On April 28, 1996, WWE held an event titled “Good Friends, Better Enemies.” The title was naturally a reference to that evening’s main event, which ay
itted WWE Championship Shawn Michaels against his former friend and bodyguard, Diesel, aka Kevin Nash. Like all things that appear on WWE TV, the transformation the two men took from friend to foe was entirely fictional, as the truth is, Michaels and Nash are still close buddies to this day. However, not all duos in wrestling have been so lucky as the two who allegedly ruined their friendship live on Pay-per-view.
For whatever reason, not all people can get along with one another, even those who have much in common. Some people are simply bound to hate one another, no matter how many good times are shared between them. In other cases, certain wrestlers have proven to be shockingly petty about what might seem irrelevant to others, and are ready to throw away long-lasting bonds at a moment’s notice when an imaginary line was crossed.
That isn’t to say it’s all trivial, though, as some wrestling friendships fell apart for reasons that are completely understandable. Let’s face it, some people in this world are just jerks willing to screw over even those who help them most, which can make even the nicest, friendliest folks around boil to a furious rage if it happens often enough. These being wrestlers were talking about, even the nicest peeps around are prone to punch one another in the face now and again, so it should come as no surprise this trend is actually somewhat prevalent. Keep reading to learn about 15 wrestling duos that used to be friends, but hate each other’s guts today.
15. Vince McMahon And Vince Russo
It makes sense that someone with the ego of Vince McMahon would naturally enjoy the company of anyone who shared his name, yet his long and storied relationship with Vince Russo is about far more than that one small common trait. For better or worse, they could also be considered amongst the most creative and prolific minds in wrestling history. However, this comes with the obvious caveat that only one achieved any significant fame because of it. Russo was briefly a phenomenal success during the Attitude Era, at which point he was working closely with McMahon and his good friend because of it, but everything he’s done since leaving the WWE Universe has received such harsh criticism, few people even bother remembering his good times. Because Russo’s stock in the wrestling world keeps diminishing, McMahon has little use for him personally or professionally. Surprisingly, the two still occasionally exchange emails, though Russo claims McMahon’s responses are all terse, cold, and lacking the feeling of friendship they once shared.
14. Hulk Hogan And Ed Leslie
No other wrestler has achieved more simply by being friends with another wrestler than Brutus Beefcake did through his connection to Hulk Hogan. The two had been close to one another since before Hogan even entered the industry, and the Hulkster would later demand his little buddy Ed Leslie get signed to the roster of whatever company he was working for, even well after he made it big. Most notably, this earned Leslie major gigs in WWE and WCW, where he performed as Brutus Beefcake and The Disciple, respectively. During these runs, Leslie was usually presented as Hogan’s BFF, a status they held in real life, albeit not quite forever. After over forty years of friendship, trouble started brewing in paradise due to icy relations between Hogan and Beefcake’s second wife, Barbie. Things got even worse when Beefcake was allegedly caught selling fake, unauthorized Hogan autographs, which made the Hulkster forget about the mega hulkamaniac once and for all.
13. Rick Martel And Tom Zenk
Were most people in Tom Zenk’s shoes circa 1986, when he and former AWA World Champion were both signed to WWE, they’d be thanking Rick Martel, aka The Model, to this day for making their career. Calling themselves the Can-Am Connection, the two friends had been teaming for a few months before Vince McMahon gave them the call, but initially, McMahon was only interested in giving Martel a job. Only upon Rick’s request did Vince allow his tag-team partner to come along for the ride, which could have been the biggest break of Zenk’s life. There was one minor kink in the plan, though. Given the fact Vince actually wanted to hire him, he offered former champion Martel more money than his unknown rookie partner. To most people, this would make perfect sense, but Zenk flipped out about it and demanded Martel walk out of the company with him unless they received equal pay. Martel disagreed, thinking that was an absurd overreaction, and the two have held a grudge about it to this day.
12. Ric Flair And Ole Anderson
For all his fame and fortune, everyone in the wrestling business knows they should never trust Ric Flair, The Nature Boy, with money. Sure, he’d repay them on the spot with a drink or two, but an actual loan for several hundred dollars or more? Flair is way too busy paying bar tabs to ever return that investment. Unfortunately for Ole Anderson, this wasn’t common knowledge way back in the 1970s when the two met, and the surly Minnesota legend took Flair, who was a rookie at the time, under his wing. For a few short months, Ole appreciated Flair’s interest in the business and thought he was a decent worker, making them traveling buddies and positive acquaintances, if not quite best friends. However, it didn’t take long for Ole to turn on Flair something fierce, calling him an idiot and a moron for offences that aren’t entirely clear, but we can guess had something to do with Flair getting drunk and asking for money. According to Ole, he gave Flair an $800 loan that he has yet to get back and is still pretty upset about today.
11. Stone Cold Steve Austin And Bob Holly
Let’s face it, if we were to get extremely rich and famous the same way Stone Cold Steve Austin did during the Attitude Era, we might have ditched a few friends along the way, too. Not only does possessing immense fame and fortune mean we can be a bit more selective about who we hang out with, but there’s also a general issue with time management that can’t be ignored. Whatever the case, former WWE Hardcore and Tag Team Champion Bob Holly strongly believed that success can be blamed for his falling out with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who he once considered a good friend and travel buddy. Apparently, Austin, Holly, and Billy Gunn were regular companions during Stone Cold’s early days in WWE, only for the Rattlesnake to turn his back on the other two as soon as he started getting popular. On the other hand, Austin has barely spoken about the issue, only commenting on Holly to castigate his actions on bullying Matt Cappotelli. For all anyone knows, Holly was bitter Austin mentioned it at all and made up the whole friendship in retrospect to smear him.
10. Vader And “Diamond” Dallas Page
Any doctor worth their price tag will tell their patients they won’t start getting better until they actually start making a concerted effort to do so. Granted, “Diamond” Dallas Page is most certainly not a doctor or anything like it, but he’s been credited with saving a whole lot of lives lately through his DDP Yoga, and that status lead to him believing in a similar mantra. This is much to the chagrin of his old friend Vader, who truly believed his life was in need of saving when he went to Page for help losing weight in the summer of 2017. Unfortunately, Vader wasn’t exactly welcomed into the program with open arms, as there are a few requirements to DDP Yoga that Vader was unable or unwilling to meet. For his part, DDP always seemed to be open to rebuilding their friendship in the future, but the Mastodon was clearly enraged by this rejection, cursing Page out on Twitter and implying their friendship was immediately over.
9. Rikishi And Scotty 2 Hotty
To this day, many wrestling fans rightly remember the Attitude Era as the most popular in WWE history, but this doesn’t mean everything that happened during that time frame necessarily made all that much sense. For example, the world may never know how taking a goofy lower tier tag team and mashing them together with an overweight super heavyweight who hadn’t been successful for almost five years would suddenly make all three of them bona fide superstars. Call it dumb luck if so inclined, but there’s no denying Too Cool were one of the most popular groups of the Attitude Era. Surprisingly, it was actually one of the group’s own members who quietly made this implication by failing to bring up his former partners when inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame. Quite frankly, without Too Cool, it might be fair to ask what Rikishi even did to earn his induction, so Scotty 2 Hotty is more than justified in having been a little upset by the major snub.
8. CM Punk And Colt Cabana
Once upon a time, CM Punk and Colt Cabana were such good friends that the Voice of the Voiceless gave the Art of Wrestling podcast his first interview after infamously walking out on WWE in 2014. This wasn’t surprising to anyone who followed the careers of either man from Ring of Honor onward, as the two had been friends for years. Punk even referenced Cabana on WWE television more than once, both to annoy Vince McMahon and give his less successful buddy a shout-out. Ironically, it was the same interview that many thought cemented their public relationship forever that would slowly bring them apart, as Cabana and Punk were later sued due to their chat about WWE. During the course of the lawsuit, Cabana also appeared backstage at a WWE event, which Punk felt seriously hurt their chances of winning. Cabana. however, warned fans not to believe everything they read on the Internet. Whoops. Well, in any event, it still seems like the two aren’t friends anymore, though we may not know the real reason why.
7. Edge And Matt Hardy
Of all the falling outs on this list, none impacted the WWE Universe more directly than the dissolution of Edge and Matt Hardy’s long friendship. The two had been close allies since their beginnings in WWE. Unfortunately for Matt, as is all too often the case, a woman got between the two of them and that friendship shattered pretty much overnight. The lady in question was of course Lita. She dated Matt first and then Edge, and both of these real-life relationships got some serious attention in WWE. Before long, the entire WWE Universe was aware of this love triangle, mostly because Matt posted online that he learned Lita was cheating on him with his former best friend. This all happened over 10 years ago now, and both Matt and Edge have moved on to different relationships with other women. Lita probably isn’t doing too bad for herself, either. Point is, the sheer hatred between the involved parties has probably died down a bit over time, but they’ll never really be besties again, either.
6. Shawn Michaels And Marty Jannetty
This next one has had about a half dozen ups and downs over the years, so forgive us if Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty recently forgave one another and we didn’t notice. Not that it really matters, because even if they did, we bet it couldn’t be more than a few weeks before Jannetty got so outrageously high, he ruins things with HBK all over again. In all fairness, for many years, Michaels, too, was doing all sorts of drugs and smearing his former partner’s name, and that’s when he wasn’t forgetting about Jannetty entirely and living in his own cloud. Now that HBK is a religious man, he’s willing to forgive Jannetty over and over, remembering their good times together as the Midnight Rockers, a team that produced countless incredible matches while throwing epic parties when cameras weren’t rolling. Unfortunately, Jannetty hasn’t had the same conversion, and will go back to bad mouthing Shawn every time he does the right/wrong combination of uppers, downers.
5. Vince McMahon And Hulk Hogan
Whenever two people unexpectedly make tens of millions of dollars together, it’s only natural the two would become pretty good friends. During the 1980s, Hogan took McMahon’s company to its greatest heights with the power of Hulkamania. Of course, McMahon’s marketing skills were equally important in making Hulkamania what it was, creating a chicken and egg situation that still gets debated to this day. Notwithstanding the disagreement on which side was more responsible for what, Vince and Hogan were nonetheless close friends during their time on top. By and large, it also seemed like the two will fall back into these old friendly roles whenever working together, but as of right now, they aren’t working together, and most people probably know the reason why. In 2015, there was an audio leak of Hogan delivering a racist rant, causing WWE to sever their relationship on the spot. No one’s really sure if Vince is angry, hurt, bewildered, or just doing it for publicity, but it is known that he hasn’t spoken to Hogan since the incident — their friendship disappearing along with his contract.
4. CM Punk And Hornswoggle
Even in the wild and wacky world of Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment, CM Punk and Hornswoggle are an odd couple if there ever was one. Granted, the same thing could be said about almost anyone Hornswoggle became friends with during his time in wrestling, as there are few stranger characters than his mischievous mute prankster. Of course, the real Hornswoggle that exists behind the scenes is just a regular guy like anyone else, so there wasn’t really anything strange about his old friendship with CM Punk. Except, perhaps, the way it ended, which most would agree shows Punk severely overreacting to an innocent gesture. Apparently, Hornswoggle lost his cellphone and all the numbers that came with it, a pain almost anyone can relate to — aside from Punk that is. When Hornswoggle told his buddy he lost a few numbers and wanted help remembering them, Punk immediately felt Hornswoggle was taking advantage of him and decided to cut off their alliance on the spot. So, basically, don’t ask CM Punk for his phone number if you want to be his friend.
3. Raven And Shane McMahon
Looking the way they do today, it’s almost impossible to picture Raven and Shane McMahon in the same room, let alone as close friends. However, once it’s clarified that the two haven’t been hanging out since back in the day when Raven was known as Johnny Polo, the union makes a whole lot more sense. For those who don’t remember the future ECW Champion’s less-famous role, Johnny Polo’s character was basically just a spoiled rich kid who loved to party — sound familiar? According to Raven, Shane-O-Mac immediately took a liking to his sarcastic brand of humour, plus the fact that he knew about all the cool bars that were open until 4:00 a.m. Naturally, this made Shane’s father Vince hate them both, especially when Shane would call the old man and do his best Raven impression for hours on end. Once Shane got a little older and more professional, though, he didn’t want to go to bars anymore. Even when they were working together again, Shane had no interest in rekindling the friendship, preferring to ignore Raven outright at every opportunity. Now that Raven’s made a practice of suing his family, we imagine their tensions are even harsher.
2. Matt Hardy And Paul London
Poor, poor Matt Hardy. Sure, the whole debacle with Edge and Lita was pretty bad, but on the plus side, it briefly lead to the biggest push of his WWE career. On the other hand, his romantic rival benefitted a whole lot more, using the notoriety to gradually climb to the WWE Championship. Digressing to the point, a few years later, Hardy went through almost the exact same ordeal, albeit without fan support ever following him onto Raw or SmackDown. The only difference is that instead of his girlfriend Lita cheating on him with his best friend Edge, it was Hardy’s new girlfriend WWE Diva Search winner and Playboy model Ashley Massaro cheating on him with his new best friend, Paul London. Well, it was something like that anyway, as it actually seems like Ashley was kind of dating them both at the same time in retrospect, and it isn’t really clear who knew about what first. Point is, once everything was in the clear, Hardy and London went from quiet friends to vocal enemies, constantly complaining about one another on MySpace. Although that social networking site is basically dead, their vitriol towards one another can be presumed to continue.
1. Michael Cole And Tazz
Perhaps in part because of their very unique working arrangements, it seems like whenever two wrestling announcers get paired together for a prolonged period of time, a genuinely close friendship is bound to follow. It happened to Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon, the Attitude Era relived the trend with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, and the early years of SmackDown saw a similar relationship form between Michael Cole and Tazz. Like these other pairings, Cole and Tazz shared a unique comedic timing with one another when not calling fast-paced action, which made it easy to picture the two keeping the conversation going over beers after the show had ended. Their rapport was so strong, they even considered hosting a radio show together at one point, something Tazz now does on his own. It was on his radio show that Tazz first mentioned Michael Cole no longer speaks to him, a fact he’s since repeated during shoot interviews. Truth be told, we’re not sure why Cole is giving Tazz the cold shoulder, so to say they hate one another could be a stretch. On the other hand, people rarely ignore their best friends without a reason.
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