It only makes sense that professional wrestlers would wind up hooking up with one another. There’s the matter of convenience, what with them spending so much time on the road and working together that real life feelings would evolve. On top of that, there are all the unique aspects of being a wrestler. Wrestlers have all the benefits and all the downfalls that come with celebrity status, like having to be a role model all the time and smile for cameras, besides having meals interrupted at restaurants by autograph seekers. Wrestlers can understand this part of each other’s lives the way few other people on earth can. Add onto that the physical aspects of the business. Wrestlers tend to be physically large people in great shape, and it’s only natural that they’d wind up attracted to one another as opposed to “civilians” who don’t maintain their level of physique or conditioning.
Some couples straight up make sense. Take John Cena and Nikki Bella. They’re both objectively attractive people in phenomenal shape. Cena was the top male star of WWE for over a decade, and there’s a fair argument Bella was the top female star for a time. It surprises very few that these two would wind up together.
There are much more surprising cases. Whether performers seem to have wildly different personalities or personas, seem like an odd fit for each other because of their age or other superficial reasons, there are wrestling couples and wrestling hookups that no one would have guessed. This article looks at 15 particularly odd backstage hookups from the world of professional wrestling in recent years.
15 Brad Maddox And Paige
Paige enjoyed a pretty meteoric rise to the top of WWE, winning the Divas Championship her first night on the main roster. She remained a part of the women’s title picture for about a year and a half to follow before succumbing to a combination of injury, Wellness Policy suspensions and political differences with WWE management. To the contrary, Brad Maddox went from a crooked referee, to an awkward authority figure with no real credibility, to a lower card in ring talent scarcely seen on TV before he was released.
Those who were in NXT with Paige and Maddox knew them to be close friends, and there were purportedly rumors of htem being more than friends. Things crystallized however, when very explicit videos leaked this spring of the two of them engaging intercourse.
Paige’s brand of cool doesn’t exactly jive with Maddox’s more dorky persona, but it seemed to have worked for them for the time. While Paige seems to be on the outs with WWE, she has remained involved with a wrestler, currently engaged to GFW Champion Alberto El Patron.
14 Dean Ambrose And Renee Young
Every now and again, there’s someone who’s part of the fabric of WWE, and yet simultaneously seems too good, too dignified, too rooted in a different reality from the wrestling world to really feel like a wrestling personality. There was Howard Finkel as the ultra-professional ring announcer, and there was Miss Elizabeth who seemed to dignified to get physical. Today, there’s Renee Young, who hosts pre and post shows but stays out of the fray.
If you were to guess whom Young would date, Dean Ambrose seems about as wildly different from Young as you could imagine. He came from a disadvantaged background, scratched and clawed his way up through the indies and remains an edgy, not particularly polished wrestling character. These two don’t seem like a match made in heaven, but they seem to have worked it out for not just a hookup, but a sustained relationship and their recent wedding.
13 Dolph Ziggler And Sunny
When people think about Dolph Ziggler and Sunny getting together, it simply seems weird. Not that Ziggler and Sunny are such wildly different personalities, or so far off in terms of how objectively attractive either might be. But Sunny was a sex symbol of the 1990s, while Ziggler came of age over a decade after she was out of the national wrestling spotlight.
Still, by Sunny’s account, the two did hook up for a one night stand, her an older woman, Ziggler not put off in the least. She claims they went at it for seven hours and has spoken in more than one interview about Ziggler’s anatomy. It’s the kind of hookup that no one ever think to predict given the age difference and the two never meaningfully running in the same circles in terms of working for the same wrestling promotions. Nonetheless, if Sunny’s to be believed—and Ziggler had neither confirmed nor denied it—it happened.
12 Bubba Ray Dudley And Velvet Sky
While Velvet Sky doesn’t exactly have a reputation as a great professional wrestler, she does hold the distinction of being on a shortlist of the most attractive women of her generation in wrestling to never wind up in WWE. Contrast that with Bubba Ray—a widely decorated legend of the wrestling business, particularly for his tag team work across a variety of promotions. For all his accolades, Bubba Ray was never exactly known as a looker. Nonetheless, both sides agree that the two got together.
The two didn’t just hook up, but had a real relationship. Sky even went so far as to speak with Sports Illustrated about their coupling, including that her family liked Dudley and that he was good cook. The two worked together as stars in TNA for quite some time, and by the most recent accounts are still together now.
11 Chris Jericho And Kelly Kelly
While some of the entries on this list are thoroughly confirmed, with neither party suggesting anything to the contrary, the pairing of Chris Jericho and Kelly Kelly is a bit more spurious. First of all, Jericho was married for the duration of the time he was rumored to have hooked up with Kelly, and neither has publicly admitted to doing anything inappropriate with each other. Still, rumors persist.
The rumors are supported by another layer of rumors—that Kelly was unpopular among her colleagues, and particularly other female performers, because she developed a bit of a reputation, getting involved with her male colleagues regardless of their relationship status. Putting aside age differences and Jericho’s marital status, the coupling doesn’t seem so absurd, but the details are a lot more scandalous with those factors in play.
10 AJ Lee And Jay Lethal
For a short period of time, AJ Lee was the definitive female star of WWE. She went from being a nerdy side character to one of the biggest stars of the show, intertwined in stories with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and John Cena, and acting as the General Manager. Lee would go on to a lengthy run as Divas Champion after that, asserting herself as the top female wrestler in the company all the more.
On the flip side of the coin, there’s Jay Lethal. Particularly since guys like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe headed to WWE, Lethal’s on the short list of top talents to have never headed to WWE. He does have connections to Lee. Though was instrumental in training her when she started out in the wrestling business, and from there the two were a romantic couple.
WWE-only fans may never have put the two together, though it does wind up making sense enough as two hard working students of the game who each rose to prominence within their own spheres of the wrestling world.
9 Tye Dillinger And Peyton Royce
Tye Dillinger was a mainstay in the WWE developmental system who honed his craft and became one of NXT’s most polished talents before finally getting called up to the main roster. His Perfect Ten gimmick has given way to the fun audience participation bit of fans chanting along “Ten!” when he hits the ring. Peyton Royce never had much in the way of on screen interaction with Dillinger, but the two were in the NXT locker room for a fair bit of time together. After rumors of them being an item abounded, they finally went public with their relationship this past spring.
Today, Dillinger is an up and coming face on the SmackDown roster, while Royce remains a beautiful, but conniving heel on NXT. There’s little reason for the casual fan to link them together, but by all accounts the couple is still going strong.
8 Finn Balor And Cathy Kelley
Finn Balor is a hardcore wrestler. That’s not in the sense that he wrestles a violent style (though he is capable of that) but rather that he’s someone who has truly devoted his life to the craft of wrestling which includes traveling internationally and taking wild chances on character, including the development of his demon sub-persona.
You can contrast that with Cathy Kelley, an actress and TV personality WWE drafted into its ranks as an interviewer in 2016. She’s about as un-hardcore in wrestling as they come, but that doesn’t seem to have been an obstacle in her connecting with Balor. Photos of the two began sprouting up this past spring, leading to rumors the two were dating though neither has said anything official about the matter up to this point.
7 Big Cass And Carmella
There was a time when fans would naturally associate Big Cass and Carmella with each other as up and coming talents bundled together with Enzo Amore in NXT. Time has marched on. While Big Cass and Enzo moved up to the main roster, Carmella remained in NXT for a spell, purportedly because Triple H thought she could be a star on her own.
Now all three are on the main roster, but have not intersected, with Enzo and Cass on Raw and Carmella becoming one of the top heels in the SmackDown women’s division. Through it all, Big Cass and Carmella have reportedly remained an item. Now that they’re both heels on the rise, perhaps they’ll find themselves aligning again if they can ever get onto the same show.
6 Jeff Jarrett And Karen Jarrett
There’s a way in which Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle make sense as a couple—both reasonably attractive people in a similar age demographic who have been involved with the wrestling business to some degree for quite some time. Moreover, they worked in TNA together, which led them to them becoming a couple. The reason this hook up is shocking has far less to do with the individual personalities, but rather the fact that Karen was married to Kurt Angle.
According to rumors at the time, Kurt was livid when he found out Jarrett got together with his ex-wife less than a year after their divorce was finalized, and it created an unsafe situation for a short time. Cooler heads and business sense prevailed and Jarrett and Angle would end up working together successfully. Karen ultimately married Jarrett, changed her last name, and made their marriage a part of TNA programming.
5 Sasha Banks And Kid Kamikaze
Sasha Banks is an “it” talent in WWE. She’s a heavily featured performer who has been given huge opportunities, and has by and large delivered when the lights were on brightest both in NXT and on the WWE main roster. It wouldn’t be a surprise for her to be in a high profile wrestling couple. Her romantic partner is a bit lower profile, however, in the sports entertainment industry.
Kid Kamikaze has worked as an independent wrestler, but in the WWE landscape, his only role has been as a costume designer. It’s an unlikely pairing of one of the premier female warriors of the day with a guy who designs attire for wrestlers. The coupling seems to work, though, given they got married in the summer of 2016.
4 Davey Richards And Angelina Love
Angelina Love rose to fame working with TNA as a mostly heel character, perhaps best remembered for teaming up with Velvet Sky as the aptly named The Beautiful People. The duo were a major force in TNA for a time, and an interesting counterbalance to the harder hitting women’s division in the company that in many ways foreshadowed WWE’s eventual evolution for women’s wrestling. Love, notably wasn’t one of those shining talents but rather a bit of a throwback as a beautiful woman who got by on looks and charisma.
Davey Richards is, by contrast, an indie tested talent who has evolved into something of a ring general. He’s on the list of top stars to never get a shot with WWE, though he has thrived with most any other noteworthy U.S. based promotion of the last fifteen years.
Richards and Love have been married since summer 2015 and now have a child together.
3 Charlotte Flair And Alberto Del Rio
Charlotte Flair and Alberto Del Rio were rumored to have had an affair shortly after Del Rio returned to WWE in 2015 and, of course, while Del Rio was still married. It’s a noteworthy fling for including two top stars, and perhaps even more interestingly that the stars were opposites in so many ways in the political scheme of WWE. Flair is part of the fabric of the company—the daughter of one of the greatest of all time, and a consistently featured performer. Del Rio was a featured performer for a time, but has now had two blow ups with WWE management that sent him packing from the company each time, and has been outspoken in his criticism of WWE.
Flair and Del Rio had their involvement; it’s generally lost to the sands of time now for Del Rio’s higher profile engagement with Paige that arguably led to her own difficulties with WWE management, and rumored heat between Paige and Flair. The latest rumors and allegations suggest serious tension and perhaps even domestic violence for Del Rio and Paige, all of which may make Flair all the more happy not to be in that mix.
2 Nia Jax And Josh Woods
Nia Jax breaks down a lot of the stereotypes people associate with the women of WWE. She’s not skinny and she’s not necessarily a conventional beauty. She is, however, a six foot tall, two hundred forty pound woman who is also a former model. Jax is reinventing the monster heel character from a woman’s perspective, and is an unconventional beauty to boot.
A lesser known fact—Jax is also dating another wrestler: Josh Woods. Woods had a decent run for himself in NXT, where he and Jax hooked up, before hitting the indie circuit. While Jax’s star has grown as a talent on the main roster who worked her first WrestleMania this past spring, Woods is a step behind her in that regard. Still both talents are still young and generally well received; it wouldn’t’ be a shock for them to one day share WWE screen time together.
1 Bray Wyatt And JoJo
On screen, Bray Wyatt is a dark and sinister cult leader. Off screen, he’s cultivated an identity as a lovable family man, including social media posts of him with his daughters.
Each of these images threatened to shatter in recent months as Wyatt and his wife have gone through the early steps of a divorce proceedings and things got ugly. The ugliness included accusations of Wyatt having an affair, Wyatt firing back that his wife was trying to damage his reputation, only for her to come back and explicitly cite fellow WWE talent, the much younger JoJo Offerman as “the other woman.”
Wyatt and JoJo—mostly used as a ring announcer—haven’t gone public but were photographed arriving at Raw together the same night that the story broke, adding some credence to the claims.