Arguably the hottest brand in all of wrestling, NXT combines the WWE’s production values with an old school way of booking and building stars. It has had an incredible roster of talent come through its doors because it has populated its roster in a manner that is very similar to what Vince McMahon did at the height of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Era. Poaching wrestlers from all of the major companies in the world. In fact, entities like TNA, ROH, New Japan, and many more have seen people leave for the greener pastures of NXT. Once you sign a contract with the company you have to uproot your life in order to be near the WWE Performance Center which has resulted in some of the wrestlers becoming romantically involved. Realizing that is what inspired us to take an interest in the dating lives of some of our favorite NXT stars, including those that are dating us regular folk.
In order for a relationship to be featured here, it needs to include at least one NXT talent. It doesn’t matter if they’ve moved on to the main roster or left the company entirely as long as they made regular appearances on the show at one time or another. Additionally, for our purposes, we will be looking at those that are just dating and those that have moved on to either get engaged or married too. Other than that our ranking relied entirely on how interesting we found a coupling so a premium has been placed on those with more than one NXT star for instance. The popularity of a wrestler and how closely the majority of wrestling fans associate them with NXT was also taken into account. One final thing to keep in mind, we don’t know and of these wrestlers personally so we’ve done what we can to confirm these relationships are real and up to date but can’t one hundred percent confirm them to be. So, without any further ado, let’s get to the list.
15. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae
One of the best tag team wrestlers in the industry today, Johnny Gargano along with his partner in crime Tommaso Ciampa have come to feel like an indispensable part of NXT’s tag division. Rebranding themselves as DIY lately because they had to make themselves successful through hard work and tenacity, they have developed a rabid fanbase. A man who married his longtime girlfriend, indie wrestler Candice LeRae in September of 2016, their ceremony featured several other notable performers. First off Ciampa was one of Johnny’s groomsmen alongside Matt Cross, Gregory Iron, and Chuck Taylor. On top of that, Candice and her tag partner Joey Ryan were photographed looking ready to battle DIY. Sounds like a wrestling fan’s dream wedding to attend if you ask us.
14. Tommaso Ciampa and Jessie Ward
DIY held the NXT Tag Team Championship at one time and if that weren’t enough of an indication of their success, they took part in the 2016 NXT Match of the Year, as given out by the company. Facing off against the Revival at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, their bout has become the thing of wrestling legend. Speaking of Gargano and Ciampa, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include Johnny’s tag team partner in this list as well. Especially considering they’ve gained so much success as a tandem themselves but have both found another person to pair off with outside the ring. Just like Johnny, Tommaso saw fit to marry a female wrestler in September except in 2013 this time. A former Tough Enough II contestant who was taken out of the running after suffering a nasty bump that resulted in being diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, Jessie Ward, Tommaso’s wife, underwent a career change. Now a television producer, who even worked for TNA briefly, at least she must understand the hectic lifestyle a wrestler has.
13. Lana and Rusev
There is a tried and true tradition in the wrestling industry of wrestlers being accompanied to the ring by valets and history will tell you that these on-screen pairs have a tendency to become real-life couples. While the concept of the valet has mostly disappeared from the WWE, Lana and Rusev have shown why that is a mistake, and if you ask us Miz and Maryse owe them a debt of gratitude. The Bulgarian Brute and the Ravishing Russian, they look like the real-life personification of the Beauty and the Beast story except as seen through an evil funhouse mirror. Falling for one another, they grew to become a couple and eventually get married. Most interestingly about the landmark moments of their life, however, is that they got engaged while broken up on television which really put a wrench in the awful Lana and Dolph Ziggler storyline.
12. Bayley and Aaron Solow
If you ask us there has never been a more beloved performer in the history of NXT. When Bayley debuted on the show nobody knew what to make of her but as her tenure lasted and she showed off a plucky attitude, NXT fans got behind her in a big way. Before too long there were lots of grown men in the audience every time NXT put on an event who were all too proud to wear a shirt bragging about how they are huggers too. Moved up to the Raw roster, she is just now hitting her stride and we can’t wait to see her continue to grow but in our hearts, she still remains our favorite NXT lady. With so many wrestling fans absolutely smitten with her character, you just know they’d feel nothing but envy for the person that gets to be involved with her romantically. The man that gets to do just that is Aaron Solow, an indie wrestler who met her in 2010.
11. Emmalina and Zack Ryder
Before Bayley saw huge success as a family-friendly female wrestler in NXT, Emma walked an extremely similar ground. Coming to the ring while doing a weird dance that was mainly just rhythmic arm movements, NXT fans found her happy demeanor infectious. When she was moved up to the main roster without any setup or explanation of her behavior she quickly failed and was sent back down to NXT where she would undergo a character change. Remaking herself into a woman that always had an angry look on her face, she quickly became one of their best heel acts and was moved back up but any opportunity she had was ruined when she was injured. After an extended stay on the shelf, she is set to join RAW’s roster under a derivation of her old name but despite weeks of promos, her return doesn’t seem any closer to becoming a reality. Her personal life seems to be a lot more certain, however, as she has been dating Zack Ryder for quite some time now.
10. Sasha Banks and Mikaze
One of NXT’s Four Horsewomen, Sasha Banks became the focus of the NXT Women’s division for several months as she wrestled for the title and bragging rights. A former NXT Women’s Champion who competed in the 2015 NXT match of the Year at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, her stay in WWE’s feeder system was an unequivocal success. After being moved up to the main roster, she and Charlotte took part in an extended feud that broke a lot of ground in the industry. The first women’s match in the history of the WWE to main event a pay-per-view featured the two ladies competing in Hell in a Cell which was also the first time a woman’s match took place inside it. Married to a former indie wrestler that performed under the name of Mikaze, but was born Sarath Ton, her husband works for the WWE too but as a costume designer.
9. Austin Aries and Thea Trinidad
Austin Aries is one of our absolute favorite wrestlers employed by the WWE. Currently on the shelf due to a vicious kick to his left eye that has forced him to stop competing since October of 2016, his career has far from stagnated. Instead, he has joined the announce team for WWE’s newest show, 205 Live, which also works to keep fans anticipating his in-ring return which many believe will hugely improve the quality of the show. A former TNA World Heavyweight Champion and six-time X Division Champion, he spent several years working for that company which makes the fact that he is dating a former TNA Knockout quite logical. Involved with Thea Trinidad, his girlfriend used to perform for TNA under the ring name Rosita before leaving them and has appeared in NXT since but hasn’t been signed as of yet.
8. Luke Harper and Mystery Wife
Ok, we admit it, this entry may not make any sense on the face of it. The whole idea of this list is to reveal to our readers who some of their favorite NXT wrestlers are involved with. With this next entry we’re getting away from that but if you are anything like us you’ll find it fascinating that the man who plays Luke Harper is a married father. Arguably the Wyatt Family’s prodigal son, Luke may be the best manifestation of what the group is supposed to be. Bray Wyatt may be the leader of the group and the one that is prone to give long and vaguely gothic diatribes but it is Luke that looks the creepiest by far. Whenever we think of Luke it is the crazed look he so often gets in his eye that comes to mind and thinking of him going home at night to a wife and son just blows our mind.
7. Cesaro and Sara Del Rey
In the minds of most wrestling fans, there is no question that Cesaro is one of the most talented professional wrestlers in the world. Someone who had an extended stay in NXT while still performing on the main roster, It made perfect sense as he is skilled and knowledgeable enough to make the people he works with better. Cesaro spent years on end wrestling around the world on the independent scene which made him the performer he is today but also gave him the opportunity to meet other fantastic wrestlers. Sara Del Rey has to be one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world and clearly has a real passion for the business, something she shares with longtime boyfriend, Cesaro. Currently working as a performance center trainer and head coach, Sara Del Rey makes huge contributions to the company just like her real-life partner.
6. Carmella and Big Cass
Carmella may be linked on television to the little engine that could in wrestler form, James Ellsworth, but from what we can tell that is just for show and in real-life her relationship status hasn’t changed. Introduced to WWE fans when she joined up with Big Cass and Enzo Amore on NXT television, Carmella ended up getting involved with one of them in her personal life too. Dating Big Cass for quite a while now, they may have never revealed the true nature of their relationship on the main roster or in NXT, but they’ve been shown as a couple on the WWE “reality” show Breaking Ground. Two people with outsized personalities, and a big body in the case of one of them, we don’t know them personally but we are certainly rooting for them as they seem perfect for one another.
5. Bray Wyatt and Samantha Rotunda
The second person who has been part of the Wyatt Family to be featured on our list, it is just as weird to think of Bray Wyatt having a wife and kids to go home to. A member of the famed Rotundo wrestling family, Bray has arguably become the most successful member of an extremely accomplished clan. Becoming the leader of The Wyatt Family in NXT, their presentation was eye grabbing right from the start. Making the jump to the main roster where he has mostly continued to be a leader of men, he has added Braun Strowman and Randy Orton to the list of men who’ve followed his commands since. Seemingly poised to take part in a feud with Randy for a WWE world title, it seems like his time to truly take the spotlight may have finally come. The father of two daughters, from all indications, Bray’s home life seems to be a happy one and we’re all too pleased for him and his wife Samantha.
4. Aiden English and Shaul Guerrero
One of the most famed names in all of the wrestling world, Guerrero is the last name of wrestling legends. A family that brought us performers as celebrated as Gory, Hector, Mando, two different Chavos, Vickie, and of course Eddie, there is little doubt that wrestling fans have a real affection for them. However, there are probably a lot of wrestling followers that don’t realize that we almost had another performer in the family as Eddie’s daughter Shaul briefly competed in NXT under the name Raquel Diaz. No longer a wrestler herself, she still has ties to it not only through the family she was born with but because of her husband too, former NXT Tag Team Champion Aiden English. One-half of The Vaudevillains, Aiden is currently a member of the Smackdown roster but through his outlandish personality and unique gimmick made a huge impact on NXT.
3. Alexa Bliss and Murphy
Another example of an on-screen pairing that brought their relationship to life in their private lives, Alexa Bliss once served as the valet of Murphy and his tag team partner at the time, Wesley Blake. A tandem that won the NXT Tag Team Championship, being seen with the always gorgeous Alexa added a whole lot to their presentation. While they eventually broke up and all three members went their separate ways on television, Alexa and Murphy remain a couple from all evidence we’ve seen. However, Alexa has been called up to the main roster and has been forced to leave her boyfriend behind to stay in NXT. Surely he is happy for her though as she has achieved immense success since making the jump. Improving immensely in the ring and as a character, she is the Smackdown Women’s Champion and truly deserves her hallowed status.
2. Wesley Blake and Sara Lee
Speaking of Blake and Murphy, it is time for us to look at the personal life of Murphy’s former tag team partner. While Wesely Blake has mostly disappeared from NXT’s television product we’re sure there are big things still coming for him. While you can never be certain how big of a push a wrestler that is signed by the WWE will get, at the very least important things are coming for him on a personal level. That is because his real-life girlfriend is pregnant with his child. Involved in the industry herself, his gal went by the name Sara Lee while she competed in the latest season of Tough Enough. Eventually going on to win and receive a contract, Sara has since departed from the company and soon afterward revealed to the world that she was with baby so it seems like the two life changes are connected.
1. Dana Brooke and Dolph Ziggler
A coupling we never expected to read about, Dana and Dolph took our top spot because on the surface they seem like an odd pairing. A former NXT standout that was one of the most hated figures in the company as the cohort of Emma, Dana was brought up to the main roster to keep the act going when Emma appeared on Smackdown. Unfortunately, her alley went down with an injury but the WWE kept her around and instead had her serve as Charlotte Flair’s protégé. It seems as though that was good for her personal life as continuing to appear for the WWE would have given her lots of time to hang in the back with her future beau, Dolph Ziggler. A man who is ten years her senior and has been signed to a WWE contract for a decade longer than her, they make a surprising duo. That said, when you really reflect on the fact that both seem to be intense people who share a passion, it makes a lot more sense than we first thought.
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