Wrestling history is filled with stories of wrestlers who didn't just hate each other in the ring, but also in real life. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Pre-Rockers breakup, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. Scott Steiner and Ric Flair/Diamond Dallas Page. JBL and any one of his many bullying victims. Wrestling may be a scripted presentation – "sports entertainment," in other words – but that doesn't exempt wrestlers from having real-life animosity against a colleague or two, and vice versa.
One important qualifier in here is that in almost all cases, both entries in the pair have to be currently active wrestlers. That's why you won't see JBL and Mauro Ranallo in here, because the former has long retired from competition, while the latter was never a wrestler. And that's also the case with The Miz and Daniel Bryan – Miz was practically shooting on D-Bry on Talking Smack last year, which admittedly made Bryan genuinely uncomfortable, but he's been retired since early-2016, and may only unretire once his WWE contract is up.
With that said, let's take a look at 15 pairs of present-day, active wrestlers who can't stand each other due to the real-life heat and tension between them.
15 Roman Reigns And Enzo Amore
One of these men is WWE's big, burly alpha babyface-in-waiting, whether fans like it or not. The other man is of decidedly smaller stature, obnoxious to some, but beloved by many for his extended pre-match spiels and quirky spelling of the word "soft." And the former man had just recently showed the latter who's boss in the locker room, kicking him out and giving him the "Miz treatment" – having him change outside.
Of course, we're referring to Roman Reigns and Enzo Amore, as recent reports claim that the Big Dog had it with the Certified G's constant b*tching, allegedly centered on WWE's decision to break him and Big Cass up so early. And while some of Enzo's angst may be justified, Reigns was mainly doing his job as a locker room leader – better him than JBL, Benoit, or Bob Holly, we guess? All this doesn't bode well for Amore's push as a singles wrestler, though it wasn't really looking too good to begin with.
14 Ryback And Seth Rollins
If you listen to any given episode of Conversation with the Big Guy, you'll come to the easy conclusion that Ryback doesn't like John Cena, and that he has no love lost either for his boyhood hero, Triple H. Aside from those two, he doesn't have a cross word for most of his old WWE colleagues. But surprise, surprise – Cena isn't the only active, full-time wrestler (face it, Cena isn't as part-time as, say, a Brock Lesnar) whom the Big Guy has big beef with.
Recently, Ryback told a story of how Seth Rollins supposedly laughed in his face after he committed a botch against Rusev. He would also add that he and Seth have long had a mutual dislike of each other, which, we'd say, is far from the only rumor we've heard about Rollins being a less than pleasant individual behind the scenes. That said, the above paragraph makes it clear that Ryback is no saint either, and you won't get any prizes if you guess that he's appearing a second time in this list. (As if the first paragraph wasn't already a huge spoiler.)
13 Dolph Ziggler And John Cena
During the angle where John Cena's decision to save Edge and Christian from The Authority got Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan "fired" from the WWE, some of the then-babyface Ziggler's comments about not liking Cena may have hit a bit too close to home. Then you've also got older interviews where he seemed to be shooting on Big Match John, rather than speaking in character, saying that he hates John Cena "for real," mainly because of everything he stands for, and how well he connects to fans.
The way we see it, it was 50 percent #HeelZiggler, 5o percent Nick Nemeth talking when he said those comments. Dolph may not really hate John for his image or fan appeal. Instead, the beef may originate from how Cena ended up with Ziggler's supposed ex, Nikki Bella. Love triangles where one man ends up dumped for another always make for an awkward situation in the locker room, but hey, at least it's not like Ziggler and Cena are like Matt Hardy and Edge, post-Lita cheating incident.
Oh, before we proceed...expect to see the Cenation leader A LOT in this list.
12 Jeremy Borash And Josh Mathews
Allow us to bend the rules a little on this one, because neither man is an actual wrestler by trade. One is a TNA/Impact/GFW lifer who's been with the company since day one, and is now the lead play-by-play announcer. The other was a mediocre Tough Enough hopeful, and later on a mediocre announcer for WWE, but now that he's working for the competition, he sees himself as the GOAT of play-by-play. But Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews DID have a match at Slamniversary a few weeks ago (alongside Joseph Park and Scott Steiner respectively), so there you go.
As GFW fans know, Mathews has long been hyping himself as the “best play-by-play announcer in the world,” and that boast got him some Twitter heat from Borash, a certified veteran of the business. While their Twitter argument may have been mostly a work, and all part of Mathews’ riff on Michael Cole’s polarizing role as heel announcer in the early 2010s, many accounts suggest that JB was legitimately upset by Mathews’ comments, a lot of which were way below the belt, even for a scripted social media exchange.
11 Scott Steiner And Triple H
By the time the month of July ends, Triple H will be 48 and Scott Steiner 54. Despite their advanced age, we still see Trips gear up for a match come WrestleMania season, while Steiner just returned to GFW as an active competitor. And while that fierce rivalry of theirs that culminated in one of the worst Big 4 pay-per-view matches of all-time (Royal Rumble 2003) was obviously a work, there is no love lost between Big Poppa Pump and The Game in real life. Yes, even if it's been close to 15 years since Steiner last wrestled in WWE.
In a recent interview, Steiner let loose on HHH, addressing him repeatedly as "Hunter McMahon," and explaining that he calls himself that because his wife, Stephanie, wears the pants in the family. He also would taunt Steph for her alleged relationship with "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Trips hasn't reacted publicly to these comments, but we're sure he has better things to do than blast the Big Bad Booty Daddy in public.
10 Summer Rae And Lana (w/Rusev)
By now, it should be very clear that Vince McMahon is very high on Lana, whom he probably sees as a throwback to the days of Sunny and Sable – blonde, beautiful, sexy, and unlike the latter old-school WWE Diva, charismatic and capable of cutting a good promo. You'll notice we didn't mention "skilled in the ring," but that, Lana's admission to TMZ of her engagement to Rusev, and her numerous instances of backstage heat hasn't stopped Vince from giving her a nice push as of late.
Lana's real-life feud with Summer Rae took place late last year, shortly after Enzo Amore's promo about the Ravishing Russian thinking of "a certified G stuffing her turkey." Summer would respond on Twitter, arguing that "turkey" was the wrong term, but rather "roast beef" – if you don't get the reference, go Google "roast beef slang" to see what she meant. Rusev would then respond by telling Summer that "no one asked (her)," marking a rare occasion he's gotten involved in his wife's many real-life feuds.
9 Lana And Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks is another woman who's less than enamored with the Ravishing Russian, and if you want more examples of Summer Rae's long-running issues with Lana, you'll want to read on.
In Sasha's case, her issues with Lana started when she liked a tweet from former WWE Diva Melina, where the ex-Women's Champion was explaining why it made sense to have Banks take a surprising loss to Alicia Fox on RAW. This got the Boss into shade-throwing mode, and when Lana indirectly replied that she'll gladly "block the hate," this had Sasha and Summer Rae teaming up to tweet posts with the hashtag "#BL2017" – anyone can figure out that that's shorthand for "Block Lana 2017."
We've got more Lana for you if you keep reading on – for some reason, she's made an inordinate amount of enemies since debuting on the main roster alongside Rusev in 2014.
8 Nikki Bella And Maryse/Maria Kanellis
Originally, I thought about detailing Nikki Bella's issues with Maryse and Maria Kanellis in separate entries. But since the two latter women have similar beefs with Nikki (and, by proxy, her sister Brie, who's essentially semi-retired), we're listing it all in one convenient entry about how Nikki allegedly prevented the respective wives of The Miz and Mike Bennett from returning to WWE via Total Divas. (And ex-NHL player Sheldon Souray's wife too – the long-retired Kelly Kelly.)
It's not sure why Nikki and Maryse may have had issues, but according to Maria, the problems stemmed back to 2010, when she had accidentally danced with Nikki's partner at the time, the aforementioned Dolph Ziggler. As for how things are going these days for these three women, we couldn't help but notice Maryse's enthusiasm as she and The Miz impersonated Nikki Bella and John Cena in the build to their WrestleMania mixed tag match. And how many of you think Nikki may have a hand in how WWE seems to be giving up so quickly on Mike and Maria Kanellis' "Power of Love" gimmick?
7 Charlotte Flair And Paige
Once upon a time, Charlotte Flair and Paige were good friends in and out of the ring. They'd even made up two-thirds of
the Submission Sorority Team PCB during the earliest days of what was then called the "Divas Revolution." Two years later, neither woman is giving each other the time of day, but it has nothing to do with the angle where Paige, while trying to elicit as much heel heat as possible, told Charlotte that her late brother Reid "didn't have much fight in him."
Instead, it's because of what happened shortly after that – Paige ending up with Alberto El Patron, whom Charlotte briefly had a fling with. If the reports are true, Alberto was essentially a rebound guy for Charlotte, who was then recently divorced from GFW/ex-NXT wrestler Bram. But with El Patron moving on to Paige rather quickly, that essentially dissolved any goodwill between Flair and Paige, and you can guess that the self-proclaimed "Queen" of women's wrestling has no room in her court for any Anti-Divas.
6 Sasha Banks And Alexa Bliss
Right now, Bayley is the number one contender to Alexa Bliss' RAW Women's Championship. We're just as hopeful as you are that if Bayley gets a second run at the title, WWE will undo the egregious mistakes committed during, and immediately after her first reign, and that she'll get that long-rumored feud with Sasha Banks. Reports suggest that it's those two reasons behind WWE's decision to have the Hugger go over the Boss during their recent number one contender match, but we're guessing there's a little more to that than meets the eye.
The past few months have seen countless rumors swirl regarding Sasha Banks having heat with Alexa Bliss, and vice versa. Some say it's because the former made unsavory social media posts about the latter, others believe their beef dates back to their NXT days, when Sasha accidentally broke Alexa's nose during a match. As the two don't even follow each other on social media anymore, we're guessing WWE is a wee bit concerned that Banks and Bliss might start shooting on each other in the ring due to their long-running mutual dislike of each other.
5 Alex Riley And John Cena
We're still waiting for you to spill the beans, Steel Horse. Thanks to his memorable guest appearance in the Netflix series GLOW, Alex Riley has been enjoying a brief, well-deserved return to the spotlight. But we don't know if he'll ever accept WWE's offer if they give him a second chance, because John Cena is still the Face that Runs the Place, not only in the SmackDown Live ring, but also in the locker room as a veteran presence and main event talent.
Years ago, former WWE wrestler Tyler Reks mentioned how Cena allegedly buried Riley for a locker room infraction or two, never passing up the opportunity to make A-Ry look bad in front of his colleagues. Later on, Riley would admit that there was indeed an "incident" involving Cena that "changed the path" of his WWE career, one that he promised to discuss at a later time. Months after he made those comments to Jim Ross, the tea-spilling has yet to happen in earnest, though it'll definitely be interesting when it does.
4 Brock Lesnar And Chris Jericho
It's pretty much a given – Brock Lesnar doesn't like a lot of people in the WWE locker room who aren't named Paul Heyman. Chris Jericho, on the other hand, has pissed off his share of colleagues in the past due to his reckless, albeit usually well-meaning behavior, but is generally well-liked behind the scenes. That said, we're sure Jericho meant well when he angrily confronted Brock Lesnar for making Randy Orton bleed for real at last year's SummerSlam, not knowing that it was all a work.
What happened before Vince McMahon stepped in to break things up is a blur, but Dave Meltzer and others have claimed that Lesnar had a similarly angry reaction, calling Jericho a "p***y" and a "f****t" and threatening to make the verbal argument physical. Stay classy, Beast.
It's not sure whether Lesnar and Y2J still have heat with each other. But seeing that Jericho and his List are on SmackDown Live, while Lesnar remains RAW's top champion, interactions are presumably limited between these two veteran part-timers.
3 Lana And Paige
This marks Lana's third entry in this list and Paige's second, and for both women, this is probably their first, and most notorious incident of having serious backstage heat with a colleague. This happened shortly after Lana went to TMZ (as explained above) and threw cold water on Vince McMahon's beloved "love quadrangle" storyline that also involved Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, and Summer Rae, as the Ravishing Russian alleged on Twitter that the Anti-Diva had been bullying her since their days together in NXT. Paige then accused Lana of "trying to get a storyline," adding that Lana wouldn't have deleted her original accusatory tweet if it was really true.
For several days, the Twitter feud of two WWE Divas was more interesting than just about any in-ring story involving the women of WWE at the time. As Paige is spending far more time in her toxic relationship with Alberto El Patron than she is hanging out backstage at WWE and rehabbing her nagging injuries, we can't really say for sure if the tension with Lana is still thick enough to cut with a dagger. But we won't be surprised if it still is.
2 Ryback And John Cena
And now, we've got yet another one of the three men WWE fired in kayfabe because John Cena had to stick his nose in The Authority's business and save Edge and Christian from a beatdown. Unlike Dolph Ziggler, Ryback might not have hated Cena in storyline over that firing, but there might have been some real-life resentment fueling the Big Guy's aggressive attacks on Big Match John during their 2013 feud. Yep, that feud where Super Cena sent another promising wrestler tumbling down to the midcard.
Fast forward to 2016, and Ryback's out of the WWE, and hosting his own podcast where he can't seem to go one episode without complaining about how poorly John Cena treated him and some other colleagues. Yes, Ryback. We get it. Cena's rubbed more than a few people backstage the wrong way. But we don't need to hear it on each and every episode of Conversation with the Big Guy.
1 Alberto El Patron And Triple H
If you ask Alberto El Patron, he'll gladly tell you that he doesn't have the least bit of amor for the "guy with the big nose," Triple H. Give him a few drinks (or more than a few), and he'll throw some choice F-words in there, because there's not one man he blames more for the fact that his second WWE run ended so acrimoniously than the Game himself. And give him a mic at a GFW pay-per-view – he might not reference Triple H or his physical features, but he'll gladly lump HHH in as he calls everyone in WWE a bunch of "losers" who are in the sports entertainment business.
Now we're not saying Triple H hates Alberto as much as Alberto hates Triple H, but as someone who's far more of an executive than an active wrestler these days, Trips must have had some sort of beef with El Patron's attitude during his days as Alberto Del Rio. Some of it may have been justified and the rest may not have been, but like in the Scott Steiner entry, HHH is too much of a professional to fight fire with fire in such a situation.