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Married to The Game: Wrestling Power Couples



Pro wrestling couples aim to put a little more TLC into their St. Valentine’s Day Massacres

Being a pro wrestler requires time and patience. The commitment to in-ring training, daily workout routines, eating healthy and performing takes as much dedication as making a relationship with your significant other a success. Relationships take time to develop and evolve. Having the patience to power through challenges and hardships is essential in making a good relationship last. Wrestling is no different. Behind the curtains, the “Gorilla Positions” the big gymnasium doors are people who have risked their life and love for the sport of pro wrestling. With the business changing and new ideas emerging from both the indie and major scenes, couples are having a huge impact on the industry.

While Vince McMahon embedded the canon of Terry “Hulk” Hogan into our minds as the WWF’s top star, the charisma of Randy “Macho Man” Savage and the elegance of Miss Elizabeth captured the hearts of millions. The story of love, lust, jealously and friendship told by the Hulkster, Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth will forever be a defining moment in pro wrestling history. For Elizabeth, in particular, her star would shine brightest in the world of entertainment and fashion, but being the real life wife of Randy Savage complicated things.

In a 1988 interview conducted by the Toronto Sun, Elizabeth states, “Randy likes to be a part of [going out shopping] and it’s hard for him to go out in public in a situation like that.” While Savage and Elizabeth would go their separate ways later on, the two late legends will always be inseparable to fans.

In today’s environment, wrestling’s power couples keep the real world cameras rolling with shows like E! Network’s Total Divas and Centric TV’s My Current Situation. With Total Divas, WWE has created a platform for fans to see what some superstars and their relationships are like behind the scenes. The depictions of Rusev and Lana on Raw are not the same as the newlywed couple on Total Divas.

In real life, Rusev is a wisecracking jokester, but on Raw, he’s a Bulgarian badass with a “Russian” wife. To boost the interest of hardcore and casual fans alike, WWE has integrated the relationship of Nikki Bella and John Cena into Smackdown Live, which had been the foundation of Total Divas since its debut on the E! Network in 2013. My Current Situation follows the personal and professional relationship of husband and wife duo Raphael “Big Brother” King and Devyn Nicole. When paired together, the two rising stars enter the ring decked in Greek life attire. King is one of the participants in Ring of Honor’s annual Top Prospects Tournament, and at 6 foot 5, the St. Louis native is sure to pick up more momentum from his ROH appearance.

“We have really started from the bottom together and grown to this point in wrestling and in television…we’ve seen each other at our lowest and fought tooth and nail side-by-side to achieve our dreams. — Devyn Nicole on growing as a couple in wrestling

Over in the land of Anthem, Impact Wrestling has had an influx of couples join the company. Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne call Knockouts matches together. “The Miracle” Mike Bennett and Maria can be seen causing all sorts of trouble on TV for real life married couple Braxton Sutter and Allie. While Jade has become the focal point of the rebuilding Knockouts division, her significant other, Eddie Kingston, causes havoc as a member of the DCC. Cody and Brandi Rhodes have entered into the Impact Zone, and who can forget about the one and only tandem of Broken Matt and Queen Reby Hardy.

It’s not illogical to think that bringing in so many couples is a way of curbing cost, but it is also a unique situation to have. Almost a decade ago, TNA found itself in a different set of circumstances with the Karen Angle/Jarrett debacle, but yet, they still created a fun, memorable storyline from it.

Creating stories around wrestling couples sometimes just don’t work. A few years ago, Kane stalked Brie Bella to get to Daniel Bryan. Back in WCW, Kimberly Page, then wife of Diamond Dallas Page, would become the centerpiece for a weird feud with Buff Bagwell. Years later in WWE, DDP would turn the tables and be the one to mess with the Undertaker’s wife, Sara Calloway.

While everyone loves the classic feuds that HBK would have during his final in-ring years with Chris Jericho, Undertaker and Ric Flair, the one (willingly) forgotten about rivalry was between Michaels and JBL. HBK and his wife, former Nitro Girl Whisper, needed help from JBL’s deep pockets because of the ongoing US financial crisis. What sounds good on paper doesn’t always translate to television.

WrestleMania is upon us and the rumor for 16-time WWE Champion John Cena is some type of match between him and The Miz. The two men have Mania history, but this time could see the women of each respective athlete get involved. Since Maryse rejoined the WWE, The Miz has been on fire as a character. Cena now has to fight for Nikki as well. The concept is risky for such a huge event, but one that may end with a marriage proposal from Cena. The moment would no doubt be one of the biggest in WrestleMania history and could rival the Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth proposal.

Overall, the growing number of couples in wrestling, both in the top organizations and on the indies, is a trend that will only go up in time. I mean, the possibility of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H vs. AJ Lee and CM Punk for Wrestlemania is always an option, right?…

Follow me on Twitter @Willmarelle

Shannon is a proud product of Detroit, Michigan. He's a connoisseur of all things hip-hop and pro wrestling and often compares the two forms of entertainment. He's a feature writer for FightBooth and also a corporate nomad.

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