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Top 10 Wrestling Families: Countdown Part One

August 6th, 2014 at 12:24 PM
By Peter Schifani

As we begin a new Top 10 countdown for the month of August we take a closer look at the top wrestling families involved in the business, promotionally or via many competitors in the ring, over the years. We focus in on numbers 10 thru eight here, but want to explain that true wrestling families will rank higher as we go along.

Number 10: The McMahons

Well the impact that the McMahon family has had on the world of professional wrestling is pretty profound, and it all started with Jess McMahon and Vince Senior as Capital Wrestling Corporation in the early 1960's. They would then become the World Wide Wrestling Federation when they broke away from their affiliation with the NWA, then the WWF under Vince Junior and finally the WWE we know of today. If it wasn't for Vince's expansion of the WWF nationally in the 1980's utilizing the drawing power of Hulk Hogan as WWF Champion and many talents basically raided from the AWA, Mid-South, Jim Crockett Promotions, Georgia and more then who knows what the wrestling landscape might look like today. Since WWE absorbed WCW and ECW in 2001 they basically have dominated sports entertainment in the United States. In case you forget as well, Mr. McMahon is a former WWE and ECW Champion, once each, his son Shane is a former Hardcore Champion and daughter Stephanie is a former Women's Champion, both of those also once each. Most of those titles were acquired during the famous "Attitude Era" which changed the way people thought of wrestlers as entertainers and continues to be that way in today's "PG" era.

Number Nine: The Jarretts

One may forget that the Jerry Jarrett the father of Jeff Jarrett had been a fairly successful wrestling promoter for years before he and Jeff founded TNA in 2002. Jerry founded the Continental Wrestling Association in the late 1970's in the Memphis area. He brought many stars to the forefront during that time, including of course, Jerry "The King" Lawler, who had been established in Memphis since the late 1970's. Towards the end of the days of World Class Championship Wrestling in Dallas, Jerry would buy out Fritz and The Von Erichs and merge the CWA and WCCW into the United States Wrestling Association (USWA). They wanted to be a major promotion like WWF and WCW at the time, but only held shows between The Sportatorium, for a time, and the Memphis area, including the Mid-South Coliseum. They partnered with the WWF during the mid 1990's before WWF utilized minor promotions as developmental territories to help new young talent along, including Jerry's son Jeff, The Undertaker and many more. Jeff Jarrett would give us TNA wrestling as an alternative to WWE in 2002 and it was fairly successful along it's now 12 year lifespan, but since Jeff last year the promotion has run into more problems than it may be worth, and now is unsure if it will have a television deal past October.

Number Eight: Maivia/Johnson

"High Chief" Peter Maivia began wrestling in the 1960's and had some success throughout including holding several regional titles in the NWA. His son Rocky Johnson was one half of the "Soul Patrol" with Tony Atlas, and they had claimed the WWF Tag-Team Championship on one occasion. They were the first African-American duo to win those championships. Johnson also held many regional championship both singles and tag-team, in the NWA, including the Florida Heavyweight Championship twice, the Texas Heavyweight title twice and both the Florida and Georgia Tag-Team titles once each. Both men were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. Of course Johnson's son, and Maivia's grandson, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, was the first third generation superstar to break into wrestling and his rise was meteoric to the top as multi-time WWE Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and Tag-Team Champion along the way. The Rock also broke the glass ceiling and became a star in Hollywood with movies like the recent release "Hercules", "Walking Tall", "The Rundown" and "The Scorpion King" among many others.

Well that begins this month's Top 10 countdown looking the families involved in the sport over the years. As we continue we will move along to numbers seven, six and five in part two, four, three and two in part three and number one all alone in part four by the end of the month.

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