Wrestling is a strange and bizarre business. One day a wrestler might be on top of the world but one wrong move and everything comes crumbling down. Perhaps they split up with their longtime tag-team partner, perhaps an ex-wife took them to the cleaners financially. Somewhere along the line, every wrestler listed in this article had their careers derailed after splitting up with a partner of some sort.
Many wrestlers have made entire careers out of latching onto a friend or spouse who is more talented, more popular, and has more money. Sometimes these wrestlers decide they're good enough to go at it alone, and sometimes it turned out to be the right choice. Pro wrestling is filled with guys who broke away from a partner who had been holding them back and finally took their spot as a main event performer. More often than not, however, such attempts result in disastrous failure.
The nature of wrestling makes it an awkward place for allegiances to form. While wrestlers work together, they're also in competition with each other for television time, spots on the main roster, and money. This can lead to some truly epic tales of allegiances dissolving.
Here are 15 wrestlers who probably regret splitting from their partner.
15 Rusev - Split With Lana
For the first time since they've been on the main roster, Rusev and Lana's storylines are not intertwined. As Rusev rehabbed a shoulder injury this year, Lana was sent back to developmental where she wrestled on the NXT live event circuit. She returned around the same time Rusev did, but all of a sudden the two were separated.
Rusev's win/loss record has suffered greatly as a result of Lana's absence. First, he was defeated by John Cena in a flag match at Battleground, his first match back, and recently at SummerSlam he was defeated in nine seconds by Randy Orton. Not great.
Lana may actually regret splitting with Rusev as well. Since she's been wrestling in the Women's Division she's been losing the majority of her matches. Lana is now looking to build an alliance with Tamina. Making matters worse, the news on the mill indicates that Rusev might have recently asked for a release... oh boy how things have soured!
14 Stevie Ray - Split With Booker T
Stevie Ray is probably regretting his decision to split with his brother Booker T back in the day, and join the New World Order in 1998. His career never recovered, and Booker instead never looked back.
Stevie was recouping from an ankle injury in '98 when Booker went into singles competition. When Stevie got back he joined the nWo instead of reuniting with his brother. While initially, it looked as though joining nWo Hollywood was going to have a positive impact on his career, things took a nosedive in early 1999 when the nWo Wolfpac and nWo Hollywood merged into a super group. All of a sudden Stevie Ray was bumped down a notch and considered a member of nWo's "B Group".
Booker meanwhile quickly rose up the ranks and would end up winning the WCW World Championship on five occasions.
13 Virgil - Split with Ted DiBiase
From 1986 to 1991, Mike Jones played the role of Virgil, a bodyguard/underling of Ted DiBiase. In 1991, however, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper convinced Virgil to turn on Ted and become his own man. While Virgil would briefly hold the Million Dollar Championship, his career would never fully recover.
After spending a couple of years losing matches at the bottom of WWF (now WWE) cards, WWE released Virgil in 1994. He’d spend four years in WCW losing matches as well.
According to DiBiase, a problem began to develop in recent years where Virgil would call convention promoters and ask to get himself and DiBiase booked on a show. Since Ted was not actually working with Virgil, just Virgil would show up to the event and he would tell the promoter that DiBiase couldn't make it. The Million Dollar Man had to tell Virgil to stop doing this, as it hurt his image with promoters.
12 Enzo - Split With Big Cass
It's still quite early in Enzo's career, but he most likely already regrets his split with his former tag team partner, Big Cass. The pair were a popular tag team, but it's tough to see where Enzo goes from here. Big Cass is seven feet tall (which we have come to understand is something which cannot be taught), and WWE will have plans for him to move into the main event picture on Raw. Enzo, on the other hand, has a future which looks a little murkier and that was proved to be true as recently debuted on 205 Live, a downgrade in many viewers eyes.
He's popular, there's no shortage of Enzo merchandise being worn in the arenas at Raw every Monday, but considering WWE has him get beat up every single show, it's tough to see him having much longevity on the roster. It doesn't help that everyone in the back is rumored to find the guy pretty annoying either.
11 Jason Jordan - Split With Chad Gable
Right about now, Jason Jordan is regretting everything about his current storyline as Kurt Angle's son. Although the storyline has put Jordan in the spotlight it hasn't gotten over very well, and fans have taken to booing him if they give him any reaction at all.
Jordan might wish he had stayed in his cozy tag team with Chad Gable. Sure they were hidden away in SmackDown's Tag Team Division, but maybe that was the best place for him to be until he gets a little bit more experience.
As for Gable, things haven't been going fantastic for him since the split either. He lost to Rusev on SmackDown, though he'd later pick up a victory on him via DQ. As American Alpha they were a hot team in NXT, and briefly on SmackDown as well, but it doesn't look like Jason Jordan's recent revelation has done either of them a favor. Adding insult to the situation, the returning Shelton Benjamin was added in as Jordan's replacement alongside Chad Gable.
10 Sapphire - Split With Dusty Rhodes
Juanita Wright was the name of the woman who played "Sweet" Sapphire, Dusty Rhodes' valet in WWF. Like Dusty did at the time, Sapphire wore yellow polka dots and danced around the ring while smiling as if she and Dusty really were living the American Dream.
Turns out Sapphire really was a legitimate Dusty Rhodes fan and was having the time of her life in the role. She had worked as a referee and wrestler in the Missouri area before debuting with WWF but had been a fan her whole life. According to an interview with Sherri Martel, Sapphire broke down crying when WWE told her they were splitting her and Dusty up.
In storyline, Sapphire turned on Dusty after being bribed with fur coats and jewelry by the Million Dollar Man. She was released not long after.
9 Jon Heidenreich - Split With Road Warrior Animal
Heidenreich had been a Legion of Doom fan growing up and would later state he was thrilled when WWE decided to put him with Animal in a revamped version of the team.
Animal stated he wasn't looking for a replacement for Hawk, but just a suitable partner and that was Heidenreich. They even won the Tag Team Championships, though they would drop them to MNM shortly after.
In January 2006, WWE released Heidenreich amongst many others in a round of cuts. While his release surprised some, there were rumors he had been requesting lots of time off to spend with his family, who had been impacted by Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005.
Had it worked out, Heidenreich could have forever been known as a later member of the LOD, but instead, he gets remembered as the guy who read angry poetry to Michael Cole.
8 Erik Rowan - Split With Luke Harper
When WWE split the Wyatt Family up, it's almost as if they never bothered to ask themselves what they were going to do with Harper and Rowan.
They did put Harper in some big matches, including in a brief program with A.J. Styles. In a Battle Royal on SmackDown with the winner receiving a title shot, Harper and Styles "tied" when both their feet hit the floor at the same time (sort of, they botched the ending). After losing to Styles later, however, Harper disappeared into nowhere. Rowan had already vanished shortly after Wyatt left for Raw.
Now Erik Rowan occasionally shows up on episodes of Main Event. There's rarely a spot for him, since whenever a situation calls for a backwater looking guy on SmackDown they just go to Luke Harper, who is also consistently available.
7 Serena Deeb - Split With CM Punk
Serena Deeb was recently brought back by WWE to participate in the Mae Young Classic. It has been seven years since her first stint with the company. She only lasted eight months on the main roster, and her release remains controversial to this day.
In early 2010, Serena had her head shaved and joined CM Punk's Straight Edge Society. She would be gone from the company just eight months later. Serena was released shortly after pictures of her drinking an alcoholic beverage surfaced and not living up to her "straight edge" on-screen persona.
It seems odd that WWE would fire someone for such an infraction, but that's exactly what they did. She would wrestle sporadically on the independents, but would later focus more on her work as a yoga instructor.
6 Ric Flair - Real-Life Split With Jackie Beams
Ric Flair must either regret splitting up with Jackie Beams or regret how they split up because she has taken him to the cleaners financially. Beams has let it be known she is not taking any excuses for late payments either. In 2013, when Flair had fallen behind in his alimony payments to Beams, she had a warrant taken out for his arrest. He was said to have been $32,000 behind in his payments at the time. Flair would say that his son Reid's death earlier in the year contributed to his falling behind in payments.
Beams and Flair had been married from 2009 to 2012. She was his forth wife and he's currently engaged to Wendy Barlow, whom you may remember as Fifi The Maid from WCW.
5 Ted DiBiase Jr. - Split With Cody Rhodes
If 34-year-0ld Ted Dibiase Jr. decided to come out of retirement and make some money on the independents, he's got a ready rival for him in Cody Rhodes.
The two former members of Legacy won tag team gold on two occasions. After their tandem broke up, however, Cody went on to make a name for himself outside of WWE, while DiBiase didn't do much at all. For a brief period, after Legacy disbanded, he began bringing out the Million Dollar Championship and even hired Virgil as his bodyguard. When that angle fizzled out he fell deeper and deeper down the card until in 2013 he requested, and was granted, his release.
DiBiase stated that his reason for asking for his release was so that he could spend more time with his family. He's been working with a website that sells college text books as of late.
4 Jim Neidhart - Split With Bret Hart
There is probably only one other tag team that saw such a discrepancy between its participants success after breaking up as the Hart Foundation did. Bret Hart went on to win multiple World Championships, whereas Jim Neidhart didn't do much of anything when he wasn't following Bret around.
Not long after the Hart Foundation broke up, Neidhart began teaming with Bret's younger brother, Owen. The New Foundation wouldn't last long, but Neidhart would once again find himself at Owen's side during his feud with his brother Bret a little while later.
Neidhart was once again back in WWE when Bret reformed the Hart Foundation as a stable, with himself as the leader. Neidhart probably regrets splitting with Bret, but he was lucky enough that Bret always kept him around later in his career.
3 Mustafa - Split With New Jack
Mustafa had a pretty good gig in ECW. He'd just show up and hit people with weapons while New Jack did the same. New Jack would cut the promos for the group, and nobody could do that quite like he could. The former bounty hunter would cut scathing promos on southern culture while wrestling for Smoky Mountain Wrestling in the mid-90s, but then when the team debuted in ECW in 1995, they were beloved by the hardcore Philadelphia crowds.
Mustafa split with New Jack in 1997 and went to Puerto Rico. At first, things looked like they were working out fairly well for him. He won the WWC Heavyweight Championship, but would ultimately return to ECW in 1999. He would briefly feud with New Jack and then was gone from the company again shortly after. That was pretty much a wrap for Mustafa's career.
2 Marty Jannetty - Split With Shawn Michaels
Nowadays when tag teams break up, fans will sometimes ask who will be the "Shawn" of the team, and who will be the "Marty"? As in, whose career will flourish and whose will flounder?
Jannetty's famous floundering after The Rockers breakup in 1999 had little to do with his wrestling ability as it did his arrest record. Not long after being thrown through the Barber Shop window he was charged with attacking a police officer and sentenced to six months of house arrest, which sort of put a damper on his planned feud with Shawn at the time.
While he had some great matches with different opponents upon his return to the company, his star had been derailed whereas Shawn's never stopped rising. Marty would form teams with the 1-2-3 Kid and Leif Cassidy, but nothing clicked like he and Shawn did.
1 Chyna - Real-Life Split With Triple H
There has never been a split in wrestling history that caused such a downfall for one member. When Chyna found herself as one of two women in a love triangle, and the other woman was Vince McMahon's daughter, she had to know her time in the company was limited.In fact, Chyna would be released shortly after having a conversation with Vince McMahon where she revealed she was troubled by how her relationship with Triple H ended. Triple H and Stephanie would go on to become the two most powerful people in WWE not named Vince McMahon, while Chyna spiraled into a world of drugs and alcohol.
Unfortunately, the world lost Chyna last year. She was only 46 at the time of her death. One thing which doesn't get considered much regarding Chyna, is how far back did her leaving WWE set back women's wrestling? She was a trailblazer for women in wrestling, but Triple H and Stephanie put a halt to her career early.