is very much a family business. There have been many, many families involved with the pseudo-sport; generally, it begins with a successful patriarch, whose children all follow him into the business. If you're part of a wrestling family, you have an in-built character; you're a second-generation (or, less likely, third-generation) wrestler trying to live up to the legacy of your forefathers. You also have in-built allies when things get rough; namely, your brothers. Sometimes however, family members are portrayed as antagonistic towards each other, especially if they are brothers.
A Wrestling Family may be an actual family, such as the Guerreros or the Harts, or it may be fictional, such as the Andersons or the Dudleys. A family may even blend the two, as did the Von Erichs (primarily made up of the Adkisson family, though two members, Waldo and Lance Von Erich, weren't Adkissons). A family may not even be acknowledged on screen (such as the Anoa'i family, whose members include almost every Wild Samoan
in North American wrestling [and the one sumo wrestler
]), though its presence is certainly felt.
A subtrope of Real-Life Relative
Compare to It Runs in the Family
. See also Circus Brat
, for another type of performance which runs in the family.
Real Life Families
- The most obvious and well-known example of this is the McMahon family, who own and operate WWE.
- Patriarch Vince McMahon is the behind-the-scenes AND onscreen chairman and CEO of the company, and wrestles on a semi-regular basis, having held both the WWE and revived ECW World Championships.
- Wife Linda was the offscreen and onscreen CEO (leaving the offscreen role to run for Senate in Connecticut), and a member of the board of directors (it gets confusing because onscreen, Vince supposedly owns a quarter of the company, yet he's constantly being thwarted by the rest of the board of directors, usually in the guise of Linda).
- Vince owning a "quarter" of the company is something of an anachronism, as the shares were flipped around during the Invasion storyline. In short: each of the McMahons owned 1/4 of the stock of the company. Shane sold his to a mystery investor to buy WCW. Stephanie sold hers to a mystery investor to buy ECW (Vince didn't apparently think through the fact that this made WCW and ECW, which in reality Vince bought with essentially pocket change, look as though they were worth 25% of whatever the WWF was at the time). Vince somehow got control of Linda's shares, but after the Invasion it was revealed that the two "mystery investors" were the same person: Ric Flair. Vince eventually beat Flair to unify all the stock, and it's never been re-split.
- Son Shane has been, in order, part of the ring crew, a referee (under the name "Shane Stevens"), a "backstage official", a color commentator, a member of The Corporation (a Heel faction), a "wrestler" (European and Hardcore Champion), "owner" of WCW and leader of the WCW-ECW Alliance, and tag-team partners with his father. Offscreen, he was the Vice President of Global Media for WWE until his departure in 2009, leaving to become the CEO of a technology company dedicated to bringing widespread internet access to Chinese citizens. Shane's wife Marissa Mazzola-McMahon co-hosted WWF Livewire for a time, and worked for the WWF's PR department. Their older son, Declan James McMahon, was born in 2004 and appeared in the opening video package of WrestleMania XX, and their younger son, Kenyon Jess, was born in 2006.
- Daughter Stephanie got her first company gig in the mid 80's as a teenager when she modeled t-shirts and other merchandise in the WWF catalog. She was first introduced on screen in the late 90's by being almost "sacrificed" by the Undertaker. She later married Triple H, faked a pregnancy, divorced him, and has been Women's Champion. Offscreen, she's Executive Vice President, Talent and Creative Writing, and married to Triple H for real. The two have three daughters, Aurora Rose (who has "appeared" in a hilariously disturbing sketch at WrestleMania), Murphy Claire, born in 2008, and Vaughn Evelyn, born in 2010.
- Even Vince represents the third generation of wrestling-promoting-McMahons. His grandfather, "Jess" McMahon founded the original Capitol Wrestling Corporation in the 40's. His father, Vincent J. McMahon, took over after Jess' death in 1954 and changed the company name to the World Wide Wrestling Federation in 1963. He shortened it to the World Wrestling Federation in 1980, 3 years before Vince Jr. and Linda bought the company from him.
A comprehensive list of Wrestling Family trees is probably impossible. However, we shall try... first, the real families:
- The most tragic would be the Adkissons, better known as Texas' favorite sons, the Von Erich Family. Not counting Fritz's "brother" Waldo and Waldo's "nephew" Lance, the family consisted of father Jack (Fritz Von Erich), and sons Jack Jr., David, Kerry, Chris, Mike, and Kevin. Jack Jr. was electrocuted in childhood, while David died under mysterious circumstances in Japan in 1984 (either enteritis or drugs, depending on who you ask), and Kerry, Chris, and Mike all committed suicide in the years before Jack's death. Kerry's daughter, Lacey, wrestled for TNA.
- Kevin, the barefoot high-flyer, is the only survivor. He has four children, and does real estate as well as controls old WCCW footage.
- Two of Kevin's sons have finished training as wrestlers and are currently working for Harley Race in his independent promotion.
- The largest would be the Harts of Calgary. Father Stu and mother Helen sired 12 children. Eleven would go on to either wrestle or marry wrestlers. His seven wrestling sons were Smith, Bruce, Keith, Dean, Bret (the most famous), Ross, and the youngest, Owen, who died when a stunt went wrong in a 1999 Pay Per View. Son Wayne became a referee. All four daughters married wrestlers: Ellie (Jim Neidhart), Georgia (B.J. Annis), Alison (Ben Bassarab), and Diana (Davey Boy Smith). The third generation of Harts has entered wrestling, as Diana and Davey Boy's son Harry wrestles in WWE as D.H. Smith (one half of The Hart Dynasty, with Hart House trainee Tyson Kidd, who later marries Natalya), Ellie and Jim's daughter Nattie is on the WWE roster as Natalya, and Georgia and B.J.'s son Teddy has become a fixture in the independent wrestling scene as Teddy Hart.note And just to make this weirder, Bret's first wife was a sister-in-law of wrestler Thomas Billington (Dynamite Kid) - who is Davey Boy Smith's cousin.
- And let's not forget that it was confirmed in Roddy Piper's biography that he is a "distant relative" of the Hart family.
- Another legendary Canadian wrestling family are the Rougeaus of St. Sulpice, Quebec, who have been actively involved in wrestling for almost 70 years. The first wrestler in the family was Eddie Auger, who debuted in the 1940s, and worked as a trainer after his ring career ended. Auger's nephews, the brothers Jean (Johnny) Rougeau and Jacques Rougeau, Sr. had lengthy careers as wrestlers and promoters in and around Quebec. Four of Jacques' five children also entered the wrestling business. Sons Raymond, Jacques, Jr., and Armand all became wrestlers, while daughter Joanne worked backstage for the WWF from 1985-1999 and also married a wrestler (Denis Gauthier, Sr.). Jacques, Jr. currently runs a wrestling school and promotes shows in the Montreal area, and his son Jean-Jacques (J.J.) Rougeau has begun wrestling on the independent circuit, making him the fourth generation of the family to compete in the wrestling ring.
- As noted, the Anoa'i family of Samoa has any number of relations. The actual family tree starts with the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika Anoa'i). All three of Afa's sons are wrestlers (Samu, Afa Jr. (currently known as Manu), and Lloyd (who wrestles as L.A. Smooth)). Afa's daughter, Monica, was married to Gary Albright before Albright's death. Sika's sons Matt and Joseph are also wrestlers, the former best known as The Hurricane's sidekick, Rosey, and the latter as Roman Reigns. Afa and Sika's two other siblings sired wrestlers — brother Junior's son Rodney wrestled as Yokozuna, and sister Vera Fatu's sons all wrestled (Sam as Tama, Solofa as Rikishi, and Eddie as Jamal then Umaga). Rikishi's twin sons Jonathan and Joshua are now wrestling as Jimmy and Jey Uso.
- James "Jimmy Snuka" Reiher is related to the Anoa'i family through marriage, as is his son Jimmy Snuka Jr. (formerly "Deuce" of the "Deuce N' Domino" tag-team, then a Legacy hopeful as Sim Snuka, before being released). And his daughter Sarona, who goes by the name Tamina in WWE and started out managing her cousins the Usos.
- Closely related to the Anoa'is by friendship, but not blood, is the Maivia family. Father Peter considered Afa and Sika's father his blood brother, and the friendship has extended through the generations. Peter's wife Lia has been promoting wrestling in Hawai'i for years, while Peter and Lia's daughter Ata married Rocky Johnson. You may have heard of Rocky and Ata's son...
- Afa and Sika actually started out as ultra-mark Maivia fans in San Francisco who would threaten to beat up his heel opponents. Fearing a riot, promoter Roy Shire had Maivia befriend them, and send them far, far away to be trained in wrestling.
- Maivia's real name is Pita Anderson. Early in his career, since "Anderson" didn't sound particularly Samoan, he was brought to the UK as a "brother" to longtime Samoan wrestler Neff Maiava. The two met years later and became blood brothers and best of friends, and Neff's grandson Kaluka Maiava (a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns) considers himself a cousin to The Rock.
- The Anoa'i clan is actually so pervasive that from the formation of the WWF/E until mid 2009, there has always been at least one member in the promotion. And then, later that year, Rikishi's twin sons were signed to a developmental contract and became the Uso brothers. Sarona Snuka/Tamina followed soon after.
- And Sika's son Joe debuted at Survivor Series 2012 as Roman Reigns.
- From there, known family relations get a bit more straightforward. For example, Randy Orton is the son of "Ace/Cowboy" Bob Orton Jr., the nephew of Barry Orton, and the grandson of "The Big O", Bob Orton Sr.
- WWE commentator Jerry Lawler's sons have wrestled (Brian Christopher, who dropped his last name) and refereed (Kevin Lawler). Additionally, his cousin is the Honky Tonk Man (Wayne Ferris), and one of his numerous ex-wives was a WWF/E Diva for a while (Stacey "The Kat" Carter).
- The Guerrero family began with father Salvadore "Gori" Guerrero. Gori's four sons would all wrestle (Eddie, who passed away in 2005, Chavo, Hector, and Mando). Chavo's son Chavo Guerrero Jr was formerly employed by WWE. In the wake of Eddie's death, WWE provided his widow Vickie with a non-wrestling personality job. She has served as General Manager for both RAW and SmackDown. Eddie and Vickie's daughter Shaul was signed to a development contract with WWE and worked in FCW as a valet for the Ascension under the name Raquel Diaz before leaving the business for a time, eventually returning to WWE developmental in NXT. Herlinda Guerrero, wife of Gori and mother of his children, had three brothers who wrestled: Enrique, Mario, & Sergio Llanes. Enrique's son Javier was also an excellent wrestler.
- AWA founder Verne Gagne's son Greg wrestled (pretty much only for his father, as Greg was said to look more like an accountant than a wrestler), and daughter Kathy did TV work while married to wrestler Larry Zbyszko (born Larry Whistler, he adopted the legendary wrestling family name from two 1930's brothers).
- WWE's one-time "Million Dollar Man", Ted DiBiase, is the son of wrestler Helen Hild and the stepson of wrestler "Iron" Mike DiBiase. Ted's three sons, Mike, Ted Jr. and Brett have recently gone into the wrestling business. Ted Jr. is in WWE, Mike wrestles independents and Brett was in WWE's training fed FCW.
- Robert Fuller, who later became Col. Parker of "Stud Stable" fame, has a brother, father and grandfather who were in the wrestling business.
- The Vachon family started in the NWA, and later, the AWA with brothers Butcher (Paul) and Mad Dog (Maurice) and their sister Vivian (er... Vivian). Paul's daughter Gertrude is probably the most well-known for her stint in the WWF as Luna Vachon. Her brothers are Damien (Pitbull) and Pierre (The Beast) who wrestled in Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling. Vivian's son Ian Carnegie is an arm wrestler.
- Luna was married to and raised children with WWE's Gangrel. Also, her godfather was André the Giant. (The Other Wiki mentions that she was buried at a ranch that he used to own. Presumably this is the same ranch where his cremains were scattered.)
- Mexico's most famous wrestling family is arguably the Caras/Sicodelico family. At its head is Dos Caras (José Luis Rodríguez Arellano), the greatest heavyweight wrestler from Mexico, and his brothers, Mil Mascaras (Aaron Rodríguez Arellano) and Sicodelico (Pablo Rodríguez Arellano). The second generation include Sicodelico's sons Sicodelico Jr. (Aaron Rodriguez) and Hijo del Sicodelico; and Dos' sons Dos Caras Jr. (Alberto Rodríguez), aka WWE's Alberto Del Rio, and Guillermo Rodríguez, now working in NXT as Memo Montenegro.
- At least, "most famous wrestling family without the last name of Guerrero or Guzmán."
- A few more from Mexico which, seemingly due to the value placed on tradition, seems to be completely steeped in this trope. A few examples include...
- The Ibarra family, the most famous member undoubtedly being Adolfo aka La Parka (later changed to L.A. Park due to legal issues with AAA stemming from his time in WCW). Adolfo's younger brother, Eustacio, wrestled as El Hijo de Cien Caras until being murdered for unknown reasons in 2010. Adolfo's uncle Ramon wrestled initially as Volador until becoming Super Parka (in reference to his nephew) in 1997 while Ramon's son wrestles as Volador Jr. Two of La Parka's uncles are also wrestlers under the name Johnny Ibarra and Desalmado.
- Dr. Wagner has two sons who wrestle as Dr. Wagner, Jr. and Silver King/Silver Cain (who movie fans will recognize as Ramses from Nacho Libre). Dr. Wagner, Jr. has a son who wrestles as Dr. Wagner III (and sometimes El Hijo de Dr. Wagner, Jr.) with female wrestler Rossy Moreno meaning the Wagner family also includes (or has included) Rossy's sisters Cinthia and Esther, their brother El Oriental and father Alfonso Moreno.
- Dr. Karonte's sons Current WWE wrestler Sin Cara (formerly known as Mistico in CMLL) whose family includes his father Dr. Karonte, his brothers Astro Boy, Argos, Argenis and an unspecified member of Los Mini Psycho Circus, cousin Magnus and uncle former wrestler/current CMLL booker Tony Salazar.
- There's the Apache family headed by patriarch Gran Apache. His daughters wrestle as Fabi Apache and Mari Apache, his ex-wife as Lady Apache and his son-in-law (and Fabi's husband) Billy Boy.
- The Brazo Family in Mexico may be the single biggest wrestling family, although most of them aren't well known outside Mexico. The family patriarch, Shadito Cruz, predates the family's gimmick. His sons are Brazo del Plata (aka Super Porky, probably the best known outside Mexico), Brazo de Oro, El Brazo, Brazo Cibernético, Super Brazo, and Brazo de Platino. Brazo del Plata had several sons and daughters who all got involved in wrestling - his sons are Máximo, Kronos, Robin, Golden Magic, and Andros de Plata, his daughters Goya Kong and Muñeca de Plata. He also has a nephew in the business (La Máscara), and Lady Apache of the Apache family is a former sister-in-law.
- In the UK there are the Knights with husband and wife, Ricky Knight and Sweet Saraya respectively and then son Zak Zodiac and daughter Britani Knight (now Paige in WWE).
- TNA has cousins Amazing Red, Rosita (also Divina Fly), Joel and Jose Maximo (The Spanish Announce Team).
The more straightforward father-son relations are many and numerous:
- Virgil "Dusty Rhodes" Runnels and sons Dustin "Goldust" Runnels and Cody. Dusty is also the brother-in-law of wrestler Fred Ottman, also known as Typhoon, Tugboat and The Shockmaster. Dustin's ex-wife Terri used to work for WWE under the name "Marlena", managing her ex-husband, and later, under her real name. Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys is/was a brother-in-law of Dusty at some point.
- Larry "The Axe" Hennig and son Curt ("Mr. Perfect"). Curt's son Joe Hennig has competed on NXT season 2 and appeared on RAW under the name Michael McGillicutty, and more recently Curtis Axel (as a tribute to both his father and his grandfather, as well as using his own middle name), winning the Intercontinental Championship recently.
- Bob "Blackjack Mulligan" Windham and sons Barry and Kendall. Windham is also the father-in-law of wrestler Mike Rotunda, who is the poster child of Wrestling Doesn't Pay with no less than three "second job" gimmicks under his belt (IRS, Captain Mike, and V. K. Wallstreet).
- Rotunda's own sons, Windham and Taylor, are also wrestlers. Under the name Husky Harris, Windham competed on NXT season 2 and was on RAW for a few months, and now is Bray Wyatt. Taylor is on the main WWE roster as Bo Dallas.
- Carlos Colón and sons Carlito and Eddie (aka Primo). There's also his daughter and sister of Carlito and Eddie, Stacy Colón who wrestled, but has since retired. And Carlito's and Eddie's cousin Orlando Colón, using the name Epico, who are in a tag team with Eddie.
- Eddie "Graham" Gossett and son Mike (although see below for the twisted fictional family tree).
- Dory Funk Sr. and sons Dory Jr. and Terry.
- The aforementioned "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka and son Jimmy Jr. (formerly WWE's Deuce/Sim Snuka).
- "Bullet" Bob Armstrong has four sons, who've all taken up wrestling: Brad, Steve, Scott, and Brian. Only the latter has gone on to any sort of real fame in wrestling (as "Road Dogg" Jesse James in WWE, and then B.G. James in TNA), although Scott is now one of WWE's top referees. The former three were subject to a storyline in WCW centering around the Armstrong Curse, which largely amounted to Lampshade Hanging for using them as Jobbers. Brian's been known to mock the Armstrong Curse idea by, for example, wearing shirts that read, "Look ma, no curse"
- Wrestler/promoter Angelo Poffo had two sons who followed him in the business—Randall, better known as Randy "Macho Man" Savage, and "Leaping" Lanny.
- Boris Malenko (Lawrence Simon) and sons Dean and Joe. Debbie Malenko, however, is not related to them.
- Fuerza and Juventud Guerrera.
- Ric Flair and his two sons, David and Reid. David Flair had a brief run in WCW as a manager/backstage type who trained part-time at WCW's Power Plant wrestling school as more of a hobby than out of any real desire to wrestle for a living. As WCW quickly plunged into it's early 2000's Dork Age, he was pushed onto the card in actual matches long before he was ready to perform professionally. After WCW closed its doors, he had a mildly successful run in TNA and the independent circuit before retiring. Younger son Reid was a highly decorated amateur wrestler in high school and college before making his professional debut in 2008. He's since wrestled for a handful of NWA affiliates. Sadly, Reid passed away on March 29, 2013 at the age of 25 from an accidental drug overdose.
- As of late 2012, Flair's youngest daughter Ashley is also making a go in the family business, wrestling in WWE's NXT development territory under the name Charlotte.
- Rey Misterio Sr. and Rey Mysterio Jr (now wrestling as Rey Mysterio), although they are uncle and nephew, rather than father and son. And, just to confuse matters, Rey Misterio, Sr.'s son also wrestles under the same mask as El Hijo de Rey Misterio.
- To confuse matters even further, El Hijo de Rey Misterio briefly retired from professional wrestling, after which time Rey Misterio, Sr., and Konnan introduced a new wrestler in May 2011 who also went by the name El Hijo de Rey Misterio (though his relationship to the Misterio family is unknown). The original El Hijo de Rey Misterio then returned in November of that year, wrestling under the name El Hijo de Rey Misterio I. We now have, in order of debut: Rey Misterio, Sr.; Rey Mysterio; El Hijo de Rey Misterio I; and El Hijo de Rey Misterio. To confuse matters even FURTHER, the original El Hijo de Rey Misterio sometimes wrestles as Rey Misterio, Jr.
- The Misterio/Mysterio family also includes El Hijo de Rey Misterio's other cousin Metalika and his uncle Super Astro.
- The Misterio family almost included a fictional member - bookers considered making Dioncio Castellanos a member of the family, and even considered giving him the Rey Misterio, Jr. gimmick. However, he ended up becoming Rey Misterio, Jr.'s arch-rival Psicosis.
- Mexican icon El Santo ("The Saint") wrestled professionally for over forty years and starred in over fifty films in his career, becoming an icon to the people of Mexico (think of Bret Hart and his status in Canada, plus the street cred of being the closest thing there is to an honest-to-God superhero). His son, El Hijo del Santo ("The Son of the Saint"), made his debut shortly before his father's retirement in 1982 and has become almost as popular, still competing after nearly thirty years. He has even had popular matches with contemporary Mexican stars who've attained fame north of the border, including Rey Mysterio Jr and Eddie Guerrero, and is probably one of the best wrestlers in the world who has never made an appearance in the WWE or other American promotions. One of El Santo's grandsons also wrestles, unfortunately, very nasty legal issues regarding the name of El Nieto del Santo ("The Grandson of the Saint") -due to him not being a direct descendant of El Hijo del Santo but rather his nephew- forced him to go with a very similiar yet not identical mask and also to use his first name ("Axel") as wrestler name. The legal issues are ongoing to this very day.
- Former wrestler/promoter Jerry Jarrett and his son Jeff Jarrett, who he actually helped follow in his footsteps through the co-founding of one TNA.
- Steve Corino, former ECW World Heavyweight Champion and NWA World Heavyweight Champion (after the glory days of both titles), and his teenaged son Colby. At 15, Colby holds titles in Japan and the Northeast (unsurprisingly, in areas where his father is heavily involved on the booking side). His sister Cathy Allison Corino competed for Ring of Honor, CHIKARA, SHIMMER and many other promotions all over the world as Allison Danger. She is also married to Marco Jaggi, better known as the Swiss wrestler Ares.
- Ivan Putski, a WWF mainstay in the late 70s and 80s, had a son named Scott who wrestled for WWF and WCW.
- However, his "daughter" Rachael Putski wasn't related. She eventually dropped the Putski name and now wrestles as Rachel Summerlyn.
- Brian Pillman had a stepdaughter named Lexi Pillman who got into wrestling. Sadly she was killed in a car crash in 2009 before she had a chance to even get noticed on the indy scene.
- Eric Bischoff's son, Garett is a much hated part of TNA in 2012, due to the undeserved amount of screen time he gets. In short, Like Father, Like Son.
- Tonga Fifita, better known as Haku (WWF/E) and Meng (WCW), has a son named Tevita Fifita who currently works as the Mexican character Camacho in WWE.
- The Barbarian has a niece who wrestles for TNA as Lei'D Tapa and uses some of his signature moves (the Samoan Drop and the Kick of Fear).
- CMLL has El Gran Hamada along with his two daughters, Xóchitl and Ayako.
Brother-brother pairings are also common:
- The Steiner Brothers are comprised of Robert "Rick Steiner" Rechsteiner and Scott [Rechsteiner].
- In the families listed above, brothers often teamed to form a tag team or to participate in 6-man-tag team competitions, most notably the Adkissons and the Harts.
- Harlem Heat (of which Booker T became famous in singles competition,) were composed of Booker and Lash "Stevie Ray" Huffman.
- Matt and Jeff Hardy of the Hardy Boyz.
- Dolph Ziggler (real name Nick Nemeth) has a younger brother, Ryan, who now works in NXT as Briley Pierce.
- A sister-sister pairing - Victoria and Christina Crawford. Victoria is Alicia Fox in WWE while Christina is Caylee Turner in FCW as well as ring announcer on NXT.
- Even wrestling referees get in on the act: Earl Hebner (of Montreal Screwjob fame) was first introduced as his brother Dave's Evil Twin, and Earl's son Brian is also a ref. Earl's daughter Katie also wrestles; she made a cameo appearance on TNA as Gail Kim's sister.
- On the flip side, WWF referee Joey Marella was the real-life adopted son of wrestler-turned-commentator Gorilla Monsoon, but this was never stated on-screen, though Monsoon's broadcast partners indirectly alluded to it from time to time.
- She Nay Nay (Athanasia Alexopoulos) and Annastacia are another sister pair in Canada.
Twin pairings exist as well:
- Charlie Haas and his late brother Russ.
- Jey and Jimmy Uso, mentioned above as the sons of Rikishi (himself the twin brother of Samuel Fatu, best known as "The Tonga Kid" and "Tamu").
- The Shane Twins, best known for playing the Gymini in WWE (they were also The Johnsons in TNA and made jobber-to-the-stars appearances in WWF under their real names)
- Nicole and Brianna Garcia, better known as Nikki and Brie, the Bella Twins.
- There are the Blossom Twins, Hannah and Holly from OVW and Pro Wrestling EVE fame.
- Ireland gives us Kasey and Leah, the Owens Twins.
- The Andersons of Minnesota, for the most part, aren't related at all. Gene Anderson was the only real Anderson. "Brothers" Lars (Larry Heinimi) and Ole (Alan Rogowski) were college friends. "Nephew" Arn (Marty Lunde) resembled the "family" and happened to arrive in the NWA Mid-Atlantic area when Ole needed a tag-team partner. "Cousin" Ric Flair wasn't related to any of them, but was billed as cousin to help get him over as a star. The only other legitimate Anderson is Gene's son Brad. The Carolina branch of the Anderson family (Pat, Rocky, and C.W.) all have a broad physical resemblance, but none are related. Clouding the issue somewhat is the fact that WWE's Ken Kennedy was actually born Ken Anderson; he was asked to change his name upon making the big time, so as to avoid confusion with the fictional family. When he was future endeavored by WWE, he joined TNA as "Ken Anderson", though nothing has been made of the name or possible Anderson family connections.
- Speaking of Kennedy, he nearly got into a second family (in part) because of it. Throughout much of 2007 and into 2008, the WWE ran a "Who Is Vince McMahon's Bastard Child?" storyline, where one of Vince's numerous flings had had a son and was now suing McMahon for owed child support while simultaneously keeping the identity of the child a secret to mess with his head (yes, it's very hard to assert paternity for a child you refuse to identify. It's wrestling writing, go with it). Smarks immediately pointed at Ken Kennedy as the likely son; he had Irish heritage, like the McMahons, he was due for a push, and hey — Vince's full name is Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Unfortunately for Kennedy, right when the reveal was scheduled, he got himself suspended for violations of the WWE Wellness Program (read: failed a drug test), forcing WWE to punt. They wound up naming Dave "Fit" Finlay's Leprechaun sidekick, Hornswoggle, as Vince's bastard son. When enough time had passed, it was announced that Hornswoggle wasn't really McMahon's son, he was really Finlay's son and Finlay was scamming McMahon for... well, no reason really, but at least the storyline could be put to bed. Kennedy would eventually get his push by feuding with RAW's Heel General Manager, William Regal... until that storyline had to be aborted when Regal got suspended for a Wellness violation, and shortly thereafter Kennedy would get injured. He really couldn't catch a break.
- As noted above, the Grahams have an interesting history. The "real" Graham appears to be Dr. Jerry Graham. Jerry later "adopted" Grady Johnson as "Crazy" Luke Graham. The Grahams then added Eddie Gossett as brother Eddie Graham, who'd go on to be the most successful wrestler and promoter in the fictional family. Wayne Coleman, through Verne Gagne, later asked Eddie for permission to become "Superstar" Billy Graham. Various sons and nephews of the Grahams have wrestled, with the most successful being Eddie's son, Mike, who wrestled mostly in Florida, and then promoted there after his father's suicide.
- Another wrestling clan who blended real and fictional relations were the Garvins and their associates. The original Garvin tag team consisted of fictional brothers Ronnie (Roger Barnes) and Terry (Terry Joyal). Joining them a few years later was a third "brother", Jimmy Garvin (James Williams), who in real life was actually Roger Barnes' stepson. Since they were only seven years apart in age, though, it was possible to pass them off as brothers on the screen. Later in his career, Jimmy Garvin would be managed by his real-life cousin Sunshine (Valerie French), though their relationship was never revealed to the audience. Sunshine was later replaced as Jimmy's manager by Precious (Patti Williams), who is his real-life wife. If that isn't already tangled enough, Sunshine during her stint with WCCW was also given a fictional relative, her "aunt" Stella Mae French (Tanya West).
- Then, there are The Dudley Boys. Created as a running storyline gag in early ECW — the joke was that all the Dudleys had one father, a traveling salesman named Big Daddy Dudley, but each had a different mother — the family numbered nearly a dozen at one point. Three of them would go on to greater success: Bubba Ray (Mark LoMonaco), D-Von (Devon Hughes), and Spike (Matt Hyson). Unfortunately, none of the Dudleys are currently using the name, as they all work for TNA and WWE owns the Dudley trademark. Instead, they took the name Team 3-D, a reference to their Finishing Move the Dudley Death Drop which was often referred to in short hand as the 3D, in TNA, as Brother Ray, Brother Devon, and Brother Runt (Hyson). Later, they retired the team, and LoMonaco turned heel (changing his name to "Bully Ray") by attacking Devon (who dropped the "Brother" part of his name).
- The Dudleys that got the most ring time were the three aforementioned - Bubba, D-Von and Little Spike Dudley. The supporting cast, if you will, included Big Dick Dudley, Chubby Dudley, Dances With Dudley, Dudley Dudley, Little Snot Dudley, Psycho Sam Dudley, Schmuck Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, and Studley Dudley, their manager. In the WWF, Stacy Keibler acted as the "Duchess of Dudleyville".
- At one show, The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke) were revealed to be their long-lost cousins. At ECW's second PPV, Hardcore Heaven 97, porn star Jenna Jameson also made an appearance as "Lady Dudley".
- Also noted above were two fictional Von Erichs. Jack Adkisson made Walter Sieber into Waldo Von Erich when he needed a tag-team partner, and later turned nondescript rookie Ricky Vaughn into Waldo's "son" Lance Von Erich when injuries and deaths depleted the real Adkisson family. What made Lance most notable (sorry!) was that when Lance later jumped from Adkisson's World Class Championship Wrestling promotion to the outlaw (rival promotion operating in the same geographical area as an established promotion in competition) Wild West Wrestling, Adkisson made the then-rare move of breaking kayfabe and admitting, on World Class' television show, that Vaughn wasn't related to the family.
- The McMahons, as their entry notes, play a fake wrestling family based somewhat on their reality. Vince plays himself up as much more arrogant and evil, constantly cheating on Linda with a string of divas. Shane and Stephanie play conniving rich brats who hate their father and constantly scheme against him - except, of course, when they team back up with him. Linda rarely shows up, and if she does it's usually just to act disgusted with whatever Vince has done lately — in the fake McMahon family, Vince and Linda seem to be separated.
- They're married in-storyline; Linda's just very... forgiving.
- Which seems to have originated as a Take That aimed at the Clintons.
- Truth in Television. Vince admitted in a Playboy interview to have constantly screwed around on Linda in the eighties, and was accused of sexually harassing a tanning bed employee only last year. However, as Vince is someone whose blood could test positive for kayfabe, little of what he says should be taken as fact.
- Then again, Linda's Crowning Moment Of Awesome was at WrestleMania X-Seven, when she kicked Vince in the balls.
- HHH is a part of the fake family too, after a long period of the WWE pretending he wasn't. After Randy Orton attacked Vince, Shane, and specifically Steph, they finally pulled the trigger and had HHH admit, on camera, to being married to Steph and Steph being the mother of his children, even going so far as to have other characters refer to him as "the last McMahon standing", so welcome to the fake family, HHH! This is a very recent development, so there are currently no deviations we can see between real HHH's standing in the family and his fake standing. Married to Steph, has kids with her, loves his wife... that's pretty much all we got at the moment. One does wonder at what point after their "divorce" HHH and Steph decided to give it another go, but screw it. That storyline was way more than three months ago.
- During that long period of HHH being a member of the real McMahon family but not the fake version, he seemed to take a nearly unholy glee in bending kayfabe nearly to the breaking point by teasing that fact whenever possible, mostly to have some fun with the smarks, who knew damn well what was up, and as the knowledge became commonplace, the entire audience.
- When Stephanie was pregnant for the first time — after their kayfabe divorce — HHH got in the ring and called that fact out, completely in character... and then went on to wonder at the identity of the father and his no-doubt prodigious sexual equipment.
- When the McMahons gathered in the ring for a family portrait, HHH came up too and demanded to be included. He didn't give a reason, merely saying that he "deserved" to be in any McMahon family portrait, and let the fans figure it out for themselves. Stephanie got into the act that time, kissing Triple H during the family portrait to supposedly "piss off [her] father". HHH, not to be one-upped, responded to the kiss with "Bye Steph, see ya at home! Uhhh... errr... I mean, your brother's a gnome!"
- HHH even managed to pull this once when he wasn't there. When he had to miss an episode of RAW because Stephanie was giving birth to their second child, his DX partner Shawn Michaels (HBK) explained that HHH wasn't there because he was secretly following the McMahon's (whom DX was feuding with at the time) and added that he thought HHH had some inside information on this "baby business". He finished with a camera close-up during which he said that between him and the fans, he thought HHH knew who the father was.
- The Undertaker and Kane are on-screen half-brothers...though sometimes, the bizarre ret-conning that's gone on about their family history may be thick enough to actually obscure this fact. A more recent example; SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, to wear The Undertaker down before his PPV match with Edge, booked him against Kane. The match started with a lengthy sequence of arm-locks going nowhere, noted by the commentators as a consequence of the brothers not really wanting to hurt each other. All of this brotherly love makes little sense if one remembers that in recent times, they had a very character-driven match based on the fact that Kane had killed The Undertaker for becoming the American Badassnote and forgetting his roots as a monster, and The Undertaker came back from the dead for revenge. It's pro wrestling; what're ya gonna do, accuse it of being unrealistic?
- Not to mention that Kane or Undertaker (don't ask) may or may not have murdered their parents in the first place... of course, at the same time, Kane's biological father was Paul Bearer. Better to just ignore that whole parental storyline, as Vince Russo wrote it.
- The Briscoe Brothers aren't related to the Brisco Brothers but are legit brothers themselves.
- And of course, the Hardy Brothers. Although we can probably safely presume that Real Matt is not making constant attempts on Real Jeff's life.
- An odd example where a kayfabe Wrestling Family has been sundered by Continuity Drift is the Canadian 'brothers' (and real-life childhood friends) Edge and Christian, who were first paired up in WWE in stable The Brood (where they apparently had some sort of relation to their leader Gangrel, but this was never fully explained), then went on to become one of the most decorated tag teams in history. Their feuds with the Hardys and the Dudleys remain famous, and at the time effectively pitted three sets of wrestling brothers against each other. However, at some point in the last decade, during a long period spent apart in solo careers, the relevance of their being 'related' was apparently deemed rather low in comparison to the relevance of their great past success as a team; so subsequent on-screen reunions have merely referred to their history as a partnership but quietly forgotten the fraternal bond. Presumably, according to the Three Month Rule, they therefore now never were brothers.
- They have in fact gone into detail about their real past history together several times since 2010, so it's safe to say the brotherhood has been retconned.
- The Legacy stable has been entirely composed of subsequent-generation wrestlers: Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Jr (although the "Jr." is dropped in WWE as with Rey Mysterio), Cody Rhodes, and former Legacy hopefules "Manu" (Afa Anoa'i, Jr.). and "Sim Snuka" (Jimmy Snuka, Jr.).
- Japan has this too with Kensuke Office, an agency/touring group (or at least the banner under which they appear for promotions) which centers around Kensuke Sasaki and his adoptive son Katsuhiko Nakajima and is run by Sasaki's wife, famous female wrestler Akira Hokuto. Along with two biological sons, they're also called the Kensuke Family.
- The Great Muta (Keiji Mutoh) was initially introduced in the West as the son of the Great Kabuki. Later, in HUSTLE, Monster Bono was introduced as Great Muta's son, though Bono is more like a monster he accidentally created when he magically impregnated Yinling instead of his biological offspring. Nonetheless, he adopted him as a legitimate child, and joined him and his mother. The family had a sad end, as Yinling was killed by Bono in retribution to her abuses, and Muta sacrificied himself to send The Esperanza to the underworld in order to save his son.
- On The Amanda Show, there was a sketch involving a Nuclear Family all consisting of wrestlers.
- During Hulk Hogan's AWA and NWA days, he regularly tag teamed with Ed Leslie. The two were promoted as brothers, sometimes using the names Terry & Ed Boulder, and sometimes Hulk & Dizzy Hogan.
- Hulk did have one legitimate family member in wrestling. His nephew Horace wrestled for WCW.
- When The Giant (Paul "The Big Show" Wight) first showed up in WCW, they billed him as the Son of André.
- There were the Holly Cousins in the Attitude Era, none of whom were related to each other. First there was Bob "Hardcore" Holly and Crash Holly who tagged together. At the end of 2000 a third cousin, Molly Holly, was introduced (and who wasn't from Mobile, Alabama where they were billed from either). The three cousins went their separate ways around mid 2000-ish though the announcers did keep continuity going between them.
- In TNA this is coupled with Fake Nationality with kayfabe cousins Sarita and Rosita, both billed from Mexico. Rosita is actually from New York and Sarita is Canadian, though raised in Mexico City (and she's not Hispanic either).
- One of the original plans for Sable's feud with Tori (not Wilson) in 1999 was for Tori to turn out to be Sable's biological sister. Indeed many reports for the shows where Tori would be seen sitting in the front row would point out how similar they looked. The creative team then scrapped that idea and made Tori just an obsessed fan.
- In early 2008 Katie Lea was called up to the main roster to be the kayfabe sister of Paul Burchill in a controversial angle with some Incest Subtext.