WWE.com's guide to current second and third generation Superstars & Divas
There have been a number of legendary families that have had an impact in sports-entertainment throughout history. The McMahons, The Von Erichs and The Anoa'I clan are just a few of the names that have contributed to making sports-entertainment a worldwide phenomenon.
As a result, WWE is often a family affair and the sons and daughters of many legendary Superstars have set foot inside the squared circle, not only to uphold their family’s reputations, but to also create a name for themselves.
WWEClassics.com traced the lineages of 10 second and third-generation competitors on the current roster to find out how their legacies influence them today.
There is so much that can be said about WWE Hall of Famer “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest competitors of all-time and he has been integral to the evolution of sports-entertainment, from the 1970s until this very day. Given the reputation and impact of “The American Dream,” it should come as no surprise that two of his sons became WWE Superstars.
His eldest son, Dustin, became one of WWE’s most unique personas under the guise of Goldust and was last seen in the 2013 Royal Rumble Match. Dusty’s youngest son, Cody, is a former World Tag Team and Intercontinental Champion. Still early in his career, the arrogant Superstar has faced many of WWE’s top competitors and is just beginning to carve his niche in WWE.
Former Divas Champion Natalya has a unique distinction no other female competitor can claim – she is the first-ever third-generation Diva in sports-entertainment. The daughter of legendary tag team competitor Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and the granddaughter of WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart, Natalya upholds the legacy of her father and grandfather and, in turn, the famous Hart Family. That estemeed clan includes her uncle, WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hit Man” Hart, of whom Natalya pays tribute by using his patented Sharpshooter.
However, Natalya isn’t just thetorch-bearer of the Hart Family by name alone.. The blonde beauty‘s toughness and technical ability is highlighted by the fact that she is the only female graduate of her family’s infamous training ground, The Hart Family Dungeon.
In 2008, Ted DiBiase made his WWE debut, signaling his intent to follow in the footsteps of this father, The Million Dollar Man. DiBiase joined second-generation Superstar Cody Rhodes under the guidance of third-generation competitor Randy Orton to form The Legacy in an effort to establish his own identity while upholding the legacy of his father and grandfather. DiBiase’s grandfather was “Iron” Mike DiBiase, an accomplished amateur wrestler and a successful competitor in AWA and NWA.
DiBiases’ famous father, The Million Dollar Man, was one of the most reviled Superstars in the 1980s and ’90s. Using his excessive fortune to create his own title – The Million Dollar Championship – The Million Dollar Man was as obnoxious as his trademark laugh. His son paid homage to him by carrying the title following his split from The Legacy.
Debuting during the second season of WWE NXT, Michael McGillicutty was looking to establish himself as a formidable competitor in his own right while also preserving the legacies of his grandfather and WWE Hall of Fame father.
McGillicutty’s grandfather, Larry “The Axe” Hennig, was a dominant tag team competitor in AWA during the 1960s. Hennig forged an alliance with Harley Race which led the duo to become the AWA Tag Team Champions – at the time becoming the youngest duo to ever win the titles. Henning also once challenged Bruno Sammartino for the WWE Title and defeated a 16-year old “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in less than 10 seconds.
Larry “The Axe” Hennig’s son – and McGillicutty’s father – was one of the finest technical wrestlers and greatest Intercontinental Champions of all-time. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig’s career spanned two decades in AWA, WWE and WCW. Mr. Perfect held the AWA World Championship, the U.S. Championship and was a two-time Intercontinental Champion before he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
Second-generation Diva Tamina Snuka is proud to maintain her heritage and the legacy of her father, WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. The legendary WWE Hall of Famer was crucial in revolutionizing sports-entertainment by introducing a more high-flying style of competition in the 1980s. His famous battle with Don Muraco in Madison Square Garden on Oct. 17, 1983 is remembered for Snuka’s death-defying Superfly Splash from the top of a steel cage.
Tamina competes with the same ferocity and innovation as her renowned father. Her use of his patented Superfly Splash pays homage to his revolutionary style while continuing to pave the way for future high-flying Divas.
The son of legendary Puerto Rican brawler Carlos Colon, Primo has worked hard to live up to his family’s legacy, winning three Tag Team Titles in WWE and five Heavyweight Titles in his father’s World Wrestling Council promotion.
Carlos Colon briefly competed in WWE in the late 1960s before returning to Puerto Rico to become a sports-entertainment icon to the island nation. Founding WWC, Colon hosted some of the most popular names in American sports-entertainment, including “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Sabu and Ric Flair. Colon also shared an intense rivalry with WWE Hall of Famer Abdullah the Butcher, resulting in professional wrestling becoming a major force in Puerto Rico.
Along with his cousin Epico, Primo continues to compete in WWE as a top tag team competitors, upholding the reputation of his revolutionary father.
Jimmy and Jey Uso embrace their Samoan heritage whenever they set foot inside the squared circle, highlighted by their use of the Samoan Siva Tau battle dance. In addition to being part of the legendary Anoa'i family, the twin brothers are the sons of former World Tag Team and Intercontinental Champion Rikishi.
During more than a decade of active competition in WWE, Rikishi delighted the WWE Universe in the late-90s as part of Too Cool with Scotty Too Hotty and Gradmaster Sexay. The trio would often break down and dance following a victory – a trademark Rikishi relived with his sons on the July 16, 2012 episode of Raw.
WWE’s Apex Predator Randy Orton is one of the most accomplished WWE Superstars in modern history. A six-time WWE Champion, three-time World Heavyweight Champion, , Intercontinental Champion and 2009 Royal Rumble Match winner, The Viper’s resume certainly speaks for itself. Orton has not only lived up to the legacy of his father, WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton, but also his grandfather,Bob Orton, Sr.
Bob Orton Sr., was a dominant grappler throughout NWA and was one of the innovators of the dangerous piledriver. Although he never competed in WWE, the patriarch of the Orton family did wrestle in AWA, becoming a two-time AWA Midwest Heavyweight Champion.
WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton’s most notorious claim to fame was the use of a cast following an arm injury in 1984. Although Bob Orton never claimed a WWE Championship, he was an accomplished grappler and a key part of the inaugural WrestleMania.
As an eight-time WWE Champion and Hollywood star, The Rock has undoubtedly created a unique legacy of his own throughout his illustrious career. But The People’s Champion is more than just one of the most successful competitors of all-time — he is also a third-generation Superstar, upholding the legacies of his father and grandfather.
The Rock’s grandfather, "High Chief” Peter Maivia, was a "blood brother" of the famous Anoa'i family and began his wrestling career in the 1960s. Maivia dominated on the west coast and eventually made his way to WWE, challenging “Superstar” Billy Graham and Bob Backlund for the WWE Championship. Becoming a WWE Hall of Famer in 2008, Maivia’s induction by his grandson signified the impact of his legacy.
Rocky Johnson, “High Chief” Peter Maivia’s son-in-law and The Rock’s father, was a trailblazer in sports-entertainment in the 1970s and ’80s. Battling legendary competitors such as Harley Race and Terry Funk during his time in NWA, Johnson made history alongside Tony Atlas in 1983. The duo defeated The Wild Samoans to become the first African-American pair to win the World Tag Team Championships.
Alberto Del Rio
Before becoming a WWE and World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio achieved a great deal of success in his native country of Mexico. Competing as a luchador in Mexico’s CMLL organization, Del Rio gained notoriety as Dos Caras, Jr., continuing the legacy of his father, Dos Caras.
Del Rio’s father was wildly popular and was integral in revolutionizing professional wrestling south of the border. Competing primarily during the 1970s and ’80s, Dos Caras’ innovative style mixed lucha libre with an American approach akin to the competiveness of WWE Superstars. Though he competed primarily in Mexico, Dos Caras career spanned three decades and earned him a great deal of worldwide acclaim.
In addition to his father, Del Rio is also the nephew of WWE Hall of Famer and Mexican legend, Mil Mascaras.