WWE has been at the top of its game for so long now that there are now retired superstars who have been able to pass down their skills to their children. It has reached the point now where there are many stars who have seen their children bypass their levels of success within the company, much like Ric and Charlotte Flair.
There are also Bray Wyatt, Carmella, Natalya and even former World Champion Roman Reigns who have been able to push forward their family name throughout their time in WWE, but for every second and third generation star who has made a name for themselves, there are some who have been brushed under the rug.
This doesn't just count for the stars who are in WWE either, since there are many wrestlers on the Independent Circuit who have famous families but haven't been able to use that to their advantage. There are many children of WWE Hall of Famers who have decided against joining the wrestling business, but there are also stars who probably regret their choice of career path because they have always been forced to live up to their last name.
The following list looks at just 15 second generation wrestlers who haven't been able to live up to the names that their family gave to them. These are the stars who tried to follow in their parent's footsteps in the wrestling business but instead have only become a footnote in the history of the company.
15 Bo Dallas
Technically, Bo Dallas is a third generation superstar and currently wrestles on the Monday Night Raw brand alongside his brother Bray Wyatt. Even though Bo was the more successful brother on the NXT brand and is a former NXT Champion, he hasn't had a hint of that level of success on the main roster.
His brother is a former WWE Champion and one half of the current Raw Tag Team Champions but Dallas has recently been relegated to part of The Miztourage alongside The Miz. Following The Miz's switch over to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup, Dallas has been left alongside Curtis Axel in a position on the brand that no star ever wants to be part of.
Currently, Bo Dallas has no storyline moving forward. WWE is attempting to push him and Axel into a new storyline following the departure of Miz, but the closest he has come was when his own brother stepped in and attempted to recruit him in order to give him something to do.
Sportskeeda has recently named Dallas as one of the stars who are in need of a character change, which shows just how much the former NXT Champion has fallen down the ranks in WWE in recent years.
Tamina Snuka is the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, but the second generation star has been unable to follow up on the success that her father once had inside the squared circle. Tamina has been part of the WWE roster for more than eight years but she still doesn't have a Championship reign to show for her efforts, since she has been consistently overlooked by many other women in the division throughout her career.
Tamina is part of a roster that is currently going through a Women's Revolution and while she has been able to play her part in some of that history like The Women's Royal Rumble earlier this year, Wrestling Inc recently reported that she has spent the last few months on the sidelines following surgery, which could keep her sidelined until the summer.
Tamina isn't someone that has been missed in the Women's Division recently, which shows that she was never in a prominent position on the brand. Even aligning her with Lana last year in an attempt to push her towards a title didn't work out for her. It seems like there is no saving Tamina's career now.
13 Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel was brought into WWE as part of The Nexus and seemed as though he has so much potential as another third generation star in WWE. Axel is the son of WWE Hall of Famer "Mr. Perfect," Curt Hennig and the grandson of Larry "The Axe" Hennig. Unlike many other next-generation stars, it appears that Curt's name has been something that has held him back rather than something that has pushed him forward.
Much like his father, Axel was able to lift the Intercontinental Championship, but it appears that his career has been on a steady decline ever since.
Axel was even paired with Paul Heyman at one point in the hopes that the legendary manager could be the one to push him into a prominent position on the brand but even Heyman was unable to save Axel from his destined career as talent enhancement. Axel is currently part of a team with Bo Dallas, but their future is somewhat confusing on the Raw brand right now since the two recently lost their leader and are in search of a new one. The Steel Cage recently documented the decline of Axel's career, from Paul Heyman guy to an afterthought on WWE TV.
12 Ted DiBiase Jr
One star that was always going to struggle to follow in his father's footsteps was Ted DiBiase. His father was known as The Million Dollar man and was a star with a huge personality, one that evidently wasn't genetic. DiBiase had some standout moments in his WWE career and flourished as part of Legacy with Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes, but when the company finally tried to push him into his father's shoes and gave him a "Million Dollar" Championship, it seemed so unnatural for him.
DiBiase was used wrong by the company. He should never have been pushed as a carbon copy of his father, but he was and it seems that was his biggest downfall.
DiBiase was a star who opted to leave the company back in 2013 when he was just 30 years old so that he could spend more time with his family and pick up a normal job. DiBiase's career isn't as forgettable as many stars on this list, but since he was always pushed as "the next big thing" and failed to deliver, he's remembered more as a failure than a success. WWE revealed back in 2016 that DiBiase is currently working with aspiring teenagers at summer camps.
11 Primo Colon
Primo Colon is the son of Puerto Rican wrestler Carlos Colón, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2014. Primo's career hasn't been on the same level as his brother Carlito's after he was able to lift the United States Championship on his debut.
Primo and Carlito once worked as a team in WWE and are former Tag Team Champions, but Carlito was released from his contract with WWE after a number of Wellness Policy Violations and Primo was then teamed with his cousin Epico. The two have been used as talent enhancers in WWE over the past few years and have been repackaged as Los Matadores, The Shining Stars and now they're back to Primo and Epico as they continue to struggle to adapt to the current era in WWE. Sportskeeda reported back in January that Primo was set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines following a knee injury, but he returned to action recently alone, since Epico is also on the sidelines due to injury. The team has found it hard to push forward with the talent in WWE's tag team division right now, but they still have the time to turn their fortunes around.
Deuce is perhaps the most recognizable guise that James Snuka was known under as he teamed with Domino and Cherry in what was considered to be an interesting partnership that led the duo to Tag Team Championship gold. After their split less than a year after their debut, Deuce was the only member of the team that wasn't released and he was then repackaged as Sim Snuka.
Snuka attempted to join Legacy, a group which consisted of Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase Jr, all of which had famous wrestling heritages.
Sadly, Snuka failed his tryout for the group and later tried to extract revenge but was beaten down for his efforts. This was the last real memory that many fans have of the son of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka since WWE.com revealed that he had been released back in 2009. His father was a hard act to live up to and both of the children of the WWE Hall of Famer that made it to WWE have struggled to continue his legacy on the big stage. His sister Tamina is still part of the WWE Women's Division but is currently on hiatus after suffering a torn rotator cuff.
9 David Flair
It's easy to overlook the fact that The Nature Boy Ric Flair's son David was also a professional wrestler, especially given the impact his daughter Charlotte has had on the wrestling business over the past few years. David was best known for his run in WCW. Even though David wasn't the child that was interested in following his father's legacy, he changed his mind after his father asked him to.
David's career in WCW is somewhat forgettable and when WCW was purchased by WWE back in 2001, he was sent to their developmental territory (OVW) and was then sporadically used as a wrestler on WWE TV before his inevitable release from the company. The second generation star went on to work on the Independent Circuit and in TNA before he decided to call time on his career, David always lacked his father's charisma and found it hard to follow in his footsteps given the fact that he was rushed into the career. Ring The Damn Bell revealed back in 2016 that Flair has left the wrestling business and is now working for The Seal Wire Company in his home state of North Carolina. This is reportedly a company that is run by his mother-in-law.
8 Shaul Guerrero
Shaul Guerrero was signed to WWE back in 2010, while her mother Vickie Guerrero was still seen as one of the main stars on WWE TV. Shaul is the daughter of the late, great Eddie Guerrero and decided to pursue a career in the wrestling as a way to honor her Hall of Fame father. Guerrero showed that she had real potential when she was part of the FCW brand before the company decided to rebrand their developmental division into NXT.
Guerrero became known under the ring name Raquel Diaz, but she was released from the company back in 2012 while it appears that she was struggling to juggle both school and wrestling.
She later returned briefly before it was revealed that she was struggling with health issues and decided to leave the company around the same time as her mother back in 2014. The Guerrero family left the business for a number of years and Vickie started a career as a medical administrator, but Sportskeeda revealed last year that Shaul has made her return to the Independent Circuit. Guerrero's only connection to the WWE right now is the fact that she is married to current SmackDown superstar Aiden English.
7 Rene Dupree
Rene Dupree's name is only brought up in WWE conversations now because he was the youngest Champion in WWE history when he won the Tag Team Championships at the age of 19, but Nicholas' recent WrestleMania win could have put an end to that. One thing that went overlooked throughout Dupree's career was the fact that he is a second generation star after his father Emile Dupree became a well-known wrestler and promoter in the years before his debut.
Dupree had the look that WWE usually looks for and could have been something big in WWE but he was mostly used as a tag team superstar and overlooked when it came to any bigger storylines. Dupree was then used as part of the ECW brand back in 2007 when the company decided to reboot the famous promotion, but after he violated the Wellness Policy, he was suspended and then fired. The former Champion was most recently in the news when Wrestling Inc revealed that he had been the subject of JBL's notorious bullying history back in 2017. Dupree has spent the past decade working on the Independent Circuit in America and Europe and has become another forgettable star in the history of the company.
6 Richie Steamboat
Richie Steamboat was one of a number of prospects in NXT when the company was first pushing forward a fresh brand of superstars. As the son of Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Richie flourished since his father was working as a trainer for the company at that time and the results were definitely interesting.
Steamboat had a number of standout moments in NXT where he made it all the way to the semi-finals of the competition to crown the first ever NXT Champion. Sadly, Steamboat's career came to an end when he suffered a back injury in late 2012 that took him out of the ring for good. The second generation star had the potential to follow in his father's footsteps but a cruel turn of fate took that future away from him. It's hard to say where he would be in the company right now if the injury hadn't forced him onto the sidelines, but instead, he has become another forgettable name from the NXT era. Sportskeeda reported back in 2016 that the former NXT star was looking to return to the wrestling business after more than four years away, but this is still something that he has yet to follow through on.
5 Jake Carter
The son of Big Van Vader was expected to achieve much more in the wrestling business than Jake Carter actually did after it was his father that actually trained him. Jake originally pursued a career in football, before injuries forced him onto the sidelines and his father then introduced him to the wrestling world. Carter went on to work with his father in Japan for a few years before he decided to return to the US and pursue a career in a much bigger promotion.
Carter was later signed to a developmental contract with WWE and was able to climb the ranks in the company for almost two years before he made it to NXT but was then shockingly released following a match with Tensai. Carter was unable to mirror his father's career in the company but it is thought that his earlier injuries from his football career could have played a much bigger part in WWE's decision to release him. White was most recently in the headlines when he was in a relationship with WWE Ring Announcer JoJo Offerman, but it was revealed by Heavy that the couple had gone their separate ways back in the summer of 2017.
4 Grand Master Sexay
One of the most shocking names on this list is Brian Christopher, who was known in WWE for his time as Grand Master Sexay alongside Too Cool and Rikishi. Christopher's name on this list is more of a shock because many fans are unaware that he was a second generation wrestler since he rarely had any contact with his father Jerry "The King" Lawler while they were working together on WWE TV.
It was the WWE Hall of Famer who helped his son to get into WWE during the Attitude Era, but it was never mentioned on TV that they were related. Christopher was teamed with Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty in what was a popular team and the highlight of his career before he was surprisingly released from the company when it was revealed by Mike Mooneyham that Lawler had been arrested for being found moving muscle enhancers across the Canada-USA border. While he did go on to wrestle on the Independent Circuit, he was never able to reach that level of success again, which is disappointing since it was obvious that he had all the skills to be a top star in the wrestling business, especially with his father's backing.
Manu was a superstar that many of the WWE Universe will barely remember since his time in the company was fleeting. Manu made his debut back at Unforgiven in 2006 where he was made part of Legacy, a group that was filled with second generation superstars who were trying to prove that they were better because of their bloodline. Manu was a superstar that fit the criteria and could have been a great addition to the trio if he was able to follow the rules in WWE for much longer than he actually did.
Manu wasn't a member of the group for long before he was exiled following a loss to Matt Hardy and then released from WWE. It was later revealed that Manu had been suspended by the company before he even debuted for violating WWE's Wellness Policy. Bleacher Report later posted an interview with Orton where the former WWE Champion revealed that respect was one of the main reasons why Manu was released by the company. The son of Afa Anoa'i thought that his famous Samoan bloodline meant that he didn't have to pay his dues in the company, which was the worst kind of mentality to have.
2 Jesse Dalton
Many of the WWE Universe are currently unaware that Ray Gordy is also a second generation superstar. Gordy was best known as Jesse on WWE TV, the partner of Festus who was portrayed by Luke Gallows more than a decade ago in a character that would lose his mind when the bell rang for his match. Gordy is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Terry Gordy, who is best known for being a Fabulous Freebird.
Jesse and Festus didn't become the hit that WWE hoped that they would and it was announced back in 2010 that Gordy had been released from his WWE contract and later decided to walk away from the company. His former partner has since been able to make it big in Japan and returned to WWE afresh as part of The Bullet Club, which shows that there was a future in the business for Gordy if it was what he wanted, but in a 2016 WWE.com interview he revealed that he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement and is now part of the SWAT team at the Cobb County Sheriff's office. Gordy was also in attendance to watch his father take his place in the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2016.
1 Lacey Von Erich
Lacey Von Erich is another third generation superstar, which her surname obviously gave away, but it is thought that the wrestling talent skipped a generation with her. Lacey's grandfather Fritz Von Erich was seen as one of the pioneering architects of the industry and her father Kerry Von Erich became a legend in the wrestling business but her additions to the business are not seen in the same light.
Lacey was never able to make an impact in WWE. Even though she was signed to a developmental deal with the company, she was released a few months into it. TNA was the place where she really found her feet, but she wasn't able to stand out above any of the other women in the company when it came to in-ring ability, but it still came as a shock when she announced her retirement back in 201o. Lacey's family is seen as wrestling royalty, but she was one of the members of the family who weren't able to continue the family name, even though she was given all of the opportunities in her career to do so. The daughter of "The Texas Tornado" revealed on her Twitter page that she is now working for an advertising company in South Carolina.