Examining the on screen and off screen female and male partnerships in professional wrestling. I was thinking about this the other day and I was wondering why none of them seem to work out. Obviously it is the nature of wrestling storylines to ebb and flow and come and go, but that doesn’t explain the crash and burn history of ‘real life’ wrestling couples. Besides, this topic gives me a chance to go back through the annuals of wrestling years past and everyone knows how much I love to do that. So without further ado…
‘He had a nasty reputation as a cruel dude. They said he was ruthless, they said he was crude’
The Undertaker and Sara
The first wrestling fans knew of Sara was the tattoo of her name on ‘Taker’s neck. It’s a peculiar sort of tribute and I wonder how these things come about. I know for a fact that if a guy told me he was having my name tattooed on his ass or anywhere else for that matter, I’d consider him a psycho and get the hell away from him. However, I’m not an unromantic soul. I can understand how branding yourself with the name of the person you love could be seen as the sort of gesture that would last forever.
But the thing is, tattoos are no longer forever. You can have them cut out or lasered off or whatever. The way I see it, tattoos today are about as permanent as marriage. Both can be highly romantic deeds, but both can be discarded at the drop of a hat.
Anyway, no one could argue that the Undertaker does not have a reputation as a cruel dude. He’s been kicking ass WWF-style for the past 10 years and at 6’10” he can surely take care of himself. I don’t doubt that he’s ruthless and probably crude. Most people are crude if you put them in the right situation.
When Sara appeared on our screens as the object of DDP’s lustful affections, it didn’t take people long to work out that she was in fact the real life wife of the Undertaker. In fact, ‘Taker had been married before to someone called Jody, and has two sons. I remember hearing rumors that Jody had appeared on screen once or twice many years ago, but I don’t know for sure. Anyway, ‘Taker has his new wife (who looks to be about 15 years younger than her husband) and she was suddenly thrust into the WWE limelight. And she lasted about 5 minutes before being kicked to the curb. Why?
Sara was passably pretty, she was an okay actress and it wasn’t much of a stretch for her to play the Undertaker’s wife. But she didn’t exactly light up the screen, did she? And I doubt she was ever supposed to be a long term character. She had her five minutes, they’re over, move along please.
Sara and Undertaker divorced when Michelle McCool started dating Undertaker and they got married..
Chyna and Eddie Guerrero
Chyna and Eddie were an interesting couple. He was pretty crude, and she had a fairly nasty reputation for ruthlessness. I liked their style and for what seemed on the surface to be an odd couple, they actually had some pretty cool chemistry. After all, Chyna speaks fluent Spanish and Eddie’s English was sketchy at best way back then. I would actually argue that Chyna managed to get Eddie over as a face with WWF fans. ‘The Radicalz’ weren’t exactly loved by WWF fans, first by design and then simply by intent. It’s the old X-Pac curse…sometimes fans just hate you and there’s nothing you can do. But after a few drying out episodes and the odd injury, Eddie experienced his greatest main stream wrestling high when he and Chyna were playing up the “latino heat” angle.
Today you could argue that Eddie is still a mid level mid-carder (there’s an expression to make you scratch your head) of absolutely recognised skill, but I think Chyna added a little something extra to the Eddie Guerrero cocktail. But these things never last forever and Chyna hit the road and disappeared from the WWF radar and appeared in the real world. Will Chyna ever be back? Never say never. My last column sure as hell hammered that point home with a vengeance. There is no former employee that Vince will not re-hire if he thinks it will work for the company.
On that note, many people pointed out that the emergence of A-grade hottie Eric Bischoff would have made a good addition to my last column. Of course he didn’t crash into the WWE until after my column was submitted, but no one pointed out that I could have included Jerry Lawler. It only just occurred to me. What’s wrong with you people? Are you all asleep?
‘They had one thing in common, they were good in bed’
Well, you should have at least one thing in common and I recommend this one. As they used to tell us in Counselling 401, good sex isn’t an issue in relationship breakdown, but bad sex is the only issue. Ya dig?
Terri Runnels and Val Venis
This was way in 1998. Terri had just moved out of Marlena mode and into Terri mode, kicking husband and then-preacher Goldust to the kerb (I know that I over use that phrase…you can blame too many years of watching Jerry Springer, Riki Lake and Maury) in the process. Then in WWF-land she hooked up with alleged adult film star Val Venis. The Big Valbowlski was keeping Terri so happy in the bedroom that they even made a porn flick out of the experience – “The Preacher’s Wife”. Their sex life was supposedly so hot that they forgot to use a condom once, twice or thrice and soon Terri was supposedly carrying a little Valbowlski. Then she got pushed off the ring apron and miscarried. And the WWF sunk to a new lows.
However, it can not be said that Terri and Val were portrayed as anything less than incredibly hot in bed.
Hardcore Holly and BB
If you’ve ever seen Tough Enough you’ll know that Hardcore Holly isn’t a man who is big on the warm and fuzzies. I doubt you’d catch him kissing lobsters, if you know what I mean. He was also happily married until Playboy bunny-wannabe (not that there’s anything wrong with wanting to be one of Hef’s bunnies, I’m coming back as one in my next life) “Barbara Bush”. BB had about 3.2 minutes of WWF fame as opposed to the usual 5 minutes given to no-talent silicone enhanced bottle blondes. Apparently Hardcore Holly spent more than 3.2 minutes with her because they fell in love, his marriage broke up and from what I’ve heard, they’re were together and very happy.
This begs the question….do you leave your wife, risk alienating your co-workers and hook up with a bunny wanna-be if she’s anything less than red hot in the sack? I doubt it. Go Hardcore Holly.
You know, maybe I should consider writing for the National Enquirer. My last two paragraphs have pretty much proven that I can write directly from the gutter and take a few facts and turn them into a seedy and somewhat insulting story. Bad Aree. No cookie.
Surely make you lose your mind…
Torrie Wilson and Tajiri
Who the hell thought up this little combination? Lose your mind indeed.
Nidia and Jamie Noble
I’m halfway through watching Summerslam and so far the weirdest moment was watching Nidia make out wildly on a sofa with some random at The World while Jamie Noble shouted encouragement. They’re giving trailer park trash a bad name. Still, they’re amusing to a certain point. But after tongues get involved, all bets are off and we toss them on the “crazy and stupid” pile.
Mark Henry and Mae Young
I have this theory that Vince Russo is a closet crack user who comes up with his weirdest ideas while spending quality time with his pipe. Mark Henry and Mae Young were one of these ideas. I don’t want to talk about them in any more detail because I don’t think there is a real need to remind people how this story went. Everyone wishes they could forget, but the images will haunt you forever, my friends.
Eager for action, hot for the game…the coming attraction, the drop of a name
Stephanie Mcmahon and Triple H
The two played the on screen couple in 2000 before it became a real life romance. Are stephanie mcmahon and triple h really married? The answer is yes, they got married in 2003.
Get it? “Hot for The Game”? I almost outsmart myself sometimes. But this turn of phrase suits Triple H and Stephanie’s relationship for more than one reason. I’m sure she’s hot for The Game, after all, who isn’t? But when they hooked up he was most certainly the “coming attraction” and as a McMahon Steph more than fits the phrase “the drop of a name”.
As Chyna cynically pointed out when Triple H hooked up with Stephanie, the man is obsessed by wrestling. Who else is he going to date but the daughter of the man who holds the professional wrestling industry in the palm of his hand?
Stephanie and Triple H are a curious couple. Triple H has a history of hooking up with women in the workplace. The road is a long and lonely place and intense relationships suffer because of long periods spent apart. Hunter has avoided this problem by dating women who are also on the road. First Chyna, for around 3 years and now Steph for the past 12 or so.
I often wonder if “power couples” would be together without the power factor. What if Stephanie was still a mouse-like girl working some behind the scenes job or Triple H was still a mid-carder? Will their relationship survive when he’s finished with WWE and she’s still there? What if Hunter does an Austin and pisses off into the mist? Where will Steph’s loyalties lie? I’m sure the answers to these questions will be revealed in the fullness of time.
It should be mentioned that Triple H and Stephanie could have also been included in the “good in bed” quotation. Apparently Triple H was asked on Howard Stern (not that I heard it, I’m only a Howard Stern listener through force) if Stephanie was any good in bed and he replied “I wouldn’t be there if she wasn’t”.
Jerry Lawler and Stacy Carter
Hands up who didn’t see this one coming a mile away? Stacy was 18 when she hooked up with 40 year old Jerry. That was the first indication that something was seriously amiss. As much as egotistical, divorced, rich and self-deluded men in their 40’s and 50’s like to think so, they have absolutely nothing in common with 18 year old girls.
The life cycle of such relationships is limited to the amount of months it takes such girls to realize that the presents, jewellery, exotic holidays and attention are not worth having to put up with a man in mid-life crisis mode who simply can’t keep up in other ways.
My opinion on the Jerry/Stacy deal was that Stacy wouldn’t have looked at him twice if he hadn’t been somebody with a capital S in Memphis. She pouted her way into Jerry’s wrestling promotion and eventually, into the WWF. However, it must be said in Stacy’s favor that she showed a rare display of patience by hooking up with Jerry for a good 8 years before her plans came to fruition. She even convinced him that after 8 years marriage would be a good thing. Soon after their marriage, Vince decided Stacy had to go.
The reasons for this were never really explained, but there were rumors that Stacy hadn’t been too cooperative with WWF staff and had earned a reputation as a diva-in-training. Blonde wanna-be bunnies are a dime a dozen and as soon as they start to become more trouble than they are worth they get kicked to the kerb and it doesn’t matter who they’re married to. Vince kicked out Stacy, Lawler said if she went, he went, Vince said goodbye and the Lawler’s took their shit back to Memphis.
The marriage was over in a matter of months and Lawler was left looking like a prize fool. Stacy hooked up with a new man and Lawler made his way back into the WWE. Lawler was hot for her, Stacy was hot for the game. She wanted to be the coming attraction and she was going to use Lawler’s name to do it.
Not a bad plan, really.
‘They knew all the right people, they took all the right pills, they threw outrageous parties, they paid heavenly bills’
Elizabeth and the Macho Man Randy Savage
This wrestling couple was married in real life and married in the WWF. As a matter of fact, they were still married in WWF storylines for several years after they were divorced in real life. Would Elizabeth have been a part of the WWF if she wasn’t Randy Savage’s Very Much Better Half? No way. Back in the 80’s in order to be a female player in the wrestling industry, you had to either wrestle in a bikini in mud for beer swilling red necks or be the significant other of a popular wrestling star. Actually, not much has changed. You either have to have a high exposure T & A “acting” career or know someone, preferably the guy you’re sleeping with and can manipulate easily. Throw in a pair of fake boobs and dye your hair some God-awful color and you’re in. Easy, isn’t it?
Elizabeth was probably the WWF pioneer of the female part of a “love triangle”. Savage and Hogan fought over Elizabeth in the mid to late 80’s with Hogan, ever the babyface, championing Elizabeth when the Macho Man went a little wife-beater on her.
Of course Savage and Elizabeth didn’t last long off screen because Savage has always had a fairly hot temper, not helped by his reported use of steroids. For those of you who don’t know, steroids will not only screw up your internal organs and shrink your genitalia, they’ll give you some killer mood swings. Then again, maybe Elizabeth just found someone better and it was bye-bye Randy. Whatever happened, it wasn’t long until Elizabeth found herself hooked up with Lex Luger. But that’s another story.
Sunny (Tammy Lynn Sytch) and Chris Candido
Sunny was a big one for taking all the right pills or in her case, the wrong pills. She took so many of the wrong pills that the WWF showed her the door. Drugs make you unreliable and no matter how much the fans like you, we always get back to that whole blonde bunny wanna-be’s are a dime a dozen deal. Sunny took her considerable charms and Chris Candido to ECW, but still ran into drug problems. She and Candido then emerged in WCW where Tammy fit right into the next category…Candido passed away and Sunny struggled emotionally with his death.
‘There were lines on the mirror, lines on her face. She pretended not to notice, she was caught up in the race’
Elizabeth and Lex Luger
Luger was a wrestler who never really reached the heights he was supposed to. Cursed by injury and a bad temper, Luger and Elizabeth hooked up when they were both still in the WWF. After they jumped to WCW (and Luger jumped back to the WWF and then back to WCW) they appeared on screen and Elizabeth went all 90’s-chick and got herself a boob job. Actually, Elizabeth was a woman who has improved a lot from the fashion disaster riddled days of the 80’s and was ultimately way better looking in the 90’s than in the 80’s. In the 2000s, Elizabeth died from drug overdose and Luger became a reborn Christian.
‘Out every evening, until it was light. He was too tired to make it and she was too tired to fight about it”
Randy Savage and Gorgeous George
So Randy Savage went a little crazy in the late 90’s and like Jerry Lawler, he started dating young women. One of these young women was “Gorgeous George”, a sometime soft-porn “actress” who was all of about 20 years old. At almost 50, the Macho Man should have known better. But he didn’t and the two were an item off screen and soon she was one of Randy’s girlie girls ring side. Pretty in a Pamela Anderson kind of way, Gorgeous George had her own fan base of the usual suspects – horny pre-adolescents, adolescents and dirty old men.
Unfortunately Randy has a history of treating his women badly and soon he was too tired to make it and she was too tired to keep fighting. So they broke up. Another one bites the dust. These days ‘Gorgeous George’ (I can’t remember her real name and I really couldn’t care less) is best known for a video she supposedly sent Randy Savage where she’s…um…entertaining herself. I wonder if there was a mirror involved?
Bret and Julie Hart
I think it’s sad that Bret and his wife split up. They had four kids together, were a couple since they were 20 years old and held it together all those years he was on the road and tripping the light fantastic on the WWF Number One Man list. That’s quite an achievement. So he retires from wrestling for all intents and purposes and whammo, they’re filing for divorce.
I think women who seriously date wrestlers (eg. girlfriends, partners, wives) are a little odd. Even stranger are those who marry wrestlers and proceed to have their children. If you had a choice, would you want the father of your child to be on the road 250 out of every 365 years? No. You may as well be a single parent.
‘Blowin’ and burnin’ and blinded by thirst, they didn’t see the stop sign and took a turn for the worse’
Sable and Marc Mero
Once a true golden couple of wrestling, lack of talent and overblown ego’s soon got the best of Mr and Mrs Marc Mero. Mick Foley mentioned in his book that Marc Mero didn’t have much talent in the ring, but he had a real talent for making money. Mero cashed in on his boxing reputation and signed up with the WWF. The story goes that when he dropped into Titan Towers in Connecticut to ink his contract he bought his wife along. McMahon looked at Rena Mero and saw dollar signs. He signed her and “Sable” was born.
Sable’s only real fault was a lack of talent. She was pretty, had a great body (except for over-dosing on silicone) and could wrestle as well as any other non-wrestling woman in the game. McMahon pushed her big time and she became huge. Fans adored her and her Playboy spread was hugely successful. Then she started with the whole ego deal and like the song says, she didn’t see the stop sign and took a turn for the worse.
Marc Mero wasn’t too popular with his fellow wrestlers, but he wasn’t without some in-ring talent. Then he suffered a few injuries and his style became very grounded and, well, boring. After Sable and McMahon fell out over a variety of issues, the Mero’s took the cash and ran. Rena is apparently still trying to be an actress and Mero is still Mero.
‘She said, “Listen baby, you can hear the engine ring. We’ve been up and down this highway, haven’t seen a goddamn thing”‘
Luna and Gangrel
Here’s a couple who couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Luna and Gangrel both had shots at the big time and never quite made it due to personal demons rearing their ugly heads. Luna comes from one of the few true great wrestling families, and she had a great set of skills and the potential to be an above average female wrestler. He only thing that stood in Luna’s way was Luna. She had several shots in the WWF and struggled to establish herself.
Of course it wasn’t all her fault, she and Sable weren’t best of friends in the mid to late 90’s and she could take or leave Sunny, so she was in a situation where she wasn’t exactly making friends with the popular kids.
Cut to a few years later and she supposedly tied up a TV executive with duct tape and locked him in a room. When questioned, she said it was a joke but the TV executive didn’t agree and the WWE cut Luna loose. At the time her husband Gangrel, was having some success with the Edge and Christian Brood angle, but injury problems cut short Gangrel’s potential and soon he was out of shape and on the WWF blacklist.
Luna and Gangrel still work the independent circuit and as far as I know, they’re still very much a couple. Good for them.
‘He said “Call the doctor, I think I’m gonna crash” she said ‘The doctor’s coming, but you gotta pay him cash”‘
When you’re talking cash, you can’t talk bigger than Vince McMahon…
Vince McMahon and Stacey Kiebler
Even in a story line, why else would a girl like Stacey hook up with Vince McMahon? Dead presidents and Platinum Amex, baby.
Vince and Linda McMahon
I’m not suggesting Linda was in it for the cash. After all, she’s been married to Vince for about 35 years. They have two children and she earns her way as the WWE CEO. She also put up with Vince’s cheating for the first 15 years of their marriage, which makes her a more determined woman than I.
So how do Vince and Linda keep it together? I have no idea. Maybe it’s a kind of magic.