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  #1  
Old 11-06-2011, 02:35 PM
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Default Legacy: Or How To Step Out Of Your Father's Shadow

Nepotism is a word that's had a long relationship with wrestling. Whether it's a promoter pushing his son as the top guy in his fed or David Sammartino existing at all it's a big part of the past of the buisness and looking at WWE's roster a big part of its future as well. And this thread is to get your thoughts on this phenomenon and what you think it takes for a guy who got into WWE because of their last name to stand on their own two feet and give my own thoughts too.

The Me factor

To me, this is the single most important thing that determines whether a wrestler will be able to step out of their father's shadow. What I mean is when you see or hear their name you think of THEM not their father. When you see Randy Orton, the first thing that comes to mind is a oiled up, tanned and tattoed musclebound guy with an awesome finisher that can come out of nowhere, not the son of a cowboy with a cast on his arm and hepatitis viruses in his liver cells. But when you think of DH Smith, chances are you think of him as not quite as good son of The British Bulldog.

I've seen wrestling be called the "me" buisness, and if the people buying tickets are thinking of someone other than you when they see you in the ring you have failed end of story.

Don't be a tribute act of your Father

This is really just an expansion of the first point and it's about drawing a line between the past (i.e. your father) and the present (i.e. you). By all means reference that you have a legacy in this buisness, but don't let that define you. Let me give a couple of examples. If you are a DiBiase, then by all means do the Million Dollar Dream and be a rich arrogant heel, but don't rehash his act. Or, if you're the son of Ricky Steamboat, then by all means use some of your Dad's signature spots, but don't wrestle like a highlight reel of him (which used to be a real issue with Richie Steamboat, but is now less so).

A very good example of someone who has the ballance right is Cody Rhodes. In a match you'll see him call back to his brother (stop, kneel uppercut) and his first tag team partner in WWE (with Hardcore Holly's Alabama Slam) and with some of his old attire (Uncommon on his old jacket (a reference to Dusty's Common man gimmick), and half gold and half polkadot trunks)

Tallent

Yeah, I probably should have put this first, but this does apply to every wrestler and not just guys with famous surnames so it goes here. If you want to be a success you've got to have some kind of tallent. If you don't, well you're going to fail like every other useless motherfucker. Case and point:



Talking points:

What do you think are the most important things that determine whether or not a second/third generation guy will be a success?

Do you think it's easier or harder for a second/third generation guy to get over and maintain their popularity?

Who in your opinion are the best and worst second/third gen guys in WWE?
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:46 PM
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Christ I'd never seen David Flair wrestle before and that was truly awful. Ric can't have stood and watched than and seriously thought his son was good can he?

Anyway to the topic:

What do you think are the most important things that determine whether or not a second/third generation guy will be a success?

Exactly like you said, they have to become their own man. I have no issue if they start out on a similar path as their father or whoever but they have no move away from it, make their own character and move set etc. People don't just want to see a son ripping off his father.

Do you think it's easier or harder for a second/third generation guy to get over and maintain their popularity?

I think it gives you a boost straight away. You've got the name recognition and fans will be interested in what you can do. However in the long run you might be expected of more and they can turn on you.

Who in your opinion are the best and worst second/third gen guys in WWE?

Best: Orton and Rhodes, of the guys who are regularly competing at the moment. They've both become their own characters and have built a niche for themselves that had little to do with their fathers. Goldust falls into that category as well.

Worst: Dibiase, the guys got talent he just isn't using it or being used rightly. His gimmick when he was pushed was near identical to his dads and he's never done anything to distance himself from that.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:10 PM
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I think talent will be the overall factor in if a wrestler makes it or not...despite being a second or third generation superstar and nomatter how big the family name is in the wrestling business, if they have no talent or money making potential then I doubt they will make it. I don't think you can make it on name alone unless you have something more to offer.

I think the second question has two answers..firstly yeah, I think it probably would be easier to get a chance to put a foot in the door if you are the son/daughter or relation of a legend in the wrestling business but I think it would be harder to step out from their shadow and make a name for yourself. Like I said before I guess you just have to have "it" to make it..nomatter who you are or who you are related to.

The Rock has to be one of the best examples of a wrestler who made a name for themselves and stepped out from any family shadow.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:13 PM
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By golly that was the worst wrestle match i have seen. He makes Cena look good. Lol

What do you think are the most important things that determine whether or not a second/third generation guy will be a success?

Well usually WWE will try to make them follow in there father's gimmick, until they can get over somewhat, then try them in there own gimmick. I think thats the main problem with Dibiase. He needs to make his own impact and not try to copy his fathers gimmick, Rhodes got own on his own fine, so did everyone else.

Do you think it's easier or harder for a second/third generation guy to get over and maintain their popularity?
Pretty much I think they could get over just as easy as anyone could if you just put 100% into it and your gimmick, alot of 2nd/3rd Gen. superstars have been a success so far, there are a few out there that need to step their game up though (Ted Dibiase, Joe Hennig)
Who in your opinion are the best and worst second/third gen guys in WWE?
Right now the best would be Orton, Rhodes. When Orton came to the ring he quickly moved away from his fathers gimmick's and made out his own character, and quickly evolved into the Legend Killer, then eventually into this.... "Apex Predator". Cody came and astablished himself pretty bad he didnt get over to well while with Holly, He got more over when he alligned with Legacy (greastest faction ever) then he was able to pick up the confidence and start on his own way eventually coming to what he is today.

Worst by far has to be Dibiase. Even though he went with Legacy he still tries to live off his fathers. This guy just refuses to start his own thing. The guys got tallent, he just needs to stop sucking off his fathers legacy. Second would have to go to Micheal McGillicutty but i dont blame it on him, i blame it on WWE for not letting him use the "Henning" name and go on to continue what his father started. The guy is great he's worked with what he got in Nexus, and now he wants to start his own thing.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:34 PM
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Personally, i think it's harder for someone to succeed when they get into the business because of their last name for simply because they have their fathers/grandfathers legacy as a shadow over them. The Rock...Randy Orton...Cody Rhodes and Goldust...These few have all done it, but had to bust their asses to succeed their respective family heritage. People without the background have it a bit easier IN MY OPINION because they have nothing to compare too...they build their own legacy - whether they become stars or not - knowing that people won't be saying "yeah, he aint as good as his dad".
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2011, 07:22 PM
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I don't think the criteria for becoming a successful wrestler is dependent on whether or not they are 2nd/3rd generation. Everything the OP said is true for every person who wants to become a wrestler. I believe that the same tools are used to build all generations of wrestlers, meaning that there is nothing that 1st generations need that 2nd/3rd gens don't and vice versa.

That being said, I do think it's easier to get over when your dad was a famous wrestler because of the booking behind their debuts as well as the direct connection to greatness. Ted Dibiase jr. didn't need to speak but I loved him the minute I saw him with the Million Dollar Man because of how much I love Ted Sr. DH Smith in 2007 cut one of the worst promos in the WWE history but because he was Davey's son he was over and was slated to join the IC title race before getting suspended for steroids. It's just fun to see the kids of your old heroes become new heroes, much like Randy Orton did (and Cody Rhodes might do). Their always booked as guys with "wrestling in their blood" and guys who have that "extra gear" due to their heritage so that always helps too, it's much easier to be and 2nd/3rd guy.

Randy Orton. Orton is the second best 3rd generation star of all time behind the People's Champion The Rock and I wish they put them in a feud that could take advantage of that but I'll save that for a different topic. If we're talking about history, we need Bret Hart, Ted Dibiase Sr., Eddie Guerrero, Jake Roberts, Rey Mysterio, and Owen on the list behind Rock but if we're talking about today then let's put Orton, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and Natalya (first ever 3rd gen diva) on the list.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:01 PM
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Interesting topic. I think when it comes to being a success, a wrestler simply has to be talented. If you want success over the long haul, then you have to have the qualities that can make someone an interesting and entertaining professional wrestler. Just because your father and/or grandfather happened to be a legend doesn't mean that you've just automatically inherited the talent that made them stars in the industry.

There's nothing wrong with using family connections to potentially get your foot in the door, or at least to get someone to notice you. That's all well and good. But, eventually, you have to show what you've got and what merits you bring into the business other than what your old man did in the business before you. If you don't, then you're eventually going to fizzle out. You might be able to get by on your name for a while but, in time, you'll have to stand on your own two feet and make the people wanna see and care about what you bring to the table.

Off the top of my head, guys that stand out as 2nd or 3rd generation stars are the likes of Randy Orton, The Rock, Barry Windham and Cody Rhodes. All of these wrestlers have a legacy in wrestling and all of them either have or could possibly eclipse what their father have done before them. Orton's career has left the ones had by his father & grandfather in the dust, as has The Rock. They've made more money, worked in front of bigger crowds and are infinitely better inside the ring or on the mic than their forebearers ever dreamed of. Barry Windham was one of the best overall pro wrestlers of the 80s. He was a star in the Mid-Atlantic & Florida territories, later a star in WCW, was a star in the WWF and held over 30 major titles in his career including an NWA World Heavyweight Championship run. Cody Rhodes is a fast rising young star and has the potential to go a long way. He's still only in his 20s and has his entire career ahead of him.

All these wrestlers had/have the talent to move past being just the son of a well known star and became or are becoming stars in their own right.

You want proof that talent isn't inherited, look at D.H. Smith & Ted DiBiase. Smith did an interview recently in which he all but says that he believes he should have and could have been a big star in WWE based on the fact that he's a member of the Hart Family. Ted DiBiase looks better and is more athletic than his father ever was, but his father could out-wrestle & out-talk circles around him on his worst day.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:55 AM
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What do you think are the most important things that determine whether or not a second/third generation guy will be a success?

Personality. He/she needs to be a good talker and can get the crowd eating out of his/her hands. The in-ring stuff will come with more practice and time.

Do you think it's easier or harder for a second/third generation guy to get over and maintain their popularity?
Depends on how good of a talker they are. Perfect example is Ted Dibiase Jr. He has the look but he really needs to work on the persona.

But in general I would say it's harder to be a second/third generation guy unless you hit it out of the park like Rock or Orton. It's extremely hard to live up to standards set by your Father. Especially if it's a guy like Curt Hennig and Ted Dibiase. It's a lot harder now that there is no more territories any more.

Who in your opinion are the best and worst second/third gen guys in WWE? Orton Rhodes are the two best. I have been extremly impressed with Rhodes. I thought he was the third wheel in Legacy but damn has he come on. Guy has all the tools to be a main event guy in the near future.

David hart Smith is one of the worst. The guy has the charisma of a snail. No offense to any snails reading this post.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:15 AM
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What do you think are the most important things that determine whether or not a second/third generation guy will be a success?

I feel that how successful a wrestler does not depend upon his heritage. If a superstar/diva is talented and can make the audience care about them, they will be successful. Being a second/third generation wrestler can only get someone tryouts without working on some local promotion or such small initial pushes. What happens after some company signs them is entirely in their own hands.

Who in your opinion are the best and worst second/third gen guys in WWE?

Best: Rock, Randy Orton and recently Cody Rhodes all have made major strides in the WWE.

Worst: David Flair. He is the prime example of the fact that having a famous father will not help you much in life.

One thing that I find ironic about Legacy is that Ted Dibiase Sr. accomplished the most in his career followed by Dusty Rhodes and Bob Orton, but among their sons, the order is the reverse.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:54 AM
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What will make a superstar successful if he just happens to have legendary ancestors is the exact same criteria that it would take for someone who doesn't have legends in their family. Every wrestler needs talent. They should be able to connect with the crowd, know how to do promos, work well with their given gimmick, make fans care about their current storyline, and of course be able to get the job done in the ring. That is what it takes, regardless of if you are related to legends or not.

The multigenerational talent actually have it worse because they are held to a higher standard. They have the advantage of being raised by one of the best in the business, so you'd think they would pick up on a few key things along the way.

The better examples are guys like Orton and Rhodes. Randy is already a bigger star than his dad while Cody has he potential to be and has improved quite a bit. Then you have worse examples in Ted, McGillicutty, and DH Smith. They are nowhere near as successful as their dads. They probably never will be. It is unfortunate that some multigenerational talent never make it out of the shadow of their ancestors but for the guys that do end up having better careers it only increases their level of success to make it past the standard their relative(s) set for them.
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