wrestling / Columns

The Top 7 Wrestling Family Feuds

April 26, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook

The card for AEW Double or Nothing has been taking shape over the past several weeks. One thing everybody was wondering up until this week was who Cody would be wrestling at the event. As one of AEW’s many Executive Vice Presidents, Cody was expected to be involved in something big. We also figured it would be something he wanted to do. Sure enough, the match announced this week is something Cody has wanted to do since setting foot in the business…a battle with his half-brother Dustin.

Cody & Dustin met in the ring on several occasions while employed by WWE, but never got to have that major singles match on a major PPV they wanted. Just one forgettable meeting between Goldust & Stardust at a Fastlane event. WrestleMania wasn’t their destination, but now they’ll meet on a stage with more importance to them.

Now, they have the chance to create one of the most magnificent family feuds in wrestling history. We take a look at the top seven right now.

Before we start, I need to make one thing perfectly clear. This list only involves people who are actually related. Don’t go down to the comment section & whine about how I left Undertaker vs. Kane or Edge vs. Christian off the list. Those people are not actually related.

7. Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner

Who didn’t love the Steiner Brothers? They kicked butt through most of the 1990s, suplexing & Steinerlining people wherever they went. Scott was always the one people earmarked for eventual singles success, and he found his way to it after turning on Rick to join the NWO at SuperBrawl VIII. He bleached his hair & beard, gained even more muscle and became the Big Poppa Pump we all know and love.

Rick actually dominated the feud, which was necessary to make people think he had a chance on his own. I’m not trying to sell Rick short, I’m just putting over the awesomeness of the Big Bad Booty Daddy.

6. Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe

Jay & Mark were among the most hyped Indy workers of the early 2000s, and a good bit of it had to do with their matches against each other. Their meeting at CZW’s Best of the Best is still rated among the best matches in company history, and both men were years away from being able to legally drink. Their feud in early Ring of Honor received similar reviews, as have the occasions they met in later years.

They much prefer to team together. Makes sense, those chickens can’t farm themselves.

5. Faby Apache vs. Mari Apache

The Apache family drama was one of AAA’s top stories throughout the 2000s. Young Faby Apache fell in love with a wrestler named Billy Boy, but her father Gran Apache would have nothing to do with it. Her sister Mari sided with her father, which led to a seemingly endless series of matches with everybody involved that culminated in a hair match at Triplemania XVI between Faby & Mari. Faby won, but Gran Apache refused to let Mari’s head be shaved, and insisted that his hair get cut instead. The family came together again and all the feels were had.

Mari turned against Faby again in 2012, mostly because the Apaches needed something to do and they liked wrestling each other.

4. Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon

To be frank, most of the McMahon family feuding nonsense has been a waste of television time that could have gone to anything else over the past two decades. There have been occasions where it’s worked, usually involving Shane as a babyface against his evil father. Their personalities mesh best in these roles.

The apex of Shane vs Vince was their street fight at WrestleMania X-Seven, which I can comfortably say was the best son vs father match I’ve ever seen.

3. Randy Savage vs. Lanny Poffo

Life was tough for an outlaw promoter back in the day. Angelo Poffo found himself on the outs with all the established promoters back in the 1970s, so he got together with some of his fellow blacklisted wrestlers & formed ICW. ICW was based in Lexington, Kentucky and ran against established promotions run by Jerry Jarrett & Ron Fuller. Their controversial promos that often broke the fourth wall when challenging Jarrett, Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee and other stars in the area were revolutionary, probably not in the right way.

One of the problems ICW faced was a lack of talent. There weren’t many wrestlers willing to go against the estasblished promoters and lose work in other, more profitable areas of the country. Fortunately, Poffo had two sons that had trained to get into the wrestling business & gained experience in the territories. Randy & Lanny would trade ICW’s championship back & forth and serve as the company’s biggest regular stars. Randy’s insane charisma & Lanny’s agility made for some memorable matches. They weren’t enough to keep Angelo’s alive, but both brothers made their impact felt in the business long after ICW’s demise.

2. Broken Matt Hardy vs. Brother Nero

The Hardys needed a couple of attempts to make their feud work. Their 2001 match was ill-received critically & not bought into by their rabid fanbse. 2009 went better, but something still wasn’t quite right. Well, Matt & Jeff weren’t quite right during that time period. By the time 2016 rolled around & Impact Wrestling was happy to give them all the creative freedom they wanted, Matt & Jeff finally had the feud they’d dreamed of.

An I Quit match between the two led to Matt being physically & mentally broken. Matt would be further broken in a Full Metal Mayhem match & a Six Sides of Steel match. He finally got the upper hand on Jeff at a wild match at their home in Cameron, North Carolina titled “The Final Deletion”. Jeff lost the rights to the Hardy name and was forced to become Brother Nero. Eventually Matt’s popularity with the fans resulted in him turning babyface & Brother Nero being his willing co-hort.

1. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart

Growing up in Calgary, Owen was the youngest of twelve siblings in a family obsessed with professional wrestling. Each of Stu & Helen Hart’s children became involved in the business in some form or fashion. The sons worked for Stu’s Stampede promotion while the daughters married some of Stu’s employees. Some said that Owen was the most talented of them all. He was certainly the flashiest in the ring, and by the time he came into his own he didn’t have the obligation to stay in Alberta and work for his dad.

There was one person in Owen’s way. Bret had become the standout performer of the family. He rose all the way to the top of the World Wrestling Federation at the same time Owen languished in obscurity with poor gimmicks & wildly-dressed tag teams. The only way Owen was going to make it to the top and prove he was the top wrestler in the family was to go through Bret in the process. Owen’s jealousy over Bret, while ugly at times, was relatable to many people who had spent their lives in the shadows of more successful siblings.

The matches Bret & Owen had together were sublime. The size of their family meant that plenty of people could get involved. Bret’s old tag team partner Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart sided with Owen. The British Bulldog was originally a Bret-backer before turning heel & teaming with Owen. Eventually the family came together to form a bigger & better Hart Foundation, and Owen came to accept his spot right beside his loving big brother. He may not have won the WWF Championship, but he still emerged from the shadow.