Tough Love: Wrestling Couples Who Are Real-Life Partners

Wrestling | 8/20/20

It’s no secret that wrestling is full of theatrics, but not all of it is pretend. Some WWE pairs are actually a couple in real life. After all, when you’re playing a couple in the ring, it’s not hard to fall for one another. That was the case with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, CM Punk and AJ Lee, and many others. Whether they were paired up in a storyline or just happened to meet in the industry, these WWE stars give a new meaning to the term “tough love.”

John Cena Proposed To Nikki Bella In The Ring

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images

John Cena rose to fame after appearing on SmackDown and soon emerged as one of the more famous athletes in the industry. Meanwhile, Nikki Bella grew to WWE fame alongside her twin sister, Brie Bella, in the Divas championship.

Nikki and John began dating in 2012 after his relationship with Elizabeth Huberdeau came to an end. The wrestling couple won over the hearts of their fans even more when John proposed in the ring after their tag-teaming match. Though they initially planned to wed in 2018, they called it quits a month before the wedding.

Triple H And Stephanie McMahon Met Through A Storyline

George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images
George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

Stephanie McMahon was very familiar with the world of wrestling having grown up the daughter of WWE CEO Vince McMahon. Triple H was already an established wrestler when he and Stephanie were put into a storyline together.

A year after their dramatic scene, Stephanie and Triple H became an item. As a SmackDown general manager, Stephanie has played a role in Triple H’s multiple championships. She’s also a champion herself in the women’s division but primarily sticks to behind-the-scenes work these days.

Braun Strowman And Alexa Bliss Are “Team Little Big”

Dawn Hoig/Pinterest
Dawn Hoig/Pinterest

Alexa Bliss is no stranger to WWE real-life relationships, having been engaged to Australian wrestler Buddy Murphy until 2018. She and Braun Strowman are champions that have garnered a ton of attention for their palpable chemistry inside the ring.

As partners, Alexa and Braun are fan-favorites under the adorable name Team Little Big. In one match, the two collided and locked eyes for a moment, leading viewers to believe that they aren’t just performing. Strowman admitted in an interview, “Yeah, there’s something going on between us,” referring to himself and Alexa.

Johnny And Candice Have Been Married Since 2016

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@JohnnyGargano/Twitter
@JohnnyGargano/Twitter

Johnny Gargano hit the ground running in the WWE world, becoming the first NXT triple crown champion. Candice LeRae had also established herself as a champion in women’s divisions when she and Johnny tied the knot in 2016.

Since, Candice has been involved in multiple feuds between Johnny and other male wrestlers, including Keith Lee and Tommaso Ciampa. Johnny began starring on SmackDown and Raw in 2019, all while remaining on NXT. Fans still love seeing the married couple unite in the ring.

Rusev And Lana Were Married When They “Broke Up”

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Joachim Sielski/Bongarts/Getty Images
Joachim Sielski/Bongarts/Getty Images

If you ever need to prove to someone that not everything in wrestling is real, Rusev and Lana are a prime example. The couple were first paired together in 2013 when Lana was brand new to WWE. It must have been fate, because she and Rusev said “I do” three years later.

Though they were married in real life, their WWE storyline had Lana “abandon” Rusev for Bobby Lashley. Now the couple gets to duke it out against one another in the ring, and go home together after a long day’s work.

The Miz and Maryse Have Their Own Reality Show

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

The Miz achieved WWE stardom by first appearing on reality TV shows, starting with The Real World in 2001 and followed by Tough Enough in 2004. He then became the host of Smackdown and Diva Search, the latter of which Maryse was a contestant.

After meeting through Diva Search, The Miz and Maryse started dating and got married in 2014. Maryse started managing The Miz in 2016 and the couple tag-teamed in a feud against John Cena and Nikki Bella. In 2018, they landed a reality series, Miz and Mrs.

Seth And Becky’s Relationship Sparked Their Storyline

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Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch didn’t develop a relationship due to their storyline but rather gained a storyline out of their relationship. The pair are both champions who were matched together in the WWE world after news broke out that they were dating in real life.

Seth and Becky announced their engagement in 2019 and less than a year later, the couple discovered they were expecting. Due to her pregnancy, Becky stepped away from her titleholder role in RAW.

Beth Phoenix Saw Edge Through His Spinal Injury

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Chris Ryan/Corbis via Getty Images
Chris Ryan/Corbis via Getty Images

Edge racked up several titles in the ’90s, including a whopping 14 Tag-team title reigns and 7 World Heavyweight title reigns. Beth Phoenix came onto the scene shortly thereafter, racking up 3 Women’s titles and a Divas title during her WWE contract from 2004 to 2012.

Edge’s early success was followed by a spinal injury that caused him to go into early retirement in 2011. Two years later, Edge and Beth had their first child. They had their second in 2016 and were married the same year. Despite Edge’s injury, he made a miraculous return to the ring in 2020.

Maria Rejoined WWE When Mike Started There

Mike-Bennett-Maria-Kanellis
IMPACT Wrestling/YouTube
IMPACT Wrestling/YouTube

Maria Kanellis became a WWE wrestler in 2006 after appearing in their Diva’s Search competition. Her contract ended in 2010, and a year later she began dating Mike Bennett. Mike performed in various promotions such as Top Rope and Ring of Honor.

Maria and Mike got married in 2014 and joined WWE in 2017, this time being Mike’s first and Maria’s second. While in WWE, the couple was in a storyline together. They welcomed their first child in 2018 and second in 2020.

Nick Aldis and Mickie James Met On TNA

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images and Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage/Getty Images
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images and Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage/Getty Images

Mickie James wrestled for WWE from 2005 until 2010 before going to the independent scene and then returning to WWE in 2016. Nick Aldas has wrestled for numerous promotions, including TNA, where the couple met.

Nick is best known for being the NWA Heavyweight Champion. The couple has tag-teamed in matches, one that was against James Storm and Serena Deeb. They had their first child in 2014 and were married on New Year’s Eve in 2015.

The Undertaker Was Already A WWE Star When He Met Michelle

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Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images and JP Yim/Getty Images
Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images and JP Yim/Getty Images

The Undertaker has been a WWE champion for decades, emerging on the scene in the early ’90s. In that time, he’s secured 7 tag team titles, won the WWE Championship 4 times, and has been a world heavyweight champion 3 times.

Though Michelle McCool hasn’t had as much time to establish herself in the profession, she’s still managed to bring home the Diva and Women’s title 2 times. Michelle has also appeared in the Undertaker’s feuds since they started dating in 2007. The couple was married in 2010 and had a child together in 2012.

Sable Left The WWE Shortly After Meeting Brock

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Josh Holmberg /Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Josh Holmberg /Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sable became a female wrestling icon in the ’90s, during which time she met her second husband, Marc Mero. After a brief hiatus, Sable returned to the WWE in 2003, at which point she met Brock Lesnar. Brock had just become the youngest WWE champion at the age of 25, and Sable was headed towards a divorce.

Naturally, the WWE stars linked up and in 2006 they got married. In 2004, Sable left the world of wrestling, this time for good, to focus on raising her family. Meanwhile, Brock shifted to a part-time wrestling career.

Montez Ford and Bianca Belair Met At The Performance Center

Montez-Ford-Bianca-Belair
@BiancaBelairWWE/Twitter
@BiancaBelairWWE/Twitter

Montez Ford and Bianca Belair met at the Performance Center and announced in 2017 that they were engaged. They tied the knot in 2018 and won the Evolve Tag Team title the same year as The Street Prophets.

Montez and Bianca have performed on NXT and RAW both as individual wrestlers and as a duo. Their first-time tag-teaming was on NXT in a 2019 match against The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, and Marina Shafir.

Andrade Almas and Charlotte Flair Were Both Born Into Wrestling

Brian Ach/Getty Images for WWE
Brian Ach/Getty Images for WWE

Andrade Almas and Charlotte Flair both have relatives who have made a name for themselves in WWE. Andrade’s family members are masked luchadores in his native country Mexico. Charlotte is the daughter of Ric Flair and sister to Reid and David Flair, all of whom are WCW stars.

Both Andrade and Charlotte established themselves as household names in the industry, so it’s no wonder they found their way to one another. They began dating in 2019 and announced that they are engaged in January of 2020.

Kacy Catanzaro Joined The WWE A Year Before Ricochet Did

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Etsuo Hara/Getty Images and Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images and Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Though Ricochet didn’t sign to the WWE until 2018, he established himself in numerous promotions in the decades before, including Evolve, Dragon Gate, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He’s since held the NXT North American title.

Kacy joined the WWE a year before Ricochet in 2017 after gaining attention as a competitor in America Ninja Warrior. The pair met while training at the Performance Center and have since performed in NXT tag-team matches in 2018 and 2019.

Brie Was By Daniel’s Side Through His Injury And Return

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Josh Brasted/WireImage/Getty Images
Josh Brasted/WireImage/Getty Images

Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan started dating near the end of their storyline and got married back in 2011. As Brie was becoming a rising Diva, Daniel has a setback that forced him to leave the WWE altogether. An injury forced him to retire from wrestling in 2016.

Two years later, Daniel made an emotional comeback after a team of doctors gave him the okay. He was sure to give a big thanks to Brie in his 2018 return speech. In 2020, Brie and her sister Nikki were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Tyson Kidd and Natalya Neidhart Met At Hart Dungeon

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Moses Robinson/Getty Images and Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Moses Robinson/Getty Images and Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Natalya Neidhart emerged in the independent wrestling scene in 2000 and joined the WWE in 2007. She’s won the SmackDown title and Diva’s title once each. Tyson stuck with Hart Dungeon throughout his career, which Natalya’s maternal family owns.

The pair met in the early 2000s through Hart Dungeon and got married in 2013. Though Tyson suffered from a spinal injury that ended his career as a wrestler, he now works for WWE as a producer.

AJ Lee Was Obsessed With CM Punk In Their Storyline

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

CM Punk and AJ Lee were already champions in their own right when they were paired up for a storyline. In it, AJ Lee was obsessed with CM Punk, who didn’t return the sentiment. Fortunately, the couple had mutual feelings in real life and tied the knot in 2014.

Both left the WWE around the time they got married. CM Punk has since returned as a member of the panel on Backstage. AJ Lee still holds the record for holding the Divas belt for a whopping 406 days.

Renee Was In Jon’s Storyline As An Announcer

Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic/Getty Images and PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images
Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic/Getty Images and PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images

Though wrestling storylines are often between wrestlers, Renee Young has proved that even an announcer can get pulled into the drama. The Miz theatrically accused Renee of being biased during a feud between him and Jon Moxley, who was dating Renee at the time.

As a result, Renee slapped The Miz, much to the audience’s delight. The couple started dating in 2013 and were married in 2017. More recently, Jon became the AEW World Champion and Renee started co-hosting Backstage.

Jimmy Uso and Naomi Were Featured On Total Divas

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Jimmy Uso is famous for tag-teaming with his brother, Jey Uso. Together, the siblings have been champions six times and have two tag-team titles and four SmackDown titles. Their father and trainer is the legendary Rikishi.

Naomi established herself as a champion, too, winning Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal and holding two SmackDown titles. Jimmy and Naomi were featured on Total Divas starting in 2013 and tied the knot in 2014 on an episode. They also participated together in the show’s Mixed Match Challenge.

Aleister And Zelina Run A YouTube Channel Called A To Z

Aleister-Black-Zelina-Vega
dpw2017/Reddit
dpw2017/Reddit

Aleister Black and Zelina Vega emerged as pro wrestlers on NXT. Zelina was the manager of Andrade Cien Almas, who she would also tag-team with against Johnny Gargano and Candice LaRae. Aleister joined the show in 2016, at which point he and Zelina met.

After getting married in 2018, the couple famously faced off against one another during a feud between Aleister and Andrade. When the pair aren’t duking it out in the ring, they’re managing their YouTube series, A to Z.

Adam Cole and Britt Baker Tag-Teamed In Independent Wrestling

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@RealBrittBaker/Twitter
@RealBrittBaker/Twitter

Adam Cole and Britt Baker have supported one another both as a team and as individuals. They have tag-teamed in independent wrestling, but have remained solo in the WWE world. Britt became the first woman signed to All Elite Wrestling.

Since Adam Cole is close to the founders of All Elite Wrestling, Britt hopes he’ll soon join so they can finally compete together. In the meantime, Adam has established himself as a Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, and NXT champion.

Randy Savage And Miss Elizabeth Worked With Hulk Hogan

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Getty Images
Getty Images

Randy Savage was a top celebrity wrestler in the ’80s and ’90s, holding numerous titles and partnering with Hulk Hogan to form the Mega Powers tag team. Miss Elizabeth became Randy’s manager in 1985, a year after they tied the knot.

In 1990, Miss Elizabeth started working with Sapphire and Dusty Rhodes, both of whom wrestled against Randy. The couple continued to work together into the late ’90s, though they called it quits on their marriage in 1992.

Cody Rhodes and Brandi Rhodes Head All Elite Wrestling

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Being that Cody Rhodes is the son of famous wrestler Dusty Rhodes, it’s no surprise that he’s made a name for himself in the industry. In 2016, Cody left WWE to hone in on the independent wrestling scene, and in 2019 he became one of the Executive Vice Presidents of All Elite Wrestling.

Brandi emerged on the WWE scene in 2011 as an announcer and wrestler. She and Cody wed in 2013 and in 2019 Brandi became the Chief Branding Officer of All Elite Wrestling.

Shawn And Peyton Coach At A Florida Wrestling School

Shawn-Spears-Peyton-Royce
@wwrlive/Twitter
@wwrlive/Twitter

You may know Shawn Spears as the WWE star Tye Dillinger, a name he’s wrestled under since 2013. He was a member of both NXT and SmackDown until 2017, during which time he met Peyton Royce. Peyton joined the WWE in 2015 and went on to win the Women’s Tag Team Finals in 2019.

The same year, Shawn joined All Elite Wrestling and he and Peyton got married. Shawn also runs a wrestling school in Florida, where Peyton sometimes shows up as a guest trainer.

Raymond And Sarah Had A Viking-Themed Wedding

Raymond-Rowe-Sarah-Logan
@SarahRowe/Twitter
@SarahRowe/Twitter

Raymond Rowe is well-known for being one half of the Viking Raiders on Raw, a team that holds 4 titles. Prior to this, he wrestled on Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and NXT. Sara Logan wrestled in NXT and later Raw.

The couple got engaged in 2017 and married the following year in a Viking ceremony that spoke to their wrestling careers. On July 6, 2020, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child.

Booker T and Sharmell

booker-t-sharmell
Rob Loud/WireImage/Getty Images
Rob Loud/WireImage/Getty Images

Booker T was a successful wrestler for WWE and WCW, through which he won 6 total World Heavyweight titles. He also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame more than once. Sharmell also wrestled in WWE and was usually seen tag-teaming with Booker.

The couple was even in a six-person tag match in 2009 during a European tour. Booker T and Sharmell started dating in 2001 and got married in 2005. They’ve since had two children together.

Roderick Strong and Marina Shafir’s Son Was Involved In A Feud

Roderick-Strong-Marina-Shafir
Marina Shafir/YouTube
Marina Shafir/YouTube

Roderick Strong performed in Ring of Honor, TNA, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and Pro Wrestling Noah before signing to WWE in 2016. Marina Shafir started out in Mixed Martia Arts before emerging as one of the Four Horsewomen on NXT.

Though the pair was on NXT at the same time, they got engaged a year before appearing on the show together. Though they haven’t appeared in the ring together, their relationship and son were a part of a feud between Roderick and Velveteen Dream.