When you see wrestlers get into arguments, it is easy to think it is all just an act for TV. After all, at their core, WWE Wrestlers are actors and they are used to having to portray different storylines to try and garner reactions from the crowd. While the hatred they display in the ring is almost always part of their character’s reaction, sometimes that frustration comes from very real places.
As seen on the reality show, E!’s Total Divas, many of the superstars and female wrestlers are good friends with each other. As a result, often you will see wrestlers develop ‘rivalries’ in the ring and continue to gain experience as they work together to put on a great show.
While some get along, what you are really here for are the ones that do not! As is the case with any workplace, there will always be two people who do not like each other. Yet when your profession also involves getting to work out those frustrations in a wrestling ring? You can get explosive results.
With WWE being under a microscope and social media being more prominent, it is easier now then ever before to find out when wrestlers have actual disdain for one another. While some could argue that this is a negative, it really does just add another layer to the rivalries.
The following is a list of the top twenty times that a rivalry has become personal. Sure, sometimes there was a storyline written, but we all know it was more then that. You know it is extreme when the wrestlers truly disliked each other to the extent where they wanted to settle their ‘beef’ on live TV.
20. Lana and Paige
The two current main roster Divas came through NXT’s development territory at the same time before being called up to the roster back in 2014, so it is easy to see that their paths could have crossed. Lana had been positioned with Rusev at the time, while Paige had already established herself in the Divas Division.
Lana has taken to Twitter to state that Paige used to bully her during her time in NXT, hardly a professional move. Paige was having none of it and replied to state that Lana was looking for a storyline and a chance for exposure. As of yet the two have not been pictured together or used on TV at the same time, it is clear that if that was Lana’s plan, that it failed.
19. Ric Flair and Bret Hart
These two have been a part of a real life rivalry that has lasted decades, but are you really surprised with how competitive they are? Both have mentioned their dislike of each other in their books and in interviews with Bret Hart once famously calling Ric Flair “The most overrated wrestler in the history of the business.”
Ric Flair’s response was to ask who Bret Hart was? He went on to say that he had wrestled the best the business had to offer but he didn’t know who Bret Hart was.
Apparently this entire ongoing issue started when Flair called Hart “bitter” in one of his books and Hart was not impressed and it seems this is still yet to be resolved. Good thing that totally doesn’t sound like a bitter reaction Bret!
18. Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan
The duo that were once known as The Mega Powers allowed a women to come between them. Though when rumors of an affair between Miss Elizabeth (the wife of Savage) and Hogan, it is clear to see why there would quickly be some heat.
Savage was overly protective and was not happy about this and the story states that the two clashed over it many times. The two wrestlers issues with each other continued to grow throughout their time in WCW, but can you be surprised when they’re both have such ‘colorful’ personalities?
Fans may be happy to know that the two managed to patch things up before Savage passed away in 2011.
17. Ric Flair and Mick Foley
It seems the real-life feud between “The Nature Boy” and “The Hardcore Legend” started because Foley was less than complimentary of Flair in many of his early books (Geez Ric, stop reading!).
Flair then reacted by referring to Foley as a “Glorified Stuntman” in his own book. While the insult clearly cut Foley deep, it also led the way to a WWE feud which led to some great matches and promos between the two.
The feud was then taken on by TNA, and it seems the two managed to become friends in the process, so it seems all’s well that ends well. At least when they’ve both spent that much time in the business, there is mutual respect that grows.
16. Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan
McMahon and Hogan have had a back and forth relationship for the past few decades and have gone from the best of friends to the worst of enemies.
Hogan has gone on the record speaking against Vince and even moved to WCW to try to help the company become bigger than Vince’s WWF back in the 90s, but in case you didn’t know, Vince’s company won.
Hogan was then welcomed back after a decade to help present at WrestleMania 30. However when audio of Hogan was released in which he was heard making racist remarks, Vince once again decided to drop Hogan and the company has had nothing to do with him since.
15. Randy Orton and Mr Kennedy
Orton has been known to have a problem with many wrestlers, but he seemed to have developed a place of dislike for Mr Kennedy.
The “Apex Predator” was reported to have gone backstage with John Cena and lobbied for Kennedy to be released from WWE after he had delivered a stiff suplex to him. Though to Kennedy’s credit, it was one of his first matches back so it made sense that he would be slightly stiff and out of practice.
Orton then spread it around that Kennedy was stiff in the ring and ultimately he was released from the company and instead found his feet at TNA. While we don’t know Kennedy’s take on the matter, I can imagine they aren’t best buddies.
14. CM Punk and Jeff Hardy
These two had some of the greatest WWE matches in history when they feuded throughout the summer of 2009. It was a fantasy match up from the beginning and the two were so good in the ring and on the mic that the fans ate up everything that the two men offered.
Whilst the both men were part of a fantastic feud, this didn’t stop them harbouring a vast amount of hatred for each other.
It was well documented that Jeff Hardy had an ongoing drug problem for a lot of his time in WWE and it seems Punk was disgusted at this since he promoted a drug-free lifestyle. It is clear why this caused issues, and Punk was known to have shunned Hardy backstage.
13. Stephanie McMahon and Chyna
Another rift caused by a love triangle, except this time it was a male superstar at the centre of the controversy.
Chyna and Triple H were dating at the time when they were performing together as part of D-Generation X. Problems arose when Chyna accused Stephanie of stealing her boyfriend after Triple H dumped her in favour of the billion dollar princess.
Chyna then kicked up a fuss and was then fired from WWE. Unlike some feuds on this list, she has reportedly not buried the hatchet with Triple H or Stephanie. Though I think things are going pretty well for that power couple!
12. Melina and Candice Michelle
Melina became well known backstage for being a literal “Diva” in WWE. As a result, her reputation caused her to have falling outs with many wrestlers over the years. Though given how often she worked with Candice, it is not shocking that it was her who may have had the biggest issue with Melina.
Candice was unhappy that Melina had stolen one of her moves and Melina then went on to rant about how Candice was handed what she has and never went to wrestling school and fought for it like she did.
The two left WWE a few years ago, but who knows if the feud is behind them. Candice is now a mother of two and Melina is working the Indy Circuit, but I bet Candice isn’t using that move anytime soon.
11. Alberto Del Rio and Sin Cara
After it was reported that the original Sin Cara pulled a gun on Alberto Del Rio, there is no doubting that this is a feud that could have escalated quickly.
The two have been known to have backstage heat throughout both their Mexican and WWE careers and were even seen to be working stiff in matches against each other on episodes of Raw.
Sin Cara was replaced a few years ago and it seems that’s where their rivalry ended, at least until Del Rio threatened him on Twitter. It seems this one is quite far away from being resolved in the immediate future.
10. Tammy Lynn Sytch and Ashley Massaro
One of the more amusing real-life feuds, it seems Sunny took a dislike to Ashley and began talking about Ashley’s posing for Playboy amongst other things and stating that she used to work as a hired companion.
Ashley took insult to this and posted a picture of herself the year before next to Sunny who was then being paid for Skype “intimacies.” Sunny obviously wasn’t impressed and the two have yet to reconcile.
Sunny has just announced that she was a part of another adult entertainment film, which is sure to garner a great response from Ashley
9. AJ Lee and The Bella Twins
AJ Lee was more than outspoken about her hatred of The Bella Twins during her time in WWE. Her now famous pipebomb *promo* was thought to have been her truthful opinion of the two sisters who currently dominate WWE’s Divas Division and she said some less then kind words. Including “I have done more in one year than all of you have done in your entire collective careers. I have saved your Divas division, I have shattered glass ceilings, I have broken down doors.”
When AJ won the Slammy for Diva of the Year in 2014 she made a point of stating that she hopes that anyone but the Bella Twins would win it the year after.
Sadly Nikki Bella won Diva of the Year in 2015, so it seems the WWE Universe don’t share her hatred. The Bella’s have been heard to be saying some harsh things about AJ too, but now she’s retired, they are free to rule without her.
8. Paul London and Matt Hardy
It seems Paul London and Matt Hardy developed issues after Ashley Massaro dumped Hardy and decided to begin dating London instead.
London then began to rant about Hardy following his release, stating that Hardy had an issue with him and that he tried to get him fired. Hardy responded that he was delusional and that he was making it all up.
The two later worked together in ROH but never had a storyline together. It was reported that London said he refused to pitch a storyline to work with Hardy because he knew there was still a personal problem between the two of them.
7. Tazz and Chris Jericho
The issue between these two developed because they both present rival podcasts.
Jericho promoted his show as the first time Samoa Joe had done an interview after leaving TNA, but this was not true. Joe had also been on Tazz’s show prior to being on Jericho’s. While it sounds silly to think that these two men are arguing over a microphone and not a belt, Tazz was not pleased.
He felt as if his show had been ignored and still takes shots at Jericho on his show to this day. Jericho on the other hand doesn’t seem all that bothered that he has made an enemy and just ignores the negativity.
6. Maria and The Bella Twins
The Bella Twins had a reputation in WWE when they first arrived, and it wasn’t a great one. It seemed they weren’t well liked backstage and many were happy when they were finally given their marching orders.
Yet much to the disdain of many wrestlers, the twins were brought back a few years later though and it seems they took a dislike to Maria. The twins’ starpower has risen considerably, and it was rumoured that Maria was about to make a return to WWE but the Bella twins blocked it.
Maria revealed that the issue between her and Nikki was that she was friends with Dolph Ziggler and Nikki was jealous. Maria also stated that Brie and Nikki blocked the returns of Maryse Ouellet and Kelly Kelly, but WWE and the twins have yet to respond.
5. Stephanie McMahon and AJ Lee
Stephanie McMahon is in a position of power and AJ Lee felt that Steph wasn’t doing a lot of good with the power she was handed.
AJ responded to a tweet that Stephanie posted regarding women’s rights back in 2014, stating that the women of WWE still get a fraction of their male counterparts despite having record selling merchandise and being stars of movies. Lee pleaded with Stephanie to use her position to try and fight for more equal rights among wrestlers.
Stephanie never responded to the tweet and there were rumours that the two were set for an in-ring showdown, but this never happened and AJ retired from the company not long after.
4. Triple H and CM Punk
This issue only became public knowledge due to the fuss that CM Punk made when he departed from WWE in 2014.
CM Punk walked out of WWE following the 2014 Royal Rumble and has not been a stranger to controversy since his departure from the company. Given the management role that Triple H holds now, it shouldn’t be a shock that he is the face of some of the hate. Punk was generally unhappy about the way he was treated by the company for many years, and the pair also had a well documented feud back in 2011.
It seems Punk’s main issue was that he didn’t want to have to face Triple H at WrestleMania (because that would be awful?). Triple H took this as disrespect and has bore resentment to him since. Much of The Authority’s reaction to Daniel Bryan’s story line was the way they were reacting to CM Punk.
3. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels
Vince McMahon is probably as much to blame as Shawn Michaels, but the Montreal Screw Job ruined Michaels and Hart’s relationship, largely because Bret felt that his friend should have known better than to have gone behind his back.
The two didn’t speak to each other for years after the incident. While Hart was seen publicly spitting in McMahons face before he exploded with anger backstage and stayed away from WWE for a long time after.
Luckily he was offered the right amount of money a few years ago, and as a result finally was able to put his differences behind him and reappear on the company. As a result, it gave both Bret and Shawn an opportunity to put their differences behind them.
2. CM Punk and Ryback
CM Punk and Ryback had a major feud in WWE when Paul Heyman took Ryback under his wing, and then used Ryback as a pawn in his bigger feud with CM Punk.
Yet Ryback was one of the few guys who failed to flourish under Heyman’s leadership and the feud between the two was short lived.
CM Punk left WWE not long after and stated on Colt Cabana’s podcast that he hated working with Ryback because he was stiff in the ring and he was a dangerous wrestler.
Ryback responded on Twitter and has given small digs at Punk in the ring as well, but it seems hatred runs deep between these two.
1. Edge and Matt Hardy (and Lita)
Quite possibly the most famous real life feud in WWE history, once again a love triangle was established thanks to WWE aligning Lita with Edge.
Matt Hardy and Lita were a real life couple and had been together since they were both a part of Team Extreme, but it was then discovered that Lita had been having an affair with Edge behind Hardy’s back and Matt was less than impressed.
Matt was then fired from WWE when he went public with his issues before WWE rehired him and decided to turn the real life dislike into a story line. Sadly this wasn’t great to watch and it ended as quickly as it began and the two were then kept separate for the rest of their career.