Pro wrestling has seen great success from second generation athletes more than most other fields of work. The wrestling business is its own entity and many children seek to follow their parent’s footsteps in becoming the next superstar in their family. Many second or third generation wrestlers have achieved great success thanks to their familiarity with the business and the genes of athletic talent passing on to them. The Rock, Randy Orton and Bret Hart are among the best examples of talents growing up in the wrestling business and creating their own name when given a chance to become a star.
While there are obvious benefits to having the knowledge and family history entering the wrestling business, there can be great flaws that follow a second generation wrestler. Many of the sons and daughters of former wrestling stars have been hit with the reputation of being entitled or lazy because they feel their name will carry them to success. The target on the back of a wrestler will also be larger due to other wrestlers not wanting nepotism to cause a lesser talent to pass them in the pecking order. There are both pros and cons to the journey of a second generation wrestler.
The second generation stars to achieve success have become some of the greatest stories in wrestling history but the other end of the spectrum features equally fascinating stories. The wrestlers to fail to live up to their family name and follow the path of their parents have ended their stories in quite terrible fashion. This list will explore the names that have not been able to sustain success in their attempts to reach fame. Many wrestlers gave up after falling, some just didn’t have what it takes, but all of them were definite flops. These are the top fifteen worst second generation wrestlers of all time.
15 Rene Dupree
As the son of longtime wrestler and promoter Emile Dupree, Rene Dupree was signed to WWE with the expectations of becoming a big deal. Dupree brought a great look and enough talent to hope he could blossom into a future star. Unfortunately, he didn’t improve to a level that would see him be more than a lower card act. Dupree spent the majority of his WWE career in anti-American tag teams with partners such as Sylvan Grenier, Rob Conway and Kenzo Suzuki. Despite being given one final chance on the ECW brand in 2007, Dupree violated the wellness policy drug test resulting in a suspension and, ultimately, his firing.
As the son of legendary badass wrestler Meng, aka Haku, Camacho was given an opportunity but failed to make an impact. Camacho teamed with Hunico on the main roster but they were a very forgettable tag team. WWE gave up on the act after a while and sent Camacho back down to NXT where he treaded water until getting released. TNA signed him and he’s currently wrestling there under the name of Micah, but he’s been equally lackluster. For someone as intimidating as Meng was, it’s fascinating that his son has not been able to stand out in any way in either promotion.
13 Barry Orton
The Orton family has achieved great success in the wrestling industry. Bob Orton, Bob Orton Jr. and Randy Orton have created three generations of pro wrestling talent. However, Randy’s uncle and Bob Orton Jr.’s brother, Barry Orton, was unable to live up to the expectations of the Orton family. Barry had a terrible WWE run as one of the most generic wrestlers in the company. To make matters worse, Barry was a big part of the sex scandals hitting WWE by claiming employee Terry Garvin sexually harassed him and others, with many of the claims turning out to be false. The forgotten Orton was blackballed from the wrestling business after this but his lackluster talent would have forced him out sooner or later.
WWE created a faction named Legacy with the top second generation stars entering the WWE. Randy Orton led the group with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. working as his protégés. The fourth member, which caused the faction to jump the shark, was Manu. As the son of Afa, Manu entered the equation as the intimidating presence of the group but he just harmed the overall momentum. Manu was a below average wrestler and didn’t contribute anything to Legacy. WWE wrote him off by having Legacy kick him out of the group and he was released just a few weeks later. Orton claimed Manu had a poor attitude and it contributed to his downfall.
11 Scott Putski
Scott Putski was the son of WWE star Ivan Putski, but he was unable to follow in his footsteps as a wrestler. Scott was a prototypical muscle head in the 90s that would get a chance in WWE but completely flopped. Putski was getting a minor push before suffering an injury on WWE television that would force him out and see him leave the company for WCW. The signing was one of many by WCW at a time where they'd bring over any ex-WWE talent. Putski was rarely seen on Nitro and you have to be a diehard fan to remember any moments of his WCW tenure, aside from losing to Bill Goldberg in fewer than sixty seconds.
10 David Sammartino
Depending on how you view his era, Bruno Sammartino can be argued as the first superstar in WWE. Bruno was the top draw for the company for almost a decade and helped add credibility to the world championship. His son David can’t say the same. With the expectations of living up to his father’s name, David would not respond to the pressure and was a total bust. The career of David in both WWE and WCW was a disaster any time he didn’t have Bruno by his side as a manager. David was best used as a jobber and his career faded away in obscurity.
As the daughter of Jimmy Snuka, Tamina is currently on the WWE roster serving as the enforcer of Team B.A.D with Sasha Banks and Naomi. Tamina is clearly the least talented of the three and is likely only still employed due to her family’s ties with the WWE. Her look is impressive as one of the toughest females on the roster and someone you would not want to offend (don’t beat me up if you’re reading this, Tamina), but she isn’t a performer you want to watch in the ring. Tamina has been best used as the bodyguard of AJ Lee and should continue to play that role for Naomi and Banks, as she's a below average wrestler.
8 Wes Brisco
After a few years of work in WWE’s developmental promotion FCW, Wes Brisco was let go due to not showcasing enough to make it to the main roster. TNA saw something special in Brisco and signed him to be a member of the Aces and Eights faction. The group turned out to be one of the worst stables in wrestling history and Brisco was the main reason why. Brisco was expected to be the star that came out of it by entering a feud with Kurt Angle. Despite having a high profile cage match with the legend at TNA’s second biggest PPV, Lockdown, no one cared about Brisco. Be careful what you say about him on social media as his father Gerald Brisco has been known to vanity search and block his son’s critics.
7 Cody Hall
Scott Hall was one of the all-time greats with a reputation and body of work that continues to generate respect from his peers and fans. Hall’s personal demons caused issues in his family but cleaning up his act has resulted in him forming a relationship with his son and aspiring wrestler Cody Hall. Cody currently wrestles in New Japan Pro Wrestling in a learning experience and is a member of the Bullet Club. He gets to work with established pros like AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and the Young Bucks but Hall doesn’t showcase much potential other than as a believable bodyguard type.
6 Brian Christopher
One second generation wrestler that didn’t use his father’s name was Brian Christopher. Aside from that inside joke being used early in his career, it was easy to forget that Christopher was the son of legendary wrestler and commentator Jerry “The King” Lawler. Christopher experienced success as “Grand Master Sexay” in Too Cool but it was more a product of the gimmick as he was the least important member after Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty. Vices and personal issues cut Christopher’s time in WWE short and he struggled to continue making a career in pro wrestling. Most memories about Brian Christopher’s time in wrestling were embarrassing or forgettable.
5 Shawn Stasiak
Former WWE Champion Stan “The Man” Stasiak saw his son Shawn Stasiak try his luck in the pro wrestling business. Stasiak had a couple of different gimmicks in WWE and all of them were equally terrible. He played the sex slave Meat, the buffoon that ran into walls durin the Invasion and at one point he lived on his own planet, known as Planet Stasiak. All of his WWE runs were horrible and his WCW time was also disappointing despite being treated with more respect. Stasiak showed he just didn’t have the wrestling skills or the personality to excel in the business. To his credit, Stasiak knew when to walk away and now works as a success chiropractor.
4 Sim Snuka
As the son of Jimmy Snuka and the brother of Tamina, Sim Snuka had the least successful wrestling career in his family. Sim debuted as Deuce in a tag team with Domino (Cliff Compton). He was terrible in the ring and many wrestlers hated working with him. Paul London and Brian Kendrick revealed in a shoot interview that they enjoyed working with Domino, but that Deuce was one of the worst wrestlers they’ve ever been forced to compete against. After the tag team ended, Snuka failed in other opportunities before dropping the ball one last time in more ways than one. WWE placed him as a camera man during the classic Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XXV match and he failed to catch The Undertaker during a dive. This was the last thing he did in WWE.
3 Erik Watts
One of the best cases of nepotism in pro wrestling is Erik Watts getting pushed due to being the son of promoter Bill Watts. Erik debuted a few months into training with the white-meat babyface character that expected everyone to like him due to his look and pedigree. The problem was Erik absolutely sucked as a wrestler. No matter what wrestling promotion he worked for, you could count on Watts having a terrible match and being one of the worst performers of the night. If not for his name, there’s no way anyone would have booked Erik but he somehow managed to continue getting chances for many years.
2 Garett Bischoff
Eric Bischoff followed Hulk Hogan to TNA and became one of the most influential men in the company. This gave him a chance to get his son Garett Bischoff booked and pushed. Garett worked as a referee before turning face against his father as a wrestler. At one point, Garett was the leader of a face team consisting of AJ Styles, Austin Aries and Rob Van Dam and Hulk Hogan even tried proclaiming him the future of the wrestling industry. TNA overpushed him but no one cared in the slightest and his wrestling career turned into an instant failure.
1 David Flair
Based on the situation and the results, David Flair has to be the pick for the worst second generation wrestler of all time. As the son of all-time great Ric Flair, David was given a big contract and a roster spot on WCW television in important storylines. The waste of a spot was pretty offensive to the wrestlers working hard to get more television time and it happened right around the period where WCW began to lose money. David was a terrible wrestler with no charisma and it led to a horrible run. After a failed push, David played an insane character that would hit people with crowbars. Sadly, the audience would have benefited if they were the ones getting knocked out instead of watching him.