Some people believe that friendship doesn’t matter in the wrestling business but they couldn’t be more wrong. The theory that only one person can be the top star in a company is true. However, friendship benefits in many other ways when it comes to getting pushed, receiving opportunities or just getting hired. Many talents to get hired in the wrestling business were signed thanks to having friends in the right places. There have been cases of top names using their power to get buddies hired. Other instances have seen ordinary wrestlers just pass along some information regarding a talented free agent.
We'll take a look at different examples of this happening through the years in various wrestling companies. Everyone wants to work for a relevant promotion on national television such as WWE today. WCW and ECW had a similar track record when it came to wrestlers trying hard to get a job there during their peaks. This has existed in wrestling for the entire existence as friends will network and try to get work through others. Let’s take a look at them all with fifteen stories of wrestlers being responsible for other wrestlers getting signed to a deal with WWE and other promotions.
15 Shawn Michaels: Kevin Nash
The combination of Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash for WWE in the 90s led to success for both men. Michaels looked like a far bigger star having the big man as his bodyguard. Nash entered in a major way working with a credible star right away. Michaels actually was responsible for it happening when watching Nash wasting away in WCW under comedic characters.
14 Enzo Amore: Liv Morgan
Enzo Amore and Liv Morgan is a more recent instance of a wrestler getting someone else an opportunity with WWE. The two worked together at a Hooters location in New Jersey before WWE ever knew of them. Enzo received his chance first after his connection with Triple H’s trainer Joe DeFranco. This would get Enzo hired leading to him becoming a popular NXT star.
13 Evan Bourne: Seth Rollins
A little known fact about Seth Rollins signing with WWE is that he almost didn’t do it. Rollins was having great success in Ring of Honor as the face of the growing promotion and made a living there. TNA offered a great deal as well offering to give him a push on national television back at a time when there was more optimism regarding the promotion.
12 Mark Henry: Braun Strowman
The success of Braun Strowman this year has made him one of the top Raw stars. Strowman looked like another generic big man before showing off his athletic ability and getting booked to decimate Roman Reigns. The level of experience for Braun in wrestling is less than the vast majority of wrestlers on the main roster.
11 Mark Henry (via Wale): Apollo Crews
Another signing thanks to Mark Henry saw WWE reach out to Apollo Crews in 2015. Hip hop star Wale actually found his way in the middle of this. Wale is a mutual friend of both Crews and Henry for many years now. The work of Crews on the independent circuit as Uhaa Nation made Wale reach out to Henry telling him to keep an eye on him for WWE.
10 Triple H: X-Pac
The Monday Night Wars featured most of the wrestlers jumping back and forth between WWE and WCW trying to find the best deal. Sean “X-Pac” Waltman did this during the hot period for WCW when the New World Order took over the wrestling industry. Waltman hoped to find similar success to his best friends Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
9 Ted DiBiase: Virgil
Another situation that featured two old friends helping each other out during the Monday Night Wars saw Ted DiBiase get Virgil hired by WCW. Both men worked together for quite some in WWE when Virgil was the manager, bodyguard and manservant of DiBiase. They worked well together until a split that led to a failed Virgil singles push.
8 Kevin Owens: Mike and Maria Kanellis
The signing of Mike and Maria Kanellis by WWE came as a surprise. As a married couple in real life, Mike and Maria worked in wrestling together as well. The heel worked achieved a lot in Ring of Honor, New Japan and Impact Wrestling. Mike confirmed on Edge and Christian’s podcast that they were going to re-sign with Impact before a conversation with Kevin Owens.
7 Hulk Hogan: Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake
The recent falling out between long time best friends Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake has become a hilarious story in the world of wrestling. Beefcake, also known as Ed Leslie, spent the majority of his career getting paid a lot of money specifically because Hogan asked WWE and WCW to. The two wrestlers pretended to be brothers as a tag team act before Hogan signed with WWE.
6 Marc Mero: Sable
Sable became one of the first major female stars in WWE getting huge ovations and selling merchandise during the Attitude Era. There weren’t even any real plans for Sable to join the company until her then husband Marc Mero convinced her and WWE it would be a good idea. Sable was a model and aspiring actress before joining WWE.
5 Batista: Titus O'Neil
Active WWE star Titus O’Neil originally got signed back in 2009 thanks to a connection with Batista. The star power of Batista made him one of the top names in the company for the latter half of the 2010s decade. It made his word mean more to management and he used to help out a friend. O’Neil and Batista lived in the same neighborhood and became close.
4 Konnan: Rey Mysterio
The hiring of many talented wrestlers from Mexico in WCW during the Monday Night Wars added something new and unique. Rey Mysterio is regarded as the most successful luchador. Between his colorful masks and the high-flying innovative wrestling style, Mysterio made fans care about the cruiserweight division as well as giving a chance to other luchadors.
3 Kevin Nash: Torrie Wilson
Another interesting WCW signing based off a connection came when Torrie Wilson joined the company. Torrie was pursuing a career in acting and just attended a WCW show as a fan with her boyfriend at the time. They had backstage passes to mingle behind the scenes. Wilson ended up getting offered a small role walking to the ring with Scott Steiner.
2 Pat Patterson: The Rock
The Rock could be argued as the greatest signing in WWE history. Some would argue that any talented wrestler could have thrived in Hulk Hogan’s 80s role and that anyone could see how Steve Austin was. Rock signed with no wrestling experience aside from growing up in the business watching his father and grandfather do it for WWE.
1 The Undertaker: Kane
One of the closest friendships on-screen and off screen features Kane and The Undertaker. Both guys are regarded among the greatest big man in WWE history. Undertaker was already a major star with a great deal of influence when Kane was trying to get hired. They worked together on live events when Kane had the horrible gimmicks of Fake Diesel and Isaac Yankem.
Undertaker reportedly pitched Glenn Jacobs as the man to play the Kane character due to believing in his talent and having a mutual respect. The character of Kane would be tied to Undertaker forever considering it was his long lost brother. Undertaker wanted Jacobs to get this role and finally land a full-time spot in WWE. It worked to perfection as Kane has been a successful character for over two decades now.
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