What’s more exciting than watching one of your favorite wrestlers go at it in the ring? Maybe watching a whole family of superstars competing! In wrestling history there have been some pretty incredible factions. Some of the all time greatest wrestling stables are families! Many times the squared circle has been filled with family members looking to dominate the wrestling scene. From old school legends like the Von Erichs to fan favorites like the Hart Foundation wrestling families have more than left their mark in the sports entertainment world. However not all of these families have actual blood relations.
There have been so many amazing, over the top wrestling families over the years that audiences sometimes lose track of which families are related by blood and which are just playing the part. It can be hard to tell when two wrestlers playing characters actually look like brothers. A wrestling family has to be unique in and out of the ring! Intriguing audiences, making them hate or love them is what all the greatest families did. As the WWE universe keeps getting bigger there will no doubt continue to be a rising number of wrestling families but which are real and which are fake?
These wrestling families might look, act, talk and dress alike but they are actually not related at all! Check out the Top 15 Wrestlers You Thought Were Related That Actually Aren't.
16 The Hillbilly Family
The Hillbilly Family was a weird bunch... None of the Hillbilly family members are actually related. The very first member was Hillbilly Jim from Mudlick, Kentucky. With a massive beard and denim overalls Hillbilly Jim truly looked the part. At 6-foot-7, 320 pounds not only could Jim hold his own in the ring he was considered a threatening opponent. Giant Uncle Elmer debuted along with clumsy and slow Cousin Junior who loved to carry an old sack with a horseshoe in it and no one really knew why but he had one hell of a mulekick. After a few months junior was replaced by Cousin Luke.
The problem with Cousin Luke was not only did the emotionless Hillbilly never speak, he had no idea how to wrestle! Due to health reasons both Cousin Luke and Uncle Elmore were forced to retire, disbanding the Hillbilly Family. Hillbilly Jim continued to have a successful main event level career in the WWE for years until retiring due to a neck injury.
15 The Hart Foundation
The name Hart is one of prestige. It's one of those names that will forever hold weight in the wrestling community. The Hart Foundation is easily considered one of the all time most dominate stables. Led by Brett "The Hitman", the Hart foundation was made up mostly of relatives of the Canadian superstar. The original groups members were Brett, brother in-law Jim Neidhart, Dangerous Danny Davis and manager "Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart. The Stable was later reborn with Owen Hart, Brian Pillman (who was considered like a brother to the Harts) and The British Bulldog. Jim "The Anvil" who trained in the infamous Hart Dungeon married Bret and Owen's sister making him actually family. The British Bulldog who also trained at the Hart Dungeon married into the family as well but was later divorced before his passing in 2002.
The silver tongued slick talker Jimmy Hart is the only Hart to actually not be related. Jimmy and his beloved megaphone actually hail from Memphis, Tennessee a long way from Calgary, Alberta, Canada where the Harts call home.
14 The Dudley Boyz
Without a doubt The Dudley Boyz go down as one of the greatest tag teams of all time! An all time fan favourite, these WWE legends helped shape tag team wrestling into what it is today. The Dudley Family story goes like this... Big Daddy Dudley was a wrestling salesman in the 60s and 70s. He traveled up, down and all over the country wrestling in the ring and in the sheets! Big Daddy Dudley left a son in every city he stopped in. There was Dudley Dudley (the only child of Mama Dudley), Snot Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, Dances With Dudley, Chubby Dudley, Spike Dudley and even more! The most infamous Dudleys however were Bubba Ray and D-Von. At first the two had a heated rivalry and were pitted against each other constantly. D-Von's bad ass character couldn't stand the stuttering idiot Bubba Ray. Eventually the two combined forces and became a real tag team to fear.
Although the family story was just a tall tale the real Dudley Boyz will forever be synonymous with two things, tag team wrestling and tables!
13 Roman Reigns & The Rock
One of, if not, the greatest wrestling families of all time is the Anoai' Family. For generations this historic family of Samoans has dominated the wrestling world. From headliners such as Yokozuna and Rikishi to one of the most talented but hated superstars the WWE has ever seen, Roman Reigns. The wrestling roots of this family run seriously deep, with over 15 members of the family competing at the highest levels. No name may represent the family name or business better than the one and only Dwayne "Rock" Johnson. While The Rock has always embraced his heritage, technically he is not related to the Anoai's by blood. In traditional Samoan culture it is not irregular to extend your family tree by having what are called "Blood Brothers". Dwaynes uncle was considered a "Blood Brother" by Roman Reigns grandfather therefore extending the branch for the two superstars to label themselves "cousins".
12 Andre The Giant & Big Show
People have been trying to find out the truth for years. So let's just go right ahead and put this one to bed. Andre the Giant is not The Big Show's father. The reality is the two have zero relation whatsoever. The 7 ft 4', 520 pound "Eight Wonder Of The World" Andre the Giant is actually from France, while Big Show is a proud patriot of the U.S.A. People have been speculating since day one whether or not Big Show is the son of the late, great Andre the Giant. Early in his WCW career as "Paul Wight" Big Show faced up against Hulk Hogan who proceeded to tell audiences he was to wrestle Andre the Giants son. Big Show at 7 ft tall and close to 400 pounds had an unmistakeable look a like all too familiar with wrestling fans, that of his supposed father. Paul wore the same black one strapped singlet that the mountainous man Andre the Giant had sported. Nicknamed "The Giant" Big Show re-enacted famous Andre posses in promotions. Eventually WCW cut the references to the bloodline and left fans to speculate for themselves.
11 The Holly Cousins
The Holly Family is certainly one of the more decorated families in WWE. The three supposed cousins have left their mark as the cream of the crop, winning multiple titles both in their solo careers and in tag team wrestling. Hardcore Holly was the first of the family to come along portraying a NASCAR driver named Thurman “Sparky” Plugg, the act was very quickly dropped and replaced with the role of Bob Holly and later Hardcore Holly known as one of the toughest wrestlers in the WWE. Crash Holly who had come out of independent circuits and smaller promotions as the tough Irishman Erin O'Grady was brought out as another "Super heavy weight" by Hardcore as his cousin on Monday Night Raw in '99.
Unfortunately for wrestling fans that means the two were just faux cousins but that didn't seem to take away from their chemistry or ability to smash heads. In the beginning the two were at each others throats constantly over who was the toughest Holly both dubbing themselves the heavier heavy weight. The duo of hot headed, brawlers wound up eventually getting along and in 2000 were paired with a new cousin Molly Holly. Her super strength made her the perfect fit to the already jacked up Holly Family. Holly became a huge star in WWE but like most likely always be remember her forced head shaving on the grandest stage in all of sports entertainment WrestleMania XX.
10 The Valiant Brothers
Jimmy Valiant started his in ring career as Big Jim Valen but was moulded into Handsome Jimmy Valiant by the WWWF in the 70s. Jimmy found the perfect partner in John L. Sullivan who was renamed Johnny Valiant creating a true heel tag team and another famous wrestling family. The flowing blonde hair and general intensity of the two brothers helped fans buy into the whole fake family story even when they added the third brother "Gentleman" Jerry. The two became a force in tag team wrestling earning and retaining multiple championships.
Johnny retired from fighting and became "Luscious" Johnny V manager for some of the biggest names in wrestling like Demolition, Hulk Hogan and his ultimate dream team Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake leading them to the World Tag Team Championship. After parting ways Jimmy Valiant adapted another (and perhaps his most popular) role as the "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant a bearded, almost biker like version of himself. Post wrestling Jimmy Valiant opened and still runs a training school called Boogie's Wrestling Camp and his faux brother Johnny continues to entertain his fans as an actor and stand up comedian. In 1996 the Valiant brothers were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
9 The Smoking Gunns
The Smoking Gunns were a WWE tag team consisting of Billy Gunn and Bart Gunn. In 1992 a wrestling promotion at Universal Studios paired up two cowboy like characters and called them the Long Riders. The duo had instant chemistry and very quickly earned themselves a tryout with WWE. Hired on the spot the tag team was rechristened Bart and Billy, The Smoking Gunns. The brothers shocked the WWE Universe twirling lassos and firing blanks from old six shooters like it was the wild west. Billy Gunn was clearly the more dominant of the two superstars earning more main card matches than his brother Bart. In 1996 the stunning Sunny became the team’s manager but a romance with Billy along with loosing the titles to Owen Hart and The British Bulldog ultimately led to the break up of the crazy cowboy Gunn brothers for good.
7 The Garvin Brothers
Ronnie and Terry Garvin were billed as brothers but in reality the Garvin Family was just a faux. The only thing Roger Barnes and Terry Dobec had in common besides their looks was that they were both from Montreal, Canada. The two wrestlers looked quite similar with a hefty build and long blond hair. The Garvin Brothers competed together as a tag team joined by a third brother Jimmy as their manager for seven years. Jimmy actually was family after Ronnie married his mother. The chemistry the "brothers" had from training together for so long showed leading them to win multiple tag team titles. In 2016 Jimmy Garvin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Fabulous Freebirds helping cement the Garvin name into the wrestling history books.
6 The Beverly Brothers
How could you forget the Beverly Brothers? The way they would bounce opponents off the ropes right into that deadly Shaker Heights Spike. The skull crushing finishing move pulled off by the handsome but hated Beau & Blake led to a lot of 1, 2, 3 counts. Looking at Beau & Blake standing next to each other it wasn't hard to believe that the two were related even though that was just a story line created by WWE. Before they were billed as The Beverly Brothers, Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom were known as The Destruction Crew and managed by Jonny Valiant. They were also previously called The Minnesota Wrecking Crew II. So no they weren't actually brothers but the slicked, bleached blond hair and spoiled attitudes made it hard to tell.
5 The Basham Brothers
Another case of look a likes. The Baldheaded brutes Doug Basham and Danny Basham were billed as brothers in WWE from the get go but had no real blood ties. Before being recruited the two men had been involved in a lengthy feud in OVW. The once enemies turned family members won their first match on Smackdown! defeating Rikishi and Spanky. Off to an impressive start in WWE the Bashams then introduced the strong and sexy dominatrix Shaniqua to their team. The devious Diva did what all the great managers do best; interfere and intimidate. After feuding with the APA the Bashams were then asked to join JBLs new stable "The Cabinet" as the official co-Secretaries of Defense. Even though the Basham Brothers gimmick was changed more than once they will be remembered as one of the top sibling pairings, whether they were related or not.
4 The Major Brothers
When WWE superstars Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder first arrived they were known as Brian Myers & Brett Matthews. The WWE replaced the duos last names with a new surname, Major. In 2007 Brian & Brett were drafted to one of WWE's major shows Smackdown! Now with new opportunities and identities the Major Brothers could show off their too cool for life personas and in ring talents. After becoming OVW Southern Tag Team Champions and partaking in multiple heated rivalries the two cool cats from NY had their characters redesigned again.
It was Armageddon '07, Edge was set to battle Batista and The Undertaker in a triple treat match for the World Heavyweight Title when two long haired goons portrayed as "Edge Heads" interfered and helped Edge capture the championship. The new persona as Edge's disciples was really what helped escalate both wrestlers careers. Eventually being rechristened Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins the one time brothers were separated when Zack Ryder was drafted to ECW. Kurt Hawkins retired due to injury but has recently made a come back now on Monday Night Raw.
3 Edge & Christian
The two golden haired, comedic Canadians put on some of the most thrilling matches in WWE history. Edge & Christian became fan favorites of the Attitude Era known for the disregard for their own safety. In the beginning WWE billed the tag team as brothers which no one questioned based on the fact that they both grew up in Orangeville, Ontario, both had luxurious long blond hair and a savage sense of humour. Edge and Christian first broke out portraying dark, gothic vampire characters in the stable "The Brood". Christian (later nicknamed Captain Charisma) debuted with Gangrel in a feud against his scripted brother Edge but the two managed to eventually recruit Edge to join them. A few years later the team engaged in a feud with "The Ministry of Darkness" leading to the kidnapping of "The Brood" and the two stables combining forces. Christian & Edge later formed their own separate tag team cutting all ties from Gangrel.
WWE let the premise of Edge & Christian being brothers just dissipate and the truth that the two were not brothers and just long time best friends was embraced. The stunt filled, grueling matches Edge & Christian would put on constantly left their health in jeopardy but turned the two wrestler into celebrities.
2 Fritz & Waldo Von Erich
The Von Erichs easily go down in history as one of the most famous wrestling families ever to step in the ring. Fritz Von Erich born Jack B. Adkisson, Sr. in 1929 was quite the house hold name in the 60's and 70's with his all too intense finishing move "The Iron Claw". Fritz and Waldo played the convincing part of Nazi brothers becoming absolutely despised heels. While there was no real blood relation between the Von Erich brothers they did spend time training under the famous Stu Hart, Bret Hart's father. The tag team eventually split, Waldo continued to play a villain and a heel for different promotions and Fitz later took a small promotion in Dallas and tuned it into WCCW where some of the most iconic superstars of all time competed.
Fritz had six sons, five of which followed in their fathers footsteps as wrestlers taking the last name Von Erich. Kerry had the most significant career signing to the WWE as "The Texas Tornado" although he was most popular for defeating Ric Flair and winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in what is said to be one of the all time greatest wrestling matches. Kevin and David also had successful careers within WCCW. The two younger brothers Mike and Chris wrestled but never reached heights like their brothers. Fritz died of brain cancer in 97 but following the the sudden and gruesome deaths of his sons. In 2009 the Von Erichs were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
1 Arn & Ole Anderson
The Minnesota Wrecking Crew was made up of the tough, hardnosed, Anderson family. The resemblance between Ole and Arn was uncanny. Not only did they look alike, their in-ring styles seemed to be identical as well. Cousins was certainly a believable storyline however it was all kayfabe. The Anderson family was actually founded by Gene Anderson who was the clear cut leader of his brothers and cousins. Arn & Ole were mainly bodyguard like figures to their other kayfabe cousin the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. All that changed the day Arn made a Four Horsemen reference in a promotion they were filming and just like that the ground breaking faction the Four Horsemen was born.
While Arn & Ole get most of they're recognition for being founding members of the jet flying, limousine riding Horsemen they did manage to win the national tag team championship previous to their luxurious life style. Fake cousins or not Arn & Ole's exhilarating promos and in ring performances make them one of the all time best wrestling families.