Male or female, the vast majority of wrestlers who made it to the WWE Universe did so through outrageously hard work, for want of glory, fame, and superstardom. The results may be scripted, but being a pro wrestler isn’t easy, and anyone who makes it to Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment empire deserves respect for putting their body on the line. Of course, some of them are better at the job than others, and not everyone gets into wrestling for the right reasons.
From the very beginning, there has always been a certain percentage of male wrestlers who chose their career path primarily for the groupies. It’s the same mentality seen in rock stars or actors, as certain ladies will always be attracted to fame and fortune of any kind. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before women started taking advantage of this idea as well, using their connections in the wrestling industry and the fame it brought to find love of their own.
In no way are we suggesting female wrestlers who flipped the script and used wrestling to find a man weren’t also serious about their careers, but the fact remains they wouldn’t have found love without wrestling. It’s also worth noting that not all of these women were particularly great at what they did, with the marriage or relationships they found the only true lasting effect of their time in the ring. Again, even with that being the case, these ladies put in far more work than average on their journey to love, so it’s not entirely fair to judge them for it. Regardless, for just the facts, keep reading to learn about 15 divas who joined the business to snatch themselves a husband.
15 Miss Elizabeth Found Two Loves
Iconic for her grace, beauty, and poise, Miss Elizabeth is the last woman anyone would accuse of being any sort of groupie. Technically, she didn’t find love directly through wrestling, but rather due to her less sensational sounding job as a camera operator for a local Kansas TV station. The catch is that said station aired shows produced by International Championship Wrestling.
The company’s top star was “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who Elizabeth quickly met on the job and fell in love with. Things weren’t always perfect between them, though, leading to their divorce after several tumultuous years together.
Elizabeth then disappeared from wrestling for a little while, making a return a couple years later in WCW. While she was initially paired with Savage onscreen once again, this time around, it was Lex Luger who she fell in love with, leading to a relationship that lasted until her untimely death in 2003. Elizabeth’s contributions to wrestling were considerable in her own right, but it can’t be denied the sport brought her two life partners.
14 Sable Was The Foxy Blonde
Ironically, Sable never would have entered the wrestling business had she not already been married. Of course, she was married to a wrestler, and would go on to marry another wrestler a few years later, so it still feels appropriate to put her on this list. When Sable made her WWE debut, she was married to Marc Mero, who demanded she be allowed to travel with him in his contract.
In due time, Vince McMahon realized he had a beautiful blonde at his disposal and started putting her on TV beside Marc. Very quickly, Sable eclipsed her husband’s popularity, albeit with the slight caveat that she wasn’t a particularly good wrestler, actress, or talker.
Even so, she was extremely popular, and soon won the WWE Women’s Championship. Unfortunately, Sable’s WWE experience wasn’t that great, and she left the company in 1999 over claims of harassment. Just a few short years later, though, she made her return as things with Mero were falling apart, and didn’t leave again until she found a new wrestler husband: Brock Lesnar.
13 Missy Hyatt Snatched Up Only One Wrestler
Like many women in sports entertainment prior to the 1990s, Missy Hyatt entered the business already dating a wrestler. At the time of her debut, she was with John Tatum, but she soon left him for a man who soon brought her to much greater heights in “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert. The two made an incredible pair together onscreen as Hot Stuff and Hyatt International, and apparently they were equally happy together in real life, getting married in 1987.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last, with the couple getting divorced in 1989 shortly after splitting apart in the ring.
By that point, Hyatt had moved on to a very brief stint in WWE, followed by a longer one in WCW, where she allegedly dated a shocking number of wrestlers. Hyatt was also linked with TV star Jason Hervey of The Wonder Years, who later became a WCW producer. Once she left that company, Missy moved on to a plethora of flings in the ECW locker room. Throughout it all, though, if her goal was to find another husband, she failed, as she has remained unmarried since divorcing Gilbert.
12 Sunny Has A Thing For Wrestlers
As a woman who never got married, it would appear on the surface that Sunny doesn’t belong on this list.
On the other hand, she’s admitted to dating more wrestlers than almost anyone else in history, so the mere fact she never sealed the deal shouldn’t preclude her.
There’s also the issue that based on how much time they spent together, Sunny and Chris Candido were basically married for most of their careers. Unfortunately for Candido, this means she was constantly cheating on him, having admitted to affairs with fellow WWE superstars including the British Bulldog and Shawn Michaels. Sunny has also acknowledged future flings with Dolph Ziggler and Chris Masters after Candido passed. The affair with Michaels was so intense it also verged pretty close to marriage at times, somehow without Candido’s knowledge. In fairness, throughout it all, Sunny was as much a star as almost any of her men. Only HBK truly eclipsed her fame, and the self-proclaimed “first diva’s” legacy should remain firmly in tact no matter who she dated.
11 Jackie Gayda Stuck It Out
In record speed and definitive fashion, Jackie Gayda immediately proved she wasn’t meant for the wrestling industry in her third every televised match. Shortly after winning the second season of Tough Enough, Gayda appeared in a mixed tag team match on Raw against Bradshaw and Trish Stratus, with Christopher Nowinski as her partner. During her short time in the ring, Gayda completely whiffed receiving a top rope bulldog from Stratus, standing around and looking confused, then frozen in fear, rather than reacting in any way. Most people would give up following an embarrassment that severe, but Gayda must have figured there was no use quitting a high paying job, especially if they weren’t going to fire her over a mistake that huge.
Instead, she stuck around for a few more years until she met started managing Charlie Haas, who she quickly fell in love with and married.
While they were released by WWE shortly after getting hitched, Haas and Gayda remained a duo on the independent scene for many years, and are still married to this day.
10 Terri Was A Gold Digger
To fans only aware of Terri’s work in WWE, she may look like yet another woman on this list who got involved with wrestling through her husband. Indeed, she was married to Goldust at the time they both made their debuts in WWE, at which point she was known as Marlena. However, Terri’s true start in wrestling came in WCW, when she was originally called Alexandra York. She first met her future husband, and although the two immediately hit it off, there was a huge snag in that Goldust’s father Dusty Rhodes was strongly against their relationship from the start.
According to Terri, Dusty was constantly spreading rumors about her being a gold digger, and not just in the sense she was married to a man who painted himself that color. Terri always denied the accusation, but the stress was enough that the two eventually divorced.
Terri still wasn’t done with wrestling, though, sticking around for a few years and eventually dating former ECW star New Jack in what was arguably an even more disastrous relationship.
9 Kelly Kelly Likes Her Athletes
Being a cheerleader literally named Barbie Blank, the girl so nice they named her twice was destined to marry some kind of athlete, wrestler or otherwise. Considering Kelly Kelly’s first job was with WWE, a wrestler naturally had the first shot at making her an honest woman, and their relationship began immediately after she joined the company. Right away, Kelly claims she became extremely close with former WWE Intercontinental Champion Test, and the two soon began dating. Unfortunately, Test was going through a great deal of personal problems at this time, most notably an addiction to painkillers that would later take his life.
It’s not clear if this also destroyed the relationship or if things naturally fell apart, but the fact remains that they didn’t get married, and Kelly ultimately left wrestling without getting married to a coworker.
It wasn’t long before she found love elsewhere in the sporting world, though, getting hitched to NHL star Sheldon Souray. Then again, that marriage also fell apart really quick, and she was right back to WWE after that, so maybe she’s looking for another superstar.
8 Maria Kanellis Was Snatched Up By A Wrestler
If Maria Kanellis truly entered the wrestling business to find a husband, she sure waited a while to make her intentions known. The First Lady of Pro Wrestling was involved in the business for a solid decade before meeting her future husband Mike Bennett. Granted, Maria never accomplished much in WWE, but her ditzy interviewer persona was nonetheless popular and memorable in her day. That said, it wasn’t until WWE released Maria and she moved on to Ring of Honor that her true talents began to shine. It was also in RoH that she met Bennett, quickly linking up with him onscreen as his manager.
Next came continued success in both that company and overseas for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and marriage soon followed.
All that was left for Maria was a WWE return with her husband in tow, which she accomplished in 2017. Interestingly, and in contrast to the nature of this list, the way WWE has been presenting things, it’s Bennett who got in the business to marry a woman like her, and not the other way around.
7 Michelle McCool Fell For The Undertaker
When Michelle McCool first became a wrestler, getting married to a male co-worker was the last thing on her mind. Unlike others on this list who were already married as their careers began, McCool’s first husband Jeremy Alexander had absolutely nothing to do with wrestling. However, it was only two short years into her time with WWE that this relationship ended in a divorce, and more importantly, McCool almost immediately entered another high-profile coupling with a major wrestler when it was over.
As most fans are aware of by now, McCool’s second husband is none other than The Undertaker, who happened to have just been divorced from his second wife himself when their relationship began.
Because of wrestling’s political nature, this instantly led to critics suggesting any fame or fortune McCool found in the ring, including two reigns as Divas Champion and another two as Women’s Champion, were all earned through her marriage alone. With all due respect, it’s understandable why people thought this, as McCool’s mediocre ring skills alone probably shouldn’t have earned her that much gold.
6 Maryse Caught Her Husband's Eye
According to Maryse, it was always a dream to become a WWE diva. Even so, the wrestling industry rewarded her another way immediately, as she was introduced to her future husband The Miz in her very first WWE segment.
The fortuitous occasion occurred because Miz hosted that year’s Diva Search, in which Maryse was a contestant. Though she lost that pageant, Maryse got hired anyway, and went on to find success in the ring as a two-time Divas Champion.
Maryse initially looked to retire shortly after her championship reigns, but she later returned to the ring by her husband’s side as his manager, achieving arguably even greater fame. Truth be told, while Maryse was always decent on the microphone, her ring skills were only decent, perhaps making her better suited as a manager. In any event, it may not have been Maryse’s sole intention when becoming a wrestler to find a husband, but she nonetheless found one through the ordeal, and in a way that helped her career at that.
5 There's Still Hope For Carmella
Right now, the jury is still out on Carmella’s place in wrestling history. She’s held the first women’s Money in the Bank contract for almost a full year without showing any signs of cashing in, and she no longer has a popular male superstar to manage in the interim. That goes for onscreen and behind the scenes, as rumor has it the relationship Carmella had been in since her wrestling career began recently dissolved. Backing up a bit, Carmella apparently started dating her Big Cass shortly into their time together in NXT, and things had gotten progressively more serious by the time they reached WWE.
The two had even bought a house together, and according to her comments on Total Divas, Carmella was strongly hoping her boyfriend would soon become her husband.
Unfortunately for her, it increasingly seemed like that wouldn’t be the case, leading to a breakup in January of this year. Time will tell if Carmella moves on and tries to date another wrestler, or if she’s had enough of the idea and looks elsewhere for love.
4 Debra Sticks To Athletes
Most of the women on this list got here by dating or marrying wrestlers, and Debra McMichael/Austin/Marshall is no exception. That said, as the first of her three well known last names implies, she was also married to an NFL player prior to getting into wrestling.
In a sense, Debra made the transition from a woman who dated football stars to one dating wrestlers along with her first husband Steve McMichael’s transition from the gridiron to the ring.
That relationship dissolved in 1998, around the same time Debra was managing Jeff Jarrett and jumped from WCW to WWE. Once the divorce was finalized, Debra moved on to an even higher profile marriage to six time WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, which was reported to be extremely tumultuous behind the scenes making it regrettable for her despite the spotlight. The two split after a much publicized domestic assault incident, and Debra has understandably given up on dating wrestlers since then.
3 Naomi Boosted Her Career
Truth be told, it’s a little difficult to understand what Vince McMahon sees in Naomi. Well, aside from the fact she’s married in to the Anoa’i family, and anyone even tenuously connected to that bloodline has been getting his attention lately.
On that thought, it may not be a coincidence that Naomi started rocketing to the top of the roster around the same time her relationship with Jimmy Uso started taking off.
Prior to hooking up with the five-time WWE Tag Team Champion, Naomi was basically a background character in the forgettable role as a dancing Funkadactyl. Forgettable as it was, however, this was pretty much where Naomi’s talent level should have placed her, as she was never particularly coordinated in the ring. That’s what makes it so strange, she’s getting a huge push recently, with two reigns as WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion thus far. At the same time, the fact she continues to stick it out in the ring some four years after tying the knot makes it clear she’s in it for more than just her marriage.
2 Brie Bella Got The Family She Wanted
In all fairness to Brie Bella and her husband Daniel Bryan, in the very least, they aren’t quite as in the audience’s faces about their relationship as a certain other couple in their family. It’s also worth noting that Brie and her sister were openly seeking fame and fortune when they become wrestlers, and their romantic partners were just perks.
To Brie, though, it could most likely be said that husband Daniel Bryan and their daughter are greater perks than any success she found in the ring.
Tellingly, it was almost immediately after their marriage and Bryan’s public declaration on wanting to have children with her that Brie retired from the ring to do exactly that. Of course, at the same time, Brie had pretty much accomplished everything she had to in the ring by then, and with all due respect, she wasn’t a good enough wrestler to stick around and hog the spotlight, so she probably would have been getting out around then even if she didn’t find love.
1 Nikki Bella Wanted Fame And Fortune
Quite frankly, the way Nikki Bella talks about John Cena, it’s barely a stretch to say she got into wrestling solely to become his wife. Hell, it’s not even hard to picture Nikki saying that was her primary purpose on this planet. Originally, though, she and her sister Brie were only really looking for fame, and stardom as WWE divas was their first ticket to the spotlight.
Immediately after signing with WWE, Nikki also started dating wrestlers, but Cena actually wasn’t her first. Prior to John, Nikki was in a relationship with Dolph Ziggler.
Fans of Total Divas know that relationship is still occasionally a hot topic with them, although Nikki is adamant it’s behind her. Cena has certainly given her reasons to forget, taking this list to it’s most literal end when he proposed to her after winning a tag team match against The Miz and Maryse at WrestleMania 33. The only way to take it further would be to get married in the ring, and there’s always a chance Vince McMahon or maybe even Cena will suggest just that.