Wrestling is an industry that makes a business by dealing with characters who have varying feelings about each other, as a result, wrestlers constantly create bonds that sometimes end up broken. Even if its understood that these storylines are made up by a team of writers in the back, many
casual viewers may not realize how intense things seem to be. Only a true fan would be able to see through the acting and determine whose friendships are real and whose are fake, making it easily understandable that a casual viewer wouldn't understand the extent of their act.
People involved in this one-of-a-kind business live a nomadic lifestyle, which results in them spending a lot of time together. This can sometimes be seen as a relationship pressure cooker, as the constant interactions wrestlers have result in them feeling strongly about their co-workers. For instance, if you follow WWE stars on social media or listen to them speak during interviews, it is obvious how close some wrestlers become. However, there are just as many instances in which professional wrestlers seem to have complicated feelings about people they shared the locker room with.
Realizing this inspired us to put together this list of 10 WWE Stars Who Are Best Friends And 10 That Who Are Frenemies.
20 Best Friends: CM Punk and Kofi Kingston
CM Punk and Kofi Kingston both have a rabid fanbase that they created themselves and will more than likely go down in history for their success. Despite that fact, even some huge fans of theirs may have forgotten that they operated as a tag team for a while.
Aside from being able to attain the World Tag Team Championship together, they both now have gone on to much larger things. They were very entertaining as a duo, one of the main reasons being that they seemed to love working together. It makes a lot of sense now that we know Kingston called Punk his “true friend” “and more”, and the two have referred to each other as their “road wife” in the past.
19 Frenemies: Lana and Paige
The WWE has turned a new page in terms of the way they feature their female talent, as we are in the midst of the so-called women’s revolution. Paige is the person who has ensured this become a serious enterprise above all others, as she inspired fans to demand more from the WWE’s women division.
As such, one would think that every other woman in the WWE today would owe her a debt of gratitude -- that was not the case for Lana. Taking to Twitter to air her gripes with her English co-worker, Lana called Paige a bully and phony. No slouch in the insult department, Paige responded by posting it is too bad Lana lies “all the time”. Their anger didn’t seem to last, however, as Paige posted about their reconciliation and Lana wrote that they “fight hard & love harder.”
18 Best Friends: Chris Jericho and The Big Show
The WWE chews performers up and spits them out, which unfortunately means many wrestlers' time in the spotlight is short. With that in mind, you have to respect the careers of The Big Show and Chris Jericho immensely. First working together during both of their mid-nineties runs in WCW, they individually opted to make the jump to the WWE in 1999.
It would make a lot of sense if they developed a bond during all the years they've worked together.
Instead, during an interview with Ric Flair, Jericho revealed he saw Show as a jerk at that time which he blames on the WCW locker room. Fortunately, he also let the world know that, despite any early friction, they have been the best of friends for a long time now.
17 Frenemies: Tazz and Rob Van Dam
The ECW is perceived differently than other failed wrestling companies, coming off as cult-like and, sometimes, under appreciated. Seen as being heavily influential during its heyday, ECW also was the ultimate underdog during the Monday Night Wars.
As such, the company has taken on an almost mythical quality and fans see its roster as working in harmony to beat the odds, which is true to a degree, but in no way means that they were all friends. For instance, Tazz no longer has a huge chip on his shoulder, but in the past, his personality did not sit well with Rob Van Dam. This led to a lot of tension, the two of them coming to blows at one point, but all is well as they get along now.
16 Best Friends: Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin
Over the years, the WWE has created a seemingly endless array of villains for fans to root against. For the most part, the people that play these characters are not as awful as they pretend to be on TV, but then you have Brock Lesnar -- who makes playing a jerk look natural. The impression of having a poor attitude has, therefore, lent his villainous character a great deal of credibility.
*His difficult character hasn’t stopped some people from breaking through his outer shell, including Shelton Benjamin.
Longtime friends, they first became close when they went to college together. They have demonstrated that they are still important to one another today, as they are tight enough for Benjamin to be Lesnar’s two oldest children’s godfather.
15 Frenemies: John Cena and Batista
John Cena and Batista rose to prominence at the same time and developed a rivalry all throughout their career. Neck and neck in terms of importance to the WWE for a time, John Cena then took the lead and eventually Batista left the company entirely. One of the stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe today, Batista is a bigger star than ever before.
As such, he is more than happy to voice his opinions on the business whenever asked. For him, that involves bashing Cena a lot of the time. Not willing to pull any punches, he said Cena “is Mr. Hokey, Mr. PG… to me. He did away with hardcore, edgy wrestling.” As something that shouldn’t surprise anyone, this example and other harsh things Batista has said about Cena created a rift between them.
14 Best Friends: Dana Brooke and Braun Strowman
The careers of Braun Strowman and Dana Brooke have little in common, aside from the fact the two wrestlers made their WWE debuts in the last few years. We say that because Strowman is poised to become one of the biggest stars in the business, while Brooke's fame appears to be dwindling. Even if they appear not to have much in common, fans may not realize that, prior to joining the WWE, it was not the case -- they are both known for intense training during their earlier days. He is a former strongman and she was a bodybuilder.
Perhaps it is their joint love of training that caused them to become good friends.
Whatever the reason, he appears on her social media regularly and they always seem to support one another.
13 Frenemies: Nikki Bella and Maryse
Nikki Bella and Maryse first came to the attention of fans on the same occasion -- they both auditioned for the 2006 Raw Divas Search and joined the main roster shortly thereafter. Fans may have recognized them for other reasons, as both of them were models before changing their careers and romantically linking themselves to a WWE performer.
With so much in common, it seems like it should have been a no-brainer for them to become close. Instead, they spent years as enemies because Maryse blamed Nikki for supposedly blocking her from returning to the WWE, which is debatable as both had their own views on things. Either way, in recent years, Maryse joined her husband, The Miz, in the WWE which released some tension.
12 Best Friends: AJ Lee and Big E
AJ Lee was a celebrated presence in the WWE, but since leaving the business, she has taken swipes at the company. She is married to CM Punk, a man that is resented by many of her former bosses. She may no longer be cherished by the company, but one of the WWE’s most popular current performers seems to have a lot of love for her.
AJ Lee has stolen the heart of Big E and they love each other's company.
The WWE keeps the member of the New Day busy with media appearances and wrestling on shows each week. Keeping that in mind, it is abundantly clear how important the people he spends his private time with must be. As such, AJ Lee has to be a great friend considering they still hang out as evidenced by the photos they post on social media.
11 Frenemies: Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar
As a former amateur wrestler, Brock Lesnar had a lot of experience and, after his first run in the WWE, he became UFC Heavyweight Champion after his fourth ever MMA fight. Able to pull off that incredible feat due to his physical prowess, he overcame his lack of experience and late start in the business.
He then made his WWE return after signing a cushy deal because of his high profile and accomplishments since. This caused some resentment among his peers, but there weren’t many people that would ever stand up to him. That is why it was so stunning to learn that Jericho and Lesnar almost came to blows backstage before both were talked down.
Since that incident, they have co-existed peacefully even if they will never be pals.
10 Best Friends: Batista and Titus O’Neil
In some cases, Batista bad mouths other wrestlers, but sometimes leaps to the defense of a friend who works at the WWE. Titus O'Neil has a lot going for him, but unfortunately, never amounted to much in the WWE. Best known as the current leader of Titus Worldwide and one-half of The Prime Time Players, O'Neil is an undercard mainstay.
According to Batista, it's a disgrace that he's underused and he was outraged by the fact that O’Neil was suspended in 2016.
The only bright side of the entire incident is that these two friends were able to hang out after O’Neil was forced to take time off. At least, it now gives them much more time to enjoy delicious meals together, as pictured above.
9 Frenemies: Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff
One of the weirdest relationships in wrestling since the nineties, Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff have worked together in WCW, WWE, and TNA over the years. Appearing backstage together is the only thing that has remained static, as their relationship seems to be on a roller coaster. After all, they attained huge success in WCW together, but during that period they seemingly grew to dislike each other.
Things got so bad between them that lawsuits were thrown around.
Then they were both signed by the WWE and things were good for the most part, other than Flair attacking Bischoff backstage one time. They're both still a part of the business today, and get along well even though occasional swipes are taken between them during interviews.
8 Best Friends: Triple H and Sheamus
Triple H will more than likely rule the WWE roost someday, as he wields an amazing amount of power backstage and his influence is undeniable. As such, it seems likely that many of the company’s employees would go out of their way to befriend him.
It turns out that the key to becoming buddies with Triple H was the weight room all along -- it was there that Sheamus earned his respect and affection. In fact, Triple H sees enough in Sheamus that he said “I've known Sheamus for a long time, he's amazingly dedicated, just trains hard, and is a sponge for the business. He wants to learn and constantly grow.” Considering Triple H is well-known for his love of poking fun at his fellow wrestlers, the earnest way he praises his friend says a lot.
7 Frenemies: Big Cass and Enzo Amore
This duo seemed like they were going to take the WWE by storm, but it now seems impossible for Enzo Amore and Big Cass. That is because Amore was released by the WWE at the height of a huge controversy and reports say that even at that point, the two already did not see eye to eye.
A shocking turn of events considering how close they once were, the tension between them arose after Cass hurt himself.
The two wrestled each other, but the battle continued out of the ring, as comments made by Amore about Cass ending their bout early were not well-received. It appears as though the anger between them continued to ramp up. Things supposedly got so bad, that during Amore’s final months with the company, they weren’t even on speaking terms.
6 Best Friends: Ryback and Daniel Bryan
Ryback and Daniel Bryan’s friendship makes no sense -- the only things they're known to have in common is a love for wrestling and extremely regimented diets. Aside from that, they seem like polar opposites in a lot of ways. Ryback is jacked to the gills while Bryan has a smaller and fit frame. Ryback seems like a bit of a jock while Bryan has an extremely quick wit -- it seems like their differences are endless.
One can then watch them hanging out during an episode of Table for 3 and things start making a lot more sense. Laughing throughout the episode, many tales of the practical jokes that Bryan played on Ryback were gleefully told. Seemingly the basis for their friendship, the jokes actually got somewhat out of hand, which lead them to stop traveling together, but they still remain very close friends.
5 Frenemies: William Regal and Tajiri
WWE Story Time is known for exposing quite a few details about the relationships on the shows, it especially gave us a better look at William Regal and Tajiri's relationship. The two made a highly unique tag team, William Regal’s character revolved around his snooty attitude, while his former partner Tajiri relished in hurting people.
They turned into a duo pretty much out of nowhere, but to many fans' joy, they had amazing chemistry onscreen.
Something everyone assumed was also the case behind the scenes, yet in 2017, Regal informed the world that was not so. He told viewers that he “hates Tajiri with a passion” -- a statement that fans of this tandem were disappointed to hear, making it difficult to believe that there would still be some affection between them.
4 Best Friends: Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik
As fans know, Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik became tag team champions together and both joined the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014, which linked their careers forever. Despite their onscreen relationship, it seems as though they are very different people in their private lives. On one hand, you have The Iron Sheik, a former WWF World Heavyweight Champion that is known for his expletive-laced tirades, while Nikolai Volkoff seems to be relatively soft-spoken and easy going. In the case of these two men, it seems the old adage about opposites attracting holds true.
After all, The Sheik celebrated Volkoff on Twitter for National Best Friends Day. If that weren’t enough, they will speak highly about one another during interviews to this day.
3 Frenemies: CM Punk and Colt Cabana
Considering they were both good friends years ago, it is a little bit heartbreaking to include CM Punk and Colt Cabana as frenemies. Pals long before either of them were stars of any real note, their bond was incredibly strong during the years in which they wrestled for small promotions. Once Punk’s career took off, he never forgot his buddy and even name dropped Cabana during his infamous promo.
They were still friends when Punk walked away from the WWE, but he opted to air his grievances on a podcast hosted by Cabana. A recording that led a WWE doctor to sue these two friends, which reportedly lead the legal battle to come between Punk and Cabana -- they are said to no longer be buddies, even opting to stop following one another on Twitter.
2 Best Friends: Edge and Christian
Millions of youngsters fantasize about performing for the WWE someday, and despite the high degree of competition, two Canadian best friends beat the odds and were signed by the company. Edge and Christian went on to have careers worthy of being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Both forced to retire due to career-ending injuries, they have opted to continue to work together in their new life. The co-hosts of the podcast E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness as well as a WWE Network series, they clearly love joking around together. Both in their forties today, Edge and Christian have done something truly incredible, they were both part of a sometimes harsh business, but their friendship survived wrestling.
1 Frenemies: The Rock and Shawn Michaels
The Rock and Shawn Michaels are immensely popular wrestlers who are routinely placed on lists of the most important WWE performers of all-time. Their careers overlapped several times, but they somehow never feuded with one another in the ring. Something that seems absolutely absurd on the face of things, the WWE could have made millions of dollars if they’d grappled. With that in mind, there had to be a compelling reason why major matches between them never took place. According to the celebrated wrestling reporter Dave Meltzer, there is.
The Rock refused to work with Michaels after The Rock’s grandmother, a wrestling figure herself, was disrespected by Michaels years ago.
Even if The Rock never forgot, he seems to have moved past what happened enough to be cordial with Michaels.
Are you disappointed at some of these pairs? Let us know how you feel in the comments!