Professional wrestling has always been a family business. Many of the earliest promoters relied on family members to help run their companies while most early wrestlers passed on the “tricks of the trade” to their kids. Due to the secretive nature of how professional wrestling worked, many early pro wrestling figures came to rely on their kin to keep the sanctity of the business intact. Even when the secret got out and the nature of professional wrestling changed, many aspiring stars with famous families found it easier to earn a spot on a promotion’s roster as bookers everywhere were always happy to advertise a familiar last name.
Just because wrestlers sometimes share last names, that doesn’t mean that they always share the same skills. Many of wrestling’s greatest families span generations of performers. Given how deep some of these families roots run, it’s natural that there is going to be a black sheep somewhere along the way. Sometimes, these performers are the obvious exception to a family’s legacy. Other times, they earn that title by virtue of their inability to live up to some considerable accomplishments. Either way, these are the weakest links in wrestling’s 15 most powerful families.
15 15. The Hennig Family – Curtis Axel
Some younger wrestling fans might not be familiar with Larry Hennig. In his day, though, Hennig was one of the most talented cocky heels in the business. He and Harley Race helped create many of the best tag team heel tactics in professional wrestling, but Hennig was mostly known as a singles star who could make anyone look great. His son, Curt, was even better at that. Mr. Perfect remains one of the most talented individuals to ever step into a ring. Were it not for injuries and personal problems, he could have done much more.
14 14. The DiBiase Family – Ted DiBiase Jr.
13 13. The Guerrero Family – Hector Guerrero
12 12. The Poffo Family – Lanny Poffo
11 11. The Flair Family – David Flair
While we’d like to pretend it’s hard to identify the weak link in the Flair wrestling family, we all know that’s not true. Ric Flair is either the greatest professional wrestler of all-time or a top-five wrestler depending on who you ask. In his prime, Flair had everything that you could ever want from a wrestling star. His daughter Charlotte, meanwhile, is already distinguishing herself as one of the most capable female wrestlers ever.
10 10. The Orton Family – Barry Orton
9 9. The Colon Family - Epico
8 8. The Windham/Rotunda Family – Bo Dallas
7 7. The Brisco Family – Wes Brisco
6 6. The Funk Family - Dory Funk Sr.
5 5. The Hart Family – Keith Hart
4 4. The Rhodes Family – Cody Rhodes
So far as the wrestling members of the Rhodes go, this one comes down to Dusty Rhodes, Cody Rhodes, and Dustin Rhodes. To be absolutely clear, those are three great wrestlers. Finding the weak link, then, is a process of elimination. Dusty Rhodes obviously isn’t the weak link as he so happens to be one of the best to ever enter the ring. The battle, then, is between Dustin and Cody. Cody Rhodes is arguably the more talented in-ring worker of the pair, while Dustin has managed to achieve far greater level of fame thanks to his work as Goldust.
3 3. The Anoa'i Family – Rosey
This is seemingly the largest wrestling family in the world once you include extended relations. Naturally, then, it’s also one of the most difficult ones to pick a weak link from. Right off the bat, we can rule out The Rock, Peter Maivia, Fatu, Umaga, Samu and – let’s be honest – Roman Reigns. We’ll also throw Yokozuna in there because, despite his obvious shortcomings, he achieved quite a lot in WWE. Rikishi should also probably be ruled out by virtue of how entertaining he was. If this discussion comes down to who got the furthest based on their name alone, the nod goes to Matthew Anoaʻi, who is better known as Rosey.
2 2. The Von Erich Family – Chris Von Erich
1 1. The McMahon Family – Linda McMahon
If we’re talking about the greatest wrestling families in terms of their overall impact on the business of professional wrestling, then you have to consider the McMahon’s to be the greatest of them all. Roderick McMahon helped establish some of the first real northeast wrestling territories in America, while his son Vincent James McMahon turned the WWWF into a national force. Vince McMahon Jr., of course, is the most important wrestling promoter ever, while his son Shane and daughter Stephanie have contributed both in and out of the wrestling ring. Who does that leave as the weak link? Well, if we’re talking about McMahon’s actually involved in the business, it would be Linda.
We can't take anything away from the work Linda did in building the WWE empire alongside Vince. However, when looking at this family, there really are no weak links, so this one is by default. Linda did not possess the natural skills of some of the other McMahons and she hasn’t really been as interested in contributing to the company behind the scenes as the rest of the family.
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