Second-generation wrestlers aren't uncommon in WWE. What's rarer is a pro wrestler whose parent is still an active competitor, though it does happen.
Of these, some saw their parents retire during their careers, such as Dustin Rhodes and his legendary father Dusty. Others are still going strong and have even wrestled alongside their parent, such as AEW's father-sons trio in The Gunn Club.
Rarest of all is a second-generation wrestler who retires before their parent. Some of these talents decided to step away from the ring to pursue other options. Meanwhile, others had to retire for different reasons, including injuries and mental health problems.
Here are five second-generation WWE Superstars who have retired before their parents.
#5. David Flair
In the late 1990s, Ric Flair's eldest son David decided to pursue a wrestling career, eventually joining his father in WCW in 1999. The second-generation star spent nearly two years in the promotion before moving to the independent circuit in early 2001.
Later that same year, David joined WWE, where he spent about a year before the company released him from his contract. In December 2002, he signed with IMPACT Wrestling (FKA Total Nonstop Action Wrestling). Nevertheless, his run also ended after a short time.
Following his departure from IMPACT, David competed for a few years on the independent circuit before retiring from professional wrestling in 2009. Meanwhile, his father continued working in the wrestling business.
After his son's retirement, Ric had a short stint in ROH before joining IMPACT Wrestling in 2010. He spent about two years in the promotion, during which time he competed in several matches. Ric's last bout came in September 2011, which The Nature Boy lost to Sting.
Although he announced his retirement from in-ring action in December 2012, Flair continued working in the industry. He also revealed that he wanted to have one more match.
The 73-year-old recently announced that he would return to the ring to have his final match on July 31 in Nashville.
#4. Jesse White
Vader's son Jesse White (FKA Jake Carter) kicked off his professional wrestling career in 2009 after retiring from football due to injury. Two years later, the 36-year-old signed a developmental contract with WWE. The second-generation superstar spent nearly two years in the company before leaving in 2013.
After his departure, White competed in only a few matches on the independent circuit before stepping away from in-ring competition in 2015. He now describes himself on his Instagram account as an entrepreneur.
Meanwhile, his father continued to perform inside the squared circle until 2017. In May 2017, he competed in his last match, in which he defeated The Ironman at WrestleJam V. The WWE Hall of Famer sadly passed away on June 18, 2018.
#3. Barry Orton
Following in his father's footsteps, Bob Orton's son Barry kicked off his wrestling career in the mid-1970s. In 1985, the second-generation superstar started competing in WWE. He wrestled for two years in the company before departing in 1987.
Three years later, Barry returned to WWE, where he spent nearly another year before departing again in 1991. He then retired in 1992.
Despite having a 16-year wrestling career, Barry revealed in an interview with Slam Wrestling that he never saw himself as a professional wrestler. Instead, music was his real passion:
"I was always struggling because I wanted to be a musician. I never saw myself as a professional wrestler. I was into the performance end, but I didn't live the lifestyle. I wasn't about being in the gym six hours a day. I was about being a rock star. Where I was gifted in the ring, I didn't do all the things you were supposed to do. And because of the fact that I didn't work out, I didn't have the looks or the body and I didn't get the opportunity which hence frustrated me and made me continue to believe I was not worthy," he said.
While Barry hung up his boots in 1992, his father did not officially retire from the wrestling business until 2000.
#2. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige
Six years after kicking off her wrestling career in her parents' promotion, Paige signed a contract with WWE in 2011.
The daughter of Ricky and Saraya Knight spent nearly seven years as a regular competitor in Vince McMahon's company, during which time she became one of the top female superstars. The 29-year-old won the Divas Championship twice and the NXT Women's Title once.
While Paige is no longer wrestling, her parents are still active competitors. Ricky Knight recently lost to Steve Sharrocks at a WAW event. Meanwhile, Saraya Knight defeated Freyja Nyx two months ago at a Bellatrix Female Warriors event.
#1. Shaul Guerrero
Eddie and Vickie Guerrero's daughter Shaul was a singer and model before pursuing a wrestling career in 2010. Later that same year, she signed a developmental contract with Vince McMahon's company. She spent four years in WWE before leaving the company and retiring in 2014 due to suffering from an eating disorder.
After a few years of inactivity, Shaul returned to wrestling in 2018. She initially became a color commentator and ring announcer on the independent circuit. In 2020, she made her in-ring return, competing in The Diamond Cup at a GCW event.
In June 2021, Shaul decided to step away again from professional wrestling to work on her mental health. In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, the second-generation wrestler spoke about her struggles with mental health issues:
“I don’t think anyone fully heals from mental illness. I think there is PTSD with anxiety and depression, that's what I got diagnosed with. I had a really scary episode when I was in Texas. I was supposed to do a Mission Pro Wrestling show, and I knew I had to step aside because my mental health was completely breaking. I got diagnosed 2 weeks later with all those things, and I am on medication now. I'm also going to therapy every week, which is really f****** hard. But you know what, I feel better and I am focusing on things that are not as much of a trigger as wrestling," she said.
While Shaul's father, Eddie, tragically passed away in 2005, her mother is still an active figure in the wrestling business. She is now the manager of Nyla Rose in AEW.
Vickie has also competed in a few matches since her daughter's initial retirement in 2014. Her final bout came in June 2021, nearly a year after her daughter last competed inside the ring. The 54-year-old and Nyla Rose lost to Britt Baker and Rebel on Dynamite.
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