There have been loads of family ties throughout the history of every major sport. There have been plenty father and son combos such as Archie Manning and his Super Bowl-winning sons Peyton and Eli. MLB’s Bobby Bonds and his home run hitting son Barry were both forces to be reckoned with. In the NBA, we have guys like Dell Curry and his superstar son Stephen while the NHL has seen two legends in Bobby Hull and his Stanley Cup winning sniper son Brett. There have also been countless siblings that have gone head to head at the professional level. The Gasol brothers of the NBA, the Matthews brothers in the NFL, the Alomars in the MLB, and the Sutters in the NHL are just a few examples. It must be something in their blood.
The world of wrestling is no different. In fact, there might be more family ties in the WWE than any other sport. Family names such as Hart, DiBiase, Guerrero, and, of course, McMahon are some of the most well known. As you will soon see, the name Anoa’i is well-represented. The WWE is loaded with history revolving around fathers and their children as well as siblings who became some of the premier talents in the industry. There has been a lot of publicity recently made about Nia Jax and her relationship to legendary wrestler the Rock. Nia was signed to the WWE in 2014 and she has quickly made a name for herself. Although she has yet to capture a championship, she seems to be on the verge of doing so. That would be quite an accomplishment for the Rock’s 33-year-old cousin. Let’s take a look at 15 more WWE superstars who are cousins. Even the most hardcore fan might be surprised by a few of these.
15. Natalya Is David Hart Smith’s Cousin
Former SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya was born with wrestling in her blood. She is the first-ever third-generation female wrestler and she hails from the Hart wrestling family. The 35-year-old is the daughter of former superstar Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and she trained under Ross and Bruce Hart who just happen to be her uncles. She signed with the WWE in 2007 and she went on to make a name for herself a few years later when she joined forces with Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith to form the Hart Trilogy which became known as the Hart Dynasty. It was a real family affair as Tyson Hart is Natalya’s husband and David Hart Smith is the blonde beauty’s cousin. Natalya is still kicking butt with the WWE while her famous cousin is plying his trade overseas in the NJPW.
14. Mike Awesome And Horace Hogan
Professional wrestling has endured its share of tragedies. One such dark time in the sport occurred back in 2007 when Mike Awesome committed suicide by hanging himself. He was a main character in “The Invasion” storyline after the WWF purchased the WCW in 2001 and he became the first Invader to become a WWF champion but his reign was short-lived. He was let go by the WWF in 2002 after about a year and a half but he didn’t come across as too disappointed because, by his accounts, he didn’t really enjoy his time there. Another wrestler to be let go along with Mike Awesome was Horace Hogan. Hogan is the nephew of the legendary Hulk Hogan but he also happens to be the cousin of Mike Awesome. Horace Hogan retired shortly after his release from the WWE.
13. Brian Lee Is The Undertaker’s Cousin
Brian Lee is a massive man who stands 6 foot 8 inches tall and weighs in at 328 pounds. Another guy that has a similar physique is the 6 foot 10 inch Mark Calaway who weighs in at 309 pounds. Both of these mammoth men started wrestling in the late 1980s and they were both a part of an interesting storyline back in 1994. For those who don’t know, Mark Calaway is better known as the Undertaker and he mysteriously disappeared for a while in 1994 after losing a match to Yokozuna. He returned a few months later and wrestled with Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation. Or did he? It turns out that the man who had returned to the ring wasn’t the Undertaker but an impostor played by Brian Lee who also happens to be Calaway’s cousin.
12. Roman Reigns Is Umaga’s Cousin
After unsuccessfully pursuing a career in professional football, Leati Anoa’i decided to give professional wrestling a shot and he hasn’t looked back. As his name would suggest, Anoa’i possesses some fine wrestling pedigree and he now finds himself in the position of being a main character under the name Roman Reigns. While it wasn’t the WWE’s intention to have the three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion and former WWE Tag Team Champion cast as a heel, he certainly isn’t a fan favorite at the moment. Another wrestler who saw his time in the ring as a heel was the much-feared Umaga who was a part of several storylines throughout his illustrious career before he succumbed to a brain hemorrhage in 2009 at just 36 years of age. Umaga was also part of the Anoa’i family tree and was Roman Reigns’ cousin.
11. Rocky Johnson Is Sika’s Cousin
We need to go back a few years to remember Rocky Johnson and Sika. Things were quite different back in the 1980s but one thing that has been a constant is the presence of the Anoa’i family. One of this royal family of wrestling’s members is Sika who, with fellow family member Afa, formed the Wild Samoans tag team which entered the WWF in the early 1980s. During this time, Rocky Johnson was also hitting his peak with tag team partner Tony Atlas. The two defeated the Wild Samoans in 1983 to become the first black tag team to win the title. Not only is Rocky Johnson the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he is also Sika’s cousin. The two have quite a lot in common including the fact that they are both the fathers of very famous wrestlers.
10. Epico And Primo Are Cousins
This might not be the biggest shock to wrestling fans but Epico and Primo Colon are cousins although many casual fans might assume that the two are brothers. Epico signed with the WWE in 2010 under the name Tito Nieves. After his character was revamped a couple of times, the now 35-year-old wrestler was renamed Epico. Meanwhile, Primo, who is also 35, had been in the WWE since 2008 and he found success as a largely unlikable guy. He and Epico teamed up under manager Rosa Mendes. They have gone through a few name changes and the cousins are now known simply as the Colons. Primo is currently sidelined after suffering a knee injury during an episode of SmackDown on April 11, 2017. Don’t worry, the two will be back in the ring soon.
9. Rikishi And The Usos Are Yokozuna’s Cousin
Yokozuna was a huge star in the WWF. Literally. He packed a billed weight of 641 pounds into his 6-foot 4-inch frame and he terrorized his opponents on his way to becoming the first Samoan wrestler to win a WWF World Heavyweight Championship. Not only did he hold that title twice, he also won the WWF Tag Team Championship twice as well as winning the 1993 Royal Rumble. Unfortunately, Yokozuna died of pulmonary edema in 2000 at the age of 34. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by none other than the Usos and Rikishi who happen to all be his cousins. Rikishi is also in the WWE Hall of Fame while the Usos are also destined to be enshrined once their wrestling days are over.
8. Bret Hart Is Roddy Piper’s Cousin
Both Bret Hart and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper were giants in the WWE. Piper will always be remembered as one of professional wrestling’s favorite villains while Hart will also be remembered fondly by his legions of fans. Both WWE Hall of Famers began their wrestling careers in the mid-1970s and they both entered the WWF in the mid-1980s. They were also notorious heels and both left the WWF only to make their return later on. One big difference is that Bret Hart held several titles while Piper was never a world champion. Despite being 60, Bret Hart shows up in the ring on occasion such as he did during an edition of Payback in 2016. Piper officially retired in 2014 but his golden years were cut short after he died of a heart attack in 2015 at the age of 61. You may be surprised to learn that these two are cousins.
7. Paul Orndorff Is Shane Douglas’ Cousin
You need to think back to the 1980s to remember Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff. He was wresting in the mid-1970s and was signed to the WWF in 1983 where he became quite well known as a self-absorbed heel. He is likely best remembered for his feud with wrestling megastar Hulk Hogan throughout 1985 and 1986 but he had plenty of other highlights that he can look back on fondly. At about the same time Mr. Wonderful was hitting his peak, Shane Douglas was on the rise. Douglas gained a bit of status in the WWE after he signed on in 1990 but he had his biggest successes in the ECW where he wrestled under the name the Franchise. Unlike his 68-year-old cousin Paul Orndorff, Douglas continues to perform at the age of 53.
6. The British Bulldogs Are Cousins
The Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith were known for their vicious feud in Stampede Wrestling in the early 1980s. After Stampede Wrestling was purchased by Vince McMahon in 1984, the two became members of the WWF where McMahon turned them into a tag team. The fact that Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith are cousins may have played into that decision. Either way, the pair became known as the British Bulldogs and they would go on to build a solid fan base and win the WWF World Tag Team Championship. A feud with the Rougeau Brothers boiled over and the British Bulldogs left the WWF although it has been suggested that the reason was actually due to a dispute with WWF management. Kid Dynamite retired in 1996 due to injuries while Davey Boy Smith continued wrestling until his premature death in 2002.
5. Matt Bentley Is Shawn Michael’s Cousin
You are forgiven if you aren’t all that familiar with wrestler Maverick Matt Bentley also known as Michael Shane. His stint with the WWE was short and very forgettable although he continued to wrestle in other organizations. His biggest claims to fame were being threatened by the WWE over the use of his ring name and the fact that he is the younger cousin of WWE superstar Shawn Michaels. It’s kind of like what Brent Gretzky and Ozzie Canseco were to their much more famous siblings. While Bentley has never really achieved any great success, Shawn Michaels has been a world champion four times as well as being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. This is why Shawn is enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame and Matt Bentley likely has to pay the entrance fee just to tour the place.
4. Zelina Vega Is Amazing Red’s Cousin
Amazing Red isn’t exactly a household name as far as the WWE is concerned. The 35-year-old has managed to work as a professional wrestler since 1998 but it has largely been outside of the WWE. In fact, Amazing Red’s WWE resume consists of just a couple of dark matches. It hasn’t even really helped that he is the cousin of one of the WWE’s up-and-comers, Thea Trinidad, who is now a WWE heel called Zelina Vega. She started out in the WWE in 2013 but she has also done stints in TNA and the independent circuit. She’s only 27 but she appears to be a part of the WWE’s plans – at least for the time being. On the other hand, her cousin Amazing Red probably won’t be a part of those plans.
3. Rikishi Is Manu’s Cousin
Once again we turn to the huge and very influential Anoa’i family where we find another set of famous WWE cousins. Afa Anoa’i Jr. has gone by a few ring names including Afa, Afa Jr., Mai Tai Anoa’i, and Manu. He began to hone his wrestling skills in 1998 when he was still a young teenager. He then signed on with the WWE in 2006 and he finally made the main roster in 2007. During Manu’s rise, his cousin Rikishi had already established himself as a force in the WWF. First, he was one half of the Headshrinkers and then set out on his own eventually becoming the Sultan. The 425-pound 52-year-old behemoth was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and hasn’t made an appearance in the ring for a couple of years. It didn’t end so well for Manu who was released in 2009 allegedly due to his attitude.
2. The Usos Are Rosey’s Cousins
Seriously, this list could almost be dedicated to the Anoa’i family as we have yet another couple of cousins that hail from the famous Samoan family. Rosey recently made headlines but it wasn’t for his heroics in the ring. Instead, it was due to his tragic and untimely death. The 47-year-old former World Tag Team Champion brother of WWE star Roman Reigns and son of Sika died on April 17, 2017 due to heart failure. His younger cousins the Usos have been climbing the ranks of the WWE since 2009 and they have also been World Tag Team Champions as well as Slammy Award winners. The Usos, who also happen to be twins, are just 32 and they seem to be a big part of various storylines. Let’s hope they have long, successful, and healthy lives.
1. Deuce Is The Rock’s Cousin
Known for taking a run at a seated opponent and then delivering a solid kick to the face, a move aptly called “Crack ‘em in the Mouth”, Deuce entered the WWE fold in 2005. He was teamed up with Dice Domino to form the Deuce ‘n Domino tag team and the pair went on to claim the WWE Tag Team Championship in 2007. He was later moved to Raw where he became known as Sim Snuka. He was released from the WWE in 2009 after appearing in WrestleMania XXV. While he had a good run, he didn’t come close to having the same success as his cousin the Rock enjoyed. On top of being one of the most successful wrestlers in WWE history, the Rock has forged a very lucrative career in movies although he makes the occasional appearance in the ring.
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