Life as a professional wrestler isn’t easy. Wrestlers put their bodies on the line day in and day out for ravenous crowds, returning to a hotel room for a few hours’ sleep, and then getting up and traveling somewhere else to do it all again the next day. Most WWE Superstars and Divas are on the road for nearly 300 days a year, giving them very little time off to themselves.
Despite this, most of these wrestlers have families or are in committed relationships. Many WWE personalities prefer to date other wrestlers because both parties understand the rigors of the road and they can see each other on a more regular basis. However, some wrestlers don’t exactly ask for permission before becoming involved with a coworker.
Cheating scandals are nothing new in the worlds of sports or entertainment. However, the WWE Universe operates somewhat differently. Two wrestlers may be written into a romantic storyline together and begin to develop feelings outside of work. Sometimes affairs happen in real life and then get turned into a story.
Wrestlers’ romantic trials and tribulations risk being portrayed on TV week in and week out for the whole world to see and judge. These storylines often make for compelling programming, as the two wrestlers tend to have real animosities that translate into thrilling matches. Again, life as a professional wrestler isn’t easy.
These ten affairs, spanning from the 1990s to today, have involved some of the most popular WWE Superstars of all time. Most of these cheating scandals are ugly, vicious, and sometimes a little sad, and they all rocked the WWE down to its core.
9. Terri Runnels and Shawn Stasiak
In the Attitude Era in the late 1990s, Terri Runnels was one of the sexiest Divas on the roster. Formerly called Marlena, she was portrayed as the manager of the eccentric Goldust (real name Dustin Runnels). Terri and Goldust were more than just on-screen counterparts – they were married in real life as well.
Goldust’s father, wrestler Dusty Rhodes, had never liked the idea of his son marrying Terri, but he went through with it. But Terri allegedly got involved with wrestler Shawn Stasiak during her marriage to Goldust. Terri managed Stasiak’s character, Meat, during on-screen WWE programming for a short time.
In the years since, Goldust and Terri have smoothed over their relationship. They have one child together, a daughter named Dakota Avery.
8. John Cena and Mickie James
As the face of the WWE, John Cena represents the best of wrestling inside and out of the ring. During his meteoric rise to the top of the company, he had been happily married to a woman named Elizabeth Huberdeau. The two had been together since their high school days.
Of course, the fairy tale didn’t last forever.
Rumors swirled that Cena had been involved with various WWE Divas during his long stints on the road, but the most substantiated is the affair he had with Mickie James. The Diva’s ex-boyfriend, former WWE Superstar Kenn Doane, even went public with news of the two-timing, posting his disgruntled opinions on Twitter. At the time of the affair, Doane was still dating Mickie James.
Cena’s girlfriend, Huberdeau, eventually caught wind of the news, and her lawyers looked into Cena’s after-work activities. The former sweethearts had a nasty and bitter divorce. However, James later moved on and found love again; she’s even a mother. Cena is very publicly dating Diva Nikki Bella (real name Nicole Garcia-Colace).
7. Shawn Michaels and Sunny
In the early 1990s, Shawn Michaels (real name Michael Shawn Hickenbottom) was on top of the WWE and on top of the world. His sex appeal was magnetic, enough so that he earned the nickname of “the Heartbreak Kid” and even made a semi-nude appearance in Playgirl in which he covered himself with a strategically placed championship belt.
Around that same time, Sunny (real name Tammy Sytch) emerged as the first real WWE Diva. Blonde and bodacious, she also oozed sex appeal. As you can imagine, when two hot wrestlers meet, the sparks fly.
According to Sunny, she and Shawn Michaels were an item for about eight months, which is a pretty long time for an affair. She has gone on record before and admitted that she was with Hickenbottom even though she was dating a wrestler named Chris Candido (real name Chris Candito).
Perhaps to take the heat off himself, Michaels appeared on WWE programming and alleged that it was Bret Hart who was sneaking around with Sunny, which wasn’t true. Michaels eventually settled down and got married to another woman, while Sunny and Candido broke up.
6. Melina Perez and Dave Batista
As young talents competing on the WWE reality competition show Tough Enough, Melina Perez and John Morrison (real name John Hennigan) met and fell in love. However, the two had a tumultuous relationship that led to many little breakups. It was tough to tell when the on-off couple was on, but Perez did get involved with a few WWE Superstars in the interim, including Dave Batista (real name Dave Bautista) and possibly even Mike Knox (real name Michael Shawn Hettinga). Bautista, who was planning a divorce, revealed the affair in his autobiography Batista Unleashed.
Perez unfortunately developed a reputation backstage, as did Hennigan. The couple actually stayed together for quite a while after all of this, so they must have worked out their differences.
5. Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle / Jarret
When Kurt Angle showed up to the WWE in the late 1990s, he had a good-natured, hard-working attitude and a real gold Olympic medal for a victory in heavyweight freestyle wrestling from 1996. As the years went by though, Angle’s fall from grace was not pretty. He eventually left WWE, moved over to Total Nonstop Action (TNA), and was said to be on steroids and other drugs. At least Angle had his beautiful wife Karen to get him through the hard times.
Well, for a little while at least.
After two children and 10 years together, Angle and Karen divorced. However, while only separated from Angle, Karen started dating TNA head and wrestler Jeff Jarrett, another former WWE Superstar. Jarrett faced legal repercussions for his actions and was taken off TV. However, Jarrett and Karen stayed together, and he even proposed. The two later got married.
While Angle was nursing his broken heart, Jarrett came back to TNA and the wrestlers had an on-screen feud that involved Karen. Angle eventually moved on personally and married actress Giovanna Yannotti.
4. Nancy Benoit and Kevin Sullivan
Life imitates art sometimes, and former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) personality Kevin Sullivan knows that too well.
A storyline with future WWE Superstar Chris Benoit called for Nancy’s character, Woman, to split with Sullivan and move on to Benoit instead, becoming his manager. Sullivan actually pushed for his wife and Benoit to appear together as often as possible, even when the cameras weren’t on, in order for everyone to believe the angle.
However, Sullivan’s dedication to the storyline was his undoing, as it was only a matter of time before Nancy and Benoit fell in love in real life. Nancy and Sullivan divorced, and she and Benoit tied the knot in 2000. It was Nancy’s third marriage and Benoit’s first. The two had one child together, a boy named Daniel Christopher. Unfortunately, in 2007, the startling news broke that Benoit murdered Nancy, their son, and himself in a grisly murder-suicide.
3. Seth Rollins and Zahra Schreiber
In the not-so-distant past, it seemed like Seth Rollins had it all. Growing as a singles wrestler since the Shield split up, he’s held the coveted Money in the Bank briefcase and seemed a guaranteed future champion. Personally, Rollins was engaged to the gorgeous Leighla Schultz.
Then one night everything changed. During an episode of Raw, Rollins supposedly posted a nude photo to his personal Instagram of a young up-and-coming NXT Diva named Zahra Schreiber.
Schultz, who clearly connected the dots and figured out Rollins was cheating, retaliated by posting two nude snaps of Rollins to Twitter.
The world lit up at the news. Although Rollins was found not to have personally posted the pictures of Schreiber, he still had the photos on his phone. Scorned woman Schultz continued her destructive Twitter rampage, dropping cryptic bombshells that could have been text messages Rollins sent to Schreiber. Considering that one of them supposedly said “I hate my life and my fiancée,” it’s probably for the best that Rollins and Schultz split.
2. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
Triple H (real name Paul Levesque) may be sitting pretty on the WWE board of directors nowadays, but he could have been a jobless afterthought had his relationship with the boss’ daughter Stephanie McMahon not worked out.
Levesque and Stephanie knew one another before, but they became much more comfortable back in 1999 after Levesque took over a Vince Russo storyline where Triple H drugged Stephanie and forced her to marry him. At the time, Levesque was in a relationship with former Diva Chyna (real name Joanie Laurer). After enough time spent cuddling and kissing Stephanie for the cameras, though, Levesque began falling hard for Vince McMahon‘s only daughter.
Those feelings were reciprocated, and so the two began seeing each other after working hours. Diva Chyna eventually uncovered the truth, but she didn’t last much longer in the WWE.
Vince actually forbade Levesque from dating Stephanie for a while, but the two found their way back to each other and had a real wedding in 2003. The pair are still together to this day, and they have three children. These days, Levesque and Stephanie make regular appearances on WWE programming as a part of the Authority.
1. Edge and Lita
In the early 2000s, Team Xtreme was all the rage. Consisting of Jeff and Matt Hardy and the incredibly athletic Lita (real name Amy Dumas), the stable was one of the most popular acts at the time. Off-screen, Matt and Lita began what would be a seven year relationship. The pair endured the Hardys going solo as well as Lita and Matt being drafted to two different shows.
However, Matt eventually suffered from knee pains that took him off WWE programming for several months. During this time, Lita got a little too comfortable with Edge (real name Adam Copeland). Lita and Edge had been friends for years and soon began seeing each other behind Matt’s back. Matt and the WWE Universe found out what happened, and Matt’s life unraveled.
First, he was fired from WWE. Then he was brought back to the company after WWE decided it wanted to put Lita and Edge together on-screen, with Matt acting as the heartbroken jilted ex-lover. The angle led to some fantastic and fiery matches. Matt was eventually fired again, while Edge and Lita did eventually break up.
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