Friendship is powerful. It binds people together regardless of backgrounds and status. Friendship has been the driving force behind many great stables in WWE history. Some friendships have lasted years while others have only survived a few months.
While on-screen friendships have built empires in WWE, it has also toppled them. For every team that rises the ranks, like The Rockers, there is an equivalent to the Barbershop scene which sees their relationship crumble. These dissolutions happen for a variety of reasons ranging from establishing oneself as a singles competitor to jealousy of another’s status. Looking through the history of WWE, here are ten friendships that ended for petty reasons.
10 Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho
What better way to start this list than with a relationship which culminated in a festival of friendship?
Jericho and Owens demonstrated unparalleled chemistry. Both competitors have a sort of addictive arrogance which forces them into lovable heel roles. Both are Canadian. Both were main event talents who couldn’t remain constricted by the confines of friendship for long.
This story was a typical situation where the character with power (Owens) felt that his friend (Jericho) was jealous of what he had (The Universal Championship). The two played their parts well and fans were invested. Y2J ultimately costing KO the title was just icing on the cake.
9 Shawn Michaels & Diesel
In 1993, Kevin Nash debuted with WWF under the ring name of Diesel, serving as Shawn Michaels' bodyguard and best friend. While their friendship would remain solid backstage throughout their careers, their on-screen relationship would take a dive in late 1994, ending at the annual Survivor Series event.
In essence, the dissolution of their friendship came about because Shawn Michaels accidentally landed Sweet Chin Music on his friend during an Intercontinental Championship defense at SummerSlam. HBK sought to interfere in the match while the referee was distracted, but Razor Ramon moved at the last-minute leading to the kick connecting with Diesel, and his eventual loss. This act repeated itself at Survivor Series, leading to Nash ending his relationship with Michaels over two honest mistakes.
8 Batista & Rey Mysterio
Batista and Rey Mysterio shared many years in each other’s corners, even earning the WWE Tag Team Championship together in December of 2005. The two would see an alliance that lasted off and on through 2009 and displayed support for one another’s singles careers aside.
When Batista returned from injury in 2009, he was immediately thrust back into the main event scene. In October at the Bragging Rights pay per view, Batista failed to obtain the World Heavyweight Championship in a Fatal 4-Way match due to Mysterio breaking up a winning pinfall.
Lust for the championship ultimately drove the two men apart, proving that the top prize in WWE was more valuable than years of teamwork.
7 Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio
If there’s one thing we have learned, it’s that Rey Mysterio needs to choose his friends more wisely.
Over the years, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio enjoyed many angles as friends and rivals which saw them share the spotlight together. At No Way Out in 2005, the two would team together to win the WWE Tag Team Championship from the Basham Brothers, which then led to a friendly challenge between the two at Wrestlemania 21. This was the beginning of the end.
Mysterio picked up the Mania victory, but this led to struggles between the two which culminated in a tag title loss to MNM on the 4/21/2005 edition of SmackDown. During the rematch on 4/28, Guerrero would abandon Mysterio, officially ending their relationship due to simple pride.
6 Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage
The Mega Powers were a dominant force in WWF between 1987 and 1989. Managed by Miss Elizabeth, the team of Hogan and Savage literally combined the top two talents of the era into a supergroup that dominated the scene, but success couldn’t topple a man’s pride.
Throughout their time together, Savage rose to prominence, obtaining the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania IV. As the bond grew between the two, Hogan became more protective of Miss Elizabeth, prompting Savage to become suspicious and irate. He ultimately lost his temper, prompting a title match at Wrestlemania V which saw Hogan obtain the title once again. Savage would lose much from this feud, including his title, his friendship, and Miss Elizabeth.
5 Shawn Michaels & Triple H
Few friendships in professional wrestling have matched the prestige of Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Their off-screen friendship is well documented and even created the on-screen faction DX in 1997. The following year, HBK was forced to retire due to injury.
When Michaels returned in 2002, it wasn’t long before he became involved with Triple H again on-screen. The two seemed to reform DX, but Michaels was betrayed by Helmsley in a move that would set the two against each other for the better part of two years. The motivation? Triple H thought he had surpassed Michaels. Displaying his dominance was the key.
4 Batista & Triple H
Both of these men are appearing for the second time on this list. Both men were previously motivated by singles success and ultimately found the top prize in WWE. Both men also enjoyed a friendship of their own which ended over aspirations for the top prize in WWE.
Throughout Batista’s early years with WWE, Triple H was a friend and mentor to him. As his success began to bring him closer to the top titles in WWE, Triple H began pushing him away from the belt that he held. This came to fruition after Batista’s (hilarious) 2005 Royal Rumble victory, when Batista ultimately turned on his friend and set hit sights on Triple H’s World Heavyweight Championship.
3 Christian & Chris Jericho
Christian’s final few years with WWE were a bit lacking in direction prior to his 2005 departure. This angle fell into that timeframe, but the friendship was solid enough to make this list.
Bonding over a bet on which performer could succeed with their female counterpart first, Christian and Jericho would see in-ring action together and build a bond through their antics. Jericho would win the bet, continuing his relationship with Trish Stratus after, making Christian effectively the third wheel.
Tragedy would strike at Wrestlemania XX in the form of betrayal, prompting Jericho and Christian to face each other in singles competition. Jericho had eliminated Christian from the Royal Rumble match earlier that year. At Mania, Trish would accidentally strike Jericho, leading to her switching sides and joining up with Christian. Y2J managed to lose the girl and his friend, and he didn’t even win the Rumble.
2 Edge & Christian
Before Christian became Captain Charisma, he was the third member of the vampire-esque, gothic stable The Brood. Upon his WWE debut in 1998, he was an antagonist to Edge before joining the group primarily as Edge’s tag team partner, and consistently teaming with him from that point on.
As more details came to light, the longtime bond between the two began shaping their on-screen relationship. The two were built as the best of friends until Edge’s singles success caught the ire of Christian. The duo’s loss of the WWF Tag Team Championship in 2001 combined with Edge’s King of the Ring victory proved too much for Christian and caused the two to part ways on less than stellar terms.
1 Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant
Size matters. Or at least, it mattered to Andre the Giant in 1987.
From 1973 until 1987, Andre the Giant had never been pinned or forced to submit in WWF. This created a 14-year undefeated streak for the giant. 1987 also marked Hulk Hogan’s third consecutive year holding the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. In recognition, both men were awarded trophies on Piper’s Pit segments, with the former being slightly smaller than the latter.
Despite years of friendship as the two top faces, Andre was slighted by this sequence of events and turned heel against Hogan. The two would clash at Wrestlemania III to make history and officially end Andre’s undefeated streak along with their friendship.