Brothers In Arms: A History Of Siblings In Professional Wrestling

Myles HubbardCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2009

 There have been tag teams and stables that have come and gone in this industry. Some seemed to not possess ample chemistry with one another. Maybe it came from not getting along, or just not knowing his partner well enough. But, some teams have exceeded in this business because of great teamwork, and knowing their partner as is if they were even a brother.


Successful brother combinations in wrestling are nothing new. Siblings have been competing together since the earnest days of wrestling. Names such as Von Erich, Hart, and Funk are among those that have dominated the squared circle at different times in the wrestling annals.


There are exponential benefits that go with teaming with a sibling. Chemistry in the ring tends to be unmatched, and they know each other inside and out. Many of these tag teams have consisted of legit brothers, but there have been a few that may not have been related, but still possessed a great ability to put on a show, and be a part of a great moments in this business.


 While there have been many kayfabe siblings that have been marketed and passed off as brothers--the Dudleys, Kane & Undertaker, and Edge & Christian--there have been enough true brother combinations that have left their mark on the sport.


Bret Hart and his late brother, Owen, are probably the best known real-life siblings to the Generation-Xers watching the sport now. Although Bret was a major player in the heavyweight division when younger brother Owen came on the scene, Bret teamed with Owen and his brother the rope: They eventually feuded, and Owen established himself as a strong singles competitor himself, scoring a clean pin on Bret during Wrestlemania X in an amazing battle of technical wrestling. If Owen hadn't tragically fell to his death during a stunt at 1999's Over the Top pay-per-view, many believe he could have achieved the success that brother Bret had in his career.


Inevitably wrestling brother teams are split. The script usually plays out like this: They compete and win a title as a tag team. Then, eventually one wants more credit or a woman will get between them and they will feud for a while in great battles. This sets them up as legitimate singles competitors and they soon start leaving their mark on the solo scene.


This was the case with Rick and Scott Steiner back in WCW. When Scott joined the pro ranks, Rick was already an accomplished tag-team star having won numerous titles as a member of Kevin Sullivan's Varsity Club. Scott teamed with his older brother and eventually grew tired of hearing the chants for his way-over bro, despite the fact that they were as formidable a team as they came. Scott soon went ballistic on Rick and he quickly changed his appearance and style. Scott then rose through the ranks to become a heavyweight champion.


Another strong sibling team from the WCW days, which happens to be one of my favorite tag teams of all time, was Harlem Heat. Comprised of brothers Booker T and Stevie Ray, the duo paid their dues as they slowly built up their momentum to become one of the most popular teams in the biz. There was no denying that Booker T was the more prominent brother as his style and in-ring flair made him one of the best talents WCW had. With his brother by his side, Booker T eventually went on to capture the heavyweight title. He then went on to bring it with him to the WWE when the two organizations merged. Stevie Ray has since seemed to disappear.


Of course, it's not just recent times where brothers have shined.


The Von Erich clan (real name Adkisson) of Chris, Kerry, David, Kevin, and Mike are probably the best known of all wrestling brothers and considered the first family of wrestling. They also are infamous for the tragedies that have stricken them throughout their lives, including three of the clan committing suicide. The Von Erichs ruled wrestling in the South for most of the '80s, winning title after title in Texas, the NWA, WCW, and even the WWE.


Jimmy and Jerry Valiant were an incredible team but it was actually Bobby Heenan and not Jimmy that was Jerry's real brother. It was more than 30 years ago when the Valient Brothers were two of the biggest names in wrestling. They put on quite a show wherever they went. Only thing is, the Valient brothers never even met until someone decided that they looked good as a team. It was a great decision as they certainly left their mark on the industry.


 The Funk brothers first came onto the scene back in the 70's. Terry and Dory became big names in the industry winning belts all over the country in various organizations. The second-generation wrestlers were a great tag team but absolutely phenomenal as single competitors. Terry had legendary battles, with Hulk Hogan and Harley Race, while Dory battled such greats as Pedro Morales and Ric Flair.


In the '50s and '60s, the legendary Graham Brothers ruled the sport, but Jerry, Eddie, and Luke weren't really related, although this wasn't widely known. Dr. Jerry Graham, a 300 pounder with a deceptively rotund build, was a master showman whose outside-the-ring activities contributed greatly to his popularity. He teamed with "brother" Eddie, a legendary technical wrestler, to rule the WWWF during the early '60s. Luke Graham eventually joined Jerry when Eddie left to start his own organization, but he was not a real brother either. Another eventual eventual brother joined the clan--Superstar Billy Graham.


The Graham clan fooled a lot of people into thinking they were real brothers in the '60s. This is a practice that has gone on since the early days of wrestling and continues to this day, only today, people are more savvy about knowing who really are and aren't siblings.


Between Ole, Gone, Arn, and Lars, the Andersons held a number of tag-team titles as the Anderson brothers. Only thing is, none of them were related. Ole and Gone fooled a lot of people, and by the time Arn came into the mix, the Andersons were a huge part of wrestling , so no one questioned them.


 Frenchie Marlin and Rick Martel were bros, as were Road Warrior Animal and Johnny Ace. Other brother combinations over the years include Barry and Kendall Windham, Jacque and Ramon Rougeau, the Harris brothers, and Jack and Jerry Brisco



Other notable sibling tandems:


Primo and Carlito( Has anybody heared from him?)


Jimmy and Ronnie Garvin


Doug and Danny, The Basham Brothers





Thank you for reading.