Romantic angles have always been a constant in WWE, normally being the catalyst for a feud with it culminating in a brilliant moment.
Evidence of this is when Macho Man and Elizabeth reunited back at Wrestlemania VII. When they’re done right, it makes the storyline they are running parallel with so much better and more captivating for the audience. We have seen so many on-screen couples across the years of wrestling, some of those real-life couples brought on-screen, some just a business relationship and some that would soon go from the world of wrestling to real life. A way I have always described professional wrestling to ‘outsiders’ is by calling it a soap opera in spandex, and if you’re an English person, you know that the likes of Eastenders and Coronation Street would crumble without some romance in there.
There have been some absolutely brilliant couples in the WWE, the on-screen chemistry the couple has is pivotal for them to be a success and to win over the audience, with the following five couples being prime examples of when these things go right. An honourable mention will be AJ Lee and anyone she ever encountered – she had quite a few romantic storylines and they were all entertaining in their own right.
Edge & Lita
We are crossing the divide between kayfabe and real life straight away with this entry. In 2005, Lita was dating Matt Hardy before it became public knowledge she was having an affair with Matt’s close friend, Edge. WWE brought this straight into storyline, by having Lita turn on her storyline husband Kane to side with Edge before WWE brought Matt into the fold and made their storyline feud very real. After being injured, Edge dubbed himself the ‘Rated R Superstar’ and began several edgy acts involving Lita. The reason I put these two in this list is simple: they took something and ran with it and made it some of the most captivating TV that WWE has ever made.
They were detested by fans because of their cheating ways and their feuds with massive babyfaces like Ric Flair and John Cena. After winning the WWE Championship at New Year’s Revolution, cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase, Edge and Lita participated in the first ever ‘live sex celebration’ on RAW which garnered a 5.2 rating, the highest for over a year. This gave Edge another moniker to add to his growing list as the ‘most watched champion ever’. Lita is a female wrestler who would always get involved in her male counterparts’ matches, she was a trend setter for the current crop of women and that quality in itself made this pairing brilliant – she would take bumps and moves from male wrestlers like John Cena, who FU’d her on numerous occasions. Without this pairing, Edge would not have been the 11-time world champion that he was when he retired. This was the start of his rise to the main event.
Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth
The original power couple, and another couple who were on-screen and in real life together. When Savage signed for WWF in 1985, he was offered several managers; the likes of Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart, but rebuffed all of them for Miss Elizabeth. Their whole relationship centred around Macho Man being a crazed egomaniac who mistreated Elizabeth and would threaten anyone looking at her. Miss Elizabeth is also to thank for the formation of the Mega Powers when she ran to the locker room and got Hogan to make the save as Savage was being beaten down.
It was this partnership with Hogan that caused the break between Savage and Elizabeth before they reunited at Wrestlemania VII. Would Macho Man be as iconic without Elizabeth as he is now? I don’t think so. I obviously wasn’t old enough to be around at their height but thanks to the magical WWE Network, you can look back at this and every image and match the two are involved in and you can tell that they were the original couple in wrestling. Just watch their reunion, the number of fans crying their eyes out because of how captivating the two were and how happy their reunion made the WWF fans.
Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
Comedy gold at its finest, the difference between the two characters just made this work on so many levels. The super stern and serious Chyna opposite the fun and lovable Eddie Guerrero who was attempting to bring the fun side out of Chyna. The union came about on the RAW following Wrestlemania 2000 when Chyna turned on her original affiliate, Chris Jericho, to aid Eddie in winning the European Championship. The angle was destined for greatness from the start, Chyna explained the reason for the turn was because she could not resist Eddie’s ‘Latino Heat’. The ludicrousness of their alliance was expected in the time of the Attitude Era as the duo were comedic from start to finish – this gave us the time where Eddie competed against Essa Rios wearing tuxedo trousers and a bow tie because the night of the show was his ‘prom’.
Their union started to disintegrate after Eddie pinned Chyna in the King of the Ring tournament, leading to Chyna winning the Intercontinental Title in a tag match alongside Eddie against Trish Stratus and Val Venis before Eddie inserted himself in her title defence against Kurt Angle because he didn’t want Kurt hurting Chyna. That match ended with Eddie actually winning by accidentally pinning her shoulders down and the subsequent weeks transitioned Eddie back to a heel as he was cheating to win, something Chyna was uncomfortable with. Eddie became upset in his own right as Chyna was posing for Playboy with him even invading the Playboy Mansion to stop the shoot. In desperation, Eddie proposed to Chyna, with her accepting. However, it completely finished after Eddie was caught showering with two of the Godfather’s ‘hos’, with Eddie claiming ‘two Mamacitas are better than one’. These two were absolutely brilliant together and brought out a side of Chyna not many fans had seen before, also giving us the beginning of Latino Heat, Eddie Guerrero.
Edge & Vickie Guerrero
The interactions between Edge and Vickie were brilliant from the very start, right to the end in 2011 despite a period in between where they had very little interaction with one another. Their relationship was made public after Edge returned at the 2007 Survivor Series in what seemed at the time, and was the reason all along, in Edge doing this to get preferential treatment. Edge used his new found relationship and power to insert himself into the World Championship picture, winning the Championship at Armageddon thanks to the debuting Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. Soon, along with Vickie’s nephew Chavo, La Familia was born and they basically controlled Smackdown with the patriarchal Edge and matriarchal Vickie, who was the General Manager of SmackDown.
Edge and Vickie were quickly engaged as Edge headed to Wrestlemania to face the Undertaker in a losing effort, until Undertaker was stripped of the title by Vickie at Backlash the following month for using the Hell’s Gate submission, a move she had previously banned. Come One Night Stand, Vickie added a stipulation to another Edge vs Undertaker match – if the latter lost, he would be forced to leave WWE, which happened after multiple La Familia interferences. Their relationship was always volatile as it involved Edge who wasn’t the most mentally stable of people, cancelling their engagement after losing the World Title to CM Punk, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase. At their wedding reception, the WWE Champion, Triple H, showed footage of Edge cheating on Vickie with their wedding planner, Alicia Fox.
This began what looked like the end for the couple as Vickie announced she had rehired the Undertaker and he would be facing Edge at Summerslam in a Hell in a Cell match, a match where Edge was chokeslammed through the ring. Vickie announced the replacement for Jeff Hardy at Survivor Series that year as Edge, who won the title thanks again to his wife. It would later come out that Vickie had been cheating on Edge with The Big Show, one of his two opponents for Wrestlemania 25 after footage of the two was dug up thanks to the third member of that match, John Cena.
After various title changes and feuds, Vickie announced she was resigning as RAW General Manager, switching brands in the prior months. This prompted Edge to come out and seek a divorce because he confessed to only marrying Vickie for her authoritative powers. We skip forward a couple of years and these two would again be at each other’s throats with Vickie in an authoritative position again, this time as Acting General Manager of Smackdown and the girlfriend of Dolph Ziggler, whilst Edge was World Heavyweight Champion.
Vickie would try and cost Edge the title at all means, banning the Spear in matches between Edge and Ziggler and even firing Edge to award Ziggler the title until Teddy Long returned and reversed that decision. This partnership brought out the best in Edge for the latter parts of his career and it also gave us the annoying and detestable Vickie that we all know and love today.
Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix
Comedy, once again! When the duo has Santino Marella in it, it’s always going to be amazing. When it has Santino Marella and a unibrow, this is what happens. The two became one after Phoenix defeated Marella after she answered his open challenge. The following week, Marella lost again, this time to D’Lo Brown, with Marella and Phoenix kissing after the match creating confusion between themselves. They began calling themselves Glamarella, with the basis of the duo being Phoenix was the muscle for Santino. She won him the Intercontinental Title by pinning Mickie James in a mixed tag match, also including the IC Champion Kofi Kingston with the rules being both titles were on the line.
The skits and scenes we saw from these two were just brilliant. Santino is one of the best comedy characters to ever grace a WWE ring and in a similar vein to Eddie and Chyna, you had the male comedy character and the physically imposing female. Despite not being a couple very long, they would cross paths various times, the first being Santino’s win at Wrestlemania 25 in the Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royal. He dressed in drag and called himself Santina, last eliminating Beth. They would compete one on one for the title of Miss Wrestlemania at Backlash, with Santina winning in three seconds.
Skipping forward to 2020 and both of these being in the Royal Rumble match, Santino eliminated himself after Beth intimidated him into doing so. The visual of the look on her face, adding in the blood in her hair and the horrified look in Santino’s face is just brilliant. The affect these two had on the comedic wrestling landscape was brilliant, adding to what Eddie and Chyna did 10 years prior and made for brilliant viewing. Both are very talented professional wrestlers but their comedy ability is next to none.
Like I said in the introduction, relationship angles and wrestling go hand in hand and I can expect we’ll get plenty more in the not so distant future. Just less like Lana and Bobby Lashley, please.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @George_Geal_. Thanks for reading!