On his podcast, Steve Austin often reflects on life of a wrestler. He describes it as part professional athlete, for not only the action in the ring but the physical toll of staying in shape to go in the ring, not to mention maintaining a physique. He describes it as part actor for the speaking requirements of giving promos and participating in the theatrics of wrestling storylines. He describes it as part truck driver, rolling from town to town to entertain a different crowd in a different locale night by night.
It makes sense that a life like this would lend itself to wrestlers sleeping around. With a grueling schedule and constant travel, the prospect of maintaining a regular family life is daunting to say the least. Guys on the road—not to mention guys with herculean physiques—have a long history of having a lot of partners.
For every guy who slept around with colleagues and so called ring rats, however, there is another who did stay faithful and true to his family. Some are guys who fell in love with fellow sports entertainers and maintained connections on the road. Others had an iron will, or saw their families back home as a welcome reprieve from the challenges and loneliness of life on the road.
There are plenty of guys on either side of the fence, but who lands where might surprise you. This article looks at ten wrestlers who were loyal spouses and ten wrestlers, married or not, who were major playboys on the road.
20 Loyal Husband: Kevin Nash
By all accounts, Kevin Nash was a stabilizing force among The Kliq. While the guys haven’t portrayed him to be as straight laced as Triple H, he nonetheless wasn’t known to drink or do drugs to excess. He was known for maintaining a regular gym regimen and for being the big guy who could help the crew out of jams if it ever looked like they might get in a real fight.
Maybe it’s not so surprising, then, that Nash was also a loyal family man. In his Hall of Fame induction speech he joked about how many of his fellow wrestlers didn’t believe his wife existed because they never met her. He went on to explain that that was by design because he learned early the best way to maintain a healthy marriage was to keep his wrestling life and his family as separate entities.
19 Playboy: Shawn Michaels
Unlike his real life pal Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels was known to get himself into trouble. He was notorious for having a bad attitude when he first rose to prominence in the mid-1990s, was known to party, and most certainly was known as a bit of a ladies man.
Michaels’s pursuits of sex led him two particularly infamous outcomes. One was a purported affair with Sunny. She’s spoken about it quite a bit in shoot interviews of late, describing HBK’s lust and that he even wanted her to move in with her at one point, despite the fact that she was still officially with Chris Candido. Another outcome that’s harder to laugh about, even with distance, was when he hit on someone else’s girlfriend at a Syracuse bar. Drugged, and without substantial backup that night, he wound up catching a bad beating in the parking lot from anywhere from one to six Marines (the number varies depending on who was telling the tale).
18 Loyal Husband: The Miz
While The Miz may play a heel jerk on TV, in real life, his identity seems much more aligned with the bulk of contemporary WWE mainstays who keep their noses clean, go to bed early, and avoid scandal. The Miz met Maryse via WWE, and the two wound up happily married. Even after Maryse left WWE for a period of years and Miz carried on, becoming a much bigger star, the marriage continued successfully.
Maryse has now been back for the last year, playing Miz’s on screen valet and traveling with him behind the scenes. By all accounts, the relationship is stronger than ever with no hints of infidelity. Most recently, the two even worked a series of matches as a mixed tag team, culminating at WrestleMania 33.
17 Playboy: Ted DiBiase
In the Million Dollar Man persona, Ted DiBiase played a rich guy who made no bones about using his wealth to buy whatever and whoever he wanted. WWE presented a family friendly product at the time, but it turns out DiBiase’s morally dubious behaviors extended off screen and into bedrooms across the country.
For a documentary about his life, The Price of Fame, DiBiase discussed how infidelity very nearly ruined his marriage. He went on to find religion and recommit his life to the church. By all accounts, DiBiase has walked the straight and narrow since that time, and particularly since leaving behind his full time work in the wrestling business. DiBiase now remains true to his faith and his family, and remains a sage advisor to the wrestling business, distilling wisdom in visits to WWE and in a variety of interviews.
16 Loyal Husband: Triple H
Across a string of interviews, Kevin Nash has recalled The Kliq’s reaction when they learned Triple H didn’t drink or do drugs: “Designated driver!”
While attitudes about Triple H’s political machinations and personality vary, no one has really argued against the fact that he’s a guy who lives his life on the straight and narrow. With the possible exception of the end of his relationship with Chyna overlapping with the beginning of his courtship with Stephanie McMahon, he’s regarded as a reliable, loyal guy.
Triple H has been married to Stephanie for over 13 years. You can argue it’s easy to stay loyal when you both work with your wife, and have so much of your professional power inextricably intertwined with your marriage to the boss’s daughter. Just the same Hunter has never offered us any reason to think he’s anything but in love with his wife, and there’s been no public indication of either of them ever straying.
15 Playboy: John Cena
John Cena started his WWE career attached to his high school sweetheart, whom he eventually married. The marriage came to an ugly finish. While details have been sparse, his ex made no bones about bitterness, and for quite some time Cena publicly declared that he did not want to get married again.
In the meantime, rumors abounded of Cena being involved with women backstage. A lot of those rumors were never really substantiated, but plenty of sources have talked about a brief affair with Mickie James that led to the end of James’s boyfriend Kenny Dykstra’s WWE run. From there Cena moved on to Nikki Bella and looks to have settled down again, most recently proposing to her at WrestleMania 33. Cena and Bella walk a razor thin line between wrestling storylines, reality TV, and actual reality, but it seems he’s happy and may have put his playboy days behind him now.
14 Loyal Husband: Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston is a wrestler from a generation known better for going back to the hotel early to play video games than going out to bars and partying. He was also close friends with CM Punk when he was in WWE, in a relationship that seemed rooted less in Punk’s opinions of WWE, and more in his straight edge, clean cut lifestyle. Perhaps it should be no surprise, then, that Kingston, a fan favorite, and starring player in The New Day team, has steered clear of scandal. He’s spent his WWE tenure in a committed relationship that included getting hitched in 2010, and remaining happily married ever since.
Kingston married Kori Campfield and to date has two children with her. By all indications, he’s a loyal family man.
13 Playboy: Buff Bagwell
While Marcus Alexander Bagwell started his career as a clean cut, fresh faced up and comer in WCW, his character eventually evolved in the sleazier heel Buff Bagwell. In the latter gimmick, he worked with the nWo, and though he never ascended any higher than the mid-card, he was a noteworthy enough star to earn a spot working with Booker T in the first WCW match to air on WWE TV.
Bagwell’s current marriage has lasted over 15 years, but that hasn't stopped him from resorting to his old playboy ways for work, as he's now a gigolo and can be found on the cowboys4angels website. Obviously his wife must be okay with his job.
Going back to WCW, In a story more than one of his WCW contemporaries have shared in shoot interviews, Bagwell once made the mistake of telling a “ring rat” from a frequent WCW city where he was staying, only to create a run in when his wife ended up traveling with him for that particular trip.
12 Loyal Husband: Randy Savage
Randy Savage was one of the most iconic stars of the 1980s and 1990s. He was well respected by his colleagues as an athlete and for his creative mind for the wrestling business. If there’s anything he was even better known for, though, it was his degree of loyalty—arguably to the point of jealous obsession—with his partner, Miss Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was Savage’s girlfriend when he brought her along to play his manager in WWE, and the two wound up getting married. Stories abound about Savage staying by Elizabeth’s side to keep her to himself. On screen, he accused Hulk Hogan of “having lust in your eyes” when he looked at Elizabeth, and this may have been a case of reality and kayfabe landing quite close. Savage purportedly singled out Hogan and his wife Linda for blame when Elizabeth left him in real life.
11 Playboy: CM Punk
Despite living a clean life style in terms of ingesting substances, “The Straight Edge Superstar” CM Punk has been known to be a little less clean cut when it comes to getting involved with his coworkers. As he rose up through the independent ranks, he was rumored to be linked to talents including Daffney and Traci Brooks. After making it to WWE, there were widespread reports of his involvement with Lita, Maria Kanellis, and Beth Phoenix, besides rumors he was hooking up with Kelly Kelly.
By the time Punk walked away from WWE, though, he had gone monogamous, committing himself to AJ Lee. Whether it was a matter of timing, or just the right woman coming along, the two started dating while they were both with WWE, and carried on after Punk’s ugly departure, and after Lee’s more cordial one. The two finally wound up getting married, and Punk seems to have settled down as a loyal husband at last.
10 Loyal Husband: AJ Styles
AJ Styles is a self described devout Christian and has been married to the same woman since 2000. Throughout that time, he has not been associated with any scandals and, if anything, has gone out of his way to make his family status well known.
Styles has talked openly about his wife and kids and in 2010 went so far as to get a large tattoo of the initials AJ on his side. That’s not just a testament to his wrestling name, but captures the initials of each of his children—Ajay, Avery, Albey, and Anney Jones. He’s proceeded to have their birth dates tattooed in smaller print alongside the larger one, a constant reminder of the people he holds dearest.
9 Playboy: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins was in a committed relationship early on in his WWE tenure, ultimately engaged to his partner, Leighla Shultz. The two had a falling out when Rollins’s Twitter account posted nude pictures of Zahra Schreiber—a WWE developmental talent whom Rollins was purportedly dating on the side.
While it’s never been entirely clear if Rolins got hacked, if Schreiber were somehow responsible for putting up the pictures, or if Rollins—via mistake or lapse in judgment—actually did post the pictures himself. Regardless, it created a huge issue because his Twitter fed directly to a feed on the WWE homepage. To make matters worse, Rollins’s fiancée responded by posting nude pictures of Rollins to social media, creating a public relations mess and effectively ending their relationship.
8 Loyal Husband: Roman Reigns
Fans love to hate on Roman Reigns. He got a monster push from WWE that it’s questionable whether he deserved—shooting straight into a prominent stable and then a main event push in a very short span. Moreover, he’s a successful, good looking guy who it’s easy for the average wrestling fan to be jealous of. While Reigns probably could have played the filed, by all accounts he’s a loyal family man instead. He got married in 2014 and has a daughter.
While fans can still question Reigns’s talents, and even his personality given the way he responds to haters on social media, there doesn’t seem to be any denying his loyalty to his family. Perhaps coming from one of the biggest wrestling families of all time helped bring him up with a code, and prepare him for the challenges and temptations of the road.
7 Playboy: Matt Hardy
Nowadays Matt Hardy may be best known for the eccentricity of his Broken character that keeps threatening to bubble up through the surface in WWE. In his younger days, though, including a hot tag team run with his brother Jeff during the Attitude Era, and his when he was an up and coming singles performer, Matt was cutting edge, cool, and clearly had a way with his female colleagues. He most famously had a relationship with Lita that ended on bad terms in a storyline that played out on TV involving Edge. He was also later linked to Diva Search winner Ashley Massaro.
In the end, though, Hardy would wind up marrying Reby Sky, a former model turned wrestling personality. Matt seems to have settled down now, with a second child on the way, but certainly had his playboy history in the wrestling business.
6 Loyal Husband: Rick Rude
If there were one WWE star from the late 1980s who fans would probably assume slept around, it would be Ravishing Rick Rude, who made an entire gimmick out of coming onto women in the crowd and insinuating they’d come to the arena to see him. So, it might surprise fans to learn that beneath the gimmick was a faithful family man.
Multiple wrestlers have spoken about this side of Rude. They’ve indicated that he was not only a loyal husband, but was so loyal that he even refused to take off his wedding ring when he wrestled, regardless of how odd it might look on his character and safety concerns it might cause. That’s a sign of commitment very few wrestlers before or since have ever matched!
5 Playboy: Andre the Giant
There’s a lot of folklore surrounding Andre the Giant. Some of it relates to the sheer size of the man, other to feats of strength, how much he could drink or eat, or how much weight he could lift. While Andre’s legacy has skewed family friendly since his death, there are also stories about him being a successful ladies man for much of the time he toured the world as a professional wrestler.
In particular, a Deadspin article from a few years ago captured a fan interaction with Virgil in which he relayed a variety of backstage secrets. While there’s no guarantee that the fans who relayed the story, let alone Virgil himself, didn’t exaggerate bits of stories, they seemed adamant about one Andre anecdote—a story about the Giant taking on four women at once one time on the road.
4 Loyal Husband: Jeff Hardy
If anything, Jeff Hardy may have had more overt sex appeal than his brother Matt when they were teaming up in their younger days. Jeff was always acknowledged as the more charismatic of the two, and made it a signature spot that he’d peel of his shirt to the delight of female fans before leaping off the top rope his finishing Swanton Bomb.
Despite being the subject of plenty of crushes from the fans, having the reputation of an eccentric artist, and having a history of substance abuse, it seems that Jeff has stayed on the straight and narrow when it comes to being loyal to his spouse. The story goes that he’s been with Beth Britt since 1999, before he finally married her in 2011. They now have two children together.
3 Playboy: Batista
In the mid 00s, Batista broke out as one of the biggest stars in WWE. First he rose through the ranks as a heater for the Evolution stable. Then he broke out on his own and wound up second only to John Cena as the top face of the day. Little did fans know that, behind the scenes, things were heating up for Batista as well.
Batista’s best known backstage relationship was with Melina, with whom he was purportedly briefly involved shortly after his second divorce. That one led to an on air angle in which it was implied Melina’s character slept with him to win his favor, only for Batista to blow her off and go on to destroy her partner, John Morrison in the ring. Additionally, rumors have Batista also dating Kelly Kelly and Rosa Mendes, making his way through a decent portion of the women’s roster of the day.
2 Loyal Husband: Owen Hart
One of the most striking, heartbreaking elements of Bret Hart’s book, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling is the way he portrays his brother Owen. While fans may remember Owen best for his work as an annoying heel, Bret paints a different picture of a guy who was a gifted athlete, compulsive practical joker, and, above all else, a faithful family man.
According to Bret, Owen had plans of retiring early to spend time with his family and escape life on the road. A series of those plans didn’t pan out, and Owen would tragically wind up falling to his death at a live show, long before he got to realize his dream for a quiet, private family life. Nonetheless, by all accounts, Owen remained a faithful husband throughout his career.
1 Playboy: Bret Hart
While Owen Hart may have been a loyal husband, his brother Bret made no bones about admitting to his own transgressions. Bret’s book describes his own first marriage as a vey unhappy one in which the road took its toll and his wife varied from a passive aggressive needler to picking big fights at the least opportune times (not least of all, after Bret won the WWF Championship at WrestleMania X).
Bret doesn’t boast, but rather seems wistful when he reflects on his variety of sexual partners over the years. He remains righteous about not giving in to substance abuse and not mistreating his colleagues. Bret admits, though, that he was no saint and his vice of choice was he comfort of other women across the U.S. and abroad.
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