Family is there when we need them most. They pick us up when we're down. They pulls us out of messy situations. They have our back even when we're wrong. They some times annoy us, or bother us, or straight up drive us crazy but they're always there through thick and thin.
In the wrestling business, family often becomes those with whom you travel from town to town. The confines of small cars and hotel rooms forces a bond upon people that they may not have known could ever exist. The comradery of the road. However, in some cases, your wrestling family is also your real life family. Over the years, many legacies have been built in the world of professional wrestling. Family trees with mangled branches and bruises leaves.
The ultimate wrestling family from the business side of things is the McMahon family. From Vince McMahon Sr. who founded what we now know as the WWE to his son Vince McMahon Jr. who changed the concept of professional wrestling and introduced audiences to sports entertainment.
The children of McMahon Jr. have also gone into the family business. While son Shane has since stepped away from the company following twenty years of service, sister Stephanie is still an active part of the day-to-day operations, as well as an on-screen character.
The McMahon family will not be included on the following list as technically, they are not wrestlers. The criteria used to compile this list includes families with three or more active members who have been involved with the wrestling business.
While we recognize wrestling relatives such as the Brisco and Rougeau brothers, their family roots do not extend deep enough to find inclusion on our list. This compilation is meant to display the greatest of wrestling dynasties. The families who have helped shape the business.
These are the top 15 professional wrestling families:
16 Honorable Mention: The Bevis Family
Saraya-Jade Bevis is a talented twenty-two-year old female wrestler hailing from the Norwich, England. In WW,; she is already a two-time Divas Champion. You will recognize her best by the name Paige.
Back home in Norwich, the Bevis family own and operate their own professional wrestling promotion known as the World Association of Wrestling where Paige's mother, father, and older brothers all compete. The WAW is where Paige first developed her own set of wrestling skills.
15 The Flair Family
When your father is one of the greatest professional wrestlers in the history of the business, building a name for yourself may prove to be rather challenging, as comparison will surely become your biggest enemy.
In 1999, a young David Flair decided to follow in his father's footsteps when he made his debut in WCW. While his time spent with the promotion is not the most memorable, his effort was valiant. Younger brother Reid Flair would also take on the path traveled by his legendary father – working the independent scene for a number of years before his sudden and tragic death caused by an overdose.
Then of course there is the daughter of The Nature Boy, Ashley Flair, better known as Charlotte in NXT. Charlotte is filled with potential and could help make the Divas division relevant again, should WWE ever call her up to the main roster.
14 The Misterio Family
While the Misterio family are immensely popular in Mexico, the rest of the world may only have heard of the great and exciting Rey Misterio Jr. (Mysterio). However, Rey Misterio Sr. (uncle of Mysterio) is the man who trained and taught his nephew his exhilarating style of wrestling.
Other nephews of Misterio Sr. include Metalika and El Hijo de Rey Misterio – both of whom have undertaken the family wrestling tradition as luchador performers. The Misterio family are not just mysterious but thoroughly entertaining.
13 The Colon Family
The Colon family and their wrestling lineage begins with a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, Carlos Colon, whose body – having over seventy scars on his forehead – symbolizes the lifestyle of a professional wrestler.
Carlos' sons Carly and Eddie Colon, better known as Carlito and Primo, are former WWE Tag Team Champions. Currently, his nephew, Orlando Colon (Epico), is one half of the Los Matadores tag team with son Eddie (Primo) – a terrible gimmick but still a job working for the biggest wrestling company in the world.
12 The Hennig Family
Larry “The Axe” Hennig is a retired professional wrestler who worked for the American Wrestling Association, National Wrestling Alliance, and World Wide Wrestling Federation (now WWE). The Axe set into motion a three generation movement which would include his son Curt Hennig, who of course was best known as “Mr. Perfect.”
In more recent years, Joe Hennig – son of Curt – has become a member of the WWE roster, working under the ring name “Curtis Axel,” which pays tribute to both his grandfather and late father. Axel has yet to find a proper place in WWE – consistently falling flat when given a new angle.
11 The Poffo Family
During this year's WrestleMania weekend, “Macho Man” Randy Savage will finally take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame, a long overdue accolade for one of the greatest and most unique wrestling talents in the business.
What is often forgotten about Randy Savage (real name: Randy Poffo) is that he was in fact part of a wrestling family. His father, Angelo Poffo, was a professional wrestler and promoter for a number of years before retiring in 1991.
Younger son, Lanny Poffo, who worked as “The Genius” in WWE, was never able to attain the level of success that his brother achieved as the Macho Man. While the Poffo family have seemingly had their issues with the McMahon family, it will be nice to finally see Randy Savage inducted into the Hall of Fame.
10 The Vachon Family
The Vachon Family are a group of French-Canadian professional wrestlers who have spent decades in the business. The Vachon's were fierce and and a little unorthodox, but left a lasting impression.
Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, the most renown of the family, is widely regarded as one of the best wrestling heels of all time. His brother, Paul “Butcher” Vachon, adopted much of his brother's villainous ways and became a prominent heel as well.
Their sister, Vivian Vachon, was a former AWA Women's Champion while Paul's daughter Luna Vachon would go on to become one of the most intense female performers to ever step foot in the WWE.
9 The Funk Family
Dory Funk began his professional wrestling career following his service in World War II. Funk worked mainly in the Texas territories as well as few places in the Central United States.
His two sons, Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, would truly cement their family legacy when the boys found success in the States while representing the Funk name. Terry, perhaps the most well-known of the Funk family, has worked for all the major promotions and is credited as one of the innovators that helped make Extreme Championship Wrestling a success.
8 The DiBiase Family
“Iron” Mike DiBiase, the patriarch of the DiBiase family, died in the ring on July 2nd, 1969 after suffering a fatal heart attack during a match. His adoptive son would go on to become “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, one of the best heels in WWE history.
The three sons of Ted DiBiase, Mike, Ted Jr., and Brett, would all become professional wrestlers in their own right with Ted Jr. finding the most success in WWE. While his two brothers have since given up the profession, Ted Jr. continues to work the independent circuit.
7 The Windham/Rotunda Family
Robert Jack Windham, better known as Blackjack Mulligan, was a longtime professional wrestler and is the father of Barry and Kendall Windham – two men who made their names in the NWA and WCW.
Stephanie Windham, daughter of Blackjack, would marry Mike Rotunda, best known as Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.) in the WWE. Stephanie and Mike would have two sons – Windham and Taylor – who both took up professional wrestling. Taylor Rotunda is known in WWE as Bo Dallas while his brother Windham Rotunda is quickly becoming one of the best characters in the WWE as Bray Wyatt.
6 The Guerrero Family
Back in 2005, the untimely death of Eddie Guerrero shocked the wrestling world. Latino Heat had left this world way too soon. While Eddie was the most popular Guerrero, his family has a lengthy connection to professional wrestling.
The Guerrero family tree begins with Gory, the patriarch of the family, who helped launch the Mexican lucha libre style of wrestling. Gory's oldest son Chavo Guerrero Sr. and his son Chavo Jr. were both employed by WWE but were never able to rise up the ranks. Mando Guerrero, the second oldest son of Gory, worked for the AWA in the California territory while Hector Guerrero – third oldest son – is best known for playing the role of the infamous Gobbledy Gooker.
Vickie Guerrero, widow of Eddie, recently worked for WWE in an on-screen managerial role while her daughter, Shaul Guerrero had a few stints in NXT before leaving due to personal problems.
5 The Runnels Family
The Runnels family, who work under the ring name Rhodes, are headed by the charismatic former NWA World Heavyweight Champion; “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes – a legend of the business whose sons have followed suit by taking up wrestling as their own chosen career paths.
Dustin Rhodes worked for a long time without much appreciation until he became Goldust in the WWE, essentially finding his wrestling-self. Cody Rhodes, a young and talented performer, is currently working under a gimmick known as Stardust – which mirrors his older brother's character while attempting to remain true to its own individuality.
4 The Orton Family
The most successful Orton of them all is without a doubt, Randy. “The Viper” is a former twelve-time WWE Champion and has been one of the driving forces in WWE for the past decade. However, where would Randy be without those who helped paved his path?
“Cowboy” Bob Orton, father of Randy, was one of the pivotal heels in WWE during the '80s while his father, Bob Orton Sr. was an old-time wrestler who once worked for a number of different promotions around the United States and Canada.
3 The Von Erich Family
The Von Erich family have seen their share of triumph and tragedy over the years. The family is legendary and known far and wide around the wrestling world but many of the Von Erich's were subject to dark times.
Fritz Von Erich, family patriarch, became a star in World Class Championship Wrestling where he worked as an intimidating heel. Five of his six sons would precede him in death, three of which were the results of suicide.
Kerry Von Erich, perhaps the most famous of the family, was a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion. In the early '90s, Terry worked for the WWE as the Texas Tornado but despite his popularity in other promotions, could not get over in WWE.
2 The Hart Family
The Hart family are Canadian wrestling royalty. When Bret Hart was screwed in Montreal back at Survivor Series 19997, it was as if Vince McMahon was screwing over an entire nation of people.
While Bret has always been the most popular, the Hart family begins with Stu Hart and “The Dungeon” where many great professional wrestlers – not just family members – have gone to train such as; Edge, Christian, and Chris Jericho.
The tragic story of Owen Hart still resonates to this day as his accident ended a promising life and career. Many believe that Owen was on his way to becoming a World Champion.
Jim Neidhart and Davey Boy Smith were both successful wrestlers who both married into the Hart family. Neidhart's daughter, Natalie, is currently under contract with WWE (under the name Natalya). Her husband, Tyson Kidd in the WWE, was the final graduate from Stu Hart's Dungeon.
The Hart family have long lived, breathed, and dreamed the wrestling business – it's in their blood and there is seemingly no way to ride this family of the passion.
1 The Anoa'i Family
The Anoa'i family are a large family from American Samoa who have competed in many different professional wrestling organizations. While there are too many to name, we will mention some of the more notable members.
This year at WrestleMania, a member of the Anoa'i family will get a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship when Roman Reigns brings his Samoan pride into California to face “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar.
Jonathan and Joshua Fatu, better known as Jimmy and Jey Uso, have risen through the WWE tag team division to become one of the best teams on the current roster. Their father Rikishi will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this coming WrestleMania weekend.
The Anoa'i family also includes the likes of Afa and Sika, known collectively as The Wild Samoans, as well as the late Umaga and Yokozuna. The Anoa'i family tree also extends to Peter Maivia and Rocky Johnson.
Which of course leads to the most popular and successful member of the family, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has become one of the biggest superstars in the WWE, as well as Hollywood.