WWE's father and son team-ups
Sports-entertainment can often be a family affair. There are many second and third-generation competitors upholding — and often surpassing — the legacies of their predecessors while competing in WWE. However, there have been instances where Superstars are not only following in their fathers’ footsteps, but brawling alongside them in the squared circle.
WWEClassics.com examines five legendary father/son duos that joined forces and competed together.
“Cowboy” Bob and Randy Orton
In 2005, “Cowboy” Bob Orton was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as his son, Randy, was embarking on a mission to live up to his moniker at the time – The Legend Killer. The elder Orton eventually found himself entangled in the bitter rivalry between his son and The Undertaker, unsuccessfully interfering in The Deadman’s battle with The Viper at WrestleMania 21.
However, the WWE Hall of Famer did help his son defeat The Phenom in a rematch at SummerSlam. Having both drawn the fury of The Deadman, the Ortons soon teamed up to take on The Undertaker together.
At No Mercy, Bob and Randy Orton forged a formidable father/son duo and battled The Undertaker in a Handicap Casket Match. The Ortons defeated The Deadman and teamed up once again a few weeks later. Joining forces with Mr. Kennedy, the Ortons battled Batista, Eddie Guerrero and Roddy Piper. Though they were on the losing end in the Six-Man Tag Team Match, their victory against The Undertaker was surely a boastful memory for Thanksgiving dinner.
Shane and Mr. McMahon
During his in-ring career, Shane McMahon was a European Champion, a daredevil and the best frenemy of his own father, Mr. McMahon. Though Shane-O-Mac aligned himself with his old man and The Corporation early on, his purchase of WCW from under his father’s nose was the ultimate slap in the face. One week later, Shane defeated Mr. McMahon in a Street Fight at WrestleMania X-Seven.
However, the animosity between the McMahons subsided and in 2006 Shane-O-Mac became embroiled in the rivalry between his father and Shawn Michaels. In an effort to humiliate HBK after he defeated The Chairman at WrestleMania 22, the McMahons teamed up at Backlash and defeated Michaels and his tag partner, “God.” As a result of the continued rivalry with HBK, the McMahons inadvertently forged the reunion of Michaels and Triple H as D-Generation X.
In an effort to stop DX’s return to prominence, The McMahons battled HBK and The Game at SummerSlam 2006, but were unsuccessful. In a final attempt to put an end to DX and humiliate the duo in the process, Shane and Mr. McMahon recruited Big Show for a 3-on-2 Handicap Hell in a Cell Match at Unforgiven. Though they could not defeat DX, the animosity of years past subsided and The McMahons remained a powerful father/son allegiance.
Dusty & Dustin Rhodes
Dustin Rhodes is best known to the WWE Universe as the bizarre Goldust. However, early in his career, Rhodes joined forces with his legendary father, WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes. During his initial tenure in WWE, Dustin battled fellow second-generation Superstar, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. After defeating DiBiase, the young Rhodes teamed up with his father in a tag team bout against The Million Dollar Man and Virgil at Royal Rumble 1991.
Although unsuccessful at Royal Rumble, the father/son duo teamed up again – this time in WCW – to battle Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck at Clash of The Champions XXVIII. Unlike their tag team match at Royal Rumble, The Rhodes’ were successful.
Following a memorable tenure in WWE as Goldust, Dustin Rhodes returned to WCW and recruited his father to face the team of Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett at WCW Greed in 2001. The younger Rhodes had been embroiled in a rivalry with Jarrett, and the animosity between Flair and The American Dream spanned decades. The Rhodes’ successfully defeated their rivals, putting the final stamp on two intense conflicts.
Fritz and the Von Erichs
On June 6, 1982, Fritz Von Erich competed in his final match against King Kong Bundy. It was certainly the end of an era as the patriarch of the legendary Von Erichs hung up his boots and focused on his managerial duties with World Class Championship Wrestling.
Following the untimely passing of Fritz’s son David, WCCW’s Parade of Champions event was held in David’s honor and featured Kerry Von Erich defeating Ric Flair to capture the NWA Heavyweight Championship. The evening also saw Fritz’s return to the squared circle as he joined forces with his sons Kevin and Mike to battle The Fabulous Freebirds.
The bitterest rivalry in WCCW’s history, The Freebirds and Von Erichs clashed numerous times, but at Parade of Champions the bout’s stakes were higher than ever. Not only were the Von Erichs honoring David, but they were challenging the Freebirds for the NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championships. Together as a family, Fritz, Kevin and Mike successfully defeated The Freebirds and captured the titles in an unforgettable and emotional night.
Curt and Larry Hennig
WWE Superstar and “Paul Heyman Guy” Curtis Axel is a third-generation competitor that takes his first name from his father, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, and his last name from his grandfather, Larry “The Axe” Hennig. However, before Axel’s father was known as Mr. Perfect in WWE, he competed in the same organization that made his father a legend – AWA.
Like “The Axe,” Curt Henning became one of the biggest stars in AWA, capturing the AWA Tag Team Championships as well as the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. Not only did he follow in his father’s footsteps and surpass his old man’s accomplishments, but the WWE Hall of Famer also forged a formidable father/son team with “The Axe.”
The two AWA stalwarts battled the likes of The Road Warriors and another father/duo, Verne & Greg Gagne. Together the Hennigs captured the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championships, but the duo also took on a deeper purpose. Together as father and son, Larry Hennig’s career came to an end as his son’s began its meteoric rise.