Pro Wrestling

10 Greatest Wrestling Dynasties

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Professional wrestling likes to consider itself a family business. Over the years, generations of wrestlers have passed their love of the business onto their children, creating legacies spanning back decades. Some of the biggest stars in wrestling are but a fraction of the contribution their family has made to the sport. From these pillars of the industry, the culture of pro wrestling has almost guaranteed its long-term survival, for as long as there are families of wrestlers encouraging their descendants to follow in their footsteps, there will always be a core for any wrestling organization to build upon. Here, then, are some of the greatest and most well-known wrestling families in history, who have provided multiple generations of wrestlers, many of whom have become big stars in the business, and some of whom look to do so in the very near future.

10. Flair

Admittedly, this dynasty is just in the fledgling stages, but when it originates with the 16-time World Champion Ric Flair, it’s already well ahead of the rest of the pack. Ric Flair, obviously, is one of the biggest legends in the history of professional wrestling, a symbol for both the NWA and WCW in the 80’s and 90’s, the founder of the iconic Four Horsemen, a two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee, and possibly the greatest all-around wrestler to ever walk the face of the Earth. Over the years, several of Flair’s children have attempted to make the jump into the wrestling ring, but have been unable to follow in their father’s massive footsteps. David Flair had a brief and much-derided run in WCW, ten attempted a brief comeback in WWE’s developmental system, before leaving the wrestling business entirely. Another son, Reid, was a successful amateur wrestler who also spent time in the independent circuit, before dying suddenly of a drug overdose. However, first at Reid’s urging and then in his memory, Ric Flair’s daughter Ashley found her way into WWE’s developmental league, eventually making her debut as Charlotte. Since her entry into the world of pro wrestling, Charlotte’s rise has been meteoric, developing from a completely untrained rookie into one of the best female wrestlers in North America, and NXT Women’s Champion, in just about two years. Charlotte’s rise continued following her WWE debut, as she captured the WWE Divas title only months after her promotion to the main roster. With WWE putting more and more focus on women’s wrestling, the best years of Charlotte’s career are still ahead, and she has a chance to become almost as big a star as her legendary father.

http://www.dailywrestlingnews.com/charlotte-and-ric-flair-having-a-cool-moment-backstage/ Source: dailywrestlingnews.com

http://www.dailywrestlingnews.com/charlotte-and-ric-flair-having-a-cool-moment-backstage/ Source: dailywrestlingnews.com

9. Hennig

The Hennig clan counts among its members some of the best pure athletes in professional wrestling history. Larry “The Axe” Hennig was a top star in the American Wrestling Association, which was based out of his home state of Minnesota, and would be one of the last big wrestling territories to fall under WWE’s national expansion in the 80’s. While he never held a World title (a fact which appears to hold true throughout the generations of the family), Hennig was a mainstay of the promotion, until a serious knee injury forced him to retire. His son, of course, is “Mr Perfect” Curt Hennig, who rose to fame in WWE in the late 80’s and early 90’s, including a memorable feud with WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, when Hennig destroyed the title belt with a hammer. He would also find some success in WCW, and was briefly a member of the Four Horsemen. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame after his tragic death in 2003, and has often been considered the best wrestler to never hold a World title. Curt’s son, Joe Hennig, currently works under the name Curtis Axel in WWE, where he has found moderate success both in tag teams and as a singles competitor (also, he still hasn’t been eliminated from the 2015 Royal Rumble), and while he hasn’t yet become a star at the level of his father and grandfather, he is considered to have excellent wrestling abilities that should lead him to more success in the future. Mr. Perfect and Curtis Axel are also the only father-son duo to both hold the WWE Intercontinental title.

http://www.thesportster.com/wrestling/find-out-how-long-curtis-axel-has-been-in-the-royal-rumble/ Source: thesportster.com

http://www.thesportster.com/wrestling/find-out-how-long-curtis-axel-has-been-in-the-royal-rumble/ Source: thesportster.com

8. Colon

Hailing from Puerto Rico, the Colon family has been a mainstay of professional wrestling in that area for decades. The family is headed by recent WWE Hall of Fame inductee Carlos Colon, whose World Wrestling Council promotion has been the center of wrestling in Puerto Rico since the 80’s, with Carlos holding the WWC Title a record 26 times. The organization also acted as a springboard for the careers of his oldest son, Carly, who you might recall from his tour in WWE as Carlito, who notably won the WWE United States Championship from John Cena his first night on the main roster. Another son, Eddie, and a nephew, Orlando, also made it to WWE under the names of Primo and Epico, and even won the WWE Tag Team Championships (Primo also won and unified the WWE Tag Team titles as a team with his brother Carlito, who left WWE shortly afterwards). More recently, the pair were repackaged under masks as Fernando and Diego, Los Matadores. A daughter, Stacy, is heavily involved in WWC, but has not made it out of the family promotion as of yet.

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2014/04/06/carlos-colon-is-inducted-into-the-wwe-hall-of-fame;jsessionid=2397131B9FE4BB9A98B3EBF376BE4028?r30_r1_r1:page=6 Source: pl.wwe.com

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7. Armstrong

The Armstrongs could be considered the “utility players” of wrestling history. They’ve worked quietly and been involved in every major promotion, and are often considered some of the most under-rated wrestlers in history, but no one in the family ever truly became a main event performer. The head of the family, “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, was a big name in the southern US territories, including Georgia Championship Wrestling, which was a precursor to WCW. All four of Bob’s sons would go on to become involved in the wrestling business, with the most famous by far being Brian, who eventually found huge success as Road Dogg, one half of the New Age Outlaws. Brian now works as a road agent and producer backstage at WWE and NXT. Another brother you might recognize as Scott Armstrong, who works as a referee for WWE and was part of the infamous Dusty Finish involving Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton at Night of Champions 2013. A third brother, Brian, was considered the best wrestler of the family, and worked under many different gimmicks over his career, mostly in WCW, and was probably most well-known as a member of the Fabulous Freebirds. The fourth, Steve, only found minor success in his long career, most notably in a tag team with Tracy Smothers called The Southern Boys.

http://pl.wwe.com/videos/2014/02/01/smackdown-highlights-jan.-31-2014;jsessionid=8D45E2DA47CE465388339D42DB07AE20?r40_r1_r1:page=5 Source: pl.wwe.com

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6. Windham/Rotunda

A surprising entry on the list, but one that may have provided some of the biggest stars of wrestling’s future. Barry Windham was one of the NWA’s biggest stars in the 80’s, as a member of the legendary Four Horsemen, and a former World Champion. He was also the son of Blackjack Mulligan, one-half of one of the greatest tag teams of the 70’s, The Blackjacks, and his brother, Kendall, would find moderate success while wrestling in WCW, even winning the tag titles teaming with Barry. Windham would also team with Mike Rotunda as part of the U.S. Express in WWE, and Rotunda (who is probably best known as Irwin R Shyster, the wrestling accountant) would marry Windham’s sister to add his name to the family tree. While none of Barry’s children entered the wrestling business, two of Rotunda’s have already began making their mark in WWE, with the third apparently looking to break in as well. The oldest, Windham Rotunda (named, obviously, after his brother-in-law), currently prowls the wrestling ring as the mystical Louisiana swamp preacher, Bray Wyatt, while the middle child might be better known to wrestling fans as the inspirational Bo Dallas. The youngest, Mika, has reportedly been looking to enter the WWE developmental system as well, and, given her family’s history, it may only be a matter of time before she finds success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nr7ckOxAuY Source: YouTube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nr7ckOxAuY Source: YouTube.com

5. Guerrero

The Guerrero family has created a lasting impression on professional wrestling, in Mexico, America, and across the world through their excellent wrestling abilities. The most famous, of course, is Eddie Guerrero, who found fame in Mexico and Japan before securing his place in history as a part of WCW and WWE, eventually battling through a host of personal issues to become WWE Champion, defeating Brock Lesnar to win the title. For a time, he was one of the most popular wrestlers in the world, and definitely one of the best technically skilled athletes in the business. But the Guerrero legacy stretches back before Eddie, to his father Gory, who was a legend in Mexico, and his brothers Chavo, Hector, and Mondo Guerrero, who were all pillars of the professional wrestling scene in the Southern US in the 80’s and 90’s (Hector, infamously, played the Gobbledy Gooker at Survivor Series 1990). In addition, Eddie’s cousin, Chavo Guerrero Jr, also found success in both WWE and WCW, and currently works as a part of upstart promotion Lucha Underground. In the years following Eddie’s tragic death, his widow, Vickie Guerrero, actually became one of WWE’s most hated on-screen characters, and one of the company’s biggest heels. In addition, his daughter Shaul has been in and out of WWE’s developmental system on several occasions under the name Racquel Diaz, and actually holds the record for longest reigning FCW Divas Champion.

http://wwe.sportsnet.ca/wwe/kordera5-favourite-tag-teams-4/ Source: sportsnet.ca

http://wwe.sportsnet.ca/wwe/kordera5-favourite-tag-teams-4/ Source: sportsnet.ca

4. McMahon

It’s impossible to has a list of important wrestling families without including Vincent Kennedy McMahon, without whom professional wrestling almost certainly would not exist in its current form or level of popularity. But it didn’t start there, as his grandfather was also a wrestling promoter who founded the company that Vince’s father would inherit, and that eventually Vince himself would turn into the WWE that we know today. Under Vince’s watch, he abandoned the traditional territory-based system of professional wrestling and took the company national, then international. He created WrestleMania and set the standard for the wrestling Pay Per View industry. And in the 90’s, he took the company public and became a billionaire. And he passed his love of wrestling down to both of his children, as his son Shane actually became a wrestler for a while at the height of wrestling’s popularity (and even excelled at it), before leaving to run his own promotional company. Meanwhile, Vince’s daughter Stephanie also spent time in the ring, but worked hard behind the scenes as well, marrying multiple-time WWE Champion Triple H in the process, and forming a power couple that seems guaranteed to lead WWE forward into the future. Plus, their oldest daughter, Aurora, is reportedly extremely interested in breaking into the business as well, not that you should be surprised, given the history her family has already built.

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http://sparxentertainment.com/2014/11/07/wwe-mcmahon-family-feud-possibly-in-the-works/ Source: sparxentertainment.com

3. Rhodes

Not much can be said about The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, that hasn’t already been said many times before. He was a true legend of professional wrestling, a man who at his peak, united an entire country behind him, and after his retirement, served as a beloved mentor and teacher to the next generation of wrestlers in his role as part of WWE’s developmental program, NXT. After his tragic death in 2015 (exactly 11 years to the day after Rhodes’ hero, John Wayne), the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament was created by NXT, to honor his memory. The other half of Dusty’s contribution to pro wrestling is found in his sons, Dustin and Cody, who have both found massive success in professional wrestling, inheriting the love of wrestling and the immense charisma that was a huge part of their father’s legacy. After some false starts and minor success in WWE and WCW, Dustin found his niche in the character of Goldust, who would go on to become a multiple-time champion and even underwent a career renaissance in his later years, putting on better matches in his 40’s than he’d done for most of his wrestling life. Meanwhile, Cody has bounced around in various tag teams and single acts, becoming a multi-time champion in his own right, and showing an incredible ability to take even the strangest ideas and make a memorable and intriguing character out of them, from the arrogant “Dashing” Cody Rhodes to the bizarre Stardust.

http://jawbreaker.blogs.news-journalonline.com/11372/remembering-dusty-rhodes-raw-review/ Source: jawbreaker.blogs.news-journalonline.com

http://jawbreaker.blogs.news-journalonline.com/11372/remembering-dusty-rhodes-raw-review/ Source: jawbreaker.blogs.news-journalonline.com

2. Hart

The royal family of Canadian professional wrestling, led by Stu Hart, the patriarch of twelve children and founder of Stampede Wrestling, the Harts have put their stamp on professional wrestling in so many ways, showing the talent (and controversy) that comes from a family entirely raised within the business of wrestling. At the top of the heap has to be Bret “Hitman” Hart, who won 7 World titles in his years between WWE and WCW, and was one of WWE’s biggest stars of the 90’s, as well as part of one of WWE’s greatest tag teams in the Hart Foundation with his brother-in-law, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Several other Harts would make wrestling appearances for WWE, most notably the late Owen Hart, as well as Davey Boy Smith, who married into the family. These days, the legacy of the Harts continues in the form of Natalya, the daughter of Jim Neidhart, as well as Harry Smith, the son of Davey Boy, and Teddy Hart. In addition, the Hart Family is famous for training many wrestlers as part of Stampede Wrestling and the infamous “Dungeon”, with notable graduates including Chris Jericho, Lance Storm, and Tyson Kidd, who also married into the family when he wed Natalya in 2013 (which aired as a very special episode of Total Divas, no less).

http://www.thesportster.com/wrestling/top-15-professional-wrestling-families/?view=all Source: thesportster.com

http://www.thesportster.com/wrestling/top-15-professional-wrestling-families/?view=all Source: thesportster.com

1. Anoa’i

Nobody has been as consistently involved in professional wrestling as the Anoa’i family, which has provided the world with nearly every famous Samoan wrestler in the history of the business (except for Samoa Joe, who somehow managed to not be related to the group). In fact, there has almost never been a time where a member of this dynasty wasn’t working for WWE in some way. The list of successful Anoa’i family wrestlers is so long that trying to list them all would inevitably leave someone out. The family includes former Tag Team Champions such as The Wild Samoans, The Headshrinkers, and The Usos. It counts among its number stars such as Umaga, Rikishi, and Roman Reigns. It even boasts some former WWE World Champions, in the form of two-time winner Yokozuna, and, of course, The Rock. The extended family through marriage features Jimmy Snuka and his daughter Tamina, as well as Nia Jax, current NXT star and future WWE Diva. If there’s an accomplishment in professional wrestling, someone in the Anoa’i family tree has more than likely won it. They’ve been a constant force in WWE and all over the world of pro wrestling, and show no signs of slowing down.

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/wwe-royal-rumble-recap-the-philadelphia-phuck-you-20150126 Source: rollingstone.com

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/wwe-royal-rumble-recap-the-philadelphia-phuck-you-20150126 Source: rollingstone.com

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