Meet WWE’s Greatest Grappling Buddies
Not just anyone can become a Superstar’s best buddy, but WWE history has shown that a true friend can come from anywhere. Longtime rivals may earn each other’s respect and support one another’s career aspirations. Or, two unlikely allies might find some common ground on which to build a loyal partnership.
Regardless of where he finds his buddy, a Superstar can do a lot more than just get by in WWE with a little help from his friends. Every competitor gets a big boost from knowing that a comrade stands in his corner and is ready to help topple even the toughest of foes. Maybe their bond brings championship gold or greater glory along the way, but true friends fight to stand up for one another — and, of course, to make sure they’re always having fun.
Inspired by Mattel’s Brawlin’ Buddies, who are always ready to hug it out or slug it out at a moment’s notice, WWE.com pays tribute to five of the best brothers-in-arms in WWE history whose care and concern for one another make them prime examples of WWE’s greatest grappling buddies.
Shawn Michaels & Triple H
When Shawn Michaels and Triple H first crossed paths back in the mid-1990s, it literally changed The Game. That’s because The Cerebral Assassin finally felt comfortable enough to shed his stuffy, blueblood background and just let loose alongside The Showstopper. Combining the undeniable charisma of HBK with the intimidating presence of Triple H, the mischievous duo started a revolution in the WWE Universe by combining their talents to co-found the anti-establishment faction known as D-Generation X.
Championship gold and personal agendas sometimes got in the way, but the camaraderie between Triple H and HBK perseveres to this day. From tormenting The Hart Foundation to challenging The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, both Superstars always find the way back to their best buddy’s side, cheering and supporting them all the way.
Edge & Christian
If the bond between Edge & Christian seems stronger than most, it’s because the seven-time WWE Tag Team Champions had a head start in establishing their chemistry and camaraderie. Friends since their grade school days, the Canadian duo already knew everything there was to know about one another by the time each Superstar commenced their respective WWE careers.
From extolling the virtues of soda to mastering innovative challenges like the Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match, Edge & Christian fed off each other’s personalities so well that the success they ultimately achieved together earned them the distinction of being named the greatest tag team of all time by WWE.com. Yet even after the two competitors went their separate ways, their bond remains unbroken and was on display for the WWE Universe to see when Christian, once just a kid from Ontario, Canada, inducted his childhood friend Edge into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston hail from very different backgrounds — the former from Charlotte, N.C., and the latter from the West African nation of Ghana — and feature very distinct personalities, but each Superstar never lets their differences get in the way of their common interest: defending the WWE Tag Team Championship from any and all challengers.
In the ring, R-Truth’s technical talents complement Kingston’s all-around attributes and high-flying skills to make them a formidable one-two punch. Outside, Kofi’s easygoing attitude never cramps R-Truth’s style or the rapping competitor’s indivisible bond with Little Jimmy. Whenever the titleholders get together, they click — just as one would expect from a successful Superstar and his best buddy.
John Cena & Zack Ryder
Imagine the lessons an up-and-coming competitor could learn by having an accomplished Superstar like John Cena as his mentor. Zack Ryder found himself in that favorable position when the Cenation leader helped him clinch his first singles title, the United States Championship, in December 2011. And what did Cena ask for in return? Just the friendship of Long Island Iced-Z.
While Ryder’s alliance with Cena put him in the crosshairs of Kane in early 2012, it did not leave him alone to face The Big Red Monster. The Cenation leader’s tenets of “hustle, loyalty and respect” kept him firmly entrenched in the self-proclaimed “Internet Champion’s” corner for better or worse. The events serves as proof that friends remain true in good times and bad, which may likely entice Ryder to give his best buddy a big hug in gratitude.
The Rock 'n' Sock Connection
Sometimes, a strong friendship in WWE can start with two Superstars who join forces for what they feel will be nothing more than a one-night-only partnership. That’s what happened on the evening of Aug. 30, 1999, when The Rock, who was facing the prospect of doing battle with WWE World Tag Team Champions The Undertaker & Big Show at the same time, agreed to let Mankind be his tag team partner.
What The People’s Champion and Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy lack in common interests, they more than made up for with mutual success in the squared circle. The Rock’s polished tactics and Mankind’s uncanny behavior just seemed to blend well, leading The Rock ‘n’ Sock connection to claim the World Tag Team Titles on three different occasions. And even as The Brahma Bull and the unpredictable Foley moved on to pursue their individual career aspirations, they didn’t hesitate to reunite in the years that followed when The McMahon-Helmsley Faction and later Evolution posed threats to the legacy of their unlikely alliance.
Who will be your best Brawlin’ Buddy?
WWE Superstars may make for great friends in the ring, but, thanks to Mattel, they can also be in your corner wherever you go. Mattel’s Brawlin’ Buddies will go anywhere and do anything for a friend, and they certainly don’t mind mixing it up from time to time.
So now that you’ve seen WWE’s greatest grappling buddies, who will be yours? Head to Mattel.com and meet a new Brawlin’ Buddy now!