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Fathers and sons who won the same championship
Every family has its heirlooms, from gold watches to cherished cars to a well-worn pair of jeans. In a few select families’ cases, it’s a WWE career. But for the in-ring competitors of WWE, sometimes a Superstar’s inheritance is more than just a time-honored maneuver. Sometimes, like in the examples of these father-son duos, it’s championships. Here are eight groups of sires and sons who captured the same titles.
Rocky Johnson and The Rock — World Tag Team Championship
In-ring presence and a physique chiseled from stone weren’t the only heirlooms The Rock inherited from his WWE Hall of Fame father, Rocky Johnson. The Great One and The Soul Man were also both holders of WWE’s World Tag Team Championship. Johnson, in fact, made history with his own title win, as he was part of the first African-American tandem — along with Tony Atlas — to claim that particular mantle. The Rock made his old man proud, winning the title five times during his WWE career, notching three runs as one half of The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection with Mick Foley, one reign with Chris Jericho, and one championship, blink-and-you’ll-miss it stint alongside The Undertaker. Seriously.
Mr. Perfect and Curtis Axel — Intercontinental Championship
Following his rebirth in 2013 as Curtis Axel, the third-generation Superstar made it a point to follow in the legacy of his late, great father, WWE Hall of Famer “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Axel didn’t waste any time in honoring his heritage, choosing a name that honored both Perfect and grandfather Larry “The Axe” Hennig before setting his sights on his father’s signature prize, the Intercontinental Championship. With Paul Heyman at his side, the brash Superstar defeated Bad News Barrett and The Miz to win the title in a matter of weeks, branding himself “Better Than Perfect” in the process. Clearly, self-confidence was also an inheritable trait in the Hennig family tree.
The British Bulldog and David Hart Smith — World Tag Team Championship
David Hart Smith probably wasn’t ever going to get custody of Matilda, but The British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith, did pass along one very specific bequest to his son: the World Tag Team Championship. The Bulldog was a two-time bearer of the twin titles, once with Dynamite Kid and once with Owen Hart. David Hart Smith, as one-half of The Hart Dynasty, won the same title alongside Tyson Kidd. Davey’s boy can also lay claim to an interesting bit of history: Along with Kidd, he was one of the final holders of the World Tag Team Championship before it was unified into the WWE (now Raw) Tag Team Championship.
Dusty Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes — United States Championship
Few humans on this earth were as American as Dusty Rhodes. The man was “The American Dream,” after all, and he won the NWA incarnation of the United States Championship to prove it. The charisma of 10 men and a strange fascination with yellow and black (though, to be fair, Dusty didn’t get that weird with it) was bound to pass on to Rhodes’ eldest son Dustin, but “The Natural” did it one better and won the Star-Spangled title himself. Twice!
Rikishi and The Usos — WWE Tag Team Championship
The now-Raw Tag Team Championship is young enough that there really aren’t that many fathers and sons who could possibly share it … except, of course, one family. WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi was already a veteran when the WWE Tag Team Title, as it was known, was first created as a cousin to the long-tenured World Tag Team Championship, and he went on to win those titles alongside his old Too Cool running mate Scotty 2 Hotty. Years later, when the big man’s twin sons, Jimmy & Jey Uso, took the tag team division by storm, they won those titles on two separate occasions (synergy alert: for one of those victories, they beat previous list entry Dustin Rhodes, aka Goldust), earning the 2014 and 2015 Slammys for Tag Team of the Year. They are also the current SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
Chavo Classic and Chavo Guerrero — Cruiserweight Championship
Ooooohh, Chavos! The Guerrero family line didn’t inspire a Mountain Goats song for no reason; the storied lineage has been racking up championships since there was a ring in an arena and an audience who’d pay to see them fight in it. Chavo Guerrero and his late, great father, Chavo, Sr. (better known to today's WWE Universe as Chavo Classic), were particularly fond of the Cruiserweight Title, boasting a combined seven reigns between them (six for junior, and one for Chavo Sr. as the oldest recorded bearer of that title). They were even in WWE at the same time for a stretch, joining forces in 2004 for a miniature Guerrero takeover. Now that’s family bonding.
Ric Flair and David Flair — United States Championship
Everyone focuses on the 16 World Championships Ric Flair has won over his two-time WWE Hall of Fame career. Fair enough. But The Dirtiest Player in the Game also had six stints with the United States Title, which is enough to build a legacy on in and of itself. David Flair also held the U.S. Title in WCW — in fact, Ric, who was a WCW authority figure at the time, literally handed his boy the championship in the first place. The story of the Flair family’s U.S. Title lineage stops there, though David's sister Charlotte has been accumulating some gold of her own over the last few years.
The Million Dollar Man and Ted DiBiase — World Tag Team Championship
Everyone’s got a price, and, on a related note, there’s something everyone covets. For WWE’s two Ted DiBiases, father and son, those interests aligned with the World Tag Team Championship (Bonus fact: They were also both custodians of the Million Dollar Championship). Both “The Million Dollar Man” and his son can lay claim to one half of the twin titles; Ted Sr. with his three reigns alongside his trusty tax man, I.R.S., and Ted Jr. twice alongside Cody Rhodes, who — more synergy — is another son of Dusty Rhodes. Take it from us: It always comes back to Dusty.