If you had a dime for every relationship to ever come together within the world of pro wrestling, you’d be able to afford a lifelong subscription to the WWE Network. The ironic thing to note about wrestling relationships is that they’re notorious for rarely working out and they seldom end well. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop them from happening; in fact, there seems to be a new wrestling couple every time you browse the web.
Perhaps the most famous wrestling couple today is Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Like many wrestling couples, these two are a case of life imitating art. They weren’t initially together in real life until they became an on-screen couple, when their chemistry in front of the cameras brought them together. At least until now, theirs is a coupling that has worked and they haven’t suffered the fate of most romantic pairings in the wrestling industry. Other popular couples include John Cena and Nikki Bella, Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella, and Lana and Rusev. More recently, it has come to fans’ attention that WWE Superstars Emma and Zack Ryder are an item, as well as Paige and Alberto Del Rio.
Yes, wrestling couples are everywhere, but how many will make it? History would seem to indicate that not many of them will last, considering how many hundreds of relationships fans have watched come to an end. And it’s not only that wrestling relationships are famous for being doomed from the get-go, it’s that they often seem to end really, really badly. Here are fifteen of the worst breakups in WWE history.
15 Jerry Lawler & Stacy Carter
When Stacy Carter joined the WWE in 1999, she did so as Miss Kitty, an assistant to Miss Debra, who accompanied then-Superstar Jeff Jarrett to the ring. Jarrett was a misogynistic bully who would attack defenseless women, including Debra and Miss Kitty at one point. Eventually Miss Kitty broke out on her own, winning the WWE Women’s Championship and renaming herself as “The Kat.”
A lot of fans weren’t aware at the time of Stacy Carter’s WWE run that she was the girlfriend and eventual wife of commentator and wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler, but that fact became abundantly clear when Lawler abruptly quit the company in 2001 as a result of Carter’s own sudden release. It was a big scandal at the time and fans weren’t pleased to be without the longtime favorite commentary team of Lawler and “Good Ol'” Jim Ross. Later that year, Carter and Lawler would divorce and during the stressful situation, Lawler would return to the WWE, while Carter retired from the business.
14 CM Punk & Maria Kanellis
It’s been quite a few years since Maria Kanellis was a member of the WWE roster. After competing in the WWE Diva Search, she received a contract and became one of the most popular Divas of her era. In recent years she’s wrestled on the independent scene and managed her real life husband Mike Bennett, who is also a professional wrestler. Together, Maria and Mike are currently one of the most popular acts in Total Nonstop Action wrestling. Before the two were married, however, Maria dated wildly popular former WWE Superstar CM Punk.
Apparently, the breakup between Punk and Kanellis wasn’t all wine and roses, even though there hasn’t been a lot said about it. Maria has gone on record, though, as saying the Punk broke her heart and even though she saw him as her soulmate, he didn’t feel the same.
13 Goldust & Terri Runnels
The character of Goldust came along at a time when risqué characters and storylines were new and fresh in professional wrestling. The WWE had always been a family friendly product, as the company produced stars like Hulk Hogan, a very child-friendly hero in the 1980s and early '90s. That’s why when Dustin Runnels showed up painted entirely in gold and spoke in a very sensual manner, not to mention when he would flirtatiously touch other male wrestlers inappropriately, it became quite a scandalous time to be a wrestling fan.
Goldust was often accompanied by Marlena, later known as Terri Runnels, his real life wife. Terri became very popular in her own right, managing several stars after Goldust and even occasionally wrestling. Their divorce in the late ‘90s, however, was much publicized and awkward. Terri blames Dustin’s father, wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes, for the downfall of their marriage because he would spread rumors of her infidelity and claim she was just a gold digger. Terri and Dustin apparently have a good relationship now based around the fact that they have a daughter together.
12 Matt Hardy & Ashley Massaro
The Hardy Boyz were a tag team that rose to prominence in the late ‘90s during the height of the Attitude Era. They competed together for several years before their first split which saw them embark upon solo careers, although they would continue to team sporadically throughout their WWE time. Today, both Matt and Jeff Hardy compete for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and have recently been involved in a rivalry against one another, something that’s also happened several times across their careers. Typically, Matt has been the less popular of the two brothers, but his time as “Broken” Matt Hardy with Impact Wrestling has perhaps been the best of his work.
Matt Hardy is now married to Reby Sky, who has joined him in TNA, and the couple has a child together. But before Matt and Reby became an item Matt was involved with Ashley Massaro, a former WWE Diva. Massaro joined the company after winning the WWE Diva Search, although she never found much success. Ashley was also romantically involved with another wrestler, former WWE Tag Team Champion Paul London, and afterward both Hardy and London became involved in a very public feud which seems to exist to this day.
11 Sable & Marc Mero
“Marvelous” Mark Mero was a star on the rise during WWE’s Attitude Era and it’s largely due to his real life wife becoming his manager and accompanying him to the ring for his matches. While Mero was out of action with an injury, Sable became a major star in her own right and, when he returned, he became very jealous and controlling of her. Sable eventually powerbombed Mero in the middle of the ring to get revenge and that is where the messiness of the breakup comes into play.
In fact, the divorce between Sable and Mero actually went pretty smoothly and happened years after they both left WWE, but the way Sable’s character dominated Mero’s during the late 1990s was perceived as having tanked Mero’s career before it really got started. Though both individuals have stayed civil following their divorce, they’ve been plagued by attacks from fans who believe Sable destroyed all of Marc Mero’s momentum and was bad for his career.
10 Davey Boy Smith & Diana Hart
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Davey Boy Smith was seen as one of the greatest WWE Superstars to never win the WWE Championship. Alongside Dynamite Kid, he helped define an era in the tag team division when the two captivated the WWE audience as the WWE World Tag Team Champions. Known as The British Bulldogs, the tandem is one of the most legendary teams in wrestling’s history, but Davey Boy saw great success on his own as well and became particularly well respected for a classic showdown between himself and Bret Hart at SummerSlam in 1992.
Davey Boy’s wife, Diana Hart, was a member of the same famous wrestling family as his SummerSlam opponent and she was used on television during WWE storylines. However, the two eventually went through a messy divorce following widespread tales of Davey’s abuse of drugs and accusations of his mistreatment of Diana.
9 CM Punk & Beth Phoenix
CM Punk is perhaps one of the most popular WWE Superstars of the last decade. His rabid fan following directly led to his main event status and one of the longest WWE World Championship reigns of all time, and when he abruptly left the company a few years ago due to what he felt was mistreatment and burnout, the wrestling world shared a collective cry. To this day, CM Punk chants occasionally take over WWE’s television shows in hopes that he will someday return, but Punk has moved on to a career in UFC.
Beth Phoenix was a multiple time Women’s and Divas Champion and was one of the strongest women on the roster. These days, she’s married to WWE Hall of Famer Edge and has two children with him, but she once dated CM Punk. It must have ended in a pretty ugly way because Punk has spoken out about how Beth never cared who her boyfriend was, as long as she had one. Not surprising coming from the outspoken Punk, but they’re also not words indicative of a positive split.
8 Mickie James & Kenny Dykstra
Mickie James has likely got a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame with her name on it. She debuted in the mid 2000s as a crazed fan of Trish Stratus and what followed was one of the most iconic women’s wrestling rivalries of all time. During her time in WWE, James won both the Women’s and Divas Championships on several occasions and was one of the best wrestlers in the company’s women’s division before moving to TNA and winning that company’s Knockouts Championship. Outside of wrestling, she’s a country music singer and, in recent years, had a child with her now husband and fellow wrestler Magnus.
Before Magnus, though, came two other wrestlers Mickie was linked to romantically. While she was engaged to former WWE Superstar Kenn Doane, better known as Kenny Dykstra, she had an alleged affair John Cena. Doane found out after catching Mickie searching the web to see if rumors of the affair had reached the internet and she confessed. What followed was a very ugly and public breakup.
7 Melina & John Morrison
Melina and John Morrison were a real life and a fictional item, and are a rare example of a wrestling couple who were successful both together and apart on screen. Before going their separate ways in front of the camera, they were a part of the team MNM with Joey Mercury and Melina managed the two to the WWE Tag Team Championship. Once they split, Melina held championship gold on many occasions and, for his part, John Morrison won plenty of singles titles including the Intercontinental and ECW Championships.
Morrison left WWE by his own choosing, though Melina was released several years ago reportedly due to behavioral issues. The relationship between the two has been on and off for years and the breakups just keep getting uglier. In one recent case, Melina took to social media to try to embarrass Morrison with photographic evidence of his prescription to medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction.
6 Chyna & X-Pac
In case you don’t remember the overly hyped-up little guy in shades and a bandana who enthusiastically was a member of both the New World Order and D-Generation X, Sean Waltman was actually once a big deal. Getting his start as The 1-2-3 Kid, he became more famous for his days during the Attitude Era as X-Pac, but after leaving WWE he was known for his relationship with a former WWE Superstar known as The Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna.
The late Chyna was also, at one time, in a relationship with Waltman’s good friend, Triple H. When Chyna began to speak out about Triple H’s mistreatment of her as well as the abuse she allegedly suffered from Waltman during their own relationship, things got pretty ugly as Waltman looked to defend himself from the accusations. There was also a lot of drama surrounding an adult tape released by Chyna and Waltman.
5 Sunny & Chris Candido
It can’t be stressed enough how iconic "The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels became to the wrestling industry. However, that doesn't mean he wasn't involved in some sticky situations during his impressive careers.
On example is his story with Tammy Sytch, otherwise known as Sunny. Sunny was a wrestling manager throughout the 1990s and was in a romantic relationship with ECW and WWE wrestler Chris Candido throughout the majority of her career in the business. However, at one time during her stint in WWE, Sunny and Shawn Michaels had an affair that has now become very public. It went on for some time and even though Sunny supposedly ended up calling it off, the damage to her relationship with Candido had been done.
4 Steve Austin & Debra
How can one oversell “Stone Cold” Steve Austin? After Hulk Hogan left WWE and helped lead WCW to ratings glory, Steve Austin might have been single-handedly responsible for WWE being capable of reclaiming the throne as the most watched wrestling program on television. Austin is the only man who could possibly claim that he might be a bigger star than Hogan ever was and it would be a point that would be hard to argue. Austin was the face of the Attitude Era and his successes were monstrous.
However, the former WWE World Champion isn’t a flawless hero, at least not to hear his ex-wife Debra tell the story. Debra, who was once a manager for Jeff Jarrett, was the wife of Austin during the early 2000s and accompanied him for his matches on television during this time. They would soon see an ugly divorce, though, and Debra opened up about domestic abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Austin, which she believed to be caused by “roid rage.”
3 Lita & Matt Hardy
While Matt Hardy and his brother Jeff did revolutionize tag team wrestling during the late ‘90s alongside the teams of The Dudley Boyz and Edge & Christian, Matt’s history of romantic relationships is not so impressive. As we’ve already covered, he was involved in a relationship with former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro which resulted in a real life feud between himself and fellow wrestler Paul London, but that breakup had nothing on the catastrophe that was his relationship with WWE Hall of Famer Lita.
Lita, real name Amy Dumas, rose to fame using her high-flying moves to find success in WWE’s women’s division as well as managing The Hardy Boyz. It became public knowledge that Lita and Matt Hardy were an item and eventually that was played out on screen, but several years later rumors made rounds that Lita had cheated on Matt with his friend and fellow WWE Superstar Edge. This was also worked into storylines and Lita was very outspoken about her discomfort with airing her dirty laundry. Matt was also incredibly upset and vocalized his displeasure with Lita and Edge, making this very public breakup all the more awkward.
2 Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth
In the 1980s, Hulk Hogan was WWE’s purest hero. Hogan set the world on fire as Vince McMahon took WWE global with WrestleMania, but there was no more heartwarming story in wrestling’s history, let alone during the ‘80s, than that of the love story between “Macho Man” Randy Savage and his manager, and eventual wife, Miss Elizabeth.
Savage himself went back and forth between playing a heel and a babyface, and when he was the heel he often mistreated the gentle Elizabeth. However, when he was a babyface, the two were a power couple.
Savage and Miss Elizabeth both went on to some success in WCW in the 1990s, but the real life couple didn’t last. According to their coworkers, both of them were very jealous and this lead to plenty of confrontations and eventually they were no longer a couple. In fact, Elizabeth actually moved on to a relationship with wrestling legend Lex Luger before she passed away in 2003.
1 Triple H & Chyna
Triple H is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the history of the sport. He’s one of the faces of WWE and is set to inherit the keys to the kingdom with his wife, the daughter of Vince McMahon, Stephanie. Triple H’s career really picked up steam when he was a member of D-Generation X along with his then-girlfriend, Chyna. Chyna was a woman who broke nearly every glass ceiling that ever existed in WWE and she did it long before it was meant to be done. By the end of 1999 she had become the first woman to compete in the King of the Ring Tournament and the Royal Rumble, as well as the first woman to hold the Intercontinental Championship.
Eventually, Chyna was separated from Triple H on screen and Triple H was paired with Stephanie McMahon. Years later, long after Chyna had left the company, she became very outspoken about how Triple H cheated on her with Stephanie for a lengthy period of time and even once got violent with Chyna. The situation was so messy that Chyna and WWE had a severe falling out that was never reconciled, as Chyna passed away in 2016 while both parties were still on horrible terms. It was only after her death that WWE began to finally acknowledge Chyna’s myriad of contributions to the company.