Some friendships can last lifetimes, while others can manage to stay afloat for only a few months. We tend to surround ourselves with likeminded people. However as this list will show, there are instances where two completely different personalities mix well. In the sports world, the athletics don’t always overshadow the social aspects of the sports in question and fans find themselves enamored with athlete’s professional and personal lives. Especially in the WWE where every match is a spectacle.
Wrestling offers fans a rare mix of violence, excitement and storytelling all rolled into one. Personalities are fabricated to entertain crowds and the business thrives off these interesting personas. But behind all the controversy and drama, there are real people who live completely different lives as compared to their WWE counterparts. Surprisingly enough some of them even end up befriending one another. This list contains some of the strangest real-life wrestling friendships when you take into account the characters these people play and the heated feuds/rivalries some of them have had in the ring.
These are 15 real life wrestling Friendships.
15. CM Punk and Kofi Kingston
CM Punk and Kofi Kingston first started their journey together as WWE tag-team champions. For the duo, it was their first major belt and as their careers went on Punk became one of the world’s biggest – and most controversial – wrestlers. Now out of the WWE, Punk held the WWE title for 434 days. His relationship with Kingston, whom he once took under his wing, doesn’t seem like it’s been affected by Punk’s sudden departure. In fact, Kingston once acknowledged Punk as his “road wife,” saying “There are very few people in the business that you can call true friends, so I consider Punk to be that and more. So yes, ‘road wife’ is the term we used to sum that all up.”
14. Trish Stratus and Lita
The Attitude Era of the WWE raked in huge crowds and big ratings. One of the greatest rivalries during that time was the one between Trish Stratus and Lita. The two constantly went at it in the ring and both won the WWE Women’s Title on a few occasions. However heated up their rivalry might have seemed, in the ring, the two couldn’t have been better friends in their daily lives. The two still keep in touch, having spent a large chunk of their lives working with one another. When Trish was inducted into the Hall of Fame she acknowledged Lita as her biggest rival and ally. When Lisa was let in it was Trish who inducted her.
13. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
These two personalities just seem to go so well together, it’s not a surprise to know that they enjoy each other’s company outside of their jobs. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are two of the most hated men in all of professional wrestling. Heyman gets a lot of grief because of his involvement in the creation of the now defunct ECW, and Lesnar isn’t too popular in certain circles due to his apparent lack of commitment to the job. But the two put up a good act and have their close real-life relationship to thank for it. Back when Lesnar was just starting out Hyman took a particular interest in his career and helped him succeed early on. That commitment, as well as the trust formed over the years, is a big reason as to why they’re still so close today.
12. Melina and Mick Foley
Even the most off-putting people make friends, they don’t keep them for long but they’ve got friends. Some friends. Melina Perez wasn’t in the business of making friends as she was hated by almost everyone in the WWE locker room. Her attitude and constant hostility had her moved from Smackdown to Raw in 2006. But Melina did have one genuine buddy. Mick Foley. Pictures of the two outside the ring as well as flattering remarks made on Foley’s blog suggested that the two had a decent relationship. Of course, Melina did turn on him, forcing him join Mr. McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass” club. Not exactly a true-blue friend.
11. Daniel Bryan and Ryback
Ryback has made it a point to not get involved with many people inside the WWE, not really caring about his image among the other athletes. The one exception to this might be Daniel Bryan who rode with Ryback from 2012-2013. The two couldn’t have been any more different, yet something was able to keep them together. Bryan made it a point to tell interesting – though questionable – stories about his experiences with Ryback in the locker room. One of them involves Ryback struggling to lift 35 lb. weights and giving Bryan a black eye in a frustrated rage. The two now work on separate schedules but it seems as though things are still good between them.
10. Shawn Michaels and Triple H
The relationship between Shawn Michaels and Triple H is one that has spanned over a decade, all the way back to their D-Generation X days. The two have been close since the Attitude Era and built their reputations as they went along. They’re definitely some of the most easily recognizable pro wrestlers today and their relationship has been so close over the years that Stephanie McMahon once said in an interview that there was a time that she believed them to be gay. Another fun story about these two long time buddies – though there are conflicting accounts as to its validity – is how they buried CM Punk at his 2005 tryout according to former WWE creative member Court Bauer. Michaels denied the story on Twitter while another former WWE writer vouched for its authenticity. So this one all depends on who you believe.
9. Rob Van Dam and The Ultimate Warrior
Unlike other friendships on this list, Rob Van Dam and The Ultimate Warrior didn’t bond during the peak of their wrestling careers. The two met while Warrior was in the process of orchestrating a one match comeback for Italian based company Nu-Wrestling Evolution where he was set to go against Orlando Jordan. He contacted Van Dam to get some training done. It was Warrior’s first match in a decade so Van Dam, not wanting to push him too hard, set him on a light workload. Though they only did train the one time, the two seemed to get along well afterwards. The two did some RVD TV together and were seen talking backstage at the 2014 Hall of Fame.
8. Mick Foley and Terry Funk
During their short stint in the ECW, Mick Foley and Terry Funk began what would turn into a lifelong friendship. The two were known as savage, tough-as-nails madmen who prided themselves on inflicting pain on their opponents. Under the monikers of Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie, the two added a brutal element to the WWE and spent a good deal of their time in the ECW participating in brutal matches called King of the Death Match. Both men inducted each other into the Hall of Fame in 2009 and 2013 respectively.
7. The Kliq
The Kliq began as an exclusive group of wrestlers over fifteen years ago and is now remembered as one of the most influential groups in the sport’s history. Targeted due to their success and backstage politics, the group consisted of Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, X-Pac and Triple H. The friendship between Michaels and Triple H has already been documented on this list, and in a way it’s just another extension of the Kliq’s legacy. They looked after themselves while also keeping an eye out for one another. Years later their legacy and bond is still relevant in pro wrestling today.
6. Bob Holly and Billy Gunn
Bob Holly had a reputation for being short-tempered and unapproachable during his career. So who in their right mind would try to approach a guy with a short fuse and a borderline social disorder? Billy Gunn. Holly has stated in interviews that he doesn’t keep in touch with old colleagues or visit backstage at shows since retiring. But Holly did have a genuine kind of comradery going on with Billy Gunn despite the two seeming like complete opposites. According to Holly he punched Gunn on a dare from Henry Goodwin during a match in Kuwait. Despite the rocky start the two grew close at one point and even formed a tag team for a brief period of time in 2004.
5. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit
The story of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit’s friendship is a touching story about to underdogs pulling through to help each other reach success. It initially started after a match in Japan. The two found that they’d had a lot in common and soon became very close. Along with Dean Malenko they were known as the “three amigos.” Benoit and Guerrero went on to headline WrestleMania 20 for both the WWE and World Heavyweight titles. Guerrero retained his WWE title while Benoit won his first Heavyweight belt. Guerrero died in 2005 leaving Benoit deeply affected by his passing. Benoit himself died in 2007 after allegedly murdering his wife and son then proceeding to commit suicide.
4. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns
Along with Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns formed one of wrestling’s most devastating groups. Dubbed The Shield, the group broke up after Rollins split to join Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as part of The Authority. Regardless, Ambrose and Reigns still remained good friends both in the ring and in real life. While they aren’t working together in WWE storylines, the two of them are still just as close as ever backstage. Despite their sometimes confrontational relationship, Ambrose insists that it’s that competitiveness that keeps them together, calling Reigns a “loveable, soulful guy that can be a beacon for everyone in the locker room.”
3. Undertaker and Kane
This has got to be the creepiest duo on this list. In real life Kane (Glenn Jacobs) and Undertaker (Mark Callaway) are good friends. But in the story the two are brothers who can’t seem to stand each other’s presence. According to the story, this is due to the fact that Kane accidentally burned down their house as a child, killing their parents. Their hatred for each other is painfully obvious in the ring which is a stark contrast to their real friendship. Callaway even suggested Jacobs be the one to break his win streak at WrestleMania, a notion Jacobs refused.
2. Edge and Christian
This is probably the oldest friendship on this list. Adam Copeland (Edge) and Christian were both childhood friends growing up. The two of them worked their way up to the WWE and formed The Brood, an alliance where Christian played Edge’s on-screen brother. They later formed a tag team, winning seven titles and becoming famous for their trademark “Five Second Pose.” Edge had a nice career overall but it was cut short by injuries. When he got into the Hall of Fame, it was Christian who inducted him. The two are still working together and filed a lawsuit against the WWE this past January.
1. John Cena and Randy Orton
In the ring these two are some of the biggest competitors you’ll meet. And that holds true outside of it as well. Yet Randy Orton and John Cena have managed to become good friends over time. Really, the two of them actually get along despite being portrayed as arch-enemies in the ring. Orton even attacked Cena’s father ringside during a match, but what goes on in the ring and what happens in real life are two very different things. Both of these men are two of the biggest names of the current generation, so why shouldn’t they be buddies? It makes sense. They apparently enjoy sharing a drink or two while on the road. That’s the staple of any good friendship.
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