WrestleMania 39 is coming up, and it features a very special match type that isn’t often seen in the WWE.
While brother vs brother matches have happened many times over the years, a much rarer stipulation is the father vs son match. This is for many reasons, but mainly that the careers of the two rarely intersect.
Duos like Dusty Rhodes and Cody Rhodes have wrestled at the same time, but alongside one another, as opposed to on opposite sides. Many parents refuse to step into the ring and hurt their children, which is a fair thing.
However, there have been a select few matches that pitted father against son in both the WWE and WCW.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best matches that have seen fathers wrestling sons in both the WWE and WCW. This list will be added to once Rey Mysterio fights Dominik Mysterio at WrestleMania 39, hopefully right at the top.
Vince McMahon vs Shane McMahon
While there had been fathers appearing with sons at WrestleMania prior to this match (Bruno Sammartino managing his son David at WrestleMania 1 springs to mind), we had never seen a match between the pair on the biggest stage in WWE.
The bout came at the mid point of a feud between father and son. Shane McMahon had just completed the purchase of WCW, going over his father’s head to keep the Monday Night Wars going.
Vince McMahon wrestled Shane McMahon in a hardcore match at WrestleMania X7 – rated as the best WrestleMania of all time – in what turned out to be one of the best matches of all time.
Including both Stephanie and Linda McMahon, it had all the trappings of a fantastic family drama. Ironically, the pop of the night didn’t come from the wrestling, but from Linda standing up from her wheelchair (she had been drugged by Vince so he could have sex with Trish Stratus) and kicking her husband square in the testicles.
Mick Foley was also on hand, being the special guest referee for the bout. He called it right down the middle, until he was attacked by Vince. Then, he locked in the Mr Socko submission move, and helped Shane McMahon win the match against his father.
This is, by far, the best father-son match of all time (so far). Vince also wrestled Stephanie McMahon a week before he wedding in a hardcore match, although that is not as widely received as this one.
Ric Flair vs David Flair
The Nature Boy’s son was brought into the company as somewhat of a prodigy. As his father was noted as the greatest of all time, he had all the world of expectations on his shoulders.
Paired with Stacey Keibler on TV, he was pushed well on Nitro, although never showed the promise that his father did. He signed for WCW in 1999 and made his debut with the company soon after.
He was almost immediately placed in some huge angles, with top stars like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and of course Ric Flair to help get him over as one of the future stars of pro wrestling. However, as you do not remember him as “the greatest second generation star of all time”, it clearly did not work out as planned for WCW.
His match against his father took place in 2000. David Flair wrestled Ric Flair in a Father vs Son match at The Great American Bash 2000, in what would be one of the worst matches on an already poor card.
The match stipulated that Ric Flair would have to retire if he lost. Vince Russo did all he could to make the match as convoluted as possible, having both Reid and Charlotte Flair interferring in the match.
Of course, Ric Flair won the match via the Figure Four leg lock, forcing his son to tap out and keep his career alive.
Was it a good match? No. Not in any sense of the word. Was it a top father vs son match? Sadly, yes. The genre has not produced many classics.
Chavo Guerrero vs Chavo Classic vs Spike Dudley
Wrestling in the WWE as Chavo Classic, Chavo Guerrero Sr wrestled for the WWE in a brief spell in 2004.
He was the brother of Eddie Guerrero, and the father of Chavo Guerrero. However, due to the big age gap between Chavo Classic and Eddie Guerrero, they were more like Uncle and Nephew than brothers.
He came into the WWE in 2004, helping Chavo in his feud with Eddie Guerrero. He also stepped into the ring from time-to-time, usually in tag team matches alongside his son.
However, the father-son duo did wrestle each other once in the WWE. Chavo Jr was the cruiserweight champion at the time, and he was accompanied by his father to the ring. However, it was in fact a triple threat match, also featuring Spike Dudley.
The match was basically a handicap match, with the Guerrero’s teaming up to beat up the youngest Dudley. Despite this, Chavo Classic pinned his son to win the Cruiserweight Championship, being pushed onto his prone body by Spike and pinning him completely by accident.
What is your favourite father vs son match in history? Tell us what you think in the comments section down below.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.