One of the things that make wrestling such an interesting form of entertainment is that the line between fiction and reality is often blurred. Throughout the years, on-screen rivalries have carried over into real life. Moreover, many of the relationships that have been showcased on television are genuine, while others are only for the camera.
In truth, the couples we see on TV often have so much chemistry that it’s hard for fans to believe that they aren’t really hanging out behind the scenes. To help provide some clarity, here are 5 popular wrestling couples that were really an item and 5 that only canoodled for the camera.
For years "Macho Man" Randy Savage was escorted to the ring by his real-life wife, Elizabeth. In truth, Savage and Elizabeth are one of the most iconic couples in the history of professional wrestling. However, behind the scenes, the couple divorced in 1992.
Later in his career, Savage introduced a new valet, Gorgeous George. George appeared with Savage on-screen during his WCW run back in 1999. In truth, Savage and his blonde valet were boyfriend and girlfriend behind the scenes. However, the relationship ended shortly after her WCW debut. Following the breakup, George ended up leaving WCW and made appearances in various other promotions.
Back in 2011, AJ Lee began an on-screen romance with Daniel Bryan. The memorable angle even resulted in a kayfabe (fictional) wedding between the two stars. However, Bryan was abandoned at the altar, as Lee decided to accept a general manager position – rather than marry the leader of the “Yes Movement. “ Despite their on-screen affection, Bryan and Lee were never together behind the scenes.
It was around this time that Lee began dating another wrestler, her future husband, CM Punk. As for Daniel Bryan, he had already begun dating his future wife Brie Bella, when the storyline got underway.
In the mid-2000s Edge and Lita became an on-screen duo and were involved in a feud that truly blurred the lines between real life and WWE storyline. Backstage, wrestler Matt Hardy and Lita had been a couple for years. However, the former women’s champ ended up leaving Hardy for Edge. Rarely one to miss an opportunity, WWE decided to make the love triangle part of the show – resulting in a memorable series matches between Edge and Hardy.
The relationship between Edge and Lita was short-lived but very real. These days, Edge is married to WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix.
Recent WWE Hall of Fame inductee Torrie Wilson was involved in several memorable angles over the course of her career. One of her most noteworthy storylines began in 2006 when she had an on-screen fling with Carlito. This fictional romance ended in 2007, when Carlito decided to dump the lovely Boise, Idaho native. The couple even wrestled each other following the break up on an episode of Raw to help close out the story.
No, Carlito and Torrie Wilson never dated off-screen. However, Wilson was previously married to WCW star Billy Kidman. The blonde bombshell also made headlines for dating professional baseball star Alex Rodriguez a few years back.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are the most influential power couple in all of professional wrestling. Like the characters they portray on-screen, Triple H and Vince McMahon’s only daughter are also married in real life. However, Stephanie McMahon isn’t the first WWE star “The King of Kings” has been romantically linked to.
During his early days in WWE (the late '90s) Triple H was accompanied to the ring by “The Ninth Wonder of The World” Chyna. The duo also dated from 1996 until 2000. After the split, Chyna decided to leave WWE. She would go on to date another WWE star, X-Pac.
Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix were perhaps the most popular on-screen couple of the late-2000s. Collectively, the two even had their own team name, Glamarella. Despite being a bit of an odd couple, the comedic duo had a fun sort of awkward chemistry. As with almost every wrestling couple, the pair would split up and eventually feud with each other.
While they were quite the loveable pair, Phoenix and Marella’s relationship was non-existent when the cameras shut off. Phoenix is now married to former WWE world champ Edge. As for Marella, he would go on to wed fitness competitor Anna Babij in 2015.
Back in 1998, according to America online, Sunny (aka Tammy Lynn Sytch) was the most downloaded celeb on the world wide web. At that point in time, she was romantically linked to wrestler Chris Candido, who performed under the ring name Skip during his time in WWE. Sunny managed Candido throughout a good portion of his career and even helped him win the tag titles as a member of The Bodydonnas at WrestleMania XII.
The two were actually high school sweethearts. Sadly, the relationship ended when Candido tragically passed away in 2005. Sunny would go to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame, but has since had run-ins with the law.
Mark Henry and Mae Young were an on-screen duo that proved the old saying, “age is just a number.” This humorous dating angle began back in 2000. At the time, Young, was in her late 70s, while Henry was in his mid-20s. During this period, Henry was portraying a ladies man character known as “Sexual Chocolate.” As part of the angle, the female wrestling pioneer ended up pregnant. To make a strange story even more bizarre, Young wound up giving birth to a bloody rubber hand.
In case anyone was wondering – no – Mark Henry and Mae Young never dated in real life. That being said, they remain one of the Attitude Era’s most memorable on-screen couples.
Before she became a star in WWE, Stacey Keibler’s professional career actually began in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). She started out as a member of the Nitro Girls before portraying a character known as Miss Hancock. One of Hancock’s angles involved an on-screen relationship with David Flair – the son of the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. The two had actually begun dating off-screen as well in 2000 – around the time the storyline began. By 2001, the pair had already split up.
Keibler would go on to become something of a mainstream celebrity following her high-profile relationship with Hollywood star George Clooney.
Vickie Guerrero had a couple of memorable on-screen romances over the course of her WWE run. In the late-2000s, she was involved in a fictional romance with former WWE champ Edge. The woman who made the phrase “Excuse Me!” famous would go to find a new man in 2010, Dolph Ziggler. The two were together for almost 2 years from 2010 to 2012 and involved in some noteworthy feuds.
In truth, the widow of the late great Eddie Guerrero wasn’t involved with either Edge or Dolph Ziggler behind the scenes. Vickie Guerrero decided part ways with WWE and would go on to marry her boyfriend, a man named Kris Benson, in 2015.