The art of the romantic storyline in wrestling can be used to easily increase the entertainment value of one or multiple characters. Wrestlers have witnessed their careers get to the next level thanks to the romantic pairings they entered. Triple H became a legitimate top star after the storyline with Stephanie McMahon showcased him in such a manner. Edge found the missing ingredient with Lita when becoming a top heel. Unfortunately, not all situations will work out this way.
We will look at the instances where certain wrestlers were hurt from getting involved in romantic angles. The storylines featured one or both talents involved suffering for the idea to come from their wrestling promotion. All the scenarios in play here show that success is not guaranteed when booking a relationship. Find out just what caused the issues in these ten romantic storylines that hurt the careers of wrestlers.
10 Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch
The most recent example of a wrestler suffering from a romantic angle is Seth Rollins. WWE tried using his real-life relationship with Becky Lynch as part of the show. They had a mixed tag match together against the common enemies of Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans.
Rollins lost a lot of his momentum from the WrestleMania victory over Brock Lesnar here. The booking just started showcasing him as Becky’s boyfriend rather than the top male star as the Universal Champion. Rollins has continued losing momentum since the angle as it started a decline in fan support.
9 Shawn Stasiak and Terri Runnels
WWE saw potential in Shawn Stasiak as a rising young star in the late 90s. Stasiak was the son of former WWE Champion Stan “The Man” Stasiak. The hope was that he could evolve into a special talent that WWE could inject into the upper card picture.
Stasiak struggled on his own and was given a new character of Meat with Terri Runnels as his love interest. Terri and her friends in the Pretty Mean Sisters faction used Meat in more ways than one for comedic moments. It essentially casted Stasiak in a comedic role that he never broke out of in WWE.
8 Charlie Haas and Miss Jackie
The end of Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team would see Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas split up in the WWE Draft. Benjamin moved to Raw for a singles push while Haas struggled to find relevance on Smackdown. WWE paired him with Miss Jackie to add another layer to his career.
The duo ended up dating in real life, but they couldn’t find much success on television. WWE eventually made Haas and Rico a tag team with the odd couple dynamic. Haas struggled to stand out with the new partners and WWE eventually had him leave Jackie for Dawn Marie.
7 Sable and Vince McMahon
The return of Sable to WWE in 2003 provided a huge comeback story. Sable left in the late 90s as arguably the most popular woman in company history. Her return should have given WWE another major draw for the women’s division, but what happened next took her career in a wholly different direction.
Sable instead entered a romantic storyline with Vince McMahon and feuded with his daughter Stephanie McMahon. The relevance of Sable slowly disappeared, as the return was viewed as a disappointment. Sable left the company faster than expected, but she did meet her future husband Brock Lesnar during this time.
6 David Flair and Stacy Keibler
The WCW career of David Flair was a huge flop after the expectations of him becoming a relevant player. WCW hoped fans would care enough about Ric Flair to view his son David as a major star when getting pushed despite the lack of experience.
David struggled throughout his entire run and was placed into a storyline with Stacy Keibler as a last-ditch effort to save it. Stacy was the most popular woman on the roster after becoming a rising star. The storyline was a hot mess, with fake pregnancies and unnecessary heel turns. WCW went out of business a few months later to no one’s surprise.
5 Kane and Lita
The WWE run of Kane has seen many ridiculous storylines haunt him, for better or worse. In one particularly bad arc, Kane essentially forced Lita into marrying him after he defeated Matt Hardy in a match for the rights to marry her. Despite the awful start to their romance, they were booked to fall in love.
Kane’s face turn was even worse, with horrible feuds against Gene Snitsky and Viscera. The eventual heel turn from Lita saw her unite with Edge due to their real-life romance. Edge benefited from it, but Kane once again struggled following the ending of his time with Lita.
4 Torrie Wilson and Billy Gunn
Torrie Wilson became one of the most popular women in wrestling after joining the Invasion storyline from WCW. The entire WCW roster played heels to start, but Wilson was too likable and jumped ship to WWE for the face turn.
Following a few years of success, WWE tried using Torrie’s popularity to elevate Billy Gunn. The two entered a short-term romance angle with the hope of Gunn becoming a bigger star after years of lower mid-card duty. It never worked the way WWE wanted and both were better off after the split, especially Wilson.
3 Test and Stephanie McMahon
Many Attitude Era fans forget that Test was viewed as a huge prospect that WWE expected to make the main event picture. Test was the one chosen to have Stephanie McMahon’s first storyline as her boyfriend for a few months in 1999.
The payoff would see Triple H marry Stephanie against her will before she turned heel to align with him. Test was left alone in the aftermath, struggling to find relevance. The story saw him lose the love of his life, get stabbed in the back, and never get any slight form of revenge.
2 Dolph Ziggler and Lana
WWE delivered an odd relationship storyline when splitting up Lana and Rusev for the first time. Lana entered a relationship with face Dolph Ziggler after Rusev dumped her for the heel Summer Rae. All four wrestlers feuded for months, with some all-time horrible WWE segments.
Ziggler and Lana suffered the most from it, as their face personalities were so unconvincing and unlikable. WWE eventually dropped the angle when Lana revealed to TMZ that she and Rusev got engaged in real-life. The current angle of Lana ditching for Rusev for Bobby Lashley may suffer the same failure if they don’t improve the booking.
1 Zack Ryder and Eve Torres
Zack Ryder started to gain popularity in 2011 following his YouTube series, quickly becoming a fan-favorite. WWE even gave Ryder a small push to win the United States Championship to help boost his career. However, things started to fall apart for Ryder heading into WrestleMania 28 season.
Ryder was dumped by Eve Torres after she made out with his friend John Cena. The following weeks would see Ryder continuing to get embarrassed by Eve. All these segments would see him lose more and more momentum. Ryder never rebounded and has remained a lower tier name on WWE’s roster for most of his career.