The WWE likes to make a big deal of its second- and third-generation wrestlers. WrestleMania 27 at the Georgia Dome was no exception, as the event saw four multi-generational superstars appear, including the Rock (grandson of “High Chief” Peter Maivia and son of Rocky Johnson), Alberto Del Rio (son of Mexican star Dos Caras), Cody Rhodes (son of “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes), and Randy Orton (grandson of Bob Orton, Sr., and son of Cowboy Bob Orton).
But sons of pro wrestlers are nothing new. Did you know if you go all the way back to the first WrestleMania in 1985 at Madison Square Garden, there were also four second-generation wrestlers who competed? Here’s a list of them:
- Greg “The Hammer” Valentine—The son of legendary brute Johnny Valentine lost to Junkyard Dog by countout while defending the WWF Intercontinental Title at the first Mania.
- Barry Windham—Windham and Mike Rotundo lost the WWF Tag Team Titles to the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in MSG. Windham’s father is Blackjack Mulligan.
- David Sammartino—Bruno Sammartino’s son really never gained any traction in his career, but he also had to deal with the shadow of Bruno, one of the biggest stars of all time. In fact, Bruno has often stated that the only reason he agreed to be a color commentator with Vince McMahon in the 1980s was to help his kid out in the WWF. David fought Brutus Beefcake to a double countout at WrestleMania in the days before Beefcake became a barber.
- Matt Bourne—Bourne may very well be the most unknown second-generation star who ever competed in the WWE. He is the son of Tough Tony Bourne, and was pinned in MSG by Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. He was later much more famous as the original Doink the Clown, and also wrestled in WCW as Big Josh.
McMahon himself is a third-generation promoter, as his Dad, Vince, Sr., ran the WWWF and WWF before selling it to this son. Meanwhile, Vince, Jr.’s grandfather, Jess McMahon, promoted boxing and pro wrestling in New York City.