Once you reach adulthood and finish up with school, your days usually look exactly the same: you wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, eat lunch, go back to work, and then go back home where you relax and have dinner before going to bed to do the whole routine again the next day. When you go to work, you usually have to interact with your coworkers, and anyone who has had a job can agree that most of the time, you will get along with these coworkers, and sometimes, you even develop friendships with them. But there are also coworkers you have to deal with who you just do not like. You may not like a coworker for any number of reasons, either because they are lazy, unprofessional, or simply a downright awful person, and every business has employees who do not get along, including the business of professional wrestling.
World Wrestling Entertainment has existed as a wrestling promotion for over 60 years, and has gone on to become the biggest promotion in the world which features many of the best professional wrestlers alive today. In all that time, the WWE has had hundreds of wrestlers appear in their promotion, and although it is a job steeped in tradition and respect, there are still instances of wrestlers who have worked together, but did not like each other. Seeing as professional wrestling revolves around individuals getting placed into fabricated feuds with one another, it is only natural that people who do not like each other will eventually have to work together for the sake of the business, but that also means that wrestlers who are genuine friends in real life have to eventually get into a feud and become rivals as well. Wrestling rivalries can get very physical and personal at times, and it is ironically the wrestlers who are actually friends who usually provide the best scripted rivalries, because they know that it is all a work, and they trust each other with their bodies in the ring.
This article will look at eight wrestling rivals who were actually friends, and seven rivals who were in fact enemies.
17 Triple H & Shawn Michaels (Friends)
We can all agree that the friendship between Shawn Michaels and Triple H runs deep, and that it is probably the most well known friendship in modern WWE, which is why we kick this list off with them. After Michaels decided to return to wrestling, the two went on to take part in one of the more personal and violent feuds seen on television, one which had the usual tropes of betrayal and jealousy, but which also included title changes and Triple H hitting Michaels in the back with a sledgehammer. These two have been so close for so long that it is almost unfathomable to think of them ever growing apart, and if they ever did, it would be a real shame, because it is their real-life friendship that truly showed people the difference between the television product and reality.
16 Edge & Matt Hardy (Enemies)
One of the more memorable feuds to come out of the WWE in a long time involved Matt Hardy and Edge, because that feud was especially heated and personal thanks to the real-life drama associated with Lita. Prior to the feud, Matt and Edge were actually quite close despite being parts of rival tag teams in the past, but things went sour when Matt's real-life girlfriend Lita went and had an affair with Edge. In 2005, the WWE thought it would be a good idea to turn this affair into a feud between the two wrestlers, and although it paid off for the company and Edge, Matt ended up getting fired for unprofessional actions. All three parties have since moved on with their lives, but it is hard to believe that Matt has forgiven Edge for hooking up with his girl behind his back.
15 Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens (Friends)
Over the past three years, we have been made very much aware of the fact that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were once best friends, and that Owens destroyed that friendship when he turned on Zayn after he won the NXT Championship in 2014. These two have actually been working together for years though, since their training days in Quebec, and prior to signing with WWE, they both traveled all over the world, where they feuded together over single's titles, and where they teamed up together to capture tag team gold. It was thanks to all of this time together that they developed a genuine bond. They may pretend to hate each other on TV now, but in reality these two are still very much the best of friends.
14 Randy Orton & Ken Anderson (Enemies)
It is mentioned below that Randy Orton happens to be good friends with John Cena, but as it turns out, Cena might be one of Orton's only friends in the locker room, because Randy has a history of being difficult to work with and for being short-tempered. Ken Anderson went by the name Mr. Kennedy while with WWE, and after returning from a lengthy injury, he was placed into an All-Star tag team match in which he delivered an awkward looking suplex to Orton, who was viewed as injury-prone. Anderson was fired shortly after the match thanks to alleged lobbying by Orton and Cena who both claimed that Anderson was too dangerous in the ring. This took place years ago, and Anderson still has not forgiven Orton for costing him a job, and when Orton suffered a shoulder injury at a 2010 pay-per-view, Anderson tweeted about how cruel karma can be.
13 Terry Funk & Mick Foley (Friends)
Thanks to the PG era, true hardcore wrestling is essentially dead, at least when WWE is concerned, and that is actually quite unfortunate seeing as hardcore wrestling gave us legends like Terry Funk and Mick Foley. These two have probably put their bodies in more danger than any other wrestlers in history, as evidenced by the feuds they had, including one feud in IWA during a "King of the Death Match" tournament in which they fought in an actual “barbed-wire rope, barbed-wire and C4 board, time-bomb death match.” Outside of the ring though, Funk and Foley were very close friends, and it was in fact Funk who gave Foley the idea of being tossed off the top of the cell during his legendary match with The Undertaker, an idea which came about while the two were discussing what to do to make the match unforgettable.
12 Booker T & Batista (Enemies)
When Batista briefly returned to the WWE in 2014, many fans turned on him because of the opportunities he was getting just because he had a big movie coming out, and no one was probably more happier with that fan reaction than Booker T. During his first stint with the company, Batista allegedly showed a lot of disrespect towards wrestlers who had already spent many years in the industry, which was something that just did not sit well with Booker T, who was actually feuding with Batista at the time. During a promotional shoot for the 2006 edition of SummerSlam, Booker confronted Batista and the two got into a physical fight that lasted for several minutes before getting separated. At SummerSlam, Batista beat Booker for the World Heavyweight Championship, but that was not the end of things, because shortly after the pay-per-view, both men went on to have a fist fight behind closed doors to settle things, a fight which Booker T apparently won.
11 Randy Orton & John Cena (Friends)
As it currently stands, John Cena and Randy Orton are the most successful active wrestlers in the entire WWE, and it is because of how popular they are that we have been forced into seeing them feud with each other seemingly dozens of times. In all these feuds, Cena has been the face, while Orton has played the heel, and to their credit, they have played their roles well despite fans getting tired of both wrestlers constantly being in the title picture. Basically all of their feuds have involved a major championship, and most of those feuds have had Orton do or say something that makes Cena incredibly angry, but despite feuding so many times professionally, the two are actually quite close. It makes sense that these two are friends, because they came up together in Florida Championship Wrestling, and their closeness does show backstage, as Orton's own daughter treats Cena as if he is her uncle.
10 CM Punk & Jeff Hardy (Enemies)
CM Punk is no stranger to stirring up trouble with WWE, and there is no denying the fact that he probably did not have that many friends in the locker room. If there is one person who definitely did not like him, it was Jeff Hardy. These men proved during their careers that they were great in-ring performers, and in 2009, they were placed into a feud which by SmackDown standards, turned out to be amazing. During this feud though, Punk made numerous verbal assaults at Hardy's expense, taking aim at Jeff's real-life struggle with substance abuse, which just did not sit well with him. In that same feud, Punk said that he lived a straight-edge lifestyle which included no alcohol or drugs, but based on an internet video featuring both men at a diner, Jeff accused Punk of needing pills to sleep. The video may or may not have been a work, but one thing is certain, and that would be that Jeff did not appreciate Punk's choice of words, which is why it is no coincidence that that feud was the last time Jeff appeared in a WWE ring. Well, at least until he and his brother Matt made a surprise appearance at WrestleMania 33 to win the RAW Tag Team titles.
9 Ric Flair & Roddy Piper (Friends)
Anyone watching professional wrestling thirty years ago will agree that Ric Flair and the late Roddy Piper were the best of their generation in terms of their superb mic work and their in-ring performances. These two Hall of Famers knew each other prior to arriving in the WWE, where they faced off against each other numerous times for the championships of other, lesser promotions, and when they did feud in both WWE and WCW, their early history together was brought into play. Away from wrestling, the two were very chummy, and held a lot of respect for the other, and it is mainly because of their friendship that Piper agreed to be Flair's partner in a match during a Cyber Sunday event which took place at a time when Piper was also undergoing cancer treatment.
8 Shawn Michaels & Bret Hart (Enemies)
There are very few truly defining moments in wrestling, mainly because we see so many matches every single year, but in 1997, fans witnessed something that has gone down in history as the Montreal Screwjob. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart are two of the greatest wrestlers in history, which is why they are now both in the Hall of Fame, and in 1997, they met at Survivor Series in Montreal for the WWE Championship, where Vince McMahon and other officials decided to have Hart lose the title without his knowledge. That match turned out to be the last match Hart had with the company, as he left for WCW right after, and for over a decade, there was real hatred between the Hitman, Vince, and Shawn Michaels who knew exactly what was going to happen and did not tell Bret about it. Unlike other examples on this list, Hart and Michaels were actually able to bury the hatchet with a heartfelt handshake and hug in front of a live Raw audience in 2010.
7 Trish Stratus & Lita (Friends)
For more than a decade, the WWE had a terrible women's division which was mostly filled with attractive former models who knew very little about wrestling, but during that dark time, WWE was also fortunate to have Trish Stratus and Lita, who at the time were the best female wrestlers in any promotion. Lita and Trish were hot and knew how to wrestle, which is why they became so popular, and also why they are now both in the Hall of Fame. Because they were so popular, it only made sense that they had to feud with each other. They actually feuded quite a bit, and over that time, they exchanged championship wins several times, and although those feuds at times got nasty, they did nothing to ruin their real-life friendship. These two are so close in fact, that Lita is actually the godmother of Trish's son.
6 Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage (Enemies)
In 1989, the WWE provided fans with one of the most-well built matches in WrestleMania history when they pitted Macho Man Randy Savage against Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship. Prior to the match, Savage and Hogan actually made up a team known as The Mega Powers, which also included Savage's wife, Miss Elizabeth, who served as their manager, and who was a mutual party during their title match. Savage and Miss Elizabeth were actually married in real life, and it was around the time of this feud that their marriage began to fall apart. Later on, Savage made it clear that he blamed Hogan and his wife at the time for the problems in his own marriage. After the divorce was finalized, Savage continued to blame Hogan, and held a great deal of animosity towards him despite deciding to continue working with him while in WCW.
5 Rey Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero (Friends)
The WWE has always paid tribute to the Lucha Libre style of wrestling, and it is because of this, that fans were able to see the likes of Rey Mysterio and the late, great Eddie Guerrero. These two became best friends when they were kids in the Mexican wrestling scene, and managed to maintain that friendship up until Eddie's untimely death in 2005, a death which actually occurred shortly after they were in a very intense and personal feud. The feud in question started with Guerrero getting upset at the fact that he could not beat Mysterio in singles matches, and things escalated from there, to the point that they had a match to determine who would have custody of Rey's real-life son. Rey had the utmost trust in Eddie, which is why he let their feud get so personal, and following the sad day of Eddie's death, Rey dedicated an entire year's worth of matches to his friend.
4 Ric Flair & Mick Foley (Enemies)
No sane person can deny the fact that Ric Flair and Mick Foley are icons within the world of wrestling, and as it turns out, these two have never really been considered friends despite spending so much time with both WWE and WCW. When Foley released his best-selling autobiography Have a Nice Day, he mentioned that Flair was terrible at booking matches while he was a part of WCW's booking committee, and that he was especially bad at booking Foley. In retaliation, when Flair released his autobiography, he said, “I do not care how many thumbtacks Mick Foley has fallen on, how many ladders he’s fallen off, how many continents he’s supposedly bled on, he will always be known as a glorified stuntman.” When 2006 came around, these two were put into a feud which dealt with their real-life animosity, and which turned out to be pretty good. But in a business that has a lot of prideful individuals, it is hard to believe that they both truly buried the hatchet.
1 The Rock & Stone Cold Steve Austin (Friends)
The Attitude Era is considered by many to be the best era in WWE history, and looking back, it is very hard to argue that claim, especially when you consider that it was that era which gave fans some of the most popular wrestlers of all time. Two of the biggest names to come out of that era were Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, two men who had such a following that the company had no choice but to have them feud often, feuds which ultimately led to them headlining three different WrestleManias. Onscreen, Rock and Austin appeared to have real animosity towards each other, but in truth they were friends who greatly respected each other, which goes to show you how good they were at their job. When Stone Cold agreed to come back for a final run in WWE, his one condition was that he wanted that run to end at WrestleMania against The Rock, and following that match, the two shared a special moment backstage. Seeing as Rock knew it was Stone Cold's last match, he left the ring in order to give him his final moment in the spotlight.
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