It’s only natural for children to want to follow in the footsteps of their parents, and nowhere is that more true than in pro wrestling. These days, second and third-generation wrestlers such as Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and Cody Rhodes are plentiful, taking up their family legacies to varying degrees of success. But for some wrestlers, that stigma as a child of some of history’s most memorable performers is too great, and whether by bad luck, lack of talent, professional jealousy, or any number of factors, they never manage to escape the shadow of their heritage. Here are some of the biggest examples of the children of legendary wrestlers who just couldn’t find even a fraction of the success that their much more famous fathers did.
10. Richie Steamboat
This is possibly one of the more depressing tales, because Richie Steamboat actually had the skills to become a decent pro wrestler. Although it would have been hard to match the multiple accolades of his father, the legendary Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Richie was signed by WWE in 2009 after training for years in Japan, and was considered one of the hottest young prospects in the company. Steamboat rose quickly, first in FCW (where he was Tag Team Champion alongside future WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins), then in the re-branded NXT promotion, and was even an NXT Championship contender when the title was introduced. Steamboat was often rumored to be on the fast-track to a role on the main WWE roster, and was a featured performer for WWE’s developmental organization as late as 2012. Unfortunately, Richie suffered a serious back injury that ended up requiring career-ending surgery, and the world will never know if he could have made a run at matching some of his father’s greatest accomplishments.