The recent news surrounding the relationship between Alberto Del Rio and Paige has reached scary levels. Audio has leaked of a fan recording an argument between the two that revealed the couple getting into a verbal fight. The assumption made from it and other stories about the relationship seem that Del Rio is abusive in both physical and verbal manners. Paige’s brother even spoke up on social media talking about how the family is having a hard time with this situation. Many wrestling personalities and fans are speaking up in the hopes of Paige getting away from him.
There have been many toxic relationships in the wrestling industry through the years. Sadly, many of them have gotten ugly and some reaching the level of terrifying things happening to end it. We'll take a look at the rocky road of relationships in wrestling reaching lows. Not all are as serious as the domestic abuse allegations going between Del Rio and Paige. The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is a great service for anyone going through similar issues.
This list will however range through various ugly endings to relationships in the wrestling business. These are fifteen wrestling relationships that took a turn for the worst. We can only hope it doesn’t end as badly as this for Paige and Del Rio.
15 Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth
Wrestling fans all have a fondness for the legacy of Randy Savage. The “Macho Man” delivered incredible wrestling work for the entirety of his career in both WWE and WCW. Savage however may not have been the best husband to Miss Elizabeth. The two were a great unit on-screen together bringing their real relationship to the ring.
WWE went with the storyline of Savage being the jealous lover treating her poorly when he believed she was giving too much attention to Hulk Hogan. Savage allegedly would keep Elizabeth under wraps and often demanded she stayed in their home. The jealousy issues eventually doomed their relationship. According to Hogan, Savage treated her poorly and didn’t want her even spending time with Hogan’s wife. The two split up after being together for eight years.
14 Triple H and Chyna
The relationship between Triple H and Chyna helped both of their careers. Triple H was struggling to get over as a heel in the mid-card until Chyna joined him as an unofficial bodyguard. The unique nature of Chyna gave WWE a character like they’ve never had before. Triple H and Chyna’s chemistry stemmed from their real-life relationship together for quite a few years.
It ultimately ended when WWE placed Triple H in a romantic storyline with Stephanie McMahon. They developed feelings for each other that led to an affair starting. Chyna would get unofficially fired when WWE refused to negotiate a new deal due to the drama. The life of Chyna went downhill with her making negative comments about Triple H for many years until her death. At the funeral of Roddy Piper, Triple H and Chyna allegedly had a run-in of hostility as their final interaction.
13 Goldust and Terri Runnels
Another 90s relationship to reach ugly levels featured Dustin Rhodes and Terri Runnels. As Goldust, Rhodes pitched the idea of bringing in his real-life partner Terri to play the Marlena character. Similar to Triple H and Chyna, they did great work together early on proving to be a successful act. That was until their personal issues impacted their work lives.
According to Terri, Dustin would start to develop jealousy issues and verbally take out his anger on her. They eventually got a divorce with Rhodes leaving the company for WCW. A return to WWE a few years later saw them having to continue working in the same promotion. Goldust got fired for harassing Terri on a flight known as the “plane ride from hell.” The verbal bullying made WWE have to get rid of him. Luckily, things worked out and both are on better terms today with the mutual love of their daughter.
12 Drew McIntyre and Taryn Terrell
The relationship between Drew McIntyre and Taryn Terrell is often forgotten when thinking of the recent wrestling couples. As an attractive pair, McIntyre and Terrell were married during their time working together in WWE in 2011. Things got very ugly between the two when Taryn saw a text message on Drew’s phone implying he was with another woman cheating on her.
This wasn’t even the worse as Terrell was arrested for attacking McIntyre in a Los Angeles hotel. They eventually split up realizing the problems would be too much to overcome. Both ended up having strong careers after respectively leaving WWE for different reasons. Taryn and Drew worked together in TNA for a short time period. Terrell claims there was no problems co-existing in the same locker room after the ugly end to their relationship.
11 Sunny and Damien Darling
Tammy “Sunny” Sytch always finds her way into negative stories. The train wreck nature of Sunny sees her range from making racist comments on social media to assaulting love interests in real-life. All of this likely stems from her addiction issues with drugs and alcohol. One of Sunny’s many horrible relationships featured her dating independent wrestler Damien Darling.
The significantly younger Darling started using Sytch’s name value and 90s popularity to get more bookings. According to Sunny, she found out he was cheating on her leading to the ugly nature of a relationship going wrong. Sytch was arrested for attacking Darling and she claimed to have choked him out. The jail time spent by Sunny looked rather shameful to those from the outside, but she remains proud of her decision.
10 Davey Boy Smith and Diana Hart Smith
The 16 year marriage between Davey Boy Smith and Diana Hart Smith saw them work together on WWE television. Diana became an on-air talent as part of the Hart family and eventually would come to the ring with Davey Boy as his unofficial manager for a short time period. There have been many reports of rifts in the Hart family and this marriage was just another chapter in that history.
A biography from Diana that remains highly controversial today featured her accusing Davey Boy of being both physically and sexually abusive towards her that led to a divorce. The book painted British Bulldog as a monster at times. Diana has removed the book from stores following the controversy started from it, but it was too late.
9 John Cena and Mickie James
The relationship between Mickie James and John Cena both started and ended in ugly fashion. James allegedly cheated on fellow wrestler Ken Doane to get involved with the biggest star in the industry. As a result, the career of Doane went downhill with WWE releasing someone they once viewed as a future star. Things would end just as badly for Mickie when Cena broke up with her.
Rumors circulated that the breakup was the reason WWE started the “Piggie James” storyline implying she was overweight. The embarrassing and cruel angle may have been a result of Cena wanting to make her miserable. Regardless, the relationship getting to a bad point hurt her career badly. WWE released Mickie shortly after this angle. Thankfully, James is back in WWE with a chance to end her career on a high note.
8 Mia Yim and Jay Rios
Jay Rios may not be a household name, but he belongs on the negative side of this list. Mia Yim aka Jade from her TNA career revealed she was a victim of domestic abuse in an interview that brought attention to the terrifying situation. The violence and mental struggle of the abuse is chronicled in the article, but she did not name the wrestler that was on the other end of this.
Rios however made a post on social media that basically revealed it was him as he tried to get sympathy for being painted so negatively. Fans did not give him a break, especially considering he refused to take the responsibility for his horrible actions. Rios is not the biggest star, but he deserves to be considered one of the worst people in the wrestling industry.
7 Kurt Angle and Karen Jarrett
The shocking decision of Kurt Angle to join TNA in 2006 months after leaving WWE led to a massive career change. Angle was battling drug addiction at the time but still performed at a high level inside the wrestling ring. The power of Angle as the biggest star in the promotion saw him have extra pull. One of the regrettable decisions he made was asking TNA to hire his former wife Karen Angle as a talent.
Karen actually did a solid job showing personality as a wrestling character. The problem took place when she cheated on Kurt with Jeff Jarrett. At the time, Jarrett was one of the people running the company. This scandal led to him being removed from the position. Angle and Jarrett tried to make a wrestling angle out of it but the love triangle just hurt TNA, including all three parties.
6 New Jack and Terri Runnels
A surprising relationship to take place many years after both parties were relevant featured New Jack dating Terri Runnels. The ECW wrestler and Attitude Era WWE personality became an item after working together on the independent circuit. New Jack and Terri started appearing together on shows with Runnels working as his manager. At one point, she even took a chair shot that resulted in her blading for the match on a small show.
The odd pairing reached a horrible place when deciding the relationship was no longer viable. New Jack reacted to the breakup by trashing Terri online making offensive allegations. At one point, he was accused of selling nude pictures of Terri to fans until her lawyers stepped in. It didn’t get as bad as some of these other situations, but this was still pretty bad all things considered.
5 Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth
Miss Elizabeth entered another relationship in the late 90s during her time in WCW. The days of her romance with Savage were over, and she began dating Lex Luger. WCW tried making them a pair on television together during the company’s final two years of existence. They always had an odd chemistry that paled in comparison to her work with Savage.
Luger led Elizabeth down a dark path when it came to the world of drugs in wrestling. Both apparently abused drugs for years until one reached a heartbreaking end. Elizabeth passed away due to acute toxicity thanks to a combination of vodka and pain killers. Aside from distributing drugs to her, Luger was accused of domestic abuse just weeks before her death. Elizabeth was sporting bruises and bumps on her face following the incident showing just badly things got leading up to her death.
4 X-Pac and Chyna
Chyna started dating fellow D-Generation X member X-Pac after her relationship with Triple H ended. The fact that X-Pac was one of Triple H’s best friends made it all the more weird to see the two became a couple outside of WWE. X-Pac and Chyna would get involved in many terrible situations together and apart when dating.
The s** tape leak of their intimate moments together was viewed as a very embarrassing moment for both. Chyna and X-Pac each were viewed as drug abusers with the personal demons haunting them. Many fights would take place between the two given all of the individual issues they had. Following the end of their relationship, Chyna and X-Pac insulted each other frequently with many allegations between flung around until Chyna’s passing. To his credit, X-Pac spoke of the good times and shared a great speech at her memorial.
3 Matt Hardy and Lita
The relationship between Matt Hardy and Lita showed why many veteran minds advise wrestlers not to date within the business. Hardy and Lita appeared to have a great relationship that started from them being paired together on television as Team Xtreme along with Jeff. That all ended when Matt found out Lita was cheating on him with Edge on the road while he was home recovering from an injury.
Hardy broke the news on the internet with scathing blogs regarding the two. WWE fired him to avoid more drama but it just resulted in the fans supporting Matt more than ever. The popularity of Hardy forced WWE’s hand into rehiring him to make the real-life situation a storyline. All three members of the angle were professional despite the hostility involved. There’s still no love lost as Matt’s wife Reby Sky recently referred to Lita as a “ho” on social media.
2 Steve Austin and Debra
Steve Austin was the biggest star of the Attitude Era becoming untouchable in WWE. A relationship started with Debra backstage that led to her randomly getting placed with him on television. The average fan was surprised to see the two dating out of nowhere on-screen, but it paralleled their personal lives as a married couple.
A fast marriage proved to be the wrong call as the couple started having arguments right away. This culminated in Austin getting arrested and charged with domestic abuse for beating his wife. Debra has visible bruises and injuries from the attack of Austin. The two would get divorced and Debra appeared on news shows in the following years to share her horror stories of life with Austin. It remains the most shameful thing associated with the life of Austin to this very day as he has never directly addressed it.
1 Chris Benoit and Nancy Benoit
One of the major reasons people in the wrestling community are terrified of the situation between Paige and Alberto Del Rio is because of what we have witnessed in the past. The worst case scenario featured the end of the lives of Chris, Nancy and Daniel Benoit. Formerly known as Woman in ECW and WCW, Nancy was married to Chris and they spent their lives together as he still wrestled for WWE.
Chris shockingly killed Nancy and their son Daniel before committing suicide. The horrific incident is still hard for many to process. Nancy’s sister appeared on Chris Jericho’s podcast and claimed Chris was physically abusing her before that incident. Sadly, before anyone could step in, it was too late and three lives were gone. The ultimate heartbreaking situation is one we're all hoping will never happen again in the community, especially with the news of Paige and Del Rio dominating the headlines.