WWE superstars may and dedicate their lives to looking tough, mean, and menacing, but perceptive women have long been able to notice many of them are just big softies deep down on the inside. Granted, this is in part because said wrestlers wanted those women to notice, shedding their in-ring personas to present an entirely different man behind the scenes, one who was just looking for love in a crazy world. The next step in this dance of attraction is often marriage, an institution more wrestlers have been involved with than one may initially expect.
Of course, for every wrestler that gets married, it seems like another one is getting divorced. Nine times out of ten, when a wrestler splits with his or her spouse, it’s almost entirely their fault. In fact, it might even be the wrestling industry’s fault in general, as life on the road makes it exceptionally hard for a person to settle down. As is generally the case with big celebrity divorces, when a wrestler splits with their former loved one, it can tend to be an extremely costly event.
In addition to the court and legal fees attached to any divorce, some wrestlers have lost small fortunes in their divorce settlements after admitting culpability in things going south. Even WWE golden boy John Cena, treated like an idealistic Superman in his current relationship with Nikki Bella, once went through a taxing separation that made him weary to ever get married again. For the whole story, keep reading to learn about 15 wrestling superstars who lost millions in divorce settlements.
15 John Cena Was Not The Best Hubby
In the most talked about moment from WrestleMania 33, John Cena dropped to one knee after winning a mixed tag team match against The Miz and Maryse, legitimately proposing marriage to his real life girlfriend and tag team partner, Nikki Bella. Naturally, Nikki said yes, creating a truly fairytale moment…well, unless one digs into their past at all. Prior to meeting Nikki, Cena was married to another woman named Elizabeth Huberdeau, reportedly his high school sweetheart. Cena and Huberdeau tied the knot in 2009 only to split three short years later, a move that apparently was entirely Cena’s decision without any input from his ex. Huberdeau was so shocked and hurt upon receiving the divorce papers she chose to fight back, alleging Cena cheated on her throughout the relationship and during their ensuring court battle. The stress was enough Cena once said he never wanted to get married again, but apparently Nikki made him change his mind.
14 Sting Had His Own Problems To Deal With
A shining beam of light in the darkness of WCW, Sting was in many respects the John Cena of his era. No matter how dire the state of wrestling could be, Sting was always a virtuous superhero willing to stand against all forces of evil. Inside the ring, anyway. At home, the former NWA and WCW World Champion was a little less noble, once admitting that he constantly cheated on his wife during his peak as a wrestler. Although not necessarily an excuse, it’s worth noting Sting was also a severe addict at this time, abusing on an almost nightly basis and making it easy to push the old marriage vows to the back of his mind. While his wife Sue Borden put up with this behavior for a shockingly long time, she eventually had enough in 2010, when the couple officially split. Because Sting had already admitted to so many wrongdoings, there’s no question who won out in their divorce trial.
13 Charlotte Flair Had Bad Luck
No matter how hard Charlotte Flair tries to etch her own place in wrestling history, chances are she’ll always be compared to her father Ric. Coincidentally, the same might be true of her trails and tribulations through love, where she shows even more prodigious talent at matching the old man’s tumultuous track record.
At only 31 years old, Charlotte has already been married and divorced twice, giving her an early head start on beating Ric’s record.
Charlotte’s marriages also tend to last less long than her dad’s, with the surviving less than a full year, and the second barely reaching two. According to the Nature Boy, Charlotte’s first husband had a history of domestic assault, so there’s no blaming her for escaping that one. Things weren’t so clear in her second marriage to TNA superstar Bram, though, and the fact Charlotte was a bigger star by the time that one ended means she might’ve lost some money on the ordeal when the divorce was final.
12 Goldust Just Couldn't Keep It Together
One of the most bizarre figures in pro wrestling history, it feels appropriate that Goldust would have suffered through a few strange marriages in his day. It gets even easier to picture how things went wrong considering his first wife was Terri Runnels, who stood beside him on television for years using the name Marlena. Some say their relationship was doomed from the start, though it lasted six years, as the couple traveled from WCW to WWE together. When things started going south, the deterioration of their marriage also lead Goldust’s life to completely fall apart, in a way costing him his job with WWE for several years.
Though he eventually picked up the pieces, a second disastrous marriage tested his resolve for a few months in 2011.
On the plus side, it looks like all that once glittered will one day again be gold, as Goldust has since entered a third marriage that seems to be going strong.
11 Batista Couldn't Handle It All At Once
Not coming to fame until a little bit later in life than average for a pro wrestler, Batista was actually married and divorced once before he ever appeared on television. For this reason, it’s hard to imagine him or his first wife losing all that much money on their divorce proceedings. However, Batista’s second marriage began in 1998 and ended in 2006, which overlaps with the time period he turned into one of the biggest stars in recent WWE history.
Batista and his second wife, Angie, were still together when he headlined WrestleMania 21 and won the World Heavyweight Champion, though things started falling apart.
Rumors of affairs with almost every female on the WWE roster were later confirmed by the man himself as partially true, leading his wife to divorce him with great cause. Amazingly, the two remained friends despite what we can only assume was a lucrative divorce for his ex, thanks to Batista admitting it was all his fault.
10 Rob Van Dam Couldn't Step Up
Throughout much of his career, in life and in love, nobody flew higher than Rob Van Dam. The five star wrestler wowed fans until the dying days of ECW, then became a major star in WWE and Impact Wrestling, winning the World Championships of both promotions.
From his early days in ECW, RVD was married to a woman named Sonia, who reportedly often traveled with him wherever he wrestled to get a front row seat for his performances.
A loyal husband, or so it seemed, RVD once famously took several months away from the ring to stand by Sonia’s side as she battled cancer. While she recovered and the couple seemed closer than ever, Sonia later filed for divorce in late 2016 citing irreconcilable differences. Information on the case isn’t clear, aside from the fact Sonia is seeking the requisite spousal support, which could prove costly to RVD as things develops.
9 The Undertaker Had A Sad And Painful Divorce
Once the focus of the darkest wedding in WWE history, the Phenom of sports entertainment The Undertaker has actually had three real life weddings of the traditional variety. The Dead Man’s first coupling was his longest, beginning in 1989 to a woman named Jodi and lasting for 10 years. At the time of their divorce, Undertaker was arguably at his professional peak, reigning as WWE Champion during the highest rated stretch in Raw history. This likely means Jodi made out fairly well in their divorce proceedings, though the ordeal was never all that public. Undertaker’s next marriage was much more transparent, beginning in the year 2000 when he wed a woman named Sara. In time, Sara soon began appearing with Undertaker on WWE television, slowly fading away as his American Badass character was retired.
Sara would also disappear from Undertaker’s real life when they divorced in 2007. In a sense, this could also be called the most painful split of all, as it meant Undertaker needed to remove a tattoo of his ex’s name from his neck.
At least his third wife, Michelle McCool, could hold his hand through the procedure.
8 Bret Hart Acted Like A Single Man
Proudly upholding a family tradition of excellent execution inside the wrestling ring, for many years, Bret “The Hitman” Hart was the consummate babyface. In addition to never once cheating or bending the rules, Hart was treated as an all around good guy who loved his family and would never do them wrong. Turns out this was all just for show, as at the same time Hart was reigning as WWE Champion, he was constantly cheating on his wife Julie while traveling the globe and defending his title. Rumors about Hart hooking up with original WWE diva Sunny will probably remain forever unconfirmed, but the Hitman has admitted to numerous outside affairs that gradually tore his marriage apart. Because he married Julie in 1982, well before he was anything resembling a star, she was clearly entitled to half of the family fortune when the affairs all became too much and forced them apart in 2002.
7 Randy Orton Is A Catch....Apparently
Prodigiously blessed with wrestling success from a very young age, when Randy Orton won the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at 24 years old, he also could have been considered the company’s most eligible bachelor. Orton enjoyed this status over the next three years before settling down for the first time at 27, marrying Samantha Speno in 2007. Not much is known about their time together except that the couple have one daughter born in 2008, five years before they decided to call it quits. Orton and his first wife divorced for unclear reasons in 2013, although one thing we can assume is that she made out fairly well in the settlement. Few wrestlers can match Orton’s status in WWE, and since his ex surely benefitted from that when they were together, she may well continue getting compensated for it in alimony now that things are over between them.
6 Bray Wyatt Was Finally Truthful
The freshest divorce on this list, Bray Wyatt’s example shows how romance in the social media era is effecting pro wrestlers just the same as anyone else. While he was in NXT honing the character that would later be a Devourer of Worlds, Wyatt was in a relationship with a woman named Samantha, culminating in a 2012 marriage. After five years of marital bliss that produced two children, Wyatt and Samantha split over social media posts seemed to link the Wyatt Family leader with WWE announcer JoJo Offerman. Rather than deny it, Wyatt apparently admitted he and JoJo were involved, leading his wife to quickly file for divorce. In the time they were together, Wyatt went from a nobody to a one-time WWE Champion who remains in the main event scene, which would suggest Samantha may have earned a decent payout in their divorce settlement.
5 Kurt Angle Wasn't So Innocent Either
Simply being an Olympic gold medalist who supports truth, justice, and the American way apparently doesn’t necessarily make a guy a good husband. Of course, Kurt Angle’s marriage to Karen Smedley began well after his stint in the Olympics, as they didn’t officially exchange vows until he was already a WWE superstar.
That said, Angle’s career in wrestling was still very much beginning when he and Karen wed, meaning she was right there with him as he went from a rookie sensation to one of the top wrestlers in the world.
Karen also stood by Angle as he left WWE for Impact Wrestling, which indirectly proved to be the couple’s downfall when she started developing feelings for their new boss, Jeff Jarrett. Not that Kurt was being a model spouse either, falling into substance abuse around this time and engaging in a tumultuous relationship with Trenesha Biggers almost immediately after the two split. Still, because Karen was openly the one cheating, Angle probably didn’t lose as much in the divorce as most others on this list.
4 Edge Should Stay Single
Not every woman can appreciate a rated-R attitude, and as it would turn out, even those who can may only be able to handle it for short bursts of time.
The 11-time WWE World Champion learned this the hard way when two marriages fell apart, although he was clearly the main party at fault in both instances.
Edge’s first marriage began in 2001, when he and Val Venis’s sister Alannah walked down the aisle. That coupling fell apart in 2004, shortly after Edge met wife number two, Lisa. Considering how Edge wasted no time between his first divorce and second marriage, perhaps its not surprising he also moved on to a third relationship almost immediately, cheating on wife number two with fellow WWE superstar Lita in what became a highly public affair. Understandably, Lisa filed for divorce shortly after this happened, and Edge’s culpability meant he had to pay a whole lot in emotional damages. On the plus side, the notoriety significantly helped Edge’s career, so he would soon find more than the means to afford it.
3 “Stone Cold” Steve Austin's Wives Told Horrible Stories
In every way “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was a hero inside the wrestling ring, he was apparently a horrible man to the women he allegedly loved most. No less than three women know firsthand just how horrible a husband Austin could be, with each one of his ex-wives presenting horror stories about their time together. First up was Kathryn, a high school sweetheart who Austin married well before he was famous. He openly cheated on her with wife number two, known to wrestling fans as Lady Blossom. That same pattern repeated when Austin met his third wife, former WWE Women’s Champion Debra, cheating on Blossom until they divorced and he could get remarried again. Unfortunately, Debra had it even worse than the others, as she later alleged he beat her on at least three occasions during their marriage, a fate much worse than mere cheating. In any event, all of these actions lead to Austin getting divorced and taking the brunt of the blame in court proceedings, giving his exes perhaps well deserved payoffs for emotional damages.
2 Ric Flair Wins With Four Marriages
Truly an icon wrestlers everywhere should aspire towards, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair is as legendary for his infamous failed marriages as he once was inside the squared circle.
Plenty of wrestlers have gotten married and divorced once, and a few even walked from the aisle to the courtroom two or even three times, but very few people of any profession match Flair’s whopping four begotten attempts at holy matrimony.
Each one of Flair’s marriages was shorter than the last, all followed a similar pattern — a few years of whirlwind love start falling apart when Flair meets someone new. He then divorces his wife, marries the new flame, and starts the process all over again. Because Flair’s wandering eye is clearly the cause of his marriages falling apart, his wives always make out huge in the divorce proceedings, leaving the man genuinely near bankruptcy due to how much alimony he pays. Despite this, Flair keeps on being the Nature Boy, preparing for wedding number five as he approaches his late '60s.
1 Hulk Hogan Gave Linda $7.5 Million
Just over one month before Hulk Hogan defeated The Iron Sheik for the WWE Championship and kick started Hulkamania, his life changed forever in a far more personal way when he married a woman named Linda Claridge. By tying the knot mere weeks before Hogan hit it big, Claridge was essentially entitled to half of whatever empire they built together as a couple.
Linda enjoyed Hogan’s success as he climbed to the top of both WWE and WCW, and was understandably accustomed to the lifestyle when his career seemed over.
Shortly after Hulk lost his pull in the ring, Linda allegedly caught him having an affair and filed for divorce, quickly causing the Hulkster’s world to fall apart. Because judges agreed with Linda’s claims that Hogan was acting suspicious leading up to their split, she was awarded 70 per cent of their family assets, which amounted to roughly $7.5 million.