A lot of the time pro wrestling can very much be a family business. There are some names that are synonymous with the industry and if you’re born into them it’s almost an inevitability that you will be involved in wrestling along with the rest of your family. The McMahons, the Von Erichs, the Harts; just a few big names that make you think of wrestling as soon as you hear them. Having family members already in the business can help you get a foot in the door. It can also help you once you’re already in. There’s nothing like family factions and tag team partners that are related. Since they’ve grown up together more often than not they’re going to have tremendous chemistry.
The majority of this upcoming list will feature some of the best tag teams that were made up of family members. Despite the sheer amount of family relations in wrestling, various companies have still felt the need over the years to invent some. That brings us to the other side of this list. Sometimes in wrestling we are led to believe that Superstars are related when they really aren’t. We’re seeing it on Raw right now with Kurt Angle and Jason Jordan. It has also been done time and time again with tag teams. Most of the time (especially in the present day) the audience is wise to whether wrestlers are related or not. However as you’ll see from a couple of entries on this list when kayfabe was alive and well there were occasions when wrestling promotions successfully pulled the wool over fans’ eyes.
15. Related: The Wild Samoans
There is no richer tradition in professional wrestling than that of the Samoan Dynasty. If pro wrestling is anything to go by then being Samoan means two things. These are that you will be a wrestler, and that you will be related to every other Samoan wrestler that has come before you. Two of the most famous Samoan wrestlers were Afa and Sika, a pair of brothers who made up the tag team The Wild Samoans. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s the Samoan pair made names for themsleves in various companies, most notably of course in WWE. Both men are now deservedly in the Hall of Fame. Also harking back to that Samoan family tree, Sika is actually the father of current WWE Superstar Roman Reigns.
14. Related: Stardust And Goldust
When these two are out of their make up and being observed by an untrained eye, not many would believe that the two are actually brothers. Goldust and Cody Rhodes don’t look very much alike at all, and that’s probably because the two of them were born 16 years apart. Despite sharing the same father, the immortal Dusty Rhodes, the pair of them have been very open about not being close for most of their lives and experiencing very different upbringings. When Goldust was young Dusty was at the height of his career whereas years later The American Dream felt he had a chance to redeem himself with Cody. When both were in WWE along with their father they became extremely close however, and even worked together as a tag team for a short period.
13. Fake: Arn And Ole Anderson
The Anderson name is one with a lot of clout behind it if you go back through the annuls of pro wrestling history. Trouble is very few, if any, of those Andersons were actually related. Perhaps the most famous Andersons to don boots and tights were Ole and Arn. If they were to appear on the other side of this list unless you already knew that they weren’t brothers then it’s doubtful that you’d put up much of an argument. The former Horseman almost look like they could be twins, let alone just brothers. As touched upon Arn and Ole gained much of their fame and notoriety as a part of the Four Horseman, acting as enforcers to The Nature Boy Ric Flair.
12. Related: The Armstrongs
The Armstrongs are another family synonymous with the pro wrestling business although that fact is perhaps not as well known as it should be. Arguably the most famous Armstrong to grace the squared circle is Brian, better known as Road Dogg. A member of D-Generation X and still with WWE to this day as one of the head writers on SmackDown Live. Road Dogg actually has three brothers, all of whom have wrestled at some point as well. There have been various, normally brief, times that the brothers have teamed up with one another in different companies, but the most notable is probably when Scott and Steve teamed under the name The Armstrongs in WCW. One half of that team, Scott, is still a referee in WWE to this day.
11. Related: The Von Erichs
There are a lot of names that are synonymous with the pro wrestling industry, some of which we’ve already covered in this list. During the ’70s and ’80s however there was likely no wrestling family more loved and well known than the Von Erichs. It all began with the famous Fritz Von Erich. Fritz had six sons and amazingly five of them wound up following in his footsteps and becoming pro wrestlers. His sixth son Jack likely would have done so as well had he not passed away at an extremely young age. Sadly Jack was not the only Von Erich to pass away prematurely. By the time Fritz died in 1997 five of his six sons had preceded him. A great wrestling family with a truly tragic tale.
10. Fake: The Von Erichs
No you are not reading this wrong and no I have not gone mad. The Von Erichs are in fact eligible to make it into both sides of this list. Fritz and his five wrestling sons were all in fact legitimately related. You would think with an in ring family that big you wouldn’t feel the need to add faux family members to your crew. Well for some reason Fritz thought that was necessary. The Von Erich patriarch had fans believe that a Canadian pro wrestler named Walter Sieber was his brother, Waldo. Waldo Von Erich also had a fictional son, Lance. During the height of the Von Erich family’s fame it was much easier to have fans believe anything and everything than it is today. However those fans who knew the truth were not happy that Fritz was attempting to hoodwink them.
9. Related: The Young Bucks
On to a team that are a little more current, The Young Bucks. Matt and Nick Jackson are currently taking the pro wrestling world by storm. While they’ve had trials for WWE they are proving that in 2017 pro wrestlers don’t necessarily need the industry’s juggernaut to make a living for themselves. In fact they might be pushing that mantra and their dislike of WWE a little too much. The Bucks seem to like nothing more than provoking the beast and they’re getting reactions in return. The latest twist in the tale between the two is that WWE have issued a cease and desist to the brothers to stop them from using the Too Sweet gesture. Good luck with that.
8. Related: Eddie And Chavo Guerrero
Those of you watching WWE at the height of Los Guerreros fame may have mistaken Eddie and Chavo for brothers. They look similar and weren’t a million miles apart in terms of age plus had the same surname. Well they actually weren’t siblings, but they were related. Latino Heat was actually the uncle of the younger Chavo. Chavo Guerrero Sr, who also appeared on WWE television around the same time and passed away very recently, was the father of the Chavo pictured above and Eddie’s brother. While these two plus Chavo Sr are likely the most notable Guerreros to ever compete in WWE they’re not the only ones. Ever heard of Hector Guerrero? Another brother of Eddie’s and the man inside the infamous Gobbledygooker costume.
7. Fake: Edge And Christian
Most wrestling fans know that Edge and Christian aren’t in fact brothers. The Canadian pair have been the best of friends from a very young age, grew up together, and had their first children within weeks of each other, but they are in no way related. Even though most fans know that, it didn’t stop WWE from trying to lead us up that path. When the best friends were thrown together back during the Attitude Era WWE actually billed them as being siblings. While that didn’t last and eventually they were merely Edge and Christian, WWE didn’t do anything to rectify the lie they had previously put out there either. I guess it would have made them seem a bit foolish as it was deemed better to let the whole thing be forgotten.
6. Related: Rick And Scott Steiner
The Steiner Brothers are one of the most successful and well respected tag team brother duo to ever step foot inside a professional wrestling ring. The pair of them even both wrestled as amateurs at the University of Michigan, although not as a tag team unfortunately no matter how much they may have wanted to. Once they were done with amateur wrestling, sports entertainment beckoned. Rick and Scott managed to win tag team gold an impressive 12 times across a variety of different promotions. In fact they were the first tag team to ever hold the WWE, WCW and IWGP Tag Team Championships. They would go on hiatus in 1998 to pursue singles careers but reunite sporadically afterwards, including for a spell in TNA.
5. Related: Bret And Owen Hart
Of all the wrestling families mentioned so far in this list, and the ones still to come, none have professional wrestling flowing through their veins more than the Hart family. While I’ve singled out Bret and Owen (arguably the most famous Harts) for this particular entry the Harts’ reach in WWE extends much further. Before Owen stood by Bret’s side in WWE The Hitman was tagging with Jim Neidhart, the pair’s real life brother in law, to form The Hart Foundation. To this day Jim Neidhart’s daughter Natalya keeps the Hart flag flying in WWE. While Bret and Owen may have started out as tag team partners, that did not last and like so many siblings they wound up fighting. The difference was Owen and Bret had a ring, cameras and the attention of thousands around the world. The pair clashed multiple times but the most notable of their matches took place at WrestleMania X.
4. Fake: The Brothers Of Destruction
When it comes to brothers in WWE, or tag teams full stop, there is likely none more formidable than The Undertaker and Kane. Except as you will likely already know the aptly named Brothers of Destruction are only brothers by name and are in no way related in real life. All the way back in 1997 WWE decided to run with the rather dark story line that The Undertaker had burnt down his family home as a child, resulting in the deaths of his entire family. It turned out that someone survived that tragic blaze, his brother Kane. Paul Bearer introduced Kane to WWE and naturally he went straight after his brother. It’s one of the most on again-off again relationships we’ve ever seen in the business, and WWE still refer to them as being brothers to this day.
3. Related: Harlem Heat
When most fans list Booker T’s accomplishments they will likely run down his multiple World Championship wins, his King of the Ring win, and his ongoing success as an announcer currently residing on Raw. Well before all that Booker was an established tag team wrestler alongside his real life brother, Stevie Ray. The two of them were known as Harlem Heat and made quite the formidable tag team while they were together in WCW. During their run in WCW they managed to win the Tag Team Championships a remarkable ten times. When discussing the greatest tag teams in WCW history most would agree that it comes down to two teams, Harlem Heat and earlier entry The Steiner Brothers.
2. Related: The Hardy Boyz
It’s hard to argue that The Hardy Boyz aren’t the most formidable real life sibling pairing in pro wrestling history. Despite looking so different, they are in fact actual brothers. Shocking, we know. Growing up in North Carolina, Matt and Jeff were always huge wrestling fans and seemingly never in any doubt that they would one day make it to the big time as a tandem. While they made names for themselves in WWE during the Attitude Era, they’ve also enjoyed success elsewhere and all in all are currently 11 time Tag Team Champions. Despite being around for so long The Hardys proved earlier this year that they really do still have it. One of the biggest moments of 2017 has been the WWE Universe’s favorite brothers making their shock return at WrestleMania 33. The pop from the crowd was nothing short of incredible.
1. Fake: The Dudley Boyz
The Hardy Boyz have certainly carved out pretty impressive careers for themselves for sure, but Matt and Jeff would likely admit that their success is as much down to some of those they shared a ring with. Arguably The Hardys would not be where they are today without The Dudleys, and vice versa. While the last entry are legitimate brothers though, Bubba Ray and D-Von are most definitely not. They’re not the only members of the imaginary Dudley family tree either. When the pair started out in ECW the plan was for them to have many siblings, each with a different ethnic background. Bubba has since revealed that the potential story was for their father to have been a wrestler that traveled the world having children with various women. Then all his offspring would become The Dudley Boyz. The way it actually panned out seems to have worked just fine.
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