Debating the merits of the worst sibling wrestlers in the 1980s

There was a good post on the Camel Clutch Blog about the worst brothers in wrestling’s annals.

“They are the most disappointing wrestling siblings in the history of professional wrestling,” the post states.

Three of families involved in the article have ties to 1980s WWF wrestling, all of which I have my own opinions on:

  • Lanny Poffo, brother of Randy “Macho Man” Savage—Poffo, who wrestled as a Frisbee-throwing babyface as Leaping Lanny and as a heel as The Genius, gets an unfair rap being on the list of worst siblings. Let’s face it, Savage was an all-time great, and many, many wrestlers couldn’t approach his ability. But Poffo was a good hand in the ring despite being saddle with ridiculous gimmicks in the WWF in the 1980s. His prior work in Tennessee for the outlaw International Championship Wrestling promotion and Midsouth Championship Wrestling seems to bear out the idea that he was decent in the ring.
  • Barry O, brother of Cowboy Bob Orton and uncle of Randy Orton—It is hard to argue with Barry O’s inclusion on the list. O was a well-known jobber to just about anyone who ever attended a WWF house show at the old Boston Garden in the mid-1980s. His matches were often greeted by chants of “Boring! Boring!” from the crowd, which incited O to jump to the middle turnbuckle and conduct the crowds chants like a maestro. He didn’t do a lot in wrestling, however, especially compared to his brother and nephew.
  • The “other” Harts, brothers of Bret “Hitman” Hart and Owen Hart—This was a harsh choice I thought as well. Sure, some of the Hart brothers rode the coattails of father Stu Hart, but Keith and Bruce Hart were good workers who had success in the ring for Stampede Wrestling, which was a respected regional promotion in the 1970s and ‘80s. Anyone remember Bad Company, Bruce’s team with Brian Pillman?

Two of the names that didn’t make the list, that I was actually surprised about, were Mike and Chris Von Erich.

I don’t want to belittle deceased wrestlers, but the younger Von Erichs did not approach the level of Kevin, David, or Kerry Von Erich. If there were ever wrestlers whose entire brief careers were made on the reputations of their siblings, Mike and Chris were them.

Any other families I’m missing from the 1980s?

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13 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hello

    I wrote that post for Camel Clutch. Just ramdomly found this article on google. Good stuff. I think everyone makes some very valid points.

  2. Joe Lowry

    Another one I found…Don Kernodle whose most notable glory came when he teamed with Sgt. Slaughter and won the NWA Tag Titles back in the early 80’s. There legendary cage match loss against Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood earned them one of the top matches in PWI for 1983. I do remember Kernodle in a brief stint in the WWF back in late 1983 early 1984. One notable match at the Boston Garden I recall was him taking on Chief Jay Strongbow. It was the night of the Muraco/Snuka cage match. Back then they had the cage disassembled in the corner around ring side. I remember this because Kernodle tripped over it when Strongbow was chasing him around…too funny. What was not so funny was his younger brother Rocky Kernodle. He was a jobber in and around the NWA…

  3. Joe Lowry

    Courtesy of Wikipedia…

    Jose Estrada, Sr. is a semi-retired Puerto Rican professional wrestler who was a longtime mainstay of the World Wrestling Council as well as having stints in North American promotions including International World Class Championship Wrestling and the World Wide Wrestling Federation holding the now inactive Junior Heavyweight Championship. He was also one half of the original Los Conquistadores, Super Medicos and The Medics which included his son Jose Estrada, Jr..

    He is actually working with the WWC (2007) as a wrestling manager.

  4. Joe Lowry

    Other not so notables…Iron Mike Sharpe was the son of Mike Sharpe. He was also known as WWF’s “loudest jobber.” Never quite attained the championship caliber of his Dad and Uncle, Mike and Ben Sharpe. They were very sucessful tag champs up in Canada.

    KIng Kong Mosca was a WWF mainstay back in the day. A regional wrestler who won various singles titles and always contended in main events up and down the east coast. His noted rivalries with Bob Backlund and his imfamous thrashing of Pat Patterson with a water pitcher made him even more of a guy the fans would love to hate, He is also a product from Canada. He was a former canadian pro football player as well. However his son Angelo Mosca, Jr. was a not so talented. Angelo Mosca Jr was considered a really bad worker and his career between the ropes did not last very long. Even a brief attempt at managing his Dad in the WWF did not last long…

    How am I doing so far???

  5. Joe Lowry

    This one is a stretch, but Buzz Sawyers brother Brett Wayne who eventually changed his name to Brett Sawyer. He was virtually a no-name until his alignment with Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer, but as I type this there was no real blood between the two…I guess the same goes for Jay and Jules Strongbow…The Masked Executioners….

  6. old guy 72

    while not as cringe worthy I thought the dropoff between Jack and Jerry Brisco was atleast as equal to the dropoff between Greg and Mike Maddux

  7. Joe Lowry

    Siblings I recall off the top of my head were to do with tag teams. First, the Wild Samoans. The team consisted of Afa, Sika and their nephew Samula. And who could forget the fabulous Moondogs…Rex, Spot and the most forgettable one, Mayne.

  8. David Klein

    How about Kendall Windham? He never came close to his brother, Barry’s success. There were also Sam Houston and Rockin’ Robin. I believe they were Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ half siblings. Their father was Grizzly Smith, who I never saw as a wrestler, but he was always handling ringside security on WCW TV.

    • David Klein

      And…um…would we include The Interim General Manager…etc, etc….John Laurinaitis in this category? He had some success in Japan, but Johnny Ace never reached the level of his brother, Road Warrior Animal.

    • bostongardenbalcony

      Sam Houston probably would fit on the list, at least in the WWF. Rockin Robin I’m not so sure about — she was ladies champ, although it wasn’t exactly a division on fire. As for Johnny Ace and Animal, I don’t think Animal was phenomenal in the ring, but he had one of the best gimmicks ever. Ace wasn’t great, but he did have success. Maybe Ace’s recent performances are making me biased towards him.

  9. Chuck Mullen

    I do remember “Bad Company” consisting of Bruce Hart and Brian Pillman! Solid team, and who knows how far it could of went, if Bruce was more willing to leave Stampede.

    I agree that ragging on the Von Erichs is a bit harsh, but seriously it was Fritz’s fault that Mike and Chris got into the ring. Mike was thought to be the David replacement due to the similar looks, not as muscular as Kerry and Kevin was, and a bit lanky in the ring. Chris just was a small guy and shouldn’t have under any circumstances been anywhere near a ring… well maybe a REF… but that is about it.

    On the CCB he mentioned Johnny Smith, Smith was a big time player in All Japan, when All Japan was a real powerhouse (AKA, before the passing of Mr. Baba.) A lot of Gaijin’s made big names for themselves in the tag team ranks… Furnas and Krofant, Williams and Gordy… for example. So I do not agree with that opinion. As far as other siblings, I have zero clue…

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