Superstars celebrate their famous fathers
Classic stories from WWE Superstars
From Alberto Del Rio dressing up in his dad’s ring gear to Tamina celebrating her seventh birthday with Shawn Michaels, WWE’s Generation Next reflects on what their life was like growing up with fathers who ruled the ring. Take a look back at their classic stories told by WWE’s second- and third-generation Superstars. ( VIEW PHOTO GALLERY)
Ted DiBiase, son of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
“I’m proud to carry on my dad’s prestigious name, even if he was one of the biggest bad guys in WWE history! People remember him most for his flamboyant laugh and sparkling championship belt, but to me he was just my dad. I can remember being 4 years old, and my teacher asking what my dad did for a living, and I said he worked on TV. For my friends, going to work with their dad was sitting in an office. For me, it was running around an arena with Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and Ultimate Warrior. That was a typical day as the son of ‘The Million Dollar Man.’
“I never realized how cool it all truly was until I sat with my friends and watched my dad take on ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage at WrestleMania IV. It only got crazier as I’d go to Toys‘R’Us and see an action figure of my dad, or watch my friends play him on their WWE video games.
“I am so proud to carry the torch and represent the DiBiase name.”
Alberto Del Rio, son of Dos Caras
“Growing up with Dos Caras for a father was incredibly exciting. In Mexico, the mask is everything, so what made it so interesting was that my brother and I were sworn to secrecy about his identity. We could tell absolutely no one. So I remember running around at recess playing with my friends, and while they would all pretend to be Batman or Superman, I’d pretend to be my dad.
“Any chance I got, I would sneak into my father’s room and put on his cape and pretend to be him. He was my very own superhero and as a kid, I followed him around everywhere because I admired him so much. I didn’t learn of all the sacrifices he made until I was much older and had a family of my own. My father did what he had to do to keep us safe and to provide a life of security for us, and I will always respect him for that.”
Tamina, daughter of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
“My dad was one of the first Superstars to go outside of the box, flying off ropes with his Superfly Splash, and I can’t even tell you how proud I am to be his daughter, and the first Polynesian female wrestler. To me it’s a huge deal, something I never thought could happen. But having the support of my father meant the world to me. He loved his culture from the bottom of his heart and how he portrayed himself on TV was who he truly was. To the world, he was an islander with this athletic ability to jump off the top rope, but to me he was just my dad, honest and true. It never really dawned on me he was different until I was about six or seven and noticed he was way more muscular than other dads!
“I’ll never forget one of my earlier birthdays, however. It was one of the few times I was at the airport with my mom and all the kids, as we drove everywhere, and there were a bunch of Superstars like Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty hanging around. They were all sitting down before they boarded the flight, and they shouted, ‘Hey! Let’s toast to the birthday girl!’ They got me a glass of orange juice and they raised their milk and we all celebrated my birthday. I knew then that my impromptu party wasn’t ordinary for a 7-year-old, but to me it was totally normal. That’s how it was growing up with my dad and around WWE.”
Jimmy Uso, son of Rikishi
“Our Samoan family has been in this business for generations, so it’s an honor to follow in their footsteps and carry on my dad’s legacy. My brother and I always stood out because of who our dad was, and all the kids constantly asked us about him. To us, he was just a fun, family-loving guy — who happenednotto have a typical 9-to-5 job! My brother and I thought we were so cool because we could travel with him and see all the WWE shows we wanted for free. It’s crazy to see some of the legends now, who still come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I remember when you were knee-high. Now look how big you are!’
“I remember hanging out in the locker room one time with my dad, I was maybe 11 or 12, and Bam Bam Bigelow picked me up and shoved me in a locker. He would open it just enough to spray me with this water bottle and then would close it back up. I hated it and he left me in there for at least an hour! The whole time my dad was just like, ‘You’ll be all right. It’s only an hour of your life.’ And he just left me there, locked up and wet. That was my dad. Early on he was teaching me how to be tough.”
Jey Uso, son of Rikishi
“Growing up, I just remember my dad being this amazing guy who was outgoing and very artistic — few people know that about him. I never realized my childhood was unique because to me, it was normal for my dad to travel all the time and be on TV. I mean, it wasn’t bizarre to wake up early as a little kid and walk downstairs and see Tatanka and Owen Hart asleep on our couches in the living room.
“When my dad would pick us up from school, it wasn’t unusual for kids to swarm him, asking for pictures — but I’d just be there, a typical kid, mad he was late to get me and my brother! I still cringe when I think back to this one afternoon in high school when my brother and I were at football practice. We had just joined the team and some of the guys didn’t believe we were Rikishi’s sons. All of a sudden, my dad comes riding up to practice on this light green Kawasaki Ninja bike. It was the biggest model they had, but he still made it look ridiculously tiny. He just flew down the street and grounded to a halt and everyone turned to ask who the big dude on the bike was. I’ll always remember that, as well as being little and listening to him play the guitar. That was always the perfect family time.”
Cody Rhodes, son of Dusty Rhodes
“My earliest memory I have is being in the ring and my dad picking me up and putting my little feet on the mat. I remember seeing turnbuckle pads at eye level, as my dad set me down. I didn’t really have a big fascination with going backstage growing up — not until I was a teenager at the very least. It’s not until now, when I look back at my time spent with my dad [at WCW], that I get a kick out of the fact that I was standing next to Vader’s big mastodon helmet as they tested the smoke on it, or watching Sting get his face painted. The best way I can sum my dad up, though, is he was very ahead of his time. He had a unique following and made it an advantage. He could make things that don’t shine, shine. If there was anything about ‘The American Dream,’ I remember that — and the fact that he always, always had my back.” ( VIEW PHOTO GALLERY)