The wrestling business has given us many families work together in various forms. Unlike normal tag teams or factions, the portrayal of these relatives uniting helped add another dynamic to the act. However, not all of the families shown in wrestling are technically related. Wrestling promotions will create relations between wrestlers that they feel have enough chemistry to pull it off. Fans believe in their bond portrayed on screen leading to stronger support or hatred depending on characters. There have been a few instances of legitimate relatives working together in the same team or alignment.
We'll take a look at many memorable families in wrestling through the years from each side of the coin. All of these relations whether real or scripted did a good job of working together to showcase the family aspect of the act. Some of the fake ones were quite impressive in fooling the fans that many still believe they're related today. On the flip side, fans are skeptical of some real life relatives due to how many scripted relationships there are. These are ten wrestling families that were made up by wrestling promoters and five that were completely real outside of the ring.
15 Fake: Big Show and Andre the Giant
One of the most bizarre false family relations in wrestling history featured WCW introducing Big Show as The Giant. Hulk Hogan noticed Big Show in a local gym and recruited him to become a wrestler. After some training, WCW introduced The Giant as the son of Andre the Giant. It was Hogan’s idea to have a new rival by facing the young athletic big man and establishing a story based off his greatest opponent.
14 Fake: Edge and Christian
Edge and Christian may very well be the best example of two people with no relation portraying family to perfection. WWE used them as arguably the top tag team of the Attitude Era. The act of them being brothers helped get their act across as a tight unit. Edge and Christian were actually best friends going back to their childhood after finding a bond due to their mutual passions of wrestling.
13 Real: Charlotte and Ric Flair
The most recent instance of a real life family helping a new wrestler featured Charlotte Flair following in the footsteps of her legendary dad Ric Flair. Charlotte’s athletic ability surpassed her father with success in multiple college sports. None of them panned out long term and the decision was made to try her luck in the wrestling industry.
12 Fake: Ken & Ryan Shamrock
Ken Shamrock was the first noteworthy crossover from mixed martial arts to professional wrestling. The signing of Shamrock by WWE ended up being a great one as his intensity from a career in the UFC helped add to his luster. Ken unfortunately ended up hitting a ceiling as WWE apparently gave up on him being anything more than a mid-carder come 1998.
11 Fake: The Smoking Gunns
The classic angle of two brothers working together in a tag team saw Billy Gunn and Bart Gunn get pushed together as the Smoking Gunns. Both men did a great job portraying the act of brothers coming into the company with a cowboy background. Billy and Bart perfectly fit the hokey early 90s feel WWE wanted from their talent at the time.
10 Real: The Colons
WWE has referred to the relation of four members of the Colon family. In a shocking twist, all four wrestlers are actually related. Carlos Colon is a WWE Hall of Famer and known for his successful career as both a wrestler and promoter in Puerto Rico. The sons of Carlos would each get signed by WWE as Carlito and Primo teamed together for quite some time.
9 Fake: The Anderson Family
Old school wrestling fans have strong memories of the Anderson family working together in various forms. Brothers Arn, Ole, Gene and Lars were portrayed as family uniting to make an impact in the wrestling business. Fans are always shocked to learn for the first time that the Anderson family is not related at all.
8 Fake: The Major Brothers
Long Island natives Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins formed a friendship in WWE developmental due to common interests. WWE paired them together for the tag team known as the Major Brothers. Ryder and Hawkins portrayed brothers with their high point being the sidekicks of Edge. Both wrestlers did the grunt work for Edge during his run as the top heel in WWE.
7 Real: Rikishi and The Usos
A cool family relation that is easy to forget would be that Rikishi is the father of Jimmy and Jey Uso. The current run of the Usos on SmackDown is showcasing just how superb they are in the ring. It makes perfect sense given their family tree. Rikishi had a Hall of Fame career with WWE and achieved his most success as a highly popular face during the competitive Attitude Era.
6 Fake: Eugene and Eric Bischoff
An extremely random family in WWE history featured Eugene being revealed as the nephew of Eric Bischoff. The role of Bischoff as the Raw General Manager at the time led to his nephew giving him a hard time on multiple occasions. Eugene was a hardcore wrestling fan that suffered from mental disabilities, a character portrayal you'll likely never see again.
5 Fake: The Godwinns
Another hokey idea from the mid-90s was to have a tag team of pig farming brothers tormenting the heel wrestlers with their slop. Henry O. Godwinn and Phineas I. Godwinn were managed by Hillbilly Jim and achieved short term popularity. Younger fans enjoyed the corny humor but it didn’t last in the long run. WWE tried repackaging them as heel act Southern Justice. No one cared for them and the team ended.
4 Real: The Hardyz
Many of the greatest tag teams of all time have been family uniting to bring their chemistry to the screen. Jeff and Matt Hardy are a tremendous example of this. Both brothers dreamed of being WWE stars since their childhood and ended up getting signed together at very young ages. Fans gravitated towards the unique personalities and daredevil wrestling style of the Hardyz.
3 Fake: The Dudleyz
One tag team that achieved just as much success as the Hardyz portraying brothers was Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley. The Dudleyz formed in ECW before making the jump to WWE with the same act in both companies. Despite not meeting until ECW, Bubba Ray and D-Von instantly developed chemistry to become one of the greatest tag teams of all time. The duo added another dimension with the addition of Spike Dudley, who also had no type of connection to either.
2 Fake: The Holly Cousins
The Hollys were a highly entertaining family during the Attitude Era that found roles for three wrestlers. Hardcore, Crash and Molly Holly played a family of cousins that had absolutely nothing in common. Hardcore just wanted to beat people up. Crash tried to overcome his smaller size by taking the fight to bigger wrestler. Molly was the sweet cousin that loved competition more so than tension. All of them were bonded by their toughness in different forms.
1 Real: The Hart Family
The Hart family had countless members within the wrestling industry through the years but all were legitimately related. Stu was the father of the bunch raising his sons to all love the industry and it influenced some of his daughters to marry wrestlers. Bret Hart and Owen Hart were the two most talented members of the family as real life brothers that feuded for quite some time on the big stage of WWE.
Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart were truly the brothers-in-law of Bret and Owen that allowed them to keep it in the family when forming the Hart Foundation. The recent generation of Natalya and David Hart Smith has seen the younger wrestlers keep their family legacy going. Tyson Kidd is a family friend and the husband of Natalya so he gets linked in, but WWE has never tried to pretend he was a Hart relative outside of marriage.
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