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Bo Dallas: A Look at the Great Wrestling Family the New WWE Star Comes From

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterFebruary 6, 2013

Bo Dallas: A Look at the Great Wrestling Family the New WWE Star Comes From

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    WWE's newest transfer from NXT, Bo Dallas is the latest member of his renowned family to make it to wrestling’s major leagues.

    Dallas' real name is Taylor Michael Rotunda.

    He first introduced himself to WWE fans by entering the 2013 Royal Rumble, in which he eliminated Wade Barrett. He followed that up with an upset win over Barrett in singles action on Raw.

    His WWE career brand-new, Dallas has a long way to go to match the legacies of his famous grandfather, uncle and dad.

    The Rotunda/Windham clan, while not as celebrated as the Harts, Von Erichs or Guerreros, are one of wrestling's most successful families. They've produced one member of the WWE Hall of Fame, several tag team champions and have been a part of Wrestling Observer Newsletter five-star matches.

    Let's take a look at who makes up the collective shadow that Dallas must wrestle in.

Grandfather: Robert Windham (Blackjack Mulligan)

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    The towering, dark-haired cowboy, Blackjack Mulligan spent much of the '70s and early '80s terrorizing the WWE.

    Mulligan was a huge dude, weighing well over 300 lbs and standing at 6'9,'' at least according to WWE.

    Though he also feuded with Andre the Giant as a single wrestler and wrestled as Big Machine under a mask, Mulligan is most famous for being one half of The Blackjacks alongside Blackjack Lanza.

    This Bobby Heenan-managed team went on to win the WWE tag team titles from Dominic DeNucci and Pat Barrett in 1975. The Blackjacks were one of the more recognizable and memorable teams of that era as well, thanks to their matching black getups and vicious ring style.

    WWE inducted The Blackjacks into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Uncle: Barry Windham

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    Bo Dallas' uncle is a former member of the Four Horsemen and a former world champion.

    Barry Windham looked a lot like his father with legs like towers, agile despite his height.

    Swift and powerful like a mountain lion, he was a gifted athlete who is too often forgotten when fans list the greats of the business.

    Barry Windham and his brother-in-law Mike Rotunda (Bo's father) teamed up as the US Express. The pairing won the WWE tag titles twice in 1985. Windham would later team up with the man now known as JBL in a team dubbed "The New Blackjacks."

    His time in WWE was far less memorable than his work in WCW. With WWE he was asked to reprise his father's tag team as well as have a short run in 1989 as The Widowmaker. In WCW, Windham won several titles and fought men like Sting, Dusty Rhodes and Brian Pillman.

    His best memories are likely defeating Great Muta for the NWA World Heavyweight title and his battles with Ric Flair. Windham and Flair produced some of wrestling's greatest matches together.

Uncle: Kendall Windham

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    The least known member of the Rotunda/Windham clan still had accomplishments to be proud of during his career.

    Kendall Windham teamed with his brother Barry to defeat Harlem Heat for the WCW World Tag Team titles in 1999, thanks to a cowbell. However, 1998 didn't treat him as well. He racked up a surplus of WCW losses that year.

    Kendall spent the bulk of his career in Florida where he won several titles, including the PWF Heavyweight title against Dustin Rhodes.

    Unfortunately for him, he'll always be compared to his brother and his father, who were both more gifted athletically and more charismatic than him. Kendall was a solid wrestler, but never a world champ like Barry nor a Hall of Famer like his father.

Brother: Windham Rotunda (Husky Harris/Bray Wyatt)

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    With an edge in power and a compelling character reminiscent of Max Cady from Cape Fear, it's surprising that WWE didn't call up Bray Wyatt (Windham Rotunda) for a second time before it called up Bo Dallas.

    He did already had a brief shot on the main roster as Husky Harris.

    Rotunda joined the Nexus in 2010 and entered the 2011 Royal Rumble. Since then though, he's undergone a transformation, morphing into a hypnotizing character and honing his mic skills.

    Cody Rhodes' former NXT protege is sure to join his brother on the main roster eventually. The big man is just too interesting and just too talented to stay an NXTer forever.

    Bo and Windham held the FCW tag team titles together. WWE can reunite them as a team or pit them against each other as enemies. Either way, the fans win.

Father: Mike Rotunda

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    To one generation, Mike Rotunda is no only for his villainous tax man persona, Irwin R. Schyster.

    Before slipping on those suspenders and attacking foes with his Stock Market Crash, Rotunda was a highly successful tag-team wrestler.

    He and brother-in-law Barry Windham's US Express wrestled at the very first WrestleMania, taking on Nikolai Volkoff and Iron Sheik. Rotunda wrestled for AWA and the NWA with moderate success before rejoining the WWE adorned with a new gimmick.

    His run as I.R.S. saw him involved with high-profile feuds, be a part of Raw's early years and play the perfect counterpart to Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Man character.

    Money Inc. as they called themselves, won the tag titles three times. Among their claims to fame is beating the team of Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania IX.

    Bo Dallas wouldn't be wise to follow his father's gimmicky route. WWE is a different animal now. Finding a perfect partner the way his father did, though, could be the key to kickstarting his young career.

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