The 10 most scandalous love triangles in sports-entertainment history
Love. It makes people do crazy things. That’s especially true in WWE where what begins with a little kissing and hugging always seems to end with kicking and punching.
It's been a while since we've seen some romantic scandal in WWE, which is why the recent drama that's been playing out between Fandango, Layla and Summer Rae has us hooked. Things are just beginning to get interesting with that triangle (square, actually, let's not forget about Dolph Ziggler), but we're hoping it can reach the heights of intrigue and absurdity that the 10 affairs on our list did.
Zack Ryder, John Cena & Eve
The year 2011 saw the rise of Zack Ryder through the use of social media. Ryder was on top of the world throughout much of the year, winning the U.S. Title while courting the lovely Eve. But as the year came to a close and 2012 began, Long Island Iced-Z became a target for Kane because of his close friendship with John Cena.
As a result, Kane tormented Ryder and Eve to get inside Cena's head, attempting to make the Cenation leader embrace hate. On Raw, as Cena conducted an interview, he witnessed Kane trying to abduct Eve in an ambulance. As The Big Red Monster pulled away in the vehicle, Eve leapt from the back into Cena's arms and then kissed her rescuer. Unknowingly, the Diva planted one on the 10-time WWE Champion in front of a wheel-chair bound Ryder.
Though the love triangle only lasted throughout the course of the evening, it ended very poorly for Long Island Iced-Z. After confronting Cena in the ring about the apparent betrayal, Ryder sat in his wheelchair on the entrance stage, only to be unceremoniously thrown off it by Kane. Any feelings Eve had for Cena vanished as she immediately blamed the Cenation leader for Ryder's condition.
Shawn Michaels, Rick Martel & Sensational Sherri
In 1992, Shawn Michaels and Rick “The Model” Martel were the two most arrogant Superstars on the WWE roster. The Heartbreak Kid was building an impressive resume as a singles competitor thanks in part to Sensational Sherri. As “The Model,” Rick Martel was going through a renaissance and felt the services of The Sensational One would certainly benefit his career.
At SummerSlam, Michael and Martel squared off for the services of Sherri. Although, there was a very odd stipulation added to the match. Because both Superstars were focused on their appearance at the time, Sherri made them agree not to hit each other in the face. As HBK and Martel battled back and forth — each trying to impress Sherri — The Sensational One suddenly fainted, with both competitors rushing to her aide.
Though the battle continued to a double count-out, Sherri revealed she was faking her condition and Michaels carried her away from ringside. The rivalry ended and “The Model” no longer sought the former Women’s Champion’s affection, but she continued to groom Michaels for success.
Christian, Chris Jericho & Trish Stratus
The most twisted Canadian love triangle in WWE history occurred in 2003 between Chris Jericho, Christian and Trish Stratus. It began when Y2J and Captain Charisma were dating Trish and Lita, respectively. The Superstars had a bet, but when Trish learned of the wager, she ended the relationship with Jericho.
Though WWE's first-ever Undisputed Champion had developed feelings for the blond bombshell and tried to mend the relationship — an act that upset Christian. The former World Tag Team Champions collided at WrestleMania XX, with Trish in Jericho's corner. When the dust settled, it was Christian who picked up the victory after Trish accidentally hit Jericho. However, the biggest secret of the entire affair came to the surface when Trish revealed she and Captain Charisma were a couple.
Although Christian got the girl, Jericho later defeated his former partner in a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title at Unforgiven 2003, effectively ending the malice between the two.
Daniel Bryan, CM Punk & AJ Lee
In late 2011, AJ Lee entered a serious relationship with Daniel Bryan. The coupling was a bit tumultuous and, despite the lovely Diva declaring her love for Bryan, he never seemed to fully reciprocate the feelings. Following Bryan’s 18-second title loss to Sheamus at WrestleMania XXVIII, the relationship ended and AJ became emotionally distressed.
As she displayed more aggressive tendencies, Bryan once again courted the Diva, but she split her affection primarily between her former boyfriend and WWE Champion CM Punk. As Bryan continued his attempts to win AJ back, she tried to win over The Second City Saint, who avoided any kind of relationship advances. The twisted affair between the trio took an even more bizarre turn when AJ proposed to CM Punk and, in turn, Bryan proposed to the Diva. The WWE Champion did not accept AJ’s proposal, and she did not accept Bryan’s — however, she was announced as the special guest referee in the WWE Title Match between the Superstars at Money in the Bank.
Though Punk retained the title, AJ accepted a second proposal from Bryan and the two were to be wed on Raw 1000. The sordid love affair finally ended when AJ left her prospective husband at the altar to accept Mr. McMahon’s offer to become the new Raw General Manager.
Edge, Big Show & Vickie Guerrero
Of all of WWE’s bizarre love affairs, the most unexpected may have occurred between Edge, Big Show and Vickie Guerrero. At the time, Edge and Vickie were married — arguably a clever power play by The Rated-R Superstar as Vickie was the SmackDown GM. Their relationship was a bit disorderly in the beginning with allegations of cheating, but Vickie and Edge remained strong.
In the weeks leading up to The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, Vickie announced that Edge would defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Big Show at The Show of Shows. However, John Cena — who lost the title to Edge a month prior — revealed that Vickie had been cheating on Edge with Big Show. As a result, the WrestleMania bout was rescheduled as a Triple Threat Match.
Although The World’s Largest Athlete and The Rated-R Superstar shared a mutual disdain for Cena, their lover’s quarrel over Vickie outweighed their hatred for the Cenation leader. With Vickie at ringside, her two lovers failed to best Cena on The Grandest Stage of Them All, with Edge losing the title. Not long after, he filed for divorce.
"Ravishing" Rick Rude, Jake "The Snake" Roberts & Cheryl Roberts
After a successful victory on “WWE Superstars” in 1987, Rick Rude began to hit on a woman in the audience who seemed unimpressed by the Superstar’s enviable physique. She continually rejected The Ravishing One before revealing she was Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ wife.
The two Superstars engaged in a bitter rivalry stemming from the incident and Rude continually goaded for Cheryl’s affection. Though, The Ravishing One took it one step further when he revealed a new set of tights with Cheryl’s likeness airbrushed on the front. The revelation prompted Roberts to race to ringside and strip The Ravishing One of his gear.
The two Superstars finally squared off on Saturday Night’s Main Event on Oct. 28, 1987, with Rude once again wearing gear with Cheryl’s visage. The battle ended in disqualification following Heenan’s interference as Roberts began ripping off Rude’s tights.
Tommy Dreamer, Raven & Beulah
For two years, the most intense and personal rivalry in Extreme Championship Wrestling stemmed from the animosity between Tommy Dreamer and Raven. Childhood friends who constantly competed with one another, the men continued their rivalry in ECW when Raven arrived with Beulah McGillicutty.
Once an overweight girl who was rejected by Dreamer at summer camp, Beulah had become a gorgeous model and developed a relationship with Raven. The lovely lady now wanted revenge on Tommy for his failure to reciprocate her feelings and joined forces with the man from The Bowery.
For two years, Dreamer and Raven fought tooth and nail with Dreamer always losing, but never quitting. His resilience didn't just win over the ECW faithful. Eventually, Beulah left Raven's side and joined Dreamer. After years of countless battles and a woman coming between them, Dreamer and Raven fought one last time at Wrestlepalooza '97 in a Loser Leaves Town Match. Finally, Dreamer defeated Raven and ended the rivalry once and for all.
Triple H, Kurt Angle & Stephanie McMahon
In early 1999, sports-entertainment was turned upside down following the union of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. The powerful couple seemed unstoppable, but The Cerebral Assassin wasn't the only WWE Superstar trying to impress The Billionaire Princess.
In 2000, there seemed to be some chemistry developing between Stephanie and Kurt Angle. The Game took notice and began to confront both his wife and the Olympic hero. Though Stephanie and Angle denied what was obvious to Triple H and the WWE Universe, it was not enough to keep The King of Kings at bay.
The Superstars finally came to blows at Unforgiven 2000 with Stephanie in Triple H's corner. With his sworn enemy, Mick Foley, as the special guest referee, The Cerebral Assassin was short on those he could trust. However, as the memorable contest tore through Philadelphia's First Union Center, Stephanie McMahon proved her allegiance by attacking Angle and helping Triple H secure the win.
Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth
One of the most dominant alliances in sports-entertainment history was formed after Hulk Hogan helped Randy Savage claim the WWE Title at WrestleMania IV. “Macho Man” and The Hulkster became known as The Mega Powers and were managed by Savage’s love interest Miss Elizabeth.
Throughout the course of 1988, the powerful pairing represented the definition of being “good guys” in WWE and faced off against the likes of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase & Andre the Giant as well as The Twin Towers. However, as the year moved forward, cracks in the armor were becoming clearly visible — mostly because of Miss Elizabeth. Savage perceived Hogan's friendliness and concern for his lady to be more than it was on the surface. Each time The Hulkster helped Miss Elizabeth in some way, the "Macho Man's" temper would ignite.
Jealousy finally got the better of Savage and The Mega Powers exploded. With the first lady of sports-entertainment coming between them, the duo faced off at WrestleMania V for the WWE Title. The Hulkster defeated Savage, and though the rivalry continued, it became more about the championship than the lovely Miss Elizabeth.
Edge, Matt Hardy & Lita
The most shocking — and well documented — love triangle in WWE history was the one that erupted between Edge, Matt Hardy and Lita. At the time, Hardy and Lita were a longtime couple outside of the ring, until it was revealed that the Diva was having an affair with Edge. The news quickly spread throughout the WWE Universe and shortly after the affair became known, Hardy was released from WWE.
Edge and Lita continued to draw ire from the WWE Universe with their very public relationship, until Hardy returned. But the former World Tag Team Champion didn’t want to win Lita back; he wanted to defend his own honor. In the weeks that followed, Hardy and Edge engaged in a series of brutal and extremely personal matches.
The rivalry ended when Edge defeated Hardy in a Loser Leaves Raw Match, resulting in Hardy’s move to SmackDown. Easily one of the most personal and bitter love triangles in WWE history, it was this incident that prompted Edge to call himself “The Rated-R Superstar.”