The WWE has a rich history of Superstars from all different walks of life that have graced their squared circle. Even though the WWE was founded initially in its current incarnation in 1979 (then known as the WWF), WWE’s origins can be traced back as far as 1952. Between then and now, a lot of wrestlers have come and gone and a sizable lot of them have come from the same family. Legacies are a big part of professional wrestling right now and there are families who carry generations of pro wrestlers within their lineage. For example we have the famous Samoan Family, the Anoa’i family, the Von Erich family, the Hart family and the Rhodes family just to name a few.
WWE currently has contracted a whole slew of talent whose fathers competed in the squared circle (although some of them are never referenced): Randy Orton, Curtis Axel, The Usos, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt, the tag team of Primo and Epico, The Rock and Roman Reigns.
While second and third-generation male wrestlers are often highly recognized due to their lineage, there are also a sizable and growing number of women who followed their fathers (and in some cases, their mothers) footsteps into the world of professional wrestling. Some have busted their tails and have reached the big leagues having been signed by WWE, but many others are still honing their skills on the independent circuit with high hopes of making it big. While some have served as valets and managers, others are taking it a step further and wanting to learn the art of professional wrestling so they could compete for the coveted Women’s Championship.
In this list, we have compiled some of the second-generation (or more) starlets who are lacing up the boots just as their parents did. Some are well-established stars, while others are merely hopefuls who are starting out.
15 Stephanie McMahon (Vince McMahon)
Nicknamed The Billion Dollar Princess, Stephanie McMahon has grown into the queen of the WWE, serving as the Chief Brand Officer of the company. Her rise to the top of the corporate food chain all started by shadowing her father and WWE owner, Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
While Stephanie has settled into a role as an on-air authority figure, she is versatile like her father, working backstage in the creative department to come up with TV storylines and managing the companies charitable and humanitarian efforts.
Not only has Stephanie grown as an executive within her father’s company, she is also no slouch when it comes to putting some gear on and stepping into the squared circle to compete, just as her father has done numerous times in the past. Stephanie has held the WWE Women's Championship and after a lengthy hiatus from in-ring competition, she showed at SummerSlam2014 that she is still very much competent in the ring and that wrestling is in her blood.
The wife of surefire future Hall of Famer Triple H, Stephanie keeps herself in phenomenal physical condition just like the men in her life. Time will tell the next time Stephanie steps into the ring once again, but one thing is for sure, she will definitely be ready.
14 Lacey Von Erich (Kerry Von Erich)
If you’re factoring in looking at one’s family tree to evaluate their wrestling talent, it’s hard to discount a third-generation member of the famous wrestling family, The Von Erich’s. The entire Von Erich clan was inducted into the 2009 class of the WWE Hall of Fame for their many contributions to the pro wrestling business. To long time WWE fans, the most famous member of the family is the late Kerry Von Erich, who was dubbed The Texas Tornado during his short run with the company. His daughter, Lacey Von Erich, pursued a career in the wrestling business herself which included a brief stint training as a prospect in WWEs developmental system.
Lacey would actually make a name for herself in TNA, where she was a member of The Beautiful People stable. Her run in TNA lasted a little over a year, in which she captured the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Titles. She left the company in late 2010 and currently operates an advertising firm in California.
Although Lacey has technically retired from in-ring competition, she is still young (29) and you can never say never when it comes to making returns in the wrestling business.
13 Cheerleader Melissa (Doug Anderson)
Also known as Raisha Saeed and Alissa Flash from her time in TNA, Melissa Anderson is a 15-year veteran of the squared circle, making her one of the most experienced women on this list. Her father, Doug Anderson, wrestled briefly in the 80s, but it was enough to get a young Melissa interested in trying her hand in the pro wrestling business as well.
Melissa has wrestled all around the world and in several different promotions, but her biggest exposure came under a gimmick that hid her identity. Wearing a burqa, Melissa appeared in TNA as Raisha Saeed, the manager of female phenom Awesome Kong. During her two-year tenure with the company, Melissa competed in the ring under her Saeed persona and also wrestled as Alissa Flash and even as Cheerleader Melissa.
Currently, Melissa is a cast member on the red hot Lucha Underground television show as a masked wrestler by the name of Mariposa, demonstrating her versatility yet again.
12 Shaul Guerrero (Eddie Guerrero)
The daughter to late WWE legend and Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero and Vickie Guerrero, Shaul had a hunger at a young age to continue the family legacy by being involved in the wrestling business. She spent four years training in developmental territories FCW and NXT where she was introduced as the character Raquel Diaz, an ultra diva character that would draw L’s on the foreheads of her opponents after defeating them.
Just as the Diaz character was starting to gain some steam, NXT granted her a leave of absence in 2012. After a year off, she would return but would be released again which she attributed to her struggles with having an eating disorder.
While for some this may be a sign that they should seek a different profession, this may be a minor setback for Shaul who has the Guerrero fight in her and the Guerrero’s were never one to give up on a dream.
Since her departure from WWE, Guerrero has done numerous interviews with wrestling sites, including where she opened up about her eating disorder. She also has married Aiden English of The Vaudevillains. The third time may be the charm for Shaul if she can work her way back into WWE.
11 Jessie Belle Smothers (Tracy Smothers)
Tracy Smothers was a former WCW, ECW and WWE competitor and while he may not have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success as a 30-year wrestling veteran, he is a known and respected name in the world of professional wrestling. Now a wrestling school trainer, Tracy has lent his years of wrestling know-how and experience to his daughter, Jessie Belle Smothers. Jessie has been competing in TNAs developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, since 2011 as well as a women’s only promotion, Shine Wrestling
Jessie Belle has held the OVWs Women's Championship five times and has competed for several other promotions. She hosts a very active Twitter account, where she shows support to fellow women’s wrestlers and promotes her upcoming matches and appearances.
Although she has yet to have a shot in the big leagues, Jessie Belle may be a wrestler to look out for in the future as she works to get spotted by WWE’s talent radar.
10 Amy Hennig (Curt Hennig)
Curtis Axel is not the only offspring of Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig who decided to follow his father and grandfather’s footsteps by getting into the wrestling business. Axel’s younger sister Amy also entered the world of professional wrestling several years ago, training under WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race at his wrestling school.
With her stringy beach blond hair and fit figure, Hennig is a spitting image of her late father and looks like the female version of Mr. Perfect.
Unlike her older brother Curtis Axel, Amy Hennig has not made it to WWE. Its unclear whether she is still active, as most internet sources cut off her in-ring accomplishments in 2010. Either way, you could never say never in the world of wrestling. Time will tell if Amy Hennig gets an itch to get back into the ring and decides to give wrestling another try.
9 Bronwyne Billington (Dynamite Kid)
Most hardcore WWE fans may remember that that Davey Boy Smith’s son David Hart Smith once competed for WWE a few years ago. But the other half of the popular British Bulldogs tag team of the 80s also has a kid working in the business. “The Dynamite Kid” Tom Billington’s daughter Bronwyne Billington is currently working as a valet for her husband, Dynamite Dan.
Coining herself under the moniker Dynamite Doll, Billington is part of the legendary Hart Family, with her father having had his wrestling training done in The Hart Dungeon and being related to the late Davey Boy. This would also make Dynamite Doll and David Hart Smith cousins. Dynamite Doll and her husband (who also trained in the Dungeon) perform for Canadian indie promotions like RCW.
If WWE were to ever get an idea to reboot The Hart Dynasty as a stable, bringing both children of the original British Bulldogs would be an excellent way to give the group depth and continuity.
8 Samantha Starr (Sam Houston & Baby Doll)
While every woman on this list has a father who wrestled, there are only a few who can claim not only their mother and father as wrestlers, but their close relatives as well. Mikala Smith’s name may not ring a bell, but if you knew that her grandfather is pro wrestler Grizzly Smith, then the pieces start falling in place. Her father wrestled as Sam Houston, and her mother is famous 70’s and 80’s valet from World Class Championship Wrestling, Baby Doll. She also has a pretty famous uncle, Jake ”The Snake” Roberts, and an aunt who wrestled for WWE by the name of Rockin’ Robin.
At 23, Mikala currently competes as Samantha Starr. She spent five years training, serving as a valet during that time. She has even adopted the DDT as her finisher, taking after her famous uncle Jake.
Mikala’s dream is to be signed by the WWE and hopefully the company will take notice of her.
7 Noelle Foley (Mick Foley)
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley may be a famed author, stand up comedian and Santa Claus enthusiast, but it’s his daughter Noelle that is starting to turn heads with her stunning beauty and passion for the wrestling business. And it appears that she is training to be a wrestler as well!
Noelle Foley has been given a run as an on-air personality for the WWE, which her father Mick prefers her to do rather than get in the ring but unbeknownst to daddy dearest, Noelle had been secretly training to join WWE as an active wrestler.
The daddy-daughter conflict has been captured as part of a reality show on the WWE Network titled Holy Foley and while this brings a bit of drama to the Foley Household which will make for good television, it remains to be seen whether Noelle can pull it off in the ring like her father.
6 Kayla Armstrong (Scott Armstrong)
For Kayla Armstrong, pro wrestling really is the family business. Her father, Scott Armstrong, is one of the most recognizable veteran referees on WWE television today. Her uncle Brian is more popularly known as one-half of The New Age Outlaws, Road Dogg. Her uncles Steve and the late Brad Armstrong also were ring veterans, as was her grandfather, Bullet Bob Armstrong.
Kayla decided to take a crack at wrestling herself and participated in a WWE tryout a few years ago shortly after graduating college, but unfortunately she wasn’t signed to a contract. Despite this, Kayla appears to still be motivated to having a WWE contract come to fruition sooner rather than later. On her Twitter account, she tweets regularly about her training and working hard to achieve her goal of getting a developmental deal with NXT.
Will she be able to pull it off? She certainly has the pedigree so don’t be surprised if she graces a WWE ring in the near future.
5 Alana Leslie (Brutus The Barber Beefcake)
Family connections definitely can help get your foot in the door in the world of professional wrestling, but when your godfather is WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan, that’s a huge 24 inch python sized foot in the door. Alana Leslie is the daughter of 80s and 90s wrestling star Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and has just started out as a professional wrestler, signing with Jersey Championship Wrestling in 2013 to begin her training for in-ring competition under the name Baby Beefcake.
Leslie is a young pup at this point in her juncture as a wrestler, having recently turned 20, so there’s plenty of time of her to improve her skills and gain much needed experience on the independent scene. With Hogan looking to get back in WWE’s good graces and Beefcake being on good terms with the company, once Alana is ready, it wouldn’t be hard for her father and godfather to put in the good word for her to increase her chances at receiving a WWE contract.
4 Tamina Snuka (Jimmy Snuka)
Though her legendary Hall of famer father Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has been in a bit of trouble with his past coming back to haunt him, Tamina Snuka may be her father’s shining achievement by competing on the big stage like he did when he was in WWE.
Tamina has been on the WWE roster for more than six years and it’s a shame to see how disappointing of a career it has been when compared to the potential she brought when she first arrived. She spent some time as a valet for The Usos, served as a bodyguard for AJ Lee and Alicia Fox and was a part of the short-lived Team B.A.D. stable with Naomi and Sasha Banks, but unfortunately she has never held the Divas or Women's Championship.
At 38 years old, the window is closing on a run of any significance for Tamina, but hopefully WWE will give her a run since she certainly has the in-ring skills and imposing presence to be a legitimate Women’s Champion.
3 Paige (Sweet Saraya and Ricky Knight)
Paige is one of the youngest women on the list at 23, but what may be hard to believe is that she has been wrestling for promotions since the age of 13! That might sound scary, but when your parents and your brothers are wrestlers and your father runs a wrestling promotion, it makes all the sense in the world.
Paige is another example of a superstar who has wrestling in her blood and as the daughter and sister to a family of wrestlers, she really demonstrates that fact through her seasoned and solid in-ring work. Another interesting tidbit is that she has wrestled in a tag team match with her mother. Not many people can say that!
Given her young age and her natural ability, it is probably a no brainer that Paige will enjoy a long and fruitful career legitimizing the Women’s division in the WWE.
2 Natalya (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)
It’s quite surprising to know that while Natalya has been on the WWE roster for over eight years, she only has one Women’s Championship reign to show for it. However, fans were probably just as surprised eight years ago to learn that the blond and pink haired wrestling prodigy is the daughter of the manic Jim ”The Anvil” Neidhart. Thankfully, she may have gotten her mother’s looks over her fathers.
Natalya is a third-generation female wrestler, the first of her kind in WWE if you exclude Stephanie McMahon. She is from the legendary Hart Family and is generally regarded as the most experienced female wrestler on the roster. Her colleagues look to her for advice and tips to improve in the ring.
Despite her not being a featured as a top diva, as deserving as she is, she’s found a niche on the roster as the wily veteran who is helping out the next generation of female talent.
1 Charlotte (Ric Flair)
WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte may be the daughter of The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, but she is certainly doing all she can to make a name for herself rather than be stuck in her legendary father’s shadow.
With beauty, in-ring skill and charisma on the microphone, Charlotte is really the total package when it comes to a female WWE performer. After impressing in NXT, Charlotte made a smooth transition to the main WWE roster and captured the Divas Champion and continued to hold it as the belt was rebranded the WWE Women’s Championship.
While genetics definitely play a role in her progression as a wrestler, Charlotte is a talented athlete on her own as a two-time state champion in volleyball. Being the daughter of wrestling royalty like Ric Flair jas come with immense pressure that her male siblings may have folded under (Her brothers had brief runs as wrestlers that never amounted to much) but Charlotte has far exceeded expectations by delivering consistently phenomenal in-ring performances.
Now that she has broke out of her father’s shadow, the future looks bright for Charlotte as she has the potential to be a top WWE women’s competitor for years to come.