The pressure on a second-generation wrestler trying to live up to the family reputation is great. They do enjoy some perks (the door's open to receive opportunities the average wrestler could only dream of), but that doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed. They’re always compared to their relatives. One of the aspects of having to follow in the family shadow is that many second-generation talents end up using finishers established by their relatives.
Some performers became known for their own variation of the move, while others' attempts just looked weak compared to the original. We will look at how things played out (for better or worse) for wrestlers attempting to use a familiar finisher.
10 Better: Natalya (Sharpshooter)
It is hard to say that Natalya boasts the best Sharpshooter in the Hart family, but she certainly made it her own move. The finisher was associated with her uncles Bret and Owen Hart throughout the years. Other wrestlers like Trish Stratus, Edge and the Young Bucks have tried it too.
Natalya has found the most success with it this generation. The move looks painful when Natalya applies it and she honors her family in the best way possible. Natalya’s dad Jim Neidhart didn’t use the Sharpshooter, but it fits this formidable female superstar better than his moves would.
9 Worse: David Flair (Figure Four)
The signing of David Flair by WCW allowed him to get a big push right away, in a storyline with his father, Ric Flair, and Hulk Hogan. David tried to progress fast enough to live up to the pressure in the role, but he always looked like a fish out of water in the ring.
WCW tried giving him his dad’s iconic Figure Four Leglock submission. It just never made sense, as David didn’t apply the hold with the same conviction and intent as his father. The young man's career ended up flopping after the failed WCW run and lackluster WWE developmental stint.
8 Better: The Usos (Splash)
Jimmy Snuka was the first wrestler to make the top rope splash a popular move in wrestling. The delivery wasn’t always graceful, but Snuka introduced fans to a new use of the ropes that was quite exciting to watch at the end of his matches.
WWE signed the trio of Tamina Snuka and the Usos to enter the company as an act together. All three wrestlers used the splash at different times to get the move over as a finisher. The Usos are the sons of Rikishi, but they represented their relative Superfly with the impressive top rope splash.
7 Worse: Dustin Rhodes (Bionic Elbow)
WCW gave Dustin Rhodes the name The Natural, suggesting that has was ready for the industry like his father Dusty Rhodes. Dustin's long career has been going strong for many years and he has become a legitimate legend in the wrestling industry.
One thing Dustin tried using from his dad’s move set on a few occasions was the Bionic Elbow. Sadly, his execution of the move just wasn’t as effective as his father's. To his credit, though, Dustin can do just about everything else in the ring with aplomb.
6 Better: Dean Malenko (Texas Cloverleaf)
The Malenko family was known for their technical wrestling and submission skills. It only made sense that Dean Malenko would honor those traditions when signing with WCW. The addition of Malenko to the roster gave WCW a technical cruiserweight to clash with the high-flying styles.
Dean was an incredible performer who had some of the best matches in WCW history. The Texas Cloverleaf submission was his calling card. Few wrestlers ever escaped and most would tap out right away; he used it the best of all the Malenko family.
5 Worse: Chavo Guerrero (Frog Splash)
Chavo Guerrero was just one of many wrestlers from the legendary Guerrero family. Most fans will rank Eddie as the most successful Guerrero. Chavo would be up there as well, but the decision to start using the Frog Splash was a poor one.
Unlike Eddie's flawless Frog Splash, Chavo’s lacked the pristine impact this beautiful and devastating finisher deserves. The overall style of Chavo was better off with a mat-based finisher, rather than going to the top rope like his uncle.
4 Better: Ted DiBiase Jr. (Dream Street)
The career of Ted DiBiase Jr. in WWE failed to live up to expectations, as he tried to follow in his famous father's footsteps. One rare exception to this was the way he honored his father with the Dream Street finisher. DiBiase Sr. had a mean sleeper hold that knocked out many of his opponents.
The evolution of the move would see DiBiase Jr. use the sleeper while flinging the opponent around, before dropping him for the Dream Street. Fans no longer accepted slower-paced moves like the sleeper as a finisher, so DiBiase Jr. found the perfect way to improve it.
3 Worse: Lacey Von Erich (The Claw)
Lacey Von Erich signed with TNA as a member of The Beautiful People after Angelina Love left the company. She earned a lot of supporters regarding her potential and possible star power as time went on.
Unfortunately, she could never quite live up to that in the ring. Her matches were arguably the worst in TNA during her stint there. Lacey attempted to use the legendary Claw finisher from the Von Erich family, but fans never took it seriously.
2 Better: Charlotte Flair (Figure Eight)
Charlotte Flair was the second Flair to attempt using the Figure Four Leglock as a finisher, after David Flair failed with the move. Ric was happy to see another of his children enter the wrestling business when Charlotte signed a WWE developmental contract.
The athleticism of Charlotte exceeded her father's, with her background in volleyball. Charlotte used that to her advantage to add high-flying moves to her arsenal and even improve on her dad’s iconic finisher. The Figure Eight Leglock sees Charlotte hold a bridge during the traditional Figure Four, for twice the leverage.
1 Worse: Cody Hall (Razor's Edge)
Cody Hall tried to follow in the footsteps of his father, Scott Hall, by entering the wrestling business. New Japan gave Hall a huge opportunity, joining the Bullet Club at the perfect time. Hall typically appeared ringside for the Young Bucks' matches before interfering.
His finishing move was the Razor’s Edge, as a reference to his father. Unfortunately, he never hit the move with the same grace and intensity as Scott did. Cody has struggled trying to build any momentum in wrestling after suffering a rough injury.