The more you think about it, the more it makes sense that professional wrestlers would have a propensity towards dating one another. As women become exponentially prominent in the sport, the men they travel with likewise tend to become the people they interact with the most, and the same is obviously true of the male talent in regard to their new female co-workers. Of course, the idea of wrestlers dating one another is hardly a novel concept, and women in the industry have been getting involved with their male counterparts as long as the sport has been around.
Beyond an obvious shared love of sports entertainment and spending all of their time on the road together, male and female wrestlers are bound to share plenty of other interests familiar to all athletes and entertainers that would make it easy for them to bond. On the flipside, the life of an entertainer, sports or otherwise, can often be so fast paced that relationships are hard to maintain, so plenty of the wrestlers who dated one another didn’t necessarily get married. Even if they did, half of marriages end in divorce, and the rate may be higher when it comes to the rich and famous.
Hardly dissuaded by one bad breakup, a surprising number of female wrestlers have kept it in the profession despite their first relationship with a wrestler going south. For whatever reason, a select few ladies of World Wrestling Entertainment almost exclusively dated their co-workers, although most of these women’s fans typically forget their past beaus in favor of whoever their with in the present day. Keep reading to discover 15 women you never knew dated more than one wrestler.
15. Nikki Bella – Dolph Ziggler And John Cena
Given her status as a reality TV star first and a pro wrestler second, there should be no surprise Nikki Bella has had more than one high profile relationship during her time in the spotlight. She’s been with John Cena since 2012, one year prior to the debut of Total Divas. Prior to that, Bella dated Dolph Ziggler, the relationship apparently starting sometime in 2008 and ending late 2010. Although the couple broke up prior to Nikki getting a TV show, fans of Total Divas are nonetheless aware of their history, considering Ziggler revealed he still had feelings for Nikki in a 2015 episode. Before any rumors could swirl, she shot him down and made it clear she was with Cena for good now. That said, Nikki has also been open about her desire to get married, which Cena has been hesitant about due to his first marriage ending in a messy divorce. Regardless of the complicated love triangle, Nikki Bella has managed to become one of the most successful female wrestlers in the WWE Universe.
14. Stacy Keibler – David Flair And Test
Entering the wrestling business after getting spotted in the crowd at Starrcade 1998 dancing with her boyfriend, Stacy Keibler’s career in wrestling was simultaneously defined by the men she dated and how summarily she always managed to eclipse them with her beauty. After that first nameless boyfriend, Stacy’s next relationship was with David Flair, the son of WCW legend Ric Flair. She had recently debuted in the company as Miss Hancock, a member of Standards and Practices, but it was the relationship with Flair that put her on the map by giving her a significantly bigger role. She dated Flair both on and off screen, leading to a controversial and high profile pregnancy angle, coincidentally breaking up with him around the same time the angle bombed. Once WWE purchased WCW and Keibler’s contract along with it, she started dating Test. Continuing her trend of working with her boyfriends, she also became his manager, her main contribution to this his career having been dubbing Test fans “Testicles.” Unsurprisingly, it didn’t get over, either, and thus Stacy is better known for her time away from the men—until she left wrestling and started dating a man with star power that would eclipse hers for once, George Clooney.
13. Terri – Brian Pillman, Dustin Rhodes, And New Jack
Lucking into an onscreen role in WCW while doing make-up for the company, Terri Boatright quickly enamored herself to her new co-workers with her bright personality. The athlete to like her the most at first appeared to be Brian Pillman, who she dated in the early ‘90s while both were working for the company. It wasn’t meant to last, however, as Pillman soon met his future wife Melanie, and Terri moved on to her eventual husband, Dustin Rhodes. Terri and Dustin took their relationship public when they jumped to WWE, creating the characters of Marlena and Goldust respectively. Their relationship remained rocky despite career success, fueled in part by the fact Dustin’s father Dusty never approved of the marriage. The two eventually divorced in 1999. Terri wasn’t done dating wrestlers, though, starting a relationship with ECW hardcore icon New Jack sometime around 2009. Unfortunately for Terri, this was probably her most toxic relationship of all, coming to a dramatic end in 2011 when Jack was caught selling naked photos of her. A judge banned Jack from distributing them, but it should go without saying the couple broke up before it even went to court.
12. AJ Lee – Jay Lethal And CM Punk
At the peak of her fame in WWE, it felt like AJ Lee’s dangerously crazy character had dated almost every main event talent in the company. Sharing smooches with Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, CM Punk, and Kane, the Geek Goddess used her feminine wiles to become the highest profile female wrestlers in the WWE Universe of the year 2012. Outside of the ring, however, there was only one man for her during this time, the man who eventually became her husband, CM Punk. That doesn’t mean Punk is the only man she’s ever dated, though. Earlier in AJ’s career, she also had a long-term relationship with former RoH World Champion Jay Lethal. The two dated shortly after Lethal trained AJ to become a wrestler, also forming a mixed tag team that competed in Women’s Superstars Uncensored. After AJ and Punk were married, Lethal commented during a ROH event that he wouldn’t take hand-me-downs, shooting that Punk apparently would take his. Despite the comment, there doesn’t seem to be any serious heat between the three, with Punk and AJ having left wrestling for entirely unrelated reasons before Lethal said anything.
11. The Kat – Jerry Lawler And Kizarny
Emblematic of the era in which she was popular, Stacy “The Kat” Carter was one of the several WWE Women’s Champions who never actually trained to be a wrestler. She had a leg up over her competition, however, in that she was dating Jerry “The King” Lawler at the time, who she met in 1989 when she was only 18 years old. Lawler was married to his second wife Paula at the time, and though he later admitted he considered cheating on her with Carter, he waited until 1991 to do anything, at which point he filed for divorce. She started appearing on television in 1999, one year before the two were married. The relationship was significant for causing Lawler to walk out of WWE in early 2001 when his wife was suddenly fired, and yet they were divorced only a few months later after Carter in turn walked out on him in July. More recently, Carter had a relationship with independent wrestler Sinn Bodhi, who briefly competed for WWE as Kearny. The two married in 2010, and were divorced three years later. On the plus side, at least no one lost their job this time.
10. Missy Hyatt – Jake Roberts, John Tatum, Eddie Gilbert, Etc.
It may not be entirely fair, but it’s worth mentioning given the nature of this list that Missy Hyatt has perhaps the most prolific reputation dating for dating wrestlers of any woman ever in the business. It started in 1985, when she was hired by World Class Championship Wrestling to manage “Hollywood” John Tatum, who naturally was her boyfriend at the time. Prior to this, she also dated Jake “The Snake” Roberts, though it didn’t transition to a career in the way she hoped it would have. Missy left World Class for the UWF, where she met Eddie Gilbert and formed Hot Stuff and Hyatt International. Behind the scenes, she and Gilbert also started dating, getting married in 1988. The relationship lasted about two years, when Gilbert left her for Madusa (more on her later). At that point, Hyatt began dated TV star Jason Hervey of The Wonder Years, who would also form a business partnership with Eric Bischoff and become a long time producer for WCW through the connection. From there, Missy dated a nonstop barrage of wrestlers including names like Raven, Erik Watts, Road Warrior Hawk, Brutus Beefcake, and who knows how many others.
9. Madusa – Eddie Gilbert And Greg Valentine
One of the first women in America to prove that females could wrestle just as well as the men, Madusa still fit the longstanding trend that women in the industry at the time often got their jobs by dating male talent. Her first few gigs at least were achieved on her own credentials, signing contracts with the AWA, AJPW, and WCW before engaging in any high profile relationships. She started getting romantically involved with her co-workers in 1991, when she briefly married Eddie Gilbert. The two also toured Japan together, though they divorced almost immediately upon returning to America. Sometime around this point Madusa also dated Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, who finally tied into our point about her getting employed thanks to the men in her life by recommending Vince McMahon check our her work overseas. The recommendation is particularly surprising in retrospect due to later comments by Valentine, implying he doesn’t like women in the sport. Madusa commented on Twitter that she obviously didn’t agree with the comment, but acquiesced that Valentine was entitled to his opinion.
8. Miss Elizabeth – Randy Savage And Lex Luger
Starkly contrasting the Macho Madness of Randy Savage, the glamorous Miss Elizabeth didn’t look like the type of woman to shack up with wrestlers, and yet that was her entire charm. They met in the early ‘80s when Elizabeth was a camerawoman for Randy’s father’s company, International Championship Wrestling. They were married in 1985, only a few months before they jumped to WWE and made their relationship part of a storyline (although they pretended to merely be dating at the time). Fans could never understand why such a soft-spoken kind young lady would date and then marry a psychopath—unless of course Savage was a babyface, in which case their relationship turned into one fans loudly celebrated. Unfortunately, their relationship fell apart in the real world just as it blossomed into a marriage on screen, and they were divorced in 1992. Elizabeth stayed away from wrestling altogether until 1996, though she was dating an attorney at the time. That relationship also ended in divorce in 1999, and Elizabeth started dating Lex Luger. The time Luger and Elizabeth spent together was highly controversial, including a domestic dispute and ending with her untimely death from an overdose in 2003.
7. Sunny – Chris Candido, Shawn Michaels, Etc.
With theme music that boasted she knew fans wanted her, Sunny likely reveled in the attention given to her by both wrestlers and WWE audiences during the New Generation. She also regularly contends she was the first true WWE diva to this day, and based on the amount of attention she received from the male roster at the time that was probably true. Sunny entered the wrestling business in the early ‘90s as the manager of her then-boyfriend Chris Candido, performing in Jim Cornette’s Smokey Mountain Wrestling. They soon jumped to WWE, where Sunny eclipsed Candido’s fame in short order, raising her profile both onscreen and off. While becoming an increasingly big star, Sunny moved on to more famous boyfriends like Shawn Michaels and allegedly Davey Boy Smith, although the latter’s family has denied her claims on the subject. There was also a rumor connecting her to Bret Hart, although Sunny herself has always denied that one. She left WWE in 1998 and joined Candido in ECW, where she allegedly cheated on him with dozens of wrestlers including Raven and Sabu. More recently, she dated an indy wrestler named Damien Darling, ending in controversy when she accused him of abuse, though charges were never filed.
6. Sable – Marc Mero And Brock Lesnar
More so than any other woman in history, Rena Lesnar so completely eclipsed the first wrestler she dated that his career almost became irrelevant in retrospect. In stark contrast to that, her latest marriage is with one of the few wrestling superstars who has become bigger than the business, and this time around she’s seldom seen as he does. Husband number one was Marc Mero, who she married in 1993. Mero was wrestling for WCW as Johnny B. Badd at the time, and when he decided to jump to WWE in 1996, Mero also decided that his wife should come with him. Rena debuted for the company as Sable, leading her husband to the Intercontinental Championship before becoming wildly more popular than he was. That is, popular onscreen—off screen, Sable was hated by most of her other co-workers, driving both her and Mero out of the company in 1999. She made her return in 2003, leaving Mero behind and soon divorcing him in favor of the younger and more famous Brock Lesnar. Sable and Brock married in 2006 and remain together to this day.
5. Debra – Steve McMichael And Steve Austin
The year Debra Marshall married her first husband Steve McMichael, it looked like she was the type of woman who dated athletes, but not necessarily pro wrestlers. McMichael played in the NFL as a member of the Chicago Bears at the time, and would help his team win the SuperBowl the year after he and Debra were wed. They stuck together throughout McMichael’s entire football career, and Debra remained with him as he decided to switch sports to pro wrestling, signed by WCW in 1995. Debra soon appeared as his wife and manager, turning on him in late 1997 and predicting their divorce the next year. On screen, she moved on to a relationship with Jeff Jarrett, who she jumped to WWE with soon after the divorce was final. While there, Debra stuck with Jarrett onscreen while starting a relationship with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in real life, eventually marrying the Texas Rattlesnake in September of 2000. The relationship was highly controversial, ending in 2003 after Debra had reported multiple incidents of abuse at Austin’s hands. Unsurprisingly, she’s stayed away from wrestlers since then.
4. Woman – Kevin Sullivan And Chris Benoit
Even nearly 10 years after her horrific murder, it remains difficult to talk about the love life of Nancy Toffoloni, aka The Fallen Angel, Woman, and most infamously, Nancy Benoit. It was with those first two monikers that she became a famous wrestling manager, typically with her second husband Kevin Sullivan as her most important client. Sullivan inspired Nancy to get into the business while they were dating, and the two were married about a year into her career. They stayed together for the better part of 10 years, jumping back and forth between ECW and WCW, where both were considerable stars. It was in WCW that Sullivan accidentally booked the destruction of his own marriage, creating an angle where she cheated on him with Chris Benoit, which soon turned into a reality. Nancy left Sullivan for Benoit in the mid-90s, and they were married in the 2000. Nancy attempted to file for divorce in 2003 amidst abuse allegations, but they somehow reconciled and remained together. Four years later, Benoit tragically murdered her in their home, then taking his own life several hours later.
3. Charlotte Flair – Bram And Alberto Del Rio
It doesn’t really matter which wrestlers Charlotte Flair dates—if there’s any male wrestler she’ll be defined by, it’s her legendary father “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Of course, it isn’t at all fair for Charlotte to be defined by the men in her life in the first place, and she proved it by already far eclipsing her wrestling ex-husband in the ring. Unlike most women who became more popular than their beaus, Charlotte did it by being a better wrestler, as well as a more photogenic, not simply relying on her looks. That said, she was also more photogenic than her ex-husband, too, who we should probably get around to mentioning was TNA grappler Bram. The two married in 2013 only to get divorced two years later, around the same time Bram was involved in a domestic dispute with another woman. Some time after that relationship ended, Flair reportedly had a tumultuous short-term fling with Alberto Del Rio, which ended when he left her for Paige. Given the highly publicized nature of Del Rio and Paige’s subsequent relationship, it’s a bit surprising that the Charlotte affair was rarely mentioned, although the fact it didn’t last long meant there wasn’t much time for fans to find out about it.
2. Beth Phoenix – Joey Knight And Edge
Taking it a step further than the women who date men they work with, Beth Phoenix twice dated men she admired and looked up to as her mentors and trainers when she was first entering the business. The connection was most direct with her first marriage to Joey Knight, who along with his brother and tag team partner Robin Knightwing formed the All-Knighters. More importantly, the All-Knighters were also Beth’s first trainers, teaching her the business as she and Joey dated, later getting married in 2001. The relationship lasted until 2010, when Beth took a few years away from dating to focus on her career. She retired from wrestling in 2012, after starting a relationship with Edge, who likewise ended his career the year prior. Whether Edge knew it or not, he had a pretty big impact on Beth’s career from the start in the same way her first husband did—Edge was a student of Ron Hutchinson, another one of Beth’s trainers, and Hutchinson kept Edge’s picture in his gym as a sign of what his students could become. Phoenix and Edge were married in late 2016, after already having two children together.
1. Lita – Matt Hardy, Edge, CM Punk, Etc.
Outside of Missy Hyatt, Lita probably has the most prolific reputation for dating wrestlers out of any women on this list. She was introduced to the business by an ex-boyfriend, although she didn’t really become enamored with it until she discovered lucha libre on her own, soon moving to Mexico and beginning her training. It was there she allegedly dated El Dandy, one of her first trainers in the business, although that remains unconfirmed by any reliable source. She later found her way to ECW, where she was rumored to be involved with Danny Doring, Steve Corino, Axl Rotten, CW Anderson, and possibly others. Again, there’s little evidence to support these claims aside from Doring having admitted they were close friends. What we do know for sure is that she dated Matt Hardy somewhere around the year 2000, and the relationship blew to pieces in 2005 when he discovered she was cheating on him with Edge. They controversially took the love triangle public with a WWE storyline, though Lita and Edge wouldn’t last, breaking up sometime the next year. She then briefly dated her guitarist before two turns with CM Punk, the second of which ended when he cheated on her with AJ Lee.