The backstage element of professional wrestling can lead to co-workers developing a strong dislike for each other. Wrestlers are expected to work together if on the same roster, but that does not mean they must get along. Not every pair of wrestlers to have classic matches were good friends behind the scenes that enjoyed working together. The talent of wrestlers could lead to them having a successful match despite potential conflict going on behind the scenes.
We will look at some of the memorable instances of two wrestlers not on the same page in life finding a way to make art together in the ring. These pairs all had their fair share of issues ranging from insults on social media to backstage drama to getting into a fight. Find out just how things unfolded with ten instances of wrestlers having great matches together despite hating each other in real life.
10 Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart
The obvious story between two legendary wrestlers that had their personal issues featured Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart struggling to work together in the '90s. Michaels developed a negative reputation for being hard to deal with during this chapter of his career.
Hart was his main competition for the top spot and both men had problems working with the other. Neither wrestler wanted to put over the other which culminated in the Montreal Screwjob. Despite their issues, Michaels and Hart had a classic match at WrestleMania 12. The infamous Screwjob match was even going well at Survivor Series 1997 until the finish.
9 Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston
WWE recently used the past drama between Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston to heat up a new feud for the WWE Championship. Kingston is having a fun reign as the WWE Champion, but the road to the top would take many years longer than expected.
The feud with Orton in 2009 helped Kingston show the signs of becoming a top star. Orton, however, would use his backstage power to squash Kingston’s beef after a match that featured Randy calling Kofi “stupid” during a botched spot. They had great matches before this occasion that erased Kingston’s momentum.
8 Ryback and CM Punk
CM Punk was not fond of working with Ryback after the two had a couple of feuds during their mutual time in WWE. The comments of Punk in his infamous Art of Wrestling podcast appearance featured him calling out Ryback for being reckless in the ring along with allegations of steroid use.
Ryback shut down all of Punk’s claims and took some small shots at Punk as well. Recent comments have seen Ryback willing to make peace with Punk one day. They had an impressive TLC Match during Punk’s WWE Championship reign that proved they could deliver great work without getting along.
7 Batista and Booker T
The feud between Batista and Booker T started before they even entered their television rivalry. Batista was developing a negative reputation for his ego after winning the World Championship. This would be the inspiration for the fight between him and Booker T at the set for a Summerslam commercial.
Booker and Batista engaged in a fight over Batista’s attitude rubbing Booker and other veterans the wrong way. All accounts of the story claimed that Booker easily won the fight despite the disadvantage. The two would work together for months with good matches after this incident started things off rocky.
6 Edge and Matt Hardy
One of the strongest instances of disdain between wrestlers featured the love triangle between Edge, Matt Hardy, and Lita becoming must-see television. WWE initially fired Hardy after the messy drama reached the public after he revealed Lita cheated on him with fellow married wrestler Edge.
The fans started chanting for Matt during the Lita and Edge segments each week which forced WWE to rehire him. Matt and Edge engaged in a personal rivalry trying to make money off their real-life hatred. The matches were intense but provided great entertainment for the viewer with a standout cage match standing out most at Unforgiven 2006.
5 Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage
The personal relationship between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage consisted of many ups and downs throughout their time working together. They went back and forth between being best friends and hated rivals at different points in WWE and WCW.
WWE’s WrestleMania 5 storyline essentially mirrored real life, with Savage growing paranoid of Hogan’s motives for Miss Elizabeth. The two often clashed ahead of their major match, but they still managed to work together to have a beloved main event. Hogan and Savage would make peace and have issues again many more times after this one.
4 Shawn Michaels and Davey Boy Smith
Bret Hart was not the only member of the Hart family to have personal issues with Shawn Michaels. Davey Boy Smith was a mid-carder with a few main event chances throughout the 90s. Most of the matches for Smith in the main event picture were against Bret or Shawn.
Smith and Michaels often clashed when it came to the match ideas. One memorable instance featured Michaels using his political power to get the win over Smith for the European Championship in the United Kingdom. Despite the hatred growing for each other, they had great matches every time out.
3 Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss
The personal rivalry behind Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss took place with petty comments on social media and in interviews. Banks especially loved to throw shade at Bliss, basically questioning the opportunities she gets without having to work as hard as the rest of the roster.
Bliss cited jealousy as one of the reasons Banks constantly went after her. The two wrestlers never got along, but they did have a few impressive matches together. Their matches during the summer of 2017 delivered great results. Banks and Bliss even worked together in the infamous match at Abu Dhabi with the “this is hope” chants.
2 Jeff Hardy and CM Punk
WWE used the personal lives of CM Punk and Jeff Hardy to put them together in a compelling feud. Punk was in the early stages of his great straight edge heel character during his World Championship run. Hardy’s personal demons were referenced for Punk to chastise him for not having a straight edge lifestyle.
Both wrestlers worked together for great matches with a standout TLC Match at Summerslam 2009. Hardy left WWE shortly after the feud ended and made his feelings known. A video of Matt and Jeff in a diner featured Jeff calling Punk a “nerd” among other insults for their personal issues.
1 Triple H and Chris Jericho
The early years of Chris Jericho in WWE would see Triple H become a rival backstage. Triple H often made fun of Jericho and the two would develop a stronger dislike during Jericho’s feud with Triple H’s then-girlfriend Chyna.
Despite their issues backstage, Jericho and Triple H became strong rivals on television due to Jericho’s insults towards Stephanie McMahon. They created great matches together from the fake out title change on Raw to a vicious Last Man Standing match to an all-time great Hell in a Cell match. Triple H and Jericho did make peace later in their careers.