There is always talk about great second-generation stars, but at this point, there are several third-generation stars that reached the top in WWE. Not only that, but it is about time for fourth-generation stars to start arriving, as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter has started talking about training for a career in professional wrestling.
It seems almost hard to believe, but many top stars had not only famous fathers in professional wrestling but also famous grandfathers as well, proving that the world of pro wrestling is, in fact, multi-generational. With some big names on this list, here is a look at the best third-generation wrestlers in WWE history.
10 THE ROCK
The list of the best WWE third-generation stars begins with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock’s father is Rocky Johnson, who held the WWE tag team titles in his day. On his mother’s side, his grandfather is High Chief Peter Maivia.
Both Johnson and Maivia are members of the WWE Hall of Fame, and both were major stars in their era. The Rock will one day follow their footsteps into the WWE Hall of Fame as the most successful member of the Samoan Dynasty, a 10-time world champion, five-time tag champion, and two-time IC champion.
9 RANDY ORTON
The Rock isn’t the only massive superstar to call himself a third-generation WWE star. Randy Orton is also a third-generation star and has even won a lot more titles over his career than The Rock. Orton is a 13-time world champion, two-time tag champion and also held both the IC and US titles in his career.
Orton’s father is Cowboy Bob Orton, who most fans from the 1980s remember as Rowdy Roddy Piper’s muscle (who always had a cast on his arm that he used as a weapon). He was also a multi-time champion in the NWA. His grandfather was Bob Orton Sr., who held numerous titles including the NWA world tag team titles.
8 BRAY WYATT
Bray Wyatt has been very successful over his WWE career, even if people feel he should have won more titles. It is also impressive that Wyatt is not capitalizing on his family’s name and has never used his real surname despite being a third-generation star. Bray Wyatt’s real name is Windham Lawrence Rotunda.
Old-school WWE fans recognize two of those names immediately. His father is Mike Rotunda, also known as IRS in the ’90s. His uncle is Barry Windham, who was a world tag team champion with Rotunda in the WWE in the ’80s. His grandfather is Blackjack Mulligan.
7 BO DALLAS
We can’t talk about Bray Wyatt without also mentioning about his brother, Bo Dallas. While the two have rarely let on that they are brothers despite being in WWE together for years now, they are both the sons of Mike Rotunda and grandsons of Blackjack Mulligan.
Mike Rotunda alone is a former five-time WWE tag team champion, twice with Barry Windham and three times with The Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase. As for Blackjack Mulligan, he was also a tag champion on multiple occasions with Blackjack Lanza as The Blackjacks, both in WWE and in the NWA.
Natalya is a third-generation female WWE superstar and is a part of the legendary Hart Dynasty. The Harts began with Stu Hart, whose sons almost all followed him into professional wrestling, with Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Owen Hart the most successful.
However, Stu also had daughters. Ellie married professional wrestler Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and Natalya was their daughter. Her father was a multi-time tag team champion in WWE, and her grandfather trained some of the top wrestlers ever to step foot in the industry. Another Stu Hart grandchild is Davey Boy Smith Jr., whose father married Diana Hart.
5 CURTIS AXEL
When Curtis Axel first joined WWE as part of Nexus, he went by the name Michael McGillicutty, arguably one of the worst names in WWE history. It is also insulting considering his pedigree. He ended up moving back to developmental after that, and when he returned, he got a better name given to him by Paul Heyman.
Heyman said that his first name, Curtis, was to honor his father, and his last name, Axel, was to honor his grandfather. His father is Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig, a former AWA world champion and two-time IC champion. His grandfather was Larry “The Axe” Hennig, a four-time AWA world tag team champion.
4 ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS
While his father and grandfather are not well known in the United States, Andrade Cien Almas is also a third-generation superstar. Before making his way to WWE, Andrade was part of the CMLL promotion in Mexico and started his career there under the name Brillante, which happened to be the same name his father Jose Andrade Salas used as well.
His grandfather was also a professional wrestler named Jose Andrade, who went by the ring name El Moro. He also has several uncles and cousins who are professional wrestlers as well, in the Lucha Libre promotions in Mexico. Interestingly, his uncle was the original Pentagon.
3 TED DIBIASE JR.
The Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase, was one of the most beloved heels in WWE history. Initially starting his career as a tough guy wrestler in NWA territories, he completely dove into his role as the Million Dollar Man, to the extent that he perfected a character fans still talk about to this day.
His son, Ted DiBiase Jr., was one of three kids who also got into the sport of professional wrestling and the one who enjoyed success in WWE before he retired at a young age. His brothers Brett and Mike DiBiase also enjoyed some success outside WWE. However, it all started with DiBiase’s stepfather Iron Mike DiBiase, who had the tragic distinction of being one of the few men to ever die in a wrestling ring after suffering a heart attack.
2 CHAVO GUERRERO JR.
The Guerrero family was one of the top wrestling dynasties in the world, although it has started to thin out. It all started with Gory Guerrero, who made his in-ring debut in 1937. Members of his family have worked everywhere in professional wrestling, from WWE and WCW to the NWA and the territories, Mexico and Japan.
Gory’s sons all enjoyed success in professional wrestling, with Chavo Sr., Mando, Hector, and Eddie Guerrero all winning titles (Eddie enjoying the most success in WWE). However, when it comes to the third generation, there were only two, with Chavo Guerrero Jr. being a superstar in his own right and Eddie’s daughter Shaul getting a chance in WWE a few years back.
1 TESSA BLANCHARD
While everyone talks about Charlotte Flair being the daughter of Nature Boy, Ric Flair, she was not the only child of a Four Horsemen member to make her name in professional wrestling. Currently signed to Impact Wrestling and WOW – Women of Wrestling, Tessa Blanchard has a good argument for calling herself the best.
Tessa is the daughter of Tully Blanchard, one of the original Four Horsemen who went on to hold WWE title gold as well with fellow Horsemen, Arn Anderson. Tessa’s stepfather is also a former legend in Magnum T.A. As for the third-generation, Tully’s father Joe Blanchard began his wrestling career in 1953 and ran the Southwest Championship Wrestling Promotion in San Antonio.