Wrestling is a strange business. Everything about it is strange. You know an industry is strange when two grown-ups, in their underwear, hug each other under the pretext of fighting each other. Worse off, you see an employee bullying his fellow workers and the employer doesn’t just condone his actions but essentially appreciates it. You all know who I’m looking at.
Needless to say, the dynamics of personal relationships in wrestling is also different from what you see in other professions. Wrestlers essentially need to put down their fellow workers in order to not just look better but also to save their jobs. Romantic relationships is a completely different animal. Back in the day, especially, wrestlers used to sleep around a lot, with the female wrestlers of the yesteryear essentially entering the industry not because of passion and purely for the lure of fame and money. Although we no longer see a lot of Sunny and Lita stories these days, romantic relationships in the industry continue to to be excessively short lived.
The following article discusses eight break-ups – be it divorces or mere break-ups – that completely caught us off guard and seven break-ups that we’d seen coming from miles afar. If you think the writer has failed to mention a break-up that shocked you or one that you’d seen coming, you can utilize the comments’ section to mention those.
15 Surprised: Dolph Ziggler and Nikki Bella
While newer fans associate Nikki Bella only with John Cena, those who’d followed in the noughties ought to be aware of her long-term relationship with Dolph Ziggler. The couple looked adorable and seemed as though they enjoyed spending time together. Pictures of their chilling in clubs often surfaced online, and it shocked Internet Wrestling Community when they broke up. It seems as though they now remain good friends as they both didn’t only agree to incorporated their past relationship in a Total Divas angle in September 2015 but also let The Miz utilize it to further their WrestleMania feud when he claimed that The Cenation Leader “stole his girlfriend from Dolph Ziggler” in a Talking Smack segment. The Show Off has since hooked up with numerous persons, including Sunny and Dana Brooke, although he hasn’t been in a full-fledged relationship.
14 Anticipated: X-Pac and Chyna
Chyna’s mental health began deteriorating when her relationship with Triple H ended. Many saw her being in a relationship with X-Pac was meant to help her recuperate but, a few weeks into their relationship, it was evident that their relationship was going nowhere. The couple even released their intimate tape in December 2004 to make extra cash. Five months later, they released their imaginatively-titled tape, 1 Night in Chyna, they made the headlines, for the wrong reasons again.
Chyna, real name, Joanie Laurer, was arrested on New Year’s for domestic violence, having assaulted X-Pac. Their eventual breakup left no jaw agape, and it looked as though Chyna carried a grudge until her final moments, as they both disparaged each other on every shoot interview they did. However, after her passing, Waltman professed his love for her, perhaps getting caught up in the tragedy.
13 Surprised: Velvet Sky and Chris Sabin
Motor City Machine Guns and The Beautiful People were hands-down two of the biggest factors that kept TNA afloat, and it was only fitting that the former’s Chris Sabin and the latter’s Velvet Sky fell in love. With both being hard tens to boot, the couple came across as the most popular non-WWE couple in the early ‘10s. However, with Bubba Ray Dudley coming into the picture, everything changed. Many believe that the ECW and WWE legend essentially politicked The Future out of the company – much like how Stephanie McMahon and John Cena allegedly sent Chyna and Kenny Dykstra out of WWE – with his final TNA feud fittingly being with his ex-girlfriend. She’s stayed with Bully Ray, while he, if his Twitter feed is anything to go by, seems happy to chill with his Nintendo Switch.
12 Anticipated: John Morrison and Melina
In wrestling history, we’ve seen many talented wrestlers throw their careers away because of their loved ones, and none has suffered more because of their partner as much as Chris Candido did. Many expected John Morrison and Melina to go down the same path, and almost everyone who knows them – perhaps, with the exception of Mick Foley – sighed in relief when they decided to part ways. Many reports from their MNM days claimed that Melina was essentially cheating on him with a host of wrestlers, including Batista, with the former Lucha Underground star essentially turning a deaf ear to such reports despite knowing what was up. Although they’ve had patched things up on more than one occasion, with Johnny Impact now being engaged to Taya Valkyrie, their time as a couple seems to be over for good.
11 Surprised: Matt Hardy and Lita
It’s a shame that people now only remember Matt Hardy and Lita’s nasty break-up. The couple were an item for over six years, which was a rarity in the peak of Attitude Era. The couple, according to credible reports, hooked up in 1999 and remained in a relationship until April 2005, when Lita, real name Amy Dumas, cheated on him with his close buddy Edge. Although no one knows if it was in WWE’s plans to convert their real-life drama into a storyline, they both did their job to perfection by making their love triangle angle one of the most talked-about rivalry in the whole of 2005.
With the men in the love triangle now in happy marriages, it’s safe to say that it’s Lita who took the L in the rivalry. However, they all remain friends to this day, although Reby Hardy recently tried to work Twitter fans into a shoot with a vitriolic comment.
10 Anticipated: Lita and CM Punk
When the news broke that CM Punk and Lita were dating, the Internet fans delighted, for the relationship involved two of the coolest wrestlers. However, deep inside, everyone knew that he would move on to other women, and her reputation didn’t help matters, either. Against all odds, the couple remained together for a very long time, and CM Punk even got her face inked on his upper arm to show off his love for her. 2014, however, saw the couple part ways, with CM Punk unsurprisingly moving on to another Hall of Famer in Beth Phoenix. Lita, however, hasn’t been in a serious relationship since, as she seems to focus more on her career as a wrestling broadcaster and trainer. CM Punk is married to AJ Lee now, while she remains a single woman at the age of 42.
9 Surprised: Triple H And Chyna
While many knew from the get-go that X-Pac and Chyna wouldn't work out as a couple, many saw Triple H and Chyna as a great match. They both were into bodybuilding, they motivated each other to stay fit while on the road, and they showed a good chemistry on-screen. While they were never romantic on-screen, it was an open secret that the two were dating. When news emerged of the breakup, it was pretty shocking, but it was even more shocking when it came out that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were actually dating, with some saying Triple H was unfaithful to Chyna. Rumors then kept swirling that Chyna wound up getting released for confronting Stephanie about the affair.
Whatever the cause of the split was, it took fans by surprise.
8 Anticipated: David Otunga and Jennifer Hudson
David Otunga has had a strange WWE career. Added to the roster of the first-ever NXT season, many expected him to become a break-out star, given his chiseled physique and decent promo. However, after a failed main-roster push, it became evident that he couldn’t go in the ring. WWE chose to keep him around while they got rid of a host of NXT rookies, as they handed him numerous non-wrestling roles, including on-screen legal adviser to John Laurinaitis, Raw pre-show host and color commentator.
Although the former Nexus member is a talented person himself, many seem to be of the belief that he’s remained in WWE for long as he has only because of his being married to Jennifer Hudson. Everyone found the couple to be mismatch, and it’s safe to say that the wrestling fans mulled over his post-divorce WWE career more than the split itself when the news broke.
7 Surprised: Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth
Wrestling hardly had many emotional moments back in the day, as it was seen as an interesting alternative to cartoons then. One of the very few moments in which wrestling fans invested their emotions in the product was when Miss Elizabeth made a run in to save Randy Savage from a Sensational Sherri beat-down. Tears welled in fans’ eyes, as WWE saw a reunion for the ages. The couple became an on-screen item again and even tagged along with Hulk Hogan before the alliance fell apart. Shortly after the end of the feud, they consciously uncoupled, with WWE even choosing to acknowledge it back when breaking kayfabe was unheard of. Nobody wanted to believe it, for it meant wrestling’s one moving love story came to an end. Bless their souls.
6 Anticipated: Stacy Keibler And David Flair
The Monday Night War era started to see a blurring of the lines between kayfabe and reality. In WCW, Ric Flair's son David was introduced to the masses and given significant screen time even though it was clear David was not cut out to be a wrestler. Eventually WCW ran an on-screen angle where David and Stacy Keibler were a couple and booked to be married. Behind the scenes the two were in fact a couple for a while, but eventually split as Stacy continued to gain popularity in the business. With the way Stacy's career soared and David's fizzled, it was of little surprise, as all signs pointed to Stacy outgrowing the relationship. She would then go on to date Test in WWE.
5 Surprised: Enzo Amore and Liv Morgan
First off, everyone was shocked when the news broke that it's Big Cass who landed Carmella and not Enzo Amore, as they looked as though they should kiss already. However, everyone was pleasantly surprised when he landed a Carmella lookalike in Liv Morgan. Given the fact that they both hailed from New Jersey and had similar personalities, everyone thought their relationship would last very long. However, the Cruiserweight Champion decided to cheat on her last year, killing the relationship in its infancy. Much like every other wrestling couple, they chose to make it a Twitter angle of sorts that only legitimized his heel turn. They both are now single, and it looks as though they'll choose to stay so for a considerable amount of time, as they're in a crucial stage in their respective careers.
4 Anticipated: Robbie E And Brooke Adams
When a relationship begins by breaking up a marriage, the odds of it succeeding are already pretty low. That's what happened in the case of Brooke Adams and Robbie E, as Robbie left his wife to pursue a relationship with Adams. The two even went on reality TV as contestants in The Amazing Race, where their problems were on-screen for all to see.
Eventually the couple called it quits, not long after the airing of the Amazing Race season and began taking shots at each other on social media. They didn't take long to move on, with Robbie E going back to his ex-wife and Brooke pursuing a relationship with another man, whom she's now married to. Brooke has said in interviews that it was a mistake to date someone in the business.
3 Surprised: Hulk Hogan and Linda Hogan
At one point, the Hogans were the second most powerful wrestling family. They did Total Bellas before it was cool, as they had a reality TV show titled Hogan Knows Best that revolved around Linda Hogan, Brooke Hogan and Nick Hogan. Although it was evident that The Hulkster's kids had no future in wrestling, their family seemed a happy one. When the news broke that the Hogan couple were divorcing, the wrestling world was shocked. However, the way in which they divorced made a lot of fans downright sad then, with his ex-wife filing for divorce after becoming aware of his affair with Christiane Plante, whom he had met during Hogan Knows Best tapings.
What's happened since his divorce has definitely made wrestling fans forget his divorce, but it definitely didn't just shock the wrestling world, for the mainstream media also reported it widely.
2 Anticipated: Paige and Alberto Del Rio
There are certain things that look wrong right from the beginning. Even the XFL didn't look a terrible idea when it was first announced. However, Paige's relationship with Alberto Del Rio looked doomed from the beginning. First off, the age difference between the two raised a lot of eyebrows and the gulf in attractiveness also made people believe it wasn't going to last long. Wellness Policy violations, public tirades, domestic abuse claims and the families of either wrestler seemingly being against their being together all were seen as major red flags.
The fact that the relationship progressed at a ridiculous pace — Paige's getting a tattoo weeks into the relationship and her popping the question months into it — also had people not just laughing at the couple but also feeling genuinely sorry for them. When the couple finally announced they had split, those who care for them rejoiced, as they both were known to be influencing each other, negatively.
1 Surprised: The Undertaker and Sara
Not a lot about The Undertaker's personal life was known before the advent of the Internet. However, given his neck tattoo that read Sara, many knew that there's a woman in The Deadman's life named Sara Frank. It's around the time when became The American Badass that he exchanged vows with her, and WWE chose to make her an on-screen character, as they made Diamond Dallas Page, a WCW legend, stalk her. The rivalry ended with The Undertaker pinning his wife's stalker and, although the marriage survived the horrible feud, it didn't last long, as they went their separate ways in 2007. The Undertaker has since been with Michelle McCool, and they've remained married for almost eight years now.