Sunday, September 14, 2008

Second Generation Wrestlers

I guess many parents are proud to have their children follow them into the family business. Why should wrestling be any different? Many second generation wrestlers were brought up around the biz, it's only natural they fell into it. Ted DiBiase, Bob Orton Jr, The Funk Brothers, Barry Windham, The Guerreros, The Villanos and the Rock to name but a few.Working the territories, many grapplers were on the road constantly, so wrestling in their home town might be one of the few chances they got to see their family. So why not bring the kids to the building and see where dad works. Maybe that was not always the best choice though. Surely at least some of you remember the scene in "Beyond the Mat" where the Rock beats Mick Foley about the head and shoulders with a chair as Foley's wife and children look on (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn_cW4i8ELI) . Mick, as wonderful a parent and as sweet a guy as I know, in watching the footage later... seeing his children's reactions, is dumbstruck and nearly driven to tears himself. I remember speaking to "Mr Perfect" Curt Hennig soon after he'd seen the film, and he could not understand why Mick Foley would want his family anywhere near his place of work- "If I was a mechanic would I want my family hanging around the garage?? Of course I wouldn't."

Kevin Von Erich, a man who grew up in this business, calls himself lucky to have got to spend the time he did with his now departed brothers ( Kerry, David, Mike and Chris ), but how much of the wrestling lifestyle, and their dad's dreams of stardom took them to their fate? As adults we all take responsibility for our own actions, but it does make you think.
They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and with many new second generation stars the likes of Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted&Mike DiBiase, DH Smith, Nattie Neidhart, and Carlito Colon, maybe they're right... but after years of Scott Putski, Brian Christopher, Shawn Stasiak, David Sammartino, Alex Wright and Jackie Pallo Jr, I think I'll reserve my judgment for now.

And don't get me started on the likes of Jimmy Jack Funk, the Graham "brothers", Dizzy Hogan,and Lance Von Erich...

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