In the world of professional wrestling, almost anything can be fictionalized. In addition to names, professions, backstories, and even win-loss records, personal relationships are also fair game in the kayfabe world. As a result, there are a number of on-screen family relationships that are purely fictional and portrayed by people who are not related at all.
it is not only in WWE, any. The kayfabe family relationship dates back years into the territory era, with some pivotal legends having fictional relatives. Let’s take a look at 10 of these strictly on-screen relationships that fans may have thought were totally real.
10 the basham brothers
Not to be confused with The Gymini, The Basham Brothers were a different duo of identical hairless white males who were part of WWE’s tag team division in the era of ruthless aggression. However, there were two main factors that distinguished the two teams: the Bashams (1) enjoyed two WWE Tag Team Championship runs, and (2) were not brothers in real life. In reality, Danny Basham had been working under the ring name Damaja in Ohio Valley Wrestling when he became a kayfabe brother to Doug Basham, who had been working under that name since at least 1993.
9 Ricky and Sammy steamboat
WWE fans may remember Ricky Steamboat’s son Richie, who had an abortive run in WWE development in the early 2010s, but “The Dragon” has another namesake that may be better known to fans. of the old school, and with which he is not really related. . A star in the NWA territories, Sammy Steamboat had been wrestling for some 20 years when Richard Blood appeared on the scene in the mid-1970s. Debuting for Florida’s Championship Wrestling, it was decided that Blood would be repackaged as Ricky Steamboat and introduced to fans as Sammy Steamboat’s nephew, a ruse that helped the young Steamboat get over it.
8 edge and christian
Legendary partners who miraculously returned to the ring in recent years, Edge and Christian are childhood friends who entered the game together, but WWE made their kayfabe relationship even closer by casting them as brothers. Together, Edge and Christian proved to be one of the defining teams of the 2000s, capturing seven tag team championships in the process.
After they went their separate ways as singles wrestlers, their familial relationship was forgotten even though they often associate with each other.
7 the brave brothers
The Valiant Brothers, “_Handsome_” Jimmy Valiant and “Luscious” Johnny Valiant, were one of the great heel tag teams of the 1970s, finding notoriety in the Indianapolis World Wrestling Association and enjoying runs with the Championship. of WWE Couples. When Jerry Valiant was added to his WWE act in 1978, it was clear that he was a kayfabe addition to the family, but fans may have been surprised to find out that Jimmy and Johnny weren’t brothers in real life either. It was actually during their time in WWA that the two first paired up as The Valiants.
6 The Koloffs
Born in Canada, Oreal Perras found success as Russian heel Ivan Koloff, scoring an upset victory over Bruno Sammarino for the WWE Championship in 1971 and then forming a heel faction called The Russians in the National Wrestling Alliance in the following decade. . Before long, Koloff’s faction brought in Ivan’s nephew, Nikita Koloff, who ended up becoming one of the top stars of the time. But Nikita was not Russian, Canadian, either Ivan Koloff’s actual nephew – He was actually from Minnesota and went into the business along with other Minneapolis area wrestlers like The Road Warriors.
5 the hollies
After spending about five years in WWE, in 1999 “Hardcore” Bob Holly gained a cousin in the form of Crash Holly, who initially started out as a rival before their competition evolved into a tag team. Then in 2000, the duo earned an additional bonus on Molly Holly to even their feud against Test, Albert, and Trish Stratus. None of them were really related, and pretty much all of them went their separate ways, with Molly Holly making a name for herself in the women’s division while her relationship with her cousins ended up being totally forgotten.
4 Fritz and Waldo von Erich
Besides the infamous family curse, the Von Erich family is an interesting case in kayfabe and royal family relationships. Initially, the Von Erich name was a kayfabe affair, with wrestlers Fritz Von Erich and Waldo Von Erich performing as a team of German heels. However, after a few decades, Fritz’s sons entered the wrestling business through the family promotion, World Class Championship Wrestling, and used the name themselves.
Ironically, in the 1980s, Fritz introduced a new kayfabe relative in Waldo’s “son”, Lance Von Erich, but fans immediately dismissed Lance as a fake Von Erich.
3 Brothers of Destruction and Paul Bearer
While The Undertaker had his ups and downs, in 1997 WWE introduced a major change to the character’s mythos: a long-lost brother. Manager Paul Bearer revealed a dark past for The Dead Man, where a fire at his parents’ funeral home killed not only them, but also his brother, Kane, or so he thought. Kane’s brother not only returned for revenge, but Bearer was soon revealed to be Kane’s biological father, making Undertaker and Kane half-siblings. While it was a good supernatural drama, it turned out that the three men weren’t actually family.
2 The Garvins
Ronnie Garvin’s big claim to fame was winning the NWA World Championship from Ric Flair, but he also had a kayfabe family in his past. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was part of a team with his “brother” Terry Garvin, wrestling in all NWA territories alongside his additional brother Jimmy Garvin, who worked as his manager. he. This is where Garvin’s family tree gets a little crazy, as far as real life goes, although Jimmy and Ronnie Garvin aren’t related by blood, they are related: Ronnie was Jimmy’s stepfather.
1 the andersons
One fact that probably surprised many old-school fans was that the Anderson family was almost a completely kayfabe family. The family began with Gene Anderson (real name) and Lars Anderson (not his real name), who came together as The Minnesota Wrecking Crew in the 1970s, with Ole Anderson (also not his real name) joining when Gene decided to retire. Eventually, young rookie Marty Lunde became Ole’s tag team partner/kayfabe brother Arn Anderson because they looked alike and had similar styles in the ring.