Efficient photo-electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are synthesized using a facile one-step hydrothermal method. With metal-ion bridges, highly dispersed molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanolayers are vertically grown on the reduced graphene oxide (RGO) to form RGO-M-MoS2 photocatalysts for HER, where M = Fe3+, Co2+, Ni2+, Cu2+ and Zn2+. The results show that the cross-bridging ions can modulate the MoS2 growth priority and act as efficient charge transfer channels between RGO and MoS2, and combine the advantages of the high conductivity of graphene with the photo-electrochemical activity of MoS2. The metal-ion bridged MoS2-M-RGO heterostructures demonstrate superior catalytic activity toward hydrogen evolution reaction in acid medium, evidenced by the remarkable higher catalytic current density at low overpotential compared with that of MoS2-RGO without metal-ion bridge. This study provides a novel and facile route for establishing efficient composite photo-electrocatalysts for water splitting to generate hydrogen.