WWE is currently in the midst of a story line that would have its viewers believe that two of its Superstars are father and son even though in actuality they are not. The angle we're making reference to is of course the one going right now between Jason Jordan and Kurt Angle. In 2017 convincing fans that made up familial ties are in fact real can be a tricky task. Today's fan is much more dialed in than the fan of 20 or 30 years ago. Thanks to the internet we know who is really related to who and when WWE is simply telling tall tales in order to further an angle. A lot more people realize that Jason Jordan isn't really Kurt Angle's son than the amount who knew Waldo wasn't a real Von Erich.
As many times as pro wrestling has tried to convince us that someone is a wrestler's father when they really aren't, they have also gone out of their way to make sure we don't know when two wrestlers are related. Again in this day and age that has become much harder to do. Most hardcore fans know that Bray Wyatt and Bo Dalls are the sons of former WWE Superstar Mike Rotunda, but would that have been so well known had The Eater of Worlds wrestled during the height of the Attitude Era? Probably not. Here are eight father son duos that were created for the purposes of wrestling and seven that were surprisingly true blood relatives.
15 Fake: Hornswoggle and Vince McMahon
Even though it may not appear this way a lot of the time, WWE has actually come a long way over the past ten years or so when it comes to how they treat certain groups of people. Women have come the longest way in that time, but there was a long period in professional wrestling's history where those with dwarfism were also treated as something as a sideshow. It wasn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things that WWE introduced us to Hornswoggle as they made him their resident leprechaun. One of the strangest angles 'Swoggle was involved in was the one that made him out to be Vince McMahon's illegitimate son. What a strange time in WWE that was.
14 Real: Jake Roberts and Grizzly Smith
During the late '80s and early '90s Jake Roberts portrayed one of the greatest characters the wrestling world has ever seen. The persona Jake played was a pretty dark one, especially for the time, and sadly that dark side was probably inspired by the extremely troubled childhood Jake endured. His father was also a professional wrestler known as Grizzly Smith. Apparently Jake was conceived after Smith had sex with his girlfriend's 13-year-old daughter, so Grizzly's actual partner at the time would be Roberts' grandmother.
Even though this wasn't common knowledge at the time, even in the locker room, the fact that Smith and Roberts were father and son wasn't one that was played upon for the sake of furthering an angle, so not many people knew that the two were actually related.
13 Fake: Jason Jordan and Kurt Angle
By far the most recent example of WWE staging an angle where they portray a fictional father and son duo is the one currently under way between Jason Jordan and Kurt Angle on Monday night Raw. With the progression of the internet and social media it's hard to do anything now in professional wrestling that isn't picked apart and exposed by the fans. That's why it's an odd and interesting choice for WWE to go with this story line.
Obviously none of the fans truly believe that Jordan and Angle are really father and son, but WWE seems to have faith that fans are willing to suspend their disbelief for this one. Plus the angle may very well lead to the whole thing being a ruse and Jason eventually revealing that he is in fact not the son of the Raw General Manager.
12 Real: Terry Gordy and Jesse Dalton
Long before Luke Gallows was a member of the Bullet Club or wrestling alongside Karl Anderson on Raw he was known to the WWE Universe as Festus. His gimmick was that of a catatonic Superstar who was whipped up into a rage at the sound of the ring bell. Jesse Dalton acted as his handler but don't worry folks, that wasn't the hidden father-son relationship. Dalton was actually the real life son of WWE Hall of Famer Terry Gordy. No offense to Jesse but his dad had a much more successful run as a wrestler than he did. Most notably he was a part of The Fabulous Freebirds and it was his time as a part of that tag team that earned him a Hall of Fame spot. Sadly he passed away before getting to see his son wrestle in WWE.
11 Fake: Charles Robinson and Ric Flair
Ric Flair has infamously slept with a lot of women over the course of his life, in fact he claims to have been with over 10,000. Whether that's true or not being with that many women has naturally led to Flair having a few children. He had four in fact, Megan, Reid, David and of course Charlotte. One man that many fans may have believed to be a child of The Nature Boy is current WWE referee Charles Robinson. The official looks remarkably like the 16 time World Champion, so much so that WCW would use him in a number of angles including Ric and dubbed him 'Little Naitch'. The truth is Robinson is not related to Flair at all. He merely grew up idolizing the two time Hall of Famer and subsequently modeled his own look after him.
10 Real: Ric and David Flair
While many fans would have believed WCW had they told them that Ric Flair and Charles Robinson were related, some may have been skeptical at the real life father son relationship between Naitch and David. Ric is widely considered to be the best professional wrestler of all time, so the prospect of a wrestler with his blood pumping through his veins was an exciting one. WCW brought David in and naturally many would have been expecting the second coming of The Nature Boy. That didn't happen. The talent that Ric had was not passed down to David and despite WCW's best efforts it just didn't work out. It wouldn't come as a surprise to hear that many fans at the time didn't believe David was actually Ric's son due to his inferior wrestling ability.
9 Fake: Big Show and Andre The Giant
This one is technically not one that happened under the watchful eye of WWE as it took place in WCW. However since WWE bought WCW along with all their intellectual property then technically this idea is now theirs, plus they definitely would have come up with it had they been given the opportunity first. When the Big Show arrived on the scene in WCW he was simply known as The Giant. Show was shot straight into the World Title scene and in his first ever televised match he not only faced Hulk Hogan, but he won. The reasoning behind this was WCW were selling Show as the son of the late Andre the Giant. Most knew that not to be true of course so the ill thought out gimmick didn't last long.
8 Real: The Usos and Rikishi
One pro wrestling family that has even the Von Erichs beat when it comes to sheer numbers is the Samoan Dynasty. Wrestling fans must be under the impression that pretty much everyone from the nation of Samoa is a pro wrestler. Roman Reigns, The Wild Samoans, The Rock, Nia Jax, the list of Superstars past and present that are connected to the Samoan family tree goes on and on. Some are more closely related than others, and current SmackDown Tag Team Champions are in fact the real life sons of WWE Hall of Famer, Rikishi. Rikishi is something of a larger gentleman so many fans may not have realized that he is Jimmy and Jey's father. If you rewind to the beginning of his career though he looked a lot different and was actually much slimmer.
7 Fake: Jack Swagger and Jack Swagger Sr
Jack Swagger departed WWE earlier this year and has since been trying his luck on the independent circuit. Jack will be remembered for a few things in WWE. Likely his time as World Champion and his pairing with manager Zeb Colter during which he coined the phrase 'We, The People'. What most of the WWE Universe has likely forgotten is the time that the company introduced us to The Real American's fake father, Jack Swagger Sr. The man pictured alongside Swagger in the photo above is in fact not Jack's real dad. He is actually a former pro wrestler named Jimmy Golden. Jimmy's heyday came during the '70s and '80s but he also wrestled under the moniker Bunkhouse Buck in the 1990s for WCW.
6 Real: Jim Neidhart and Natalya
Natalya never tires of telling the WWE Universe that she is the niece of one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, Bret Hart. To be fair anyone who is related to The Hitman in even the slightest way should never cease to keep reminding everyone of that fact. What's odd is that her father was actually a pretty big WWE star in his own right but WWE doesn't often have Nattie boast about that. Those of you who watch Total Divas will be well aware of the fact that Jim Neidhart is Natalya's dad. The two of them don't look very alike so you probably wouldn't realize that on appearance alone. Plus the reason WWE has Nattie mention Bret a lot more is because at one point he was the face of the company and a much bigger deal than Jim.
5 Fake: Ricky and Sam Steamboat
Throughout a wrestler's career they will probably portray both a heel and face during different times. There are very few Superstars who remain one or the other for the entirety of their time in the ring. Ricky Steamboat is one of those few, and what makes that even more impressive is how long Ricky wrestled. Funnily enough if Steamboat had decided to stick with his real name, Richard Blood, he probably would have been more suited to being a heel. Thankfully though that didn't happen and he was named Ricky Steamboat and became perhaps the greatest babyface of all time. The reason he was given the name Steamboat was because he bore a remarkable resemblance to fellow pro wrestler Sam Stremboat. Even though they were in no way related announcers would often refer to Ricky as being Sam's son.
4 Real: Grand Master Sexay and Jerry Lawler
There are a lot of names that get credited for contributing to the Attitude Era being the best and most affluent period in WWE's history. A couple of people who probably don't get the credit that they deserve are Jerry Lawler and and Jim Ross. As the company's main announcers they provided the soundtrack for that period in the company's history. What you might not have realized is while Jerry was sat at ring side, his son was performing in the squared circle. His son's name? Brian Christopher, better known to fans as Grandmaster Sexay. There's an argument to be made that The King was embarrassed to call Sexay his son and that's why it was rarely acknowledged on television. Paul Heyman once made reference to it on commentary at which time Lawler came down to ring side and hit him round the back of the head.
3 Fake: Waldo and Lance Von Erich
The Von Erich family is one of the most famous and well respected in the entirety of professional wrestling history. Fritz began a great wrestling tradition in his family and five of his six sons followed in his footsteps. Despite the business already being saturated with an abundance of real Von Erichs, Fritz still felt the need to introduce more of them. For some reason Fritz added fake members to his already large in ring family. He introduced fans to his 'brother' Waldo and then later Waldo's 'son' Lance. Although not all fans were aware of the fake family ties, those who were clued in didn't appreciate being taken for idiots and it's argued that their introduction sped up the decline of World Class Championship Wrestling which was owned by the Von Erichs at the time.
2 Real: Bray Wyatt and IRS
If you were to gather up some like minded pro wrestling fans and discuss who you believed to be the complete opposite of Bray Wyatt from the annuls of WWE history then Mike Rotunda as Irwin R. Schyster would probably come up. IRS was a product of a time in WWE where much of the roster had a gimmick that revolved around a career, Rotunda's was that of a tax man. Fast forward 20 years and his son, Bray Wyatt, is playing a super natural character akin to that of The Undertaker, worlds apart to say the least. Wyatt is actually a third generation Superstar as his grandfather was the late, great Blackjack Mulligan. Bo Dallas being Bray's brother also makes him the kin of IRS and Blackjack, and perhaps Bo would be more suited to reviving their father's gimmick.
1 Fake: Paul Bearer and Kane
Possibly the most dysfunctional family ever created by WWE was that of The Undertaker and Kane. Although we were never introduced to many of the Brothers of Destruction's relatives the back story created was a dark one. The Big Red Machine was introduced to the WWE Universe as the long lost brother of The Deadman, a brother Taker believed to have died in a fire that he started when they were children. The fictional fire took the lives of The Undertaker's parents but unbeknownst to him his brother Kane survived the inferno. Paul Bearer revealed that dark part of Taker's past and a little later on also revealed himself to be Kane's actual father making The Big Red Monster Taker's half brother, all within the realms of WWE of course.