Friendships are hard to form in the wrestling business. Everyone is competing with each other for the top spots in the industry. Many veterans claim you'll be lucky if you complete your career with a handful of friends. Some of the friendships end due to the world of politics pitting the talent against each other. The instability of wrestling could also a friendship to stop existing due to someone moving to a new promotion. A wrestler going from working with the same people every day to a completely new locker room changes life and often ends prior friendships.
There have been a few friendships to stand the test of time. We'll take a look at some of the surprising pairs to still have a tight relationship today. Some of these friends have been buddies for decades with no friction ever tearing them apart. Others have had their personal issues create drama, but they’ve found their way to friendship at the end of the day. Both sides will be examined as we discuss just how close these wrestling stars are today all these years later. These are fifteen pairs of wrestlers you’d be surprised to realize are still friends today.
15 Scott Steiner & Buff Bagwell
The fact that this friendship still exists between the two former WCW stars is shocking for many reasons. Scott Steiner hates everyone. Everyone knows the personality of Steiner sees him have a short fuse that has made many enemies over the years. Buff Bagwell is equally controversial with his prima donna attitude making him a generally hated figure in wrestling.
14 Kane & Daniel Bryan
An unlikely friendship formed in WWE actually started in a storyline forcing Daniel Bryan and Kane to become friends on screen. Kane and Bryan worked together in a successful tag team revolving around their comedic friendship. Bryan revealed in his autobiography that Kane genuinely became one of his best friends in real life as they grew close working together.
13 Trish Stratus & Lita
Trish Stratus and Lita were such great rivals and polar opposites as characters on screen, so much so that you would never believe they're still close friends. The two retired within a few months of each other back in 2006. Lita has revealed she was going through depression and was absolutely miserable following the ugly love triangle with Edge and Matt Hardy. Stratus retiring saw Lita lose her best friend and you have to believe it impacted her retirement as well to get out of the spotlight.
12 Batista & Titus O'Neil
The pairing of Batista and Titus O'Neil is not a friendship many wrestling fans are aware of. Batista grew close to O’Neil during his most recent run with the company back in 2014. Both men shared common interests and each understood the hard work that comes with being a father in the wrestling business. Batista goes out of his way to reference O’Neil in interviews as the most underrated star in WWE that the company is dropping the ball with.
11 Chris Jericho & Raven
RAVEN is hilarious!! He proves it NOW on #TalkIsJericho! We discuss his top ten #SaturdayNightLive cast members, the top ten funniest wrestlers, the Useless Trivia Triumvirate with us & #Konnan, the #WCW comedy team of #Raven, #BrianPillman & @steveaustinbsr, the #DrunkenFourHorsemen with us, #CurtHennig & #MongoMcMichael, the time he got hit on by an 85 year old, #JordacheJeans wearing lady on a motorcycle, the origin of #TheFlock and why they were nicknamed #TheGangThatCouldntShootStraight, how #EricBischoff let him write his own angles, having heat in the @wwe and the secret to not having chops hurt! All this and more on podcastone.com/Talk-Is-Jericho NOW!
The mid-card scene in WCW was a depressing time for most of the talented wrestlers. WCW often buried them and treated them poorly in comparison to the veterans in the main event picture. One positive to come out of it was the friendships formed out of shared frustration. Chris Jericho and Raven is a friendship to last the years through both men jumping around from company to company.
10 Melina & Mickie James
Mickie James and Melina once had a bitter backstage rivalry that turned into a friendship over many years. Both women were the top prospects in WWE developmental trying to fight their way to the main roster. Melina gained the reputation as being one of the biggest drama queens in WWE history and it all started with her disdain towards Mickie.
9 Bret Hart & Ric Flair
The wrestling talents of Bret Hart and Ric Flair made them two of the all-time greats of their era. Unfortunately, they didn’t like working together and viewed each other as being overrated. Flair and Hart started taking shots at each other in the media for many years before rekindling the mutual respect to form a friendship.
8 Shane McMahon & Pete Gas
The Mean Street Posse getting hired during the Attitude Era to play Shane McMahon’s entourage actually followed suit to their real life friendship. Pete Gas and Rodney were friends of Shane back in Connecticut and WWE thought they were athletic enough to get signed for the roles along with independent wrestler Joey Abs. Gas was one of the best friends of Shane in real and that friendship still exists today.
7 Mick Foley & Stephanie McMahon
Another McMahon with a friendship that follows on-screen stories is Stephanie McMahon. The storyline revolving around Stephanie and Mick Foley’s friendship actually had real elements to it. Foley and Stephanie are very close friends outside of the ring. Strangely enough, Foley has revealed to having a terrible relationship with Vince, but has never had ugly times with Stephanie.
6 Torrie Wilson & Stacy Keibler
Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler made the jump from WCW to WWE playing best friends. They were often rivals or tag team partners through the years and became very close due to it. Neither were impressive wrestlers like Trish Stratus and Lita, but they succeeded in gimmick matches together. Torrie and Stacy remained close following the end of their wrestling careers.
5 AJ Lee & Big E
#CrazyIsMySuperpower Tour Week 3. You just never know what's gonna happen at these book signings. Last night as I signed my brain baby birthed from my brain womb, I was delighted by the sight of my ACTUAL BABY BOY birthed from my wrestling womb! I was sure he was just going to break my sternum again while demanding the months in child support I owe, but he actually just came to surprise and support me! Like the goddamn marshmallow he is. Thanks @wwebige, I'm the proudest Momma. - AJ
The odd pairing of AJ Lee and Big E on WWE television seemed like two people that would have nothing in common given their characters. However, they ended up becoming very close friends working together. AJ speaks very highly of Big E in her recently released autobiography calling him a great person and one of her best friends. The two share a similar sense of humor that contributed to becoming pals.
4 CM Punk & Kofi Kingston
Another interesting pair that sort of matches the AJ Lee and Big E friendship is AJ’s husband CM Punk and Big E’s New Day partner Kofi Kingston. Punk and Kingston grew close coming to the main roster around the same time. They were the top two young stars making names for themselves on the roster and they traveled together for many years. Punk and Kingston bonded over their shared love of video games and a genuine passion to improve in wrestling.
3 Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels
The bitterest rivalry in WWE history ended up forming a friendship after over a decade of resentment. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart absolutely despised each other in the 90s when battling for the top spot in WWE. The two often exchanged very personal insults in the ring and tried to sabotage each other behind the scenes. Hart held a grudge for many years following the Montreal Screwjob ending his WWE career in the worst of ways thanks to Michaels.
2 Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair
Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair are the two biggest wrestling legends of their era. Everyone remembers the iconic moments of Hogan and the legendary matches of Flair from the 80s. The two rarely worked together until Hogan joined WCW during the Monday Night Wars era. Flair and Hogan often butted heads due to the political landscape of the company. Both men were trying to get the top spot and had completely different philosophies in wrestling.
1 Steve Austin & Brock Lesnar
One of the surprising friendships in wrestling has to be Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar. They barely worked together considering Lesnar’s career started right around the end of Austin’s run. The huge age and generational gap also would give reason to believe they’d never hit it off. Apparently, a passion for hunting and combat sports formed a friendship between the two.
Lesnar is a very antisocial person and hates interacting with others. It appears he's very content not having many friends, but Austin is one of them. Austin has discussed texting with Brock on numerous occasions and hanging out anytime both are at the same WWE show. Going back to Lesnar’s UFC career, Austin would occasionally show up to his fights to offer support in the crowd. The friendship is still going today much to everyone’s surprise.
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