few appearances for WWE, popping up on a few random episodes of Raw and Heat losing to established American stars. Even so, he could still be considered an integral part of the WWE Universe thanks to his current position as one of NXT’s main trainers at the Performance Center.
Presumably, this means his daughter Xia Brookside in the very least has the skills of a first-year WWE trainee, which gives her a leg up on any competition considering her rather young age.
It also helps that although Brookside is only 18 years old, she already has a solid two and a half years of experience, having started very young on the British independent scene. Though her father didn’t make a permanent jump stateside until after retirement, Xia may be the one to finally take the Brookside legacy across the pond.
7 Matt And Mike Hart — Sons Of Smith Hart
As the older brother of the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, Smith Hart was already proudly smiling at the success of his younger family members from a relatively young age. Of course, whatever pride he felt as his brother Bret Hart won five WWE Championships would have surely been eclipsed had he lived to see either of his sons, Matt or Mike, achieve similar glory. Unfortunately, Smith passed on in 2017, meaning he won’t be around to see whatever his boys accomplish in pro wrestling.
On the plus side, he did get to watch them develop a little before his untimely demise, especially when it comes to elder child Mike, who has been wrestling in Canada to minor fame since 2001.
Matt’s career started much more recently, though, and while it’s a shame this means his father didn’t get to see him, it also suggests there’s still plenty of time for him to make a splash in the industry and force Vince McMahon to take notice.
6 Samantha Starr — Daughter Of Sam Houston And Baby Doll
With all due respect, were Samantha Starr to make it big as a wrestler, WWE would probably mention who her uncle was before touching on her parentage. Granted, her father Sam Houston was a decently successful wrestler in his own right, and mother Baby Doll was one of the top valets of her day, managing men like Tully Blanchard, Ric Flair, and Dusty Rhodes. However, neither of them compare to Starr’s legendary uncle Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and her aunt Rockin’ Robin’s year plus reign as WWE Women’s Champion also puts the others to shame.
Of course, Starr would do well to follow in any of their footsteps, so long as it means getting hired by Vince McMahon.
Despite a solid five years in the business thus far, the WWE Universe has yet to come calling, and Houston’s icy relationship with the rest of his own family might have something to do with it.
5 David Finlay, Jr. — Son Of Fit Finlay
It’s far too common for children who grow up hearing their father’s boast about how much they like to fight would similarly wind up leading violent lives. Luckily, in the case of Fit and David Finlay, they at least choose to do so in a professional manner, confining their love of violence to the wrestling ring.
As if the joy of fighting wasn’t enough, the younger Finlay was also surely tempted to continue his father’s legacy as he watched his old man bask in glory for both WCW and WWE.
Finlay won championships for both promotions, in addition to achieving great acclaim for his talent in UK companies and New Japan Pro Wrestling. It’s for that latter organization that David Finlay, Jr. has decided to start his career, spending the past three years as a standout of the Junior Heavyweight division. WWE has been paying close attention to Japan lately, and this plus Finlay’s familial connection might mean they’re taking interest in him personally, as well.
4 Dominic Gutierrez — Son Of Rey Mysterio
Unlike most of the names on this list, young Dominic Gutierrez already made his WWE debut over a full decade ago, back when the kid was only 7 or 8 years old. At the time, his father Rey Mysterio was feuding family friend Eddie Guerrero over custody of Dominic, an absurd scenario that could only happen in pro wrestling.
About 5 years later, Dominic came back to WWE for another unforgettable moment when CM Punk menacingly sang the most evil version of “Happy Birthday” in history to his young sister.
Finally, at an age where he can do more than stand in the corner and cower while his dad gets into intensely realistic feuds, Dominic recently began training to be a wrestler himself. From the looks of it, Dominic has still yet to actually compete in a match, having just made the announcement about his training a little over a year ago. Once he’s ready, though, WWE will almost definitely be interested, especially if his ability to fly off the top rope is anything like his old man’s.
3 Brian Pillman, Jr. — Son Of Brian Pillman
For Brian Pillman, Jr., it all began with a crushed kiddie pool. When the rookie wrestler was only about a year old, his father Brian Pillman’s old tag team partner turned rival “Stone Cold” Steve Austin “invaded” their home one evening and destroyed the little tyke’s watery playpen, forever cementing a life that would be dominated by pro wrestling.
Though Pillman, Sr. passed away at a young age less than a year later, his son remained interested in sports entertainment throughout his entire life, captivated by the sport his father was once so great at.
Once he got old enough to step inside a ring himself, Pillman, Jr. made repeat efforts to contact wrestling trainers who knew his dad on Twitter, including former WWE superstar Lance Storm. Naturally, Pillman, Jr. was able to find the help he needed, finally making his debut in December of 2017. Because Steve Austin has long since retired, Pillman, Jr. may never get revenge on the kiddie pool incident, but he could still become a WWE superstar one day in the future.
2 Tessa Blanchard — Daughter Of Tully Blanchard
WWE already has their own Four Horsewomen in a group of friends that slowly started the women’s revolution in NXT, but if Charlotte Flair were ever to make the group official with some new faces, there’s no better pick than Tessa Blanchard. The same way Charlotte is doing her father Ric Flair proud with repeat Women’s Championships, Tessa is putting a big smile on the face of the Nature Boy’s old buddy, Tully.
One of the original Four Horsemen, the elder Blanchard, was also a huge star in his day, having held the NWA Television and United States Championships on several occasions.
He was also a consummate tag team performer teaming with Arn Anderson, winning both the NWA and WWE Tag Team titles together. Tessa already had a few shots at following in her dad’s footsteps in NXT and during the Mae Young Classic tournament, but she wasn’t hired full time. She hasn’t given up either, though, still working hard on the independent scene to do Tully proud and get hired by WWE proper.
1 Cody Hall — Son Of Scott Hall
Of all the names on this list, it might be argued that Cody Hall has the greatest chance of future success in WWE should he choose to take that path. As the son of Scott Hall, he’s also considered an honorary nephew of Kliq buddies Kevin Nash and X-Pac, and it’s easy to picture Triple H being somewhere in the picture, as well. Not only is Hall friends with all these men, he’s also considered a legendary performer in his own right, hence his induction to the WWE Hall of Fame as Razor Ramon.
Throw in the fact Cody Hall takes after his father’s size and strength, and the kid sounds like a born WWE superstar.
For whatever reason, Cody has chosen to start his career in Japan, becoming a member of New Japan’s Bullet Club before jumping ship to Pro Wrestling NOAH. Wherever he goes, Cody is proving he has his dad’s drive and energy, two things Triple H is bound to notice before long.