The wrestling industry will create strong friendships between performers you would never expect. Considering the unique nature of wrestling and the grueling schedule, everyone develops their own unique friendships. The current WWE roster shows more friendships than prior eras since the talent is more respectful. Prior eras would see performers trying to stab each other in the back to get ahead. The competition is still strong today, but most wrestlers seem to prefer showing respect for their peers. Sasha Banks and Bayley, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, and Finn Balor and Karl Anderson are some of the well documented friendships going down behind the scenes. However, there are many surprising ones that fly under the radar.
We will look at the friendships between current and some former WWE personalities that you wouldn’t have expected. These wrestlers have developed close relationships that seem to be in it for the long haul. It proves you can’t make assumptions, especially when it comes to the world of wrestling and which personalities will be able to get along. Find out if your favorite has an unlikely ally backstage. These are fifteen current behind the scenes friendships involving WWE Superstars that you likely never knew about.
15. Paige and Zahra Schreiber
Two controversial women’s wrestlers met in WWE developmental and have remained friends through the years. Paige is still on the WWE roster after having her struggles and may be unable to ever compete in the ring due to a severe neck injury. Her close friend Zahra Schreiber is not with the WWE after working in developmental for a short time.
Most fans remember Zahra as the love interest of Seth Rollins in real life. Rollins’ ex-fiancé uploaded scandalous pictures of both Rollins and Schreiber from Rollins’ phone when finding out about the affair. WWE eventually hired Zahra when controversial imagery was found in her old Instagram pictures. Paige remained friends with Zahra through the years. You can spot Schreiber as part of Paige’s new YouTube channel series called the Glampire Diaries.
14. Paul Heyman and Goldberg
One friendship to completely fly under the radar is the bond between Paul Heyman and Bill Goldberg. Heyman apparently was one of the few people Goldberg trusted behind the scenes during Goldberg’s first WWE run in 2003-2004. It was a horrible run for Goldberg with mostly everyone having a hostile relationship with him due to his loner personality.
Heyman seemed to breakthrough to Goldberg enough to earn his respect. Their friendship played a huge role in Goldberg coming back to work with Brock Lesnar in 2016-2017 for one final year. Heyman is rumored to be the man that will induct Goldberg into the upcoming 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class. Goldberg will be the headliner and Heyman would be sure to have a touching speech.
13. Lana and Naomi
Lana has a negative reputation of having drama with most of the women backstage in WWE. Paige, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Summer have been just a handful of the women to get annoyed by the actions of Lana. Between making snide comments on social media and seemingly throwing shade at others, Lana is viewed as a rare ‘Diva’ in the era of women’s wrestlers.
One person to see the good in Lana has been former SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi. The friendship between Naomi and Lana gives Lana at least one ally in the women’s locker room. Naomi is strongly respected for being a hard worker and great person behind the scenes. If she likes Lana, maybe there’s some positive things about her after all.
12. Charlotte Flair and AJ Styles
A friendship to form over the past year has seen Charlotte Flair and AJ Styles become close pals. Styles was already a close friend of Charlotte’s dad Ric Flair going back to their days in Impact Wrestling. Charlotte and AJ have the common bond of being managed by Ric at different points in their careers. Their friendship started to form when Charlotte was moved to SmackDown in the Superstar shakeup.
Flair and Styles started poking fun at each other in social media posts, especially during long oversea tours on the SmackDown brand. Xavier Woods’ UpUpDownDown gaming channel has seen Charlotte and AJ team together in multiple competitions. Both wrestlers are currently the top champions in their respective divisions as we head into WrestleMania. It is a bit surprising they weren’t made partners in the Mixed Match Challenge, but Styles was exempt from this process.
11. Apollo Crews and Ricochet
Ricochet recently signed with WWE as one of the biggest free acquisitions of the early year. The WWE is new grounds for Ricochet after wrestling for countless promotions all over the world. It shouldn’t be a tough transition since many of his friends are already in NXT and on the main roster. Ricochet’s best friend is Raw star Apollo Crews.
In a surprising twist, Crews actually lived with Ricochet and Tessa Blanchard when first moving to Florida for his NXT deal. Ricochet will remain in Orlando for his own stint in NXT coming up. Crews and Ricochet became friends as two of the few Americans in Japan’s Dragon Gate promotion. They had some classic matches together before joining WWE. Both men will likely hope to recreate the magic on the main roster one day.
10. Steve Austin and Bayley
The wrestling characters of Steve Austin in the 90s and Bayley today are opposites, but they are friends in real life. Bayley initially linked up with Austin when her best friend Sasha Banks appeared on Austin’s podcast. This later extended to Bayley having her own interview with Austin along with a trio team with Banks joining them for a later show.
Austin revealed in a recent podcast that he is planning to hang out with Bayley without the audio running. Bayley and Austin hit it off before their prior podcast discussing wrestling. Maybe one day this will lead to Austin becoming a hugger on WWE television or Bayley cracking open a cold one. Regardless, this friendship shows any two people could become friends in the wrestling business no matter the generation or wrestling style.
9. Dolph Ziggler and Natalya
A long-time friendship in WWE has seen Dolph Ziggler and Natalya become close pals. Both Ziggler and Natalya have been on the WWE roster for almost a decade. They have gone from newcomers trying to get any television time to veterans today. Total Divas and various interviews have shown the two hanging out backstage as good friends with a solid rapport.
Natalya and Ziggler have been selected to work together representing WWE at various appearances and charitable events over the years. That is one surefire way to become friends with someone out of sheer time together. Ziggler has become a polarizing figure regarding how wrestlers refer to him in interviews, but Natalya is one of the wrestlers to view him as a friend outside of the ring.
8. Johnny Gargano and The Revival
The harsh words during the on-screen feud between DIY and The Revival did not show their genuine feelings about each other. Gargano recently appeared on the Edge and Christian Podcast to discuss his best moments in NXT. The series of matches between Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa versus Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson were referenced.
Gargano stated he felt pride and joy when The Revival got the magical call-up to the main roster. The exact comment of Gargano was that he hoped they became millionaires since they deserved it. A past tweet revealed that DIY and Revival created their own version of the “too sweet” called “too sour.” You know a wrestling friendship is real when they make up silly handshakes. Gargano and Revival grew that close during their incredible run of matches against each other.
7. Mark Henry and Peter Rosenberg
A bizarre story to surface in recent weeks showcased the close friendship between Mark Henry and Peter Rosenberg. There have been rumors circulating online that Rosenberg paid to get a gig on the pre-show panel before WWE PPVs, but Rosenberg received the job through a friendship with Henry. Jerry Lawler revealed that he almost got into a fight with Henry due to the friendship with Rosenberg.
Henry confronted Lawler on behalf of Rosenberg being offended at Lawler disrespecting him on the pre-show panels. Rosenberg felt Lawler had it out for him leading to Henry telling Lawler they may have to fight if it was true. Lawler responded by saying he was just trying to create conflict for the pre-show and Henry agreed Pete may have been overly sensitive. Henry wanted to have the back of his close friend if things were more hostile. Rosenberg and Henry are apparently close enough that Henry attended Rosenberg’s wedding.
6. Braun Strowman and Dana Brooke
Braun Strowman and Dana Brooke have one of the most random friendships you’ll ever find in wrestling. Strowman’s character is the most unstoppable monster in wrestling. Brooke is essentially a comedic act in the women’s division with her new role of the statistician for Titus Worldwide. The nickname of Dana is actually “country strong” which helps link her to Braun.
Both Strowman and Brooke had similar backgrounds competing in competitions at the Arnold Classic before Triple H signed them to NXT contracts. The fact that they spent time together at the Performance Center likely built their friendship that continued on the main roster. Brooke has called Strowman has best friend in WWE. Unfortunately for Dana, she will likely never receive a similar push to Braun on the big stage.
5. Kevin Owens and John Cena
Anyone to predict this friendship coming to fruition as recently as five years ago deserves a prize. Kevin Owens and John Cena represented different worlds of wrestling from their -ring style to presentation to fan bases. However, Cena and Owens developed a friendship during Owens’ first feud on the main roster. A win over Cena in his first PPV match helped cement Owens as a credible WWE star.
Owens has revealed that Cena met with Owens’ son for a cool moment. The two have watched many matches together at the monitor in the back as confirmed by Owens in various interviews. WWE 24 showed them together at the monitor watching the return of the Hardy Boyz at WrestleMania 33. Friendships are formed watching wrestling for many of us and the same seems to be true for wrestlers.
4. Big E and Kaitlyn
Big E is one of the friendliest wrestlers in the business. Despite being in the WWE bubble for his entire wrestling career, Big E has multiple friends outside of the company. Various videos have shown Big E wearing the t-shirts of Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks backstage after they formed friendships. However, the bond we will look at is one that started in WWE.
Former WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn worked with Big E during the feud with AJ Lee. Big E fooled Kaitlyn into thinking he was her secret admirer to help embarrass her on behalf of Lee. After working together, all three developed close friendships. Big E and Kaitlyn apparently still hang out as seen from various social media posts. Kaitlyn has been backstage at WWE shows over the past year as the guest of Big E.
3. Sasha Banks and Mika Rotunda
Mika Rotunda is not a wrestler, but she is involved in the wrestling world due to her family. As the daughter of former wrestler I.R.S., Mika is mostly known for being the sister of current WWE stars Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas. Sasha Banks and Mika formed a close friendship at some point when getting to know each other.
Banks was in developmental with both Dallas and Wyatt allowing her to meet Mika along the way. You know they are close friends since Mika was spotted in the photo from Sasha’s wedding to leak online. A photo of Banks, her husband Mikaze and Mika emerged on social media getting word out there that Sasha was now married. The Legit Boss prefers Mika, so maybe she’s the coolest of her siblings despite having less fame.
2. Carmella and James Ellsworth
The recently released James Ellsworth spent most of 2017 as the sidekick and manager of Carmella. Ellsworth was coming off his involvement of a main event storyline between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. Following a heel turn, WWE didn’t know what to do with him until Carmella pitched the idea of having him as her lackey and it worked out well.
Ellsworth played a huge role in Carmella winning the Money in the Bank briefcase and becoming a top heel along the way. A recent podcast saw Ellsworth discuss his life after getting released from WWE. Ellsworth revealed that Carmella was the first person to call him and console him on the phone until he was okay. Carmella and Ellsworth apparently talk every day and are now friends for life. No one could have predicted the unlikely act would form such a close friendship.
1. Shinsuke Nakamura and Greg Hamilton
Shinsuke Nakamura is arguably the coolest wrestler in the world. It would only make sense his best friend in WWE is the ring announcer. Nakamura’s charisma is off the charts, and he has the “it factor” based on his walk to the ring alone. Despite being so cool, Nakamura doesn’t seem to have many close friends in the WWE locker room.
Since coming to WWE, Nakamura’s social media has seen him develop friendships with the likes of Greg Hamilton, Sin Cara and James Ellsworth. Hamilton seems to be the closest friend of Nakamura as they go out to eat after shows. Nakamura even appeared on the first vlog of Hamilton showcasing life on the road. The unlikely friendship between Nakamura and Hamilton is one that no one would have been able to guess.
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