The wrestling industry is hugely profitable for descendants of wrestlers who succeeded in the business as we’ve seen so many children of legendary wrestlers try their hand at what their parents excelled at. Because of the preference given to them knowing that “they have wrestling in their blood”, many children and descendants of Hall of Famers have tried to take wrestling as their profession and it’s obvious to know that a child will try to follow in their father’s footsteps and try to become a great superstar like him.
The rapport some of these wrestlers form with the wrestling companies allows them to push their children into the business, but only the talented survive in this competitive industry as many of these children turn out to be the exact opposite of their parent and soon perish to the dark corners of wrestling and then out of it completely. Sure, some of the children turn out to be extremely talented and some of them even surpass the legacy of their ancestors, like Randy Orton or Roman Reigns achieving what their fathers never could. But it’s mostly of the case of a wrestler greedily pushing their children into the company hoping for further fame and respect, but in turn their children turn out to be complete busts.
Some of these second or third generation wrestlers are given opportunities to shine at the developmental process, but the lack of talent for wrestling really leaves the companies with no chance but to oust them. So many children or grandchildren of legendary wrestlers have perished because of their lack of talent in the ring and put a dark mark on the legacy of their ancestors who built the family heritage with their hard work, only to see their reputation go down the drain through their desperate children.
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5 Lacey Von Erich (then)
The Von Erich family is an extremely respected one in the field of wrestling as Fritz Von Erich is considered to be one of the pioneers of wrestling who was key to what it is today. Lacey Von Erich is the granddaughter of Fritz, and another example of how the talent in the family is only getting worse with each generation. She joined WWE in 2007, becoming the first third generation superstar to come out of the Von Erich family but only saw some months in their developmental territory in FCW before being released. She would wrestle for indy promotions like Wrestlicious and Women Superstars Uncensored before being signed by TNA. Lacey would become aligned with Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne as part of The Beautiful People and dominated the knockouts division alongside them, also winning the TNA knockouts tag titles. But she abruptly announced her retirement in November 2010 and left the company.
20. Lacey Von Erich (now)
Von Erich retired from wrestling after announcing on Twitter that “we all knew she wasn’t a Von Erich in the ring” and then moved onto taking care of her family and spending more time being a mom than a wrestler. She runs her own advertising company in Southern California as well, and doesn’t seem to come out of wrestling anytime soon as she seemed to be quite uninterested wrestling in the first place and probably did it “for the family name” for which she did nothing but disappoint.
4 Jake Carter (then)
The son of the great Big Van Vader, Jake Carter couldn’t even achieve a quarter of what his father did and found it difficult to survive in the company. He received wrestling training from his father and Harley Race, before being signed to NXT to develop himself as a wrestler. He would join Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) and become FCW Tag Champions with Corey Graves. They would stick together for a while as FCW turned into NXT, but Carter found it difficult after disbanding with him. He would lose all the matches he participated in, and rarely got much TV time. He was released in 2013 when he couldn’t come up with anything creative for his character and continuously had awful matches.
3 Jake Carter (now)
Carter hasn’t wrestled since his controversial sending off from NXT and has failed to capture the attention of other wrestling promotions. Since 2013, he has been dating WWE announcer JoJo. Carter continues to tag himself as a “freelancer” but the inability to find any more work in the field of wrestling has effectively made him semi-retired. It probably comes of much humiliation for Carter, whose father Vader still gets more appearances than him as his aspiring career to become the man like his father failed miserably, as he couldn’t even be close to the man his father was in the wrestling business.
18. Manu (then)
A descendent of the reputed Anoa’I family, Afa Anoa’I Jr. or better known as Manu is the son of Afa Anoa’I (who was part of The Wild Samoans in the 80s) who tried his hand at the WWE like every Anoa’I ever. He’d be in their developmental in Deep South Wrestling, FCW and OVW before moving to the main roster where he’d be suspended some months after debuting for violating WWE’s wellness policy. Manu then returned to help Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr. win the Tag Team Titles, thereby aligning with them as they created Legacy which was led by Randy Orton. He was soon kicked out from Legacy and then released by the WWE because of having backstage attitude problems.
18. Manu (now)
Manu then returned to the independent scene from where he has initially begun with, returning to World Xtreme Wrestling. He had some good years at the promotion before moving onto some matches for Regional Championship Wrestling. Manu has been wrestling for Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling since 2014, capturing the promotion’s Heavyweight title once. There were rumors of Manu battling serious health issues earlier this year when he posted some cryptic tweets on Twitter indicating so, but he soon informed everyone that he was okay. Manu’s attitude problems is what led him to such low key promotions, and the lack of anything really attractive also didn’t make for a wrestler in him.
17. Lanny Poffo (then)
The son of WCW Hall of Famer and NWA legend Angelo Poffo and brother of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Lanny Poffo was caught in a rather shameful situation watching the meteoric rise of his brother and being stuck in horrible gimmicks himself. After a “Leaping" Lanny Poffo gimmick, he was given a "Genius" gimmick by Vince McMahon which didn’t even allow him to be considered for a title. His spotlight moment would come when he faced Hulk Hogan in a televised event and destroyed his WWE Championship with Mr. Perfect, but would soon get drowned in the undercard. After being released by WWE, he tried his hand in WCW where he couldn’t really make an impact either in spite of being there for five years.
2 Lanny Poffo (now)
Not really helped by father Angelo or brother Randy, Lanny Poffo would try out in independent promotions as well after his years at WWE and WCW, but would only go on to make periodic appearances. Outside wrestling, Lanny has published two books with one being an anti-smoking book of limericks called Limericks from the Heart and Lungs. Lanny is also a certified motivational speaker and credit counselor and also played a K9 officer in Discovery’s I (Almost) Got Away With It. Poffo also returned to the WWE to induct his brother into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, but when it comes to wrestling, he’s probably the failure in the family.
16. El Hijo de Dos Caras (then)
El Hijo de Dos Caras derived the latter part of his name from father Dos Caras, who was labeled as the “best heavyweight ever to come out of Mexico”. El Hijo is also the brother of WWE Superstar Alberto Del Rio, but could never make it big like this brother or father. He started out his career as Memo Montenegro in NXT, as his debut was a one to forget as he lost inside 21 seconds to Big E. Hijo would then go on to lose more matches as the lack of popularity didn’t let him excel either in the company and he would ask for his release in 2013 and would return to Mexico.
16. El Hijo de Dos Caras (now)
The Luchador would return to Mexico and join a wrestling promotion called International Wrestling Revolution Group where he would start portraying a tecnico or a good guy character. El Hijo would go on to win the IWRG Intercontinental Heavyweight Title twice and because of his father’s legacy and reputation is held in high regard in the small promotion. But in order to make it big, he needs to join a more prominent and renowned company in order to reach the legacy of his father and the popularity his brother has right now, as he’ll always be known as the dark spot of the family unless he improves.
15. Rene Dupree (then)
Rene Dupree is the son of Emile Dupree who was the promoter and booker of Grand Prix Wrestling, known for being the stepping stone for wrestlers like Edge and Christian among other legends. Rene would derive his wrestling genes from his father and inspired to move into the business as he signed on for WWE quite early into his career. Dupree debuted as an anti-American with Slyvain Grenier to form La Resistance as they soon won the World Tag Team Championship becoming the youngest ever champion in WWE history at 19. He would then go on to become the youngest man to win the WWE Tag Team titles with Kenzo Suzuki. But that would be the end of the fairy tale for Dupree, who would be tangled in many brand switches and then sent back to developmental because of the lack of proper wrestling skills. Rene was released in 2007 at his own request.
15. Rene Dupree (now)
After leaving, Dupree moved onto the indy circuit in Europe before moving to Japan where he wrestled for Hustle and All Japan Pro Wrestling. He was mainly a tag team guy in these promotions as well as the lack of that “main event quality” disabled a top level push for him as he moved to Wrestle-1 next, and was put into that same tag team division. Dupree, now retired from wrestling also came into news when a shoot interview revealing all the dirty secrets of the WWE locker room came out some years back. Dupree recently filed a lawsuit against WWE over royalties and how he should be paid when his content airs on the WWE Network. He apparently also started helping his father revive his Grand Prix Wrestling promotion in 2013, as his wrestling career is filled with controversy and somewhat of a disappointment.
14. Ray Gordy (then)
It’s rather astonishing to discover that the ever-so entertaining Terry Gordy’s (known for his time as part of The Fabulous Freebirds) son would be such a disappointment to his father. Ray Gordy started off at WWE with an awful gangsta gimmick which didn’t bode well with fans at all, before becoming Jesse with Festus (now Luke Gallows) who was a human vegetable before coming alive when the bell rang. Not to say this could only go on for so long and after disbanding with Festus, Gordy would get another awful gimmick before finally being released.
14. Ray Gordy (now)
After being released from WWE in 2012, Gordy would retire from professional wrestling and become a police officer in Atlanta, Georgia. He revealed to WWE.com in an interview this year that he’s currently in their SWAT team and loves doing his work. Gordy made an appearance in April when his father was inducted into the Hall of Fame and accepted the award on his behalf, but his own time in the WWE is something which his father would be rather disappointed of and he would’ve been better of it in the first place.
13. Brian Lawler (then)
Being the son of Jerry “The King” Lawler isn’t exactly easy, as son Brian Christopher would find out after trying his hand in wrestling. Trained by Jerry himself, Brian would start out in some independent promotions before making the move to the WWE with his father’s help. He started out in the cruiserweight division because of his physique and then formed a team with Scotty 2 Hotty and became Grandmaster Sexay himself to form Too Cool. The duo was joined by Rikishi as the three danced their way into tag team success, but soon disbanded and after some months Brian Lawler was fired because of illegally smuggling drugs into the country.
13. Brian Lawler (now)
Brian would have short stints in different wrestling promotions after his release from WWE, as he wandered around places trying to make a name for himself but failing. He would use his Grandmaster Sexay gimmick in the independent circuit as some of his fans paid to watch him, but he was mostly there just for gags. In 2009, Lawler was arrested many times for drug uses and disorderly conducts and faced a 30 day jail sentence. He has been drug/alcohol free since 2013 and even went onto release his music album Bringing Sexay Back last year. Christopher is now concentrated on running his own independent shows and also does inspirational speeches at schools.
12. Wes Brisco (then)
Wes Brisco would get into the wrestling business because of the influence of his father Gerald Brisco’s affluence in the wrestling business and would go straight into FCW. He would win the FCW Tag Titles with Xavier Woods, but would have to vacate it after being sidelined with injury and eventually be released. After a short stint in the indy circuit, Wes would join TNA and be heavily involved in their Aces & Eights stable and eventually form it with Garrett Bischoff. He would be kicked out of the group and then leave after a four month hiatus in January 2014.
12. Wes Brisco (now)
After failing to impress in both WWE and TNA, Brisco would try his hand in the ever competitive and ruthless atmosphere of New Japan Pro Wrestling where he was pushed to challenge for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Tag Team Championship but failed to capture either. He left NJPW and went on to try his hand in a rather low key promotion named Paragon Pro Wrestling in 2015 where he won the Paragon Pro Wrestling Title but went to lose it the next week. He has been wrestling in the promotion ever since and has been desperately looking for Indy bookings, as it seems even his father’s name can’t shadow the absolute lack of skills he has in wrestling.
11. Erik Watts (then)
Erik Watts only came into the wrestling industry because of his father Bill Watts who was the booker of WCW and trained his son Erik to bring him to the company. Erik was heavily pushed by his father as he went on to have an undefeated streak in WCW even though nobody really cared about him, making for accusations of nepotism against Bill. He was continued to be booked strongly, but after his father left WCW he was sent to the lower-tier where he was booked well. He would follow his father to WWE and put into a tag team with Chad Fortune which didn’t really go that well, as both of them were released some months after failing to impress. He then went onto have stints back at WCW then ECW, All Japan Pro Wrestling and TNA where he formed a stable with other second generation wrestlers in Brian Lawler and David Flair and also acted as Director of Authority for a while.
11. Erik Watts (now)
Watts moved to the independent circuit after leaving TNA going on to primarily work for a Georgia based wrestling promotion called Great Championship Wrestling before going on to win the Intercontinental title at AWA Superstars of Wrestling. The title was retired by the AWA board of directors a year later as Watts returned to Great Championship Wrestling to be the promotions booker. He currently plays the authority role for the promotion in their weekly live events as his fall from grace has been remarkable, but you can’t blame it as his wrestling skills were just not good enough to the make it to the big stages.
10. Scott Putski (then)
The son of Ivan Putski, the legendary wrestler of the 70’s in Scott Putski was a total bust as compared to his Hall of Famer father who trained him and got him involved into the business of wrestling. He started off in Global Wrestling Federation before moving to the WWE where he couldn’t really find his groove and was always in the lower tier of the roster. After doing literally nothing at his time in the WWE, he moved to WCW. Not that he would find any prominence here as he only survived in the company for a year and retired in 2003 after some years in the indy circuit.
12. Scott Putski (now)
After ten years of retirement, Scott would return to the squared circle in 2013 for the NWA Ark-La-Tex promotion where he became their inaugural NWA Ark-La-Tex Champion. He rarely wrestles anymore, making periodic appearances and is apparently more focused on “getting into shape” and taking care of his children in his home state of Texas. Putski is pretty bitter about the current wrestling product and says that the change in the product led him to leaving, as he is probably now focused on raising his children to become better wrestlers than him and renew the legacy of Ivan.
11. Rosey (then)
Another descendent of the Anoa’I family, Rosey is the son of Sika Anoa’I (known for his short stint at WWE) and the brother of “The Guy” Roman Reigns, so one can imagine the competition and pressure he’s constantly been in. After much training from his uncles and a stint in Japan, Rosey debuted in the WWE as part of the 3 Minute Warning with Ekmo, who were a pair of villainous savages who got pleasure in beating helpless people around. They competed for a while as a low-tier team before Ekmo was released, and Rosey took a different path and became the “superhero” partner of Hurricane. He transformed his bad-ass mannerisms for a friendly cape-wearing “hero” which was absolutely ridiculous and felt just wrong in spite of them getting a good push and then had an dissatisfying feud with Hurricane when the latter turned heel. He was schedule to reunite with Ekmo after he was re-hired but was released himself.
9. Rosey (now)
Rosey went on to work on the independent circuit for a while and also went to Japan only to get nothing but failure. He would be re-called by WWE who put him in OVW with his cousin Manu to form the Sons of Samoa, but he left the promotion after sometime. Rosey would again move to the independent scene, competing for some low-key, unknown promotions. Aside from wrestling, Rosey was a featured contestant for an ABC reality show called Fat March where overweight people would have to walk miles. He also runs his own restaurant called Island Boi BBQ. Rosey was hospitalized in 2014 due to congestive heart failure but made a full recovery. He now runs a wrestling promotion called Epic Championship Wrestling with father Sika, as with his unfit body he could’ve never made it to the bigger stages.
8. Shawn Stasiak (then)
The son of WWE legend Stan “The Man” Stasiak, the same status cannot be given to Shawn who had a wrestling career to forget. He would debut as Meat and worked a bizarre romantic angle with Stacy “The Kat” Carter before becoming a jobber and leaving the company. Stasiak jumped ships to WCW at the worst possible time, and even though he did win the WCW Tag team titles with Chuck Palumbo, he would come back to WWE when WCW was bought by Vince McMahon. Not much came good of this, as he was part of The Alliance and “lost his job” after they were defeated. Shawn was repackaged to a gimmick where he was a comically insane character claiming to be from “Planet Stasiak”. Nothing good came off this as he requested his release in 2002 to pursue other business options.
8. Shawn Stasiak (now)
After retiring from wrestling, Shawn would become a chiropractor and got his certificate from the Academy of Physical and Manual Medicine in New York in 2007. Stasiak currently works for the Advanced Comprehensive Medical team based out of Texas as a professional chiropractor. In addition to that, he also works as a motivational speaker, enacting a character he had created during his college days. A video surfaced online in 2015, where Stasiak showed himself training and said he wanted to return to the ring and win the WWE Championship, making them the first ever father/son couple to do so, but that doesn’t seem possible anymore.
7. Barry Orton (then)
Randy Orton wasn’t the only son of Bob Orton had who tried his luck in wrestling, as his elder son in Barry Orton would also try it out in the WWE in the 80’s. He was mostly a jobber but had a claim to fame as Zodiac in the latter stages of his WWE career and then going on to wrestle under the mask in Stampede Wrestling as the name Zodiac was a tribute to his father who wrestled under the name in Florida during his time. After a stint at Stampede Wrestling under the mask, Barry O would return to the WWE for a short stint before retiring from wrestling in 1990.
8. Barry Orton (now)
After retiring from wrestling, Barry would again be in the spotlight as he confessed to WWE booker Terry Garvin wanting Barry to perform oral sex on him during the latter’s sex scandal in the 90’s. This brought a sort of black mark on his wrestling career as not many wanted to hire him and he didn’t get any prominent work in the wrestling circuit nor somewhere else. After beating his addiction, he went to New York to study classical theatre and also went on to make a film called Tweak the Heat in 2005. Barry along with father Bob helped to develop his younger brother Randy into a prominent wrestler and he himself last appeared in a wrestling ring in 2011 when he participated in a Legends Wrestling-Royale event in LA. Not even the shadow of what his father was and brother is, Barry wandered into some dark phases in his wrestling career which shouldn’t have begun in the first place.
6. Deuce (then)
It would’ve been rather difficult for one to make out that Deuce of Deuce & Domino was the son of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka if they hadn’t mentioned it on WWE, as this old school wrestler didn’t really manage to shine as much as his father. After getting training from Superfly himself, he would get an opportunity in the WWE where he was sent to OVW and created his team with Dice Domino and Cherry. They got a push early in their careers, winning the WWE tag titles and having a decent run in which Deuce also competed against his father. But they fell from glory as Domino got injured and soon disbanded, and Deuce found nothing in his singles career as Sim Snuka. After botching his role in the Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania XXV, he would be let go of in 2009.
6. Deuce (now)
As his former partner Domino went places in search for a more prominent career, Deuce went to NWA to work there for some years before he decided to retire from wrestling altogether. As his sister Tamina now can be seen on WWE TV, he has just given up on his wrestling ability and now is settled in Arizona where he now works for research and development for a health supplement company. The son of Superfly couldn’t exactly manage to rise to the heights his father did, and had a rather difficult wrestling career with some shining moments.
5. Shaul Guerrero (then)
Being the daughter of the late, great Eddie Guerrero probably wasn’t easy as the expectation to follow up on his legacy must’ve been an extremely difficult one for Shaul Guerrero who tried her hand in wrestling. She joined WWE’s developmental territory in FCW and also became the Queen of FCW during her time there and also won the FCW Diva’s championship. After FCW was rebranded into NXT, she appeared as an Ultra Diva who drew an “L” on the faces on the Divas who she defeated. She requested her release from the company to attend school and came back, but only to get released again.
5. Shaul Guerrero (now)
Guerrero revealed that she had left the WWE because of an eating disorder and had to go to rehab in order to get rid of it. She never really returned to the wrestling ring after her WWE developmental career and decided to go to a veterinarian school in 2014. In December of the same year, she got engaged to current WWE Superstar Aiden English as they got married earlier this year. It doesn’t seem as if she’s willing to return to the ring either, as her wrestling career was an extreme disappointment to the whole Guerrero family.
4. Ted DiBiase Jr. (then)
The son of the ever charismatic “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in Ted DiBiase Jr. wasn’t exactly as charismatic as his father in the ring and just didn’t feel right to be a wrestler. A graduate in business administration and a Bachelor of Science, he wanted to uphold the legacy of his father by going into the WWE. After developmental at FCW, he went on to the main roster to quickly form The Legacy consisting of other second generation superstars in Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes. He and Rhodes dominated with Orton as their leader and had some good feuds with DX being their best. But Orton got tired of them and buried the team, making them split soon. As his partner Rhodes would find some glory as a singles competitor, Ted found it difficult to make a mark as he brought his father’s Million Dollar Championship and Virgil but the title and gimmick was made a mockery off. Another gimmick didn’t work either as he decided to leave the WWE in 2013.
1 Ted DiBiase Jr. (now)
After leaving the WWE, DiBiase made some appearances on the independent circuit and worked some shows before retiring from wrestling soon enough. He said that he wanted to spend more time with his family and that he was tired of being a disappointing wrestler. DiBiase acted in a film called The Marine 2 during his time at WWE, and during his latter stages of his WWE career created a non-profit organization named The Ted DiBiase Foundation where ailing people could meet him. After leaving WWE, he took up an executive position with a site called CollegeGarageSale.com. DiBiase Jr. has been working with the Warrior Bonfire Project which helps heal wounded veterans. He has also his own YouTube show called The DiBiase Posse which focuses on his life outside the ring, as his career inside it was disappointing to say the least.
3. Richie Steamboat (then)
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was an icon in his heyday, giving some memorable matches and cementing his legacy as a WWE Legend. The same cannot be said about his son Richie who’s wrestling career is a tragedy. Richie would start training with his dad and Harley Race and competed in various independent promotions around the world before arriving in WWE’s FCW territory in 2009. He went on to some success in the FCW, as he won the FCW Heavyweight Championship as well as Tag Titles before transitioning to NXT. He had a feud with Kassius Ohno in his time in NXT, but afterwards would suffer a bad injury and was reportedly released by the WWE in 2013.
3. Richie Steamboat (now)
His father Ricky announced in 2015 that Richie won’t be able to wrestle again because of a back injury which he had suffered during his time in NXT. An amateur footballer as well as aspiring wrestler, this injury rattled his career as a wrestler which maybe could’ve been good in a few years and ended in a tragic failure. Richie has completed two years of college courses in international business and plans to return to college to finish his degree as he looks into options other than wrestling as he won’t be able to uphold his father’s legacy in that field.
2. David Flair (then)
David Flair never really wanted to become a wrestler, but his arrogant father Ric wanted his son to carry on his legacy after he semi-retired from wrestling and forced him into the business. David joined WCW and was shielded as much as possible by his father Ric who lashed out on anyone who was a bit harsh on his kid. He mostly stuck around with his dad ruling the WCW, but soon went on his own to form the New Hardcore Revolution with Crowbar. They won the WCW Tag titles but dropped it soon and David went on to have a horrible singles career, which involved him having an on-screen wedding with Stacy Keibler. That didn’t happen as it was revealed that Stacy was pregnant and the dad wasn’t David as he went paranoid and tried to find out the real father. David would soon spiral out of the company with his father before having short stints in WWE and TNA.
2. David Flair (now)
David continued to work in the independent circuit because of his family’s name but soon left the business only to make rare appearances in the WWE, as he was there as his father was inducted into the Hall of Fame and during his father’s farewell ceremony as well. David had stated time and again that he didn’t really want to join wrestling and wanted to be a state trooper instead, but was forced into the business which was a disaster for his career. David currently resides in Shelby, North Carolina with wife Robin as he’s in the line of business nowadays managing The Seal Wire Company with his wife and looking after its daily operations.
1. David Sammartino (then)
The legendary Bruno Sammartino initially did not want his son, David to go into wrestling and face the horrors he had to in order to become such an icon, but David didn’t listen and decided to go in anyways. Being trained by Bruno himself, one had high expectations of David as he debuted in the WWE in 1984 with his father at his side. He received a big push teaming with his father, as Vince McMahon used David to get Bruno to make appearances and gather a lot of crowds. David got main event matches when Bruno was there, but on his own he would be in preliminary matches. After Bruno left his side, David would be turned into a glorified jobber and lost to another jobber in his last match and left the company on a bitter note.
1. David Sammartino (now)
David would try his hand in other independent promotions on his own, with his relationship with his father being strained because of his reckless lifestyle and also because David resented his father after he didn’t want to compete alongside him. David would also have a stint in WCW but dissolved into leaving the wrestling business after his failure in the company. Sammartino is currently semi-retired and has been working as a personal trainer since 1996. He occasionally makes appearances in the ring in many Legends Events as his last competed match was against Larry Zbyszko in 2010. David Sammartino is the perfect example of an arrogant kid trying to hog his dad’s fame, as the untalented wrestler should’ve listened to his father and never joined the industry in the first place.
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