Wrestling families have existed for as long as the industry has been around with many going back decades ago before the WWE even existed. But it's sometimes a gift and a curse as some these wrestlers have the advantage of growing up in a wrestling household that will give them the appropriate training in order to make it, as well as years of knowledge. On the other hand, it leads to major expectations since these wrestlers will be expected to live up to the same legacy left by fellow family members - which isn't always a realistic task as this list proves.
And while some wrestlers may inherit the appearance, it isn't an industry where you can simply pass down your genetics to guarantee future success. In the past, we have seen some of the most talented in-ring performers having sons who were downright embarrassing in that regard. And the greater the relatives, the tougher it is to make it in the industry since expectations will already be in place from the moment they arrive to the WWE. It is rare for two family members to have an equal legacy in the industry as someone is usually bound to surpass the other, regardless of their respective success.
Over the years, many wrestlers belonging to the same family have been introduced to the WWE Universe - some of whom made their relatives proud while others couldn't live up to the hype. Here are 10 WWE dads who were much better than their sons and 10 brothers better than their siblings:
20 Father: Ted DiBiase (Better Than Ted DiBiase Jr, Brett DiBiase & Mike DiBiase)
When Ted DiBiase Jr joined the WWE, there were major expectations among fans who believed that he had potential to be a top Superstar for years to come. His career didn't play out the way fans had imagine, and he ended up requesting his release from the company while leaving the industry behind.
As for Brett, his wrestling journey was cut short due to an injury after spending three years in FCW.
As for the legendary Ted DiBiase, his legacy speaks for itself as he was among the top figures of his generation, and had an impressive all around resume.
19 Sibling: Carlito (Better Than Primo)
While some fans may believe that Epico is also a sibling of Primo and Carlito, he is in fact their cousin. As a tag team competitor, Primo has won the titles three times although he has never been able to branch away as a solo performer. He has remained in the division for a decade with his role decreasing in recent times.
As for his brother, Carlito was among the most successful mid-card competitors in the 2000s and had potential to become a top Superstar until his fallout with the WWE. To this day, Primo is still mostly associated with Carlitos, which speaks volumes about the latter.
18 Father: Ric Flair (Better Than David Flair And Reid Flair)
Reid Flair may have been able to carry the torch on behalf of Ric if he hadn't passed away at the age of 25 years old. But in his five year career, he didn't show enough to make such case for him. As for David, he is considered among the worst sons to ever compete as he was among the biggest busts in WCW history despite receiving many pushes during his stint. Being one of the greatest wrestlers in history, it was always going to be a tough task to follow the footsteps of The Nature Boy. Fortunately for the Flair family, Charlotte has done well to carry the legacy these days.
17 Sibling: Booker T (Better Than Stevie Ray)
Harlem Heat were among the better teams in WCW, achieving major success in the division with 10 World Tag Team Championship reigns. But once they split up, Stevie Ray didn't exactly set the world on fire as he slowly faded into irrelevancy before joining the commentary team. As for Booker T, he went on to become one of the top Superstars of his generation with one of the most impressive resumes in history. While Ray had the appearance and charisma for a professional wrestler, Booker T was surely much more talented inside the ring, and a more accomplished performer as well.
16 Father: The British Bulldog (Better Than Davey Boy Smith Jr.)
Davey Boy Smith Jr, also known as Harry Smith, had shown plenty of potential early in his career - leading fans to believe that he would successfully carry the legacy of his father. And while he has gone on to do greater things away from the WWE, he was never able to reach his full ceiling as an all-around wrestler. As for The British Bulldog, he won everything there is to capture in the WWE aside from a World title, and was one of the most prominent mid-carders as well as tag team performers of his generation with long lasting impact to this day.
15 Sibling: Roman Reigns (Better Than Rosey)
Before Roman Reigns conquered the WWE, his older brother Rosey had some success in the tag team division as a member of 3-Minute Warning, and then later on with The Hurricane. Once he split up with the latter, WWE did attempt to turn him into a solo performer, which was short lived as Rosey was simply not popular enough with the fans. Roman surpassed his brother's accomplishments within a year in the WWE before he turned into the face of the company.
While Rosey had a decent WWE stint, there is no comparison between the two as the former didn't have many memorable moments, while Reigns is the most accomplished Superstar of his era.
14 Father: Jimmy Snuka (Better Than Deuce)
Deuce, who was also known as Sim Snuka, had a two year stint with the WWE that has been largely forgotten by the fans. While he wasn't bad by any means, he didn't exactly stand out either in an era that was desperate for new faces. Considering that he is the son of Jimmy Snuka, expectations were high as fans hoped that he could carry the torch for the upcoming years. Jimmy was among the most influential and innovative stars from his era, which made him one of the first wrestlers to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 1996.
13 Sibling: Bret Hart (Better Than Smith, Ross, Dean, Keith, Bruce & Owen Hart)
The Hart family has produced plenty of talents over the years, but none stood out more than Bret. And while some fans may be tempted to argue that Owen was a better in-ring performer, there is no doubt that Bret takes the cake when it comes to being a well-rounded star who had it all. As for his brothers, they were also talented just as one would expect a Hart member to be, but certainly didn't come close to matching Bret's legacy. But of course that's not to discredit Owen, who was great in his own right throughout his wrestling journey.
12 Father: Bruno Sammartino (Better Than David Sammartino)
An all-time great who defined different generations, Bruno Sammartino is considered to be one of the most influential wrestlers in history. It was always going to be a rough task for his son to follow up his footsteps, and as you would expect, fans were hyped to see David make his debut in the WWE. But soon enough it became clear that he didn't have nearly as much charisma or talent as his father did, and was only relevant when Bruno was involved. With such iconic legacy in the industry, it was a nearly impossible task for David to match his father.
11 Sibling: Scott Steiner (Better Than Rick Steiner)
The Steiner Brothers are undoubtedly one of the best tag teams in history as they have dominated the division in WWE, WCW and different promotions around the world. At some point, Rick may have been given the edge over Scott until the latter went on a solo run in WCW to clearly gain an advantage as far as legacy goes. As a solo competitor, Rick's career could have been much greater although he was never able to pick up momentum to receive a major push. Scott did have a run as a main eventer in WCW, and later on when he joined the WWE.
10 Father: Ricky Steamboat (Better Than Richie Steamboat)
Unfortunately for Richie Steamboat, we will never know whether his career would play out favorably enough to match his father's legacy. He had a decent stint in NXT and could have gone to accomplish much more if his career hadn't been cut short by an injury that led to his release from the company. But even if Richie had remained healthy and made it to the main roster, it would have taken plenty for him to be ranked over Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat - who is regarded as one of the best performers from his era and had a number of classic feuds.
9 Sibling: Bray Wyatt (Better Than Bo Dallas)
As of today, Bray Wyatt has surely accomplished more than his younger brother Bo Dallas. But considering the trajectory of their careers, it wouldn't exactly be a shocker to see the latter exceed him in the future. Dallas is considered to be among the most underrated Superstars in the WWE today, and given his recent success as a member of the B-Team - he may end up reaching greater heights. Meanwhile, Wyatt had a hot start to his career that resulted in some major feuds against the likes of John Cena and The Undertaker, but he has now become a background player in the WWE.
8 Father: Mr. Perfect (Better Than Curtis Axel)
With an Intercontinental title and two Tag Team Championships to his name, Curtis Axel has had a solid run in the WWE - of course not quite as memorable as his late father. Mr Perfect was one of the most revered wrestlers of his generations, who was better than his son in nearly every department. He is also considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers to never win a World Title as he always came short whether in the WWE or WCW. Given that Axel is 39 years old, it would take a major career turnaround for him to surpass his father.
7 Sibling: Cody Rhodes (Better Than Goldust)
A few years ago, Goldust would have been selected over his younger brother Cody Rhodes. The latter's departure from the WWE has done wonders for his career, becoming one of the better talents away from the company. And while Goldust has had a lengthy, solid career - he has always been stuck between the tag team and mid-card division.
Cody already had a respectable run with the WWE that wasn't too far off from Goldust, but it's his work outside of the company that gives him the clear edge at this point. Being only 33 years old, he will likely increase that gap in the upcoming decade.
6 Father: Jerry Lawler (Better Than Brian Christopher)
Aside from his run with Too Cool, Brian Christopher had a forgettable wrestling career. Despite being given multiple chances to succeed by the WWE, he was never able to connect with the fans outside of his days with Too Cool. And it wasn't a matter of booking since Christopher didn't have greater success away from the WWE. As for his father, Jerry Lawler is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in history. He may be known for his days as an active wrestler on various promotions outside of the WWE, but even his latter days with the company were still far superior than Brian's stint.
5 Sibling: Dolph Ziggler (Better Than Briley Pierce)
Briley Pierce, also known by his real name Ryan Nemeth, is the younger brother of Dolph Ziggler - who had a brief stint with the WWE from 2011 to 2013. While he spent most time in development - as he never made the main roster - Pierce wasn't quite as impressive of a performer as his brother. And it seems like he gave up on a wrestling career following his departure from NXT in 2013, while Ziggler continues going strong to this day. He has been a four-time World Champion, Money in the Bank winner and a Triple Crown Champion - making him one of the most accomplished Superstars of his generation.
4 Father: Scott Hall (Better Than Cody Hall)
At 27 years old, Cody Hall has a long journey ahead of him to prove all doubters wrong. Given what we have seen from him thus far, it's safe to say that he hasn't shown the potential to be nearly as good as his father was, let alone surpass him. Cody is currently working for Pro Wrestling Noah, and seems to always be involved in incidents with fellow wrestlers as well as promotions. With his father being one of the best wrestlers of the '90s, Cody would have to significantly improve inside the ring and on the mic to even come close.
3 Sibling: Jeff Hardy (Better Than Matt Hardy)
The Hardy Boyz are considered one of the best teams in WWE history, but the brothers have also had successful solo careers. Some fans may prefer Matt due to his superior mic skills, but Jeff takes the cake when it comes to accomplishments and talent. Matt has never won a World title in the WWE, while Jeff has claimed three to this date. The latter has also been a main eventer for a number of years, as well as one of the most popular acts of the 2000s. Matt may have the edge in some categories, but most fans would agree that Jeff has had a greater career.
2 Father: Dusty Rhodes (Better Than Cody Rhodes And Goldust)
Cody Rhodes may be rated higher than Goldust as an all-around performer, but there is no doubt that their father Dusty Rhodes reigns supreme over them. One of the most influential wrestlers in history, there aren't many names who could be compared to Dusty's legendary journey. Goldust and Cody have both done their parts in making him proud through their own wrestling careers as both performers wanted to establish a legacy that is separate than that of their father. But there is no shame in having a lesser legacy than Dusty as he is worthy of being listed with the best of the best.
1 Sibling: Eddie Guerrero (Better Than Hector, Mando And Chavo Guerrero Sr.)
While the Guerrero brothers have all had respectable careers, there is no question that Eddie shone the brightest among them. As the youngest in the family, he was an up and coming wrestler when his brothers had already established themselves in the history books, but he still managed to surpass them as an all-around performer to become one of the most celebrated Superstars in WWE history. In their defense, they may have benefited from having been younger and may have gone on to have an even more success in the United States - but Eddie did reach heights that not many other wrestlers have accomplished.