There are several wrestlers working today who have literally been born into this industry. Though they come few and far between, the wrestling business is built around second, third, and in rare cases, fourth generation wrestlers who have to live up to expectations set by their legendary parents. This is not an easy task by any means, but it is in no case an impossible one. Sometimes a wrestler can fall out of the shadows of their parents and grandparents to successfully mold themselves into their own superstar. Notable cases include Randy Orton, Paige, Cody Rhodes, and The Rock. Sometimes, the upcoming wrestler's pedigree is far too great to live up to and their wrestling career turns out to be more or less of a flop. Wrestlers with families who have a knee-deep history in the wrestling world have a long way to go before they can truly come into their own. While we can list several different generational wrestlers who rose to prominence or fell into obscurity late into their careers, there are several legends in the industry who have children in the industry that you may not be aware.
It's understandable why you may not know that certain legends have children who are current active wrestlers. Some generational wrestlers don't want audiences to know about their familial past because they fear they can't live up to their lineage or set too high of expectations for themselves. For the longest time, Curtis Axel did not want anyone to know that Mr. Perfect was his father. Sometimes, wrestlers just don't like talking about their famous parents. In other cases, the wrestler is so young and fresh on the wrestling scene that it isn't common knowledge that they come from a historic wrestling ancestry. In either case, there are plenty of generational wrestlers working today that are on their way to breaking out in a big way in the wrestling industries. Before they catch a big break in the wrestling world, you can read on about who these wrestler's legendary parents are and then keep an eye on their careers in the new year. You never know, one of the wrestlers on this list could be on their way to becoming a future hall of famer just like their legendary parents.
While we all know that Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig has a son (Curtis Axel) in the wrestling business, not many of us know that the late legend also has a daughter. The spitting image of her late father, Amy Hennig has developed a strong reputation in the midwest for her athletic ability after being trained by the legendary Harley Race. Though there were early reports of her showcasing a bad attitude during her days at training camp, her exceptional in-ring ability could not be denied and led to her finding success on the independent circuit. After debuting in 2008 in World League Wrestling, she went on to become a 3-time WLW Ladies Champion. Other accomplishments include winning the MWR Female Wrestler of the Year award and having impressive matches against notable indie names like MsChif and Santana Garrett. While it is unknown if she is still active in in-ring competition given there are no career recordings taking place after 2010, there is a chance we may see Amy Hennig in WWE one day. That is if she can keep her supposed "negative attitude" in check.
13 "Rowdy" Roddy Piper - Colt Toombs
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper left behind an incredible legacy when he passed away in 2015. He also left behind a son, Colt Toombs, who placed to carry on that legacy and do his father's name proud. According to cagematch.net, Toombs only wrestled a handful of matches between 2013 and 2014, but he still racked up several wins with no losses to speak of. It seems that in recent years, Toombs has focused his attention more in the direction of MMA. Even if that is the case, several wrestlers gravitated to working in the world of MMA only to eventually end up in a squared circle, specifically WWE's squared circle. Perhaps Colt Toombs will follow a similar path.
12 Fit Finlay - David Finlay
One of the most respected legends in this industry happens to be Fit Finlay. From winning championship gold in both WCW and WWE to becoming a WWE producer, The Belfast Brawler has received a lot of well deserved clout in this business. His son, David Finlay, looks to establish his own strong reputation. David Finlay wrestled his very first match in 2012 just days before Christmas when him and his father won an Irish Tag Team Street Fight against Robbie Brookside and Dan Collins. The younger Finlay has since joined the NJPW roster where he recently held the NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Championship for 101 days alongside Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima. In the last couple years, David Finlay has slowly been coming into his own as a character and steadily improving his in-ring craft. Don't be surprised if the 23 year old decides to bring his Irish backbone into NXT sooner rather than later.
11 Brutus Beefcake - Baby Beefcake
Ed Leslie is a man of many names, but he is best recognized by the name Brutus Beefcake. His daughter, Alana Leslie, wrestles under the name Baby Beefcake. Or at least she used to and went into training a few years ago. She was first signed by Jersey Championship Wrestling as the company's first trainee in 2013. However, no one's heard much about her since then. As far as public online records are concerned, she is still yet to have her first as a competitor or even a valet at the very least. Apart from the news breaking out that she started training, we haven't heard much else about Baby Beefcake and there is a chance that she may have given up her wrestling ambitions. Then again, there is also a chance that she is yet to train under the right program. Maybe NXT's Performance Center is the right program for her so don't be surprised if she resurfaces there soon.
10 Dynamite Kid - Bronwyne Billington
As we have already established by now, it is hard for any second generation superstar to try and live up to expectations set up by their parent. That point is doubly true when that parent happens to be Dynamite Kid. Dynamite Kid is often praised as one of the greatest wrestlers to ever step inside of a professional ring and has often been cited as one of the most influential wrestlers ever. He's provided inspiration for many wrestlers, including Chris Benoit and Jay Lethal. Perhaps this is why his daughter Bronwyne Billington (her ring name being The Dynamite Doll) has yet to lace up a pair of boots. She's mainly spent her time in the ring as a valet and manager for her husband "Dynamite" Dan Vander Griendt. The two perform together as the Dynamite Duo. Maybe one day Billington will get that hereditary itch to actually wrestle in the ring, but for now, she's doing well for herself as a valet/manager on the indies.
9 Big John Studd - Sean Studd
Big John Studd is arguably one of the more overlooked legends in this industry. Not enough wrestling fans give this big man enough credit for everything he's done for the WWE during its heyday. Studd provided one of the first big marquee matches in WrestleMania history by wrestling Andre the Giant in a $15,000 Body Slam Challenge. His son, Big Sean Studd, is currently preparing himself for his own possible Wrestlemania moments by perfecting his craft on the indie scene. Sean Studd wrested his first match in 2015 and has spent much of his time in MCW Pro Wrestling. He recently won the MCW Heavyweight Championship. If he gets the right set of eyes on him from WWE, maybe one day we'll see a WWE Championship around his waist.
Some TNA fans may have already seen D-Von Dudley's twin sons, Terrence and Terrell Hughes, when they interjected themselves into D-Von's feuds with Bully Ray and D'Angelo Dinero. Now, after spending the last couple years being trained by their father, the two brothers are bonafide wrestlers. The two have been wrestling on the independent scene under the tag team name TnT. They've mostly been wrestling for a promotion called Conquer Pro Wrestling and most recently, won the CPW Tag Team Championship, the duo's very first taste of tag team gold so far. If they keep their steady climb to the top of the wrestling mountain going, they could be on their way to win as many tag team championships as their father during his Dudley Boyz days. Maybe the two are destined to win a pair of WWE Tag Team Titles one day.
8 Harley Race - Leland Race
Harley Race is a rather significant name in the wrestling industry. He's a former 7-time NWA Champion and has had classic bouts with legends like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan. His son, Leland, has been making a slow but steady rise to the top of the wrestling world in the same vain as his father. Leland Race started wrestling at the age of 18 straight out of high school and was training part time while going to college. At the age of 32, he is still going strong wrestling for his father's own company, WLW, as well as a couple recent stints in NJPW. He is a former 3-time WLW Heavyweight Champion. He's young enough that we could possibly see this man in WWE or NXT in the near future.
Whether you know him better as WCW's Meng or WWE's Haku, you know that this legend has a notorious reputation for being one of the toughest men to ever lace up a pair of boots. His son Tevita and adopted son Alipate have done a fine job living up to their family lineage of Samoan badasses. Tevita is better known as Camacho from his brief and largely uneventful stint in WWE while Alipate is better known as Tama Tonga, the resident Bad Boy of the Bullet Club in NJPW. When his brother joined NJPW and rebranded himself as Tonga Roa, the two formed The Guerrillas of Destiny and have been a dominant force in NJPW's tag team division. Since reuniting in 2016, the two have become 2-time IWGP Tag Team Champions. Given Vince McMahon's fetish for big Samoan men, don't be surprised if Meng's sons end up in WWE together sooner rather than later.
7 Paul Ellering - Rachael Ellering
Most NXT viewers are familiar with Paul Ellering as being the former manager for the Road Warriors and the current manager for the NXT Tag Team Champions, Authors of Pain. Before he was a manager, he was a weightlifter and wrestler who is a former AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion. Another Ellering who is on their way to bringing gold into her family's household is his daughter Rachael Ellering. She's already brought in a Bronze medal from the World Powerlifting Federation and after becoming a wrestler in 2015 via graduating from Lance Storm's Wrestling Academy, the 24-year old is on the verge of getting some gold around her waist. She's failed to pick up wins in one-off appearances for companies like SHINE and WWE NXT, but the fact she's made her presence known in these companies is helping her become a recognizable face in the wrestling world. She's definitely a wrestler we should all keep our eyes on for 2017.
6 Vader - Jake Carter
Big Van Vader has a reputation for being one of the best big men to ever step foot in the wrestling industry due to notable runs in companies like WCW, NJPW, and WWE. What isn't as well known is the career of his son, Jesse White. White was trained by his father and spent much of 2010 and 2011 wrestling tag matches in Japan with Vader. From there, White signed a WWE contract in 2011 and reported to their developmental system, FCW, under the name Jake Carter. There, he won the FCW Tag Team Titles with Corey Graves. When FCW was rebranded as NXT in 2012, Carter struggled to retain a shred of relevance under the brand. He went on a losing streak on-screen and struggled to find a character for himself. The ideas that he did have for his character kept getting shut down by NXT Creative. After having an awful dark match against Tensai, WWE decided to release Carter in 2013. While it is more than likely that Carter has quietly retired since leaving NXT, he isn't doing too bad for himself nowadays as he is currently dating WWE announcer Jojo Offerman.
5 Robbie Brookside - Xia Brookside
While few may recognize Robbie Brookside by name, we've all seen him a few times on WWE in the past few years. Since 2013, he has been working as a trainer and talent scout for the company and has made on-screen appearances by breaking up a 2015 brawl between Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns and, most recently, helping to promote the United Kingdom Championship Tournament. Speaking of Bryan, he credits his 2003 untelevised match in Germany against Brookside to be the greatest match he's ever wrestled. The Brookside name has been a staple of European wrestling for over 30 years and now Robbie's daughter, Xia, continues to live up to the family name. She's only been wrestling since 2015 and already has been wowing audiences around the world. She's wrestled for indie promotions like ICW and PWU, the latter of which where she is a former Women's Champion. Perhaps one day Robbie Brookside can put in a good word for her down at the Performance Center and we could see his daugther on NXT TV soon enough.
4 Scott Hall - Cody Hall
After spending some time in the United States Air Force, Cody Hall departed to become a wrestler and started training in 2012 under the tutelage of his father, Scott Hall. He spent a couple years working on the independent circuit before signing with NJPW as a trainee at the New Japan dojo. The younger Hall has fully embraced his wrestling heritage by adopting not only his father's name, but also emulating his gear, his moveset, and a similar persona. Taking cues from his dad's history with the nWo, Cody Hall joined the nWo-lite stable, The Bullet Club, in 2015. His affiliation with the group earned the rookie his first win in NJPW in April of that year and then, a year later, his first singles win in April 2016. Unfortunately, Hall was injured shortly after and spent the rest of the year on the shelf. In January 2017, it was announced that NJPW cut ties with Cody Hall as he's been released from the promotion. It is uncertain where Cody Hall's future goes from here, but any betting man or lady will tell you that he'll likely continue to perfect his craft on the indie scene before trying to make a jump to a certain brand in Orlando.
3 Chris Benoit - David Benoit
This is a sad one to talk about. Not only because of Chris Benoit and the crimes that he committed, but for how his son David has to pay for those crimes. It's going to be hard for David Benoit to find work in the wrestling world, yet alone WWE, without the shadow of Chris Benoit following him everywhere he goes. He eerily looks too much like his father and of course, there are obvious media issues that come with marketing his last name. Then again, maybe I'm wrong and maybe WWE will sign David Benoit under his own name one day. After all, the boy still has several friends within WWE and in 2015 claimed that WWE is open to letting David Benoit wrestle under his own name. News broke in 2015 that David Benoit started training with David Hart Smith to become a wrestler a couple years ago, but is yet to have his first match yet. Any news on David Benoit continuing to follow in his father's footsteps seems mute while his chances of joining WWE grow more unlikely each day. Hopefully, if David Benoit truly does want a shot in WWE, the company won't hold his family's legacy against him and just give him a chance.
1 Tully Blanchard - Tessa Blanchard
Tully Blanchard is best remembered as a former World Champion in the NWA where he was also one of the original members of The Four Horsemen. At the age of 63, the Hall of Famer has been long retired, but his daughter Tessa has been following in her father's footsteps for the last couple of years. She was inspired to wrestle after attending the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony where her father was inducted. She was drawn to that environment's electric atmosphere and immediately wanted to get in the ring for more of it. She quickly started training to be a wrestler and had her first match in 2014. With the little experience she has, she's already been on a steady rise to superstardom as of late. Tessa Blanchard has appeared on WWE TV a handful of times as both an extra on Adam Rose's party posse and a local jobber for NXT. Elsewhere, she's been racking up impressive wins and championships. She's currently one-half of the Shimmer Tag Team Champions with Vanessa Kraven. In addition to her impressive in-ring work, she is currently dating fellow wrestler Ricochet, who recently set the wrestling world on fire in the summer of 2016 due to his divisive and jaw dropping match with Will Ospreay in NJPW. Hopefully, Tessa Blanchard can make similar huge waves in 2017.
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