For many names in professional wrestling, it’s very much a family business. If you’re a Hart, a Flair, a Von Erich or of course a McMahon then it’s almost inevitable that in one way or another you will be involved in wrestling. There are plenty of second generation stars of course and now a fair few third generation performers. Odds are that when you’re a part of one of those families, or a multitude of others, if you have brothers and sisters then you won’t be the only one competing in the the ring at more or less the same time. In fact some of the entries in this list have famously clashed in marquee matches.
As well as their path to the ring, what’s also inevitable for these Superstars is that it’s extremely unlikely that the siblings in question will be of the exact same stature throughout their entire careers. One brother or sister is going to be better than the other. There are sibling pairings that begin their careers as tag team partners and appear to be pretty much on an even keel, then once they go their separate ways it becomes evident that definitely is not the case. That example will feature heavily in this article. One brother may go on to become a World Champion while the other longs for the times when they dominated the tag division side by side. However there are entries on this list that would have longed for a shot at even tag team gold and had to settle for watching their younger brother or sister surpass the little that they achieved in every way.
15. Road Dogg
Brian James, better known by his in ring persona Road Dogg, is a long time employee of WWE. One half of the New Age Outlaws, a member of the famous D-Generation X, all the way up to the present day where he continues to work behind the scenes. You probably know all that, but what you might not know is that he’s the youngest of four brothers that all tried their hand at professional wrestling themselves. There’s Scott Armstrong who is better known nowadays as a referee rather than for his wrestling, Steve Armstrong who spent some time in WCW and also Brad Armstrong who was the best of those three but of course not on the level of his brother Brian.
Despite still being in her early 20s Paige has already had a long and chequered career. The former two time Divas Champion is famously from a wrestling family in the UK and effectively grew up in the ring. When WWE would come to town Paige would try out and eventually she got picked up . Her older brother, who wrestles under the ring name Zak Zodiac, would join her on those try outs. Unfortunately for Zak up until now WWE have not seen the promise in him that they saw in his sister. Zodiac continues to wrestle for the family promotion run by his parents, World Association Of Wrestling, but who knows maybe one day he’ll get the opportunity to join his sister State side.
13. Terry Funk
Terry Funk may have one of the longest professional wrestling careers of anyone in the history of the business. Towards the beginning of his impressive in ring run he wrestled side by side with his older bother Dory, both literally and in terms of the brothers’ ability. Throughout the 1980s they wrestled around the world together. Then in the early ’90s when Dory began to wind down, Terry did quite the opposite. The younger Funk tried his hand at ECW and reinvented himself to a point that the run he had there may be considered the most prominent of his entire career. Where he and Dory were on an even keel while both performing, Terry is considered the better of the two brothers thanks to his sheer staying power in the business.
12. Kurt Angle
There is probably no pairing in this list with a bigger chasm between the two siblings than this entry. Recent WWE Hall of Famer and his older brother Eric. Both men competed as amateurs and clearly Kurt dwarfing his brother’s accomplishments on that level by winning an Olympic gold medal wasn’t enough for Kurt. Our Olympic Hero went on to have an incredible pro wrestling career after his gold medal success and Eric attempted to follow suit. He spent a little time with WWE but was only really ever used in sort of Twin Magic angles, speaking of which stay tuned for The Bellas. Other than a couple of instances of that plus some time in OVW Eric Angle really didn’t have much success as a professional wrestler.
11. Primo Colon
First of all the men in the above photo are not brothers, they’re cousins. For the purposes of this list we’re only focusing on the man to the left, Primo. As I type this I can already feel those of you who already knew that preparing to oppose what you think you’re about to read, but hold on. Primo is the younger brother of former United States Champion, Carlito. No question that Carlito is both older and enjoyed more success. However Primo also has an older sister who has never made it to the lofty heights of WWE. Stacy Colon continues to wrestle in the Colon family’s native of Puerto Rico for the World Wrestling Council and even the little that Primo has achieved to date with WWE is a step up from that.
10. Kerry Von Erich
One of the most famous families in all of pro wrestling history are the Von Erichs. Fritz, the father, was a renowned and well respected figure in the business and five of his six sons followed in his footsteps and had varying success, mostly in World Class Championship Wrestling. Youngest brothers Chris and Mike didn’t have prolific careers, but older brothers Kerry and David did. Kerry probably enjoyed the most success in the ring, defeating Ric Flair at one point for the NWA Heavyweight Championship. He was most certainly better than the last and oldest of the Von Erich brothers Kevin, who incidentally is the only one left alive today after his brothers all passed away under tragic circumstances.
Much like the feeling I got while writing the Primo Colon entry, I can already feel some of you scratching your heads at this one. The late Umaga has a pretty famous pro wrestling sibling, Rikishi. Rikishi is older than Umaga and no disrespect to the former Intercontinental Champion but few would argue that his older brother is the better wrestler. What you may not know about Rikishi is as well as fathering twins in The Usos, he is also a twin himself. His twin brother Sam did not enjoy the success that Rikishi had, nor reach the level that Umaga managed. He spent some time in WWE as The Tonga Kid and Tama and also went to WCW for a short while but that was all.
8. Brie Bella
Those of you who are avid watchers of Total Divas will probably be quite surprised by the fact that of the two Bellas, Nikki is the oldest. Granted it is only by sixteen minutes, but still. As well as being the wiser of the two, when Brie was at the height of her WWE career she was also the better wrestler. To this day Nikki still gets the majority of the attention and while neither of them were the greatest wrestlers to begin with, the younger twin definitely had the edge over her sister. Since Brie’s retirement that paradigm has almost certainly shifted though with Nikki having to up her game in order to compete with the higher quality of female wrestlers in the WWE locker room.
7. Eddie Guerrero
You may be surprised to hear that Eddie Guerrero had an older brother that wrestled. You’ll be even more surprised when you hear what he is most famous for in the ring and then somewhat understanding when you find out why the Guerreros don’t exactly shout about it. Eddie’s older brother Hector was actually under WWE’s employ for a while, and he was the man inside the Gobbledygooker costume, a giant turkey that debuted on Survivor Series 1990. The Gooker was naturally a huge flop and is now an infamous part of pro wrestling folklore. Hector clearly wasn’t as ashamed of the gimmick as you may think though as he dusted the feathered outfit off over ten years later to compete in a Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven.
6. Scott Steiner
The Steiner brothers, Scott and Rick, are one of the most respected tag teams of the past thirty years. The pair wrestled across the world for the likes of WWE, WCW and New Japan winning tag championships pretty much everywhere they went. In the late nineties the team disbanded and thought they’d have a go at singles careers. Needless to say to be in keeping with the whole premise of this article, younger brother Scott had by far the most success while going it alone. Big Poppa Pump became United States Champion while he was a singles star in WCW and even more impressively went on to defeat Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. He’d later feud with Triple H also on his return to WWE.
5. Roman Reigns
Prior to the last couple of weeks you would be forgiven for not knowing that Roman Reigns actually had an older brother that preceded him in the wrestling business. You may have known him though, Rosey of 3-Minute Warning who and also later became The Hurricane’s super hero sidekick, both under the WWE banner. Sadly Rosey passed away very recently. While with WWE he never reached the heights and prominence that his kid brother has managed to. Reigns is of course already a multi time World Champion and despite being pretty much universally loathed by the fans is very much one of the top guys in all of WWE right now. With the passing of his brother I’m sure he will be striving even more so than before to continue doing him proud inside the squared circle.
4. Bret and Owen Hart
This entry will have a slightly different flavor to it than any of the others in this list. That’s because it contains two siblings who overshadowed their many others, Bret and Owen Hart. During the late ’80s and early ’90s both Bret and Owen showcased their incredible in ring ability and furthered the already famous Hart family name. It’s even more impressive that these two legends became as big as they did when you discover that they were actually two of an incredible twelve children, all of whom have been wrestlers or at least involved in the wrestling business in some way, it’s hard not to be when you’re a Hart. Bret was the eighth oldest of all the Hart siblings and Owen was the youngest of all, so plenty of brothers and sisters being out done here.
3. Booker T
Booker T is remembered for a number of reasons, and still employed by WWE to this day thanks to his Hall of Fame career. As well as being one of the few WCW stars to stay the course following his move to WWE until he won Vince McMahon over, he also held the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on multiple occasions and was the final champ in the company’s history. Before his extremely successful run as a singles star however he was partnered up with his older brother Stevie Ray in the tag team Harlem Heat. As a team Booker and Stevie had a fair bit of success and have hardly been forgotten, but once on their own paths Booker’s career eclipses his sibling’s.
2. Charlotte Flair
Similar to the Hart family, if your surname is Flair then it’s almost as if you have a duty to at least try your hand at professional wrestling. When your father is The Nature Boy, Ric Flair then how can you not want to attempt to follow in his footsteps and carry on his lineage? Well clearly his son David thought that, and it did not go well. David spent a short time in WCW and then WWE but did not have the Flair wrestling gene. Charlotte on the other hand clearly does. Fifteen years on from her brother’s failed attempt and Charlotte is quickly becoming one of the best female performers WWE has ever seen. She already has four title reigns to her name in her short career, just another twelve and she’ll be equal with her old man. No pressure then.
1. Jeff Hardy
Aside from The Undertaker’s retirement, the biggest story coming out of WrestleMania 33 was the long awaited return of The Hardy Boyz. They got one of the best crowd reactions in recent WrestleMania history. Despite Matt’s reinvention over the past couple of years though, wrestling fans who know of The Hardyz first run in WWE haven’t forgotten that in the ring, Jeff is the better brother. It wasn’t entirely clear while they were a team as Matt was the mouth piece and was normally front and center. Once they were split up however it was abundantly clear that Jeff was the more talented brother. His ladder match with The Undertaker in 2002 truly launched his singles career and before he and Matt left the company he became WWE Champion, something Matt will now likely never accomplish.
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