It may be a little late, but I’m celebrating my favorite wrestling couples in pro wrestling in honor of Valentine’s Day! Ever since I was a child, the impact of meaningful relationships has had a lasting effect on me and greatly influences the way I remember some of my favorite (and least favorite) story lines. Below are some, but not all, of the couples that have had the greatest impact on my pro wrestling (watching) life.
5. Billy & Chuck
In the early 2000’s the former Bad Ass and one half of Palumbo and O’Haire formed a tag team that grew more and more affectionate towards each other. They were partners… but were they “life partners?” Chuck (Palumbo) proposed to Billy (Gunn) at one point, but before the ceremony was held they both broke character and said that it was a “publicity stunt.” I liked this coupling up until the point that they distanced themselves from it. What is wrong with a homosexual superstar? What does it matter, even 10 years ago, what sexual orientation a wrestler has? I hate to quote The Rock, but… it doesn’t matter. By having both Billy and Chuck profusely deny their homosexuality, they only succeeded in perpetuating the stereotype of pro wrestling fans as homophobic. This offended me then as much as it does now. Let’s control our rage and continue…
4. ODB & Eric Young
At the time that EY and ODB came together there wasn’t very much to love about TNA. Watching Impact was a chore that I tended to skip each week. Little did I know that I was missing the formation of one of the strangest and most entertaining couples of the modern pro wrestling era! At first I was skeptical. I’d heard about this pair long before ever seeing them on television. As with most things on TNA, I figured this was just another bad idea that wasn’t worth my time. How wrong I was. After watching one segment I was hooked. Every time these two were on screen I was pretty much guaranteed to laugh out loud. Most weeks they were pretty much the only reason to watch TNA. The only thing I didn’t much care for was the fact that their relationship led to Eric Young competing in matches with women, something I usually don’t like at all. He handled it well though, and now EY can claim to be the only wrestler to hold the NWA Tag Titles, the TNA Tag Titles, and the TNA Knockout Tag Titles! It’s a ridiculous accomplishment, something perfectly fitting for such a ridiculous relationship!
3. Lacey & Jimmy Jacobs
I’ll admit that I didn’t get the chance to see a lot of the Jimmy Loves Lacey / Lacey Loves Jimmy story, but what I did see intrigued me. I discovered Lacey when I started watching the first few Shimmer DVDs. I immediately fell in love and started looking for everything I could featuring the lovely Lacey. Unfortunately, by the time I started looking she had already “retired” from pro wrestling. I had to find out why. This led me to “The Ballad of Lacey,” one of the greatest things that the independent wrestling circuit has ever produced. Jimmy was in love with Lacey but she was just toying with him. This led to one of the creepiest story lines in wrestling that culminated with the “Requiem of Lacey” video. If you’ve never seen it, it basically shows that Jimmy had been stalking Lacey. Along with some members of The Age of the Fall, he confronts Lacey in front of a gym and pulls out a spike that he’d used in matches to bloody opponents before the camera is cut off. It is truly disturbing. This, combined with the fact that she pretty much disappeared from the internet, makes this story line incredibly effective and memorable. Dave Prazak was quoted on the Shimmer forums saying she’s “gone and isn’t coming back.” It broke my heart, something that love always inevitably leads to…
2. Rosa Mendes & Zack Ryder
WWE’s version of ECW was much maligned. I can understand why, but it did produce some great moments and story lines. One of my favorites was the relationship between Zack Ryder and Rosa Mendes. Ryder was emerging as a singles star and Rosa had been drafted to ECW. Much like myself, Zack was smitten from the first time he laid eyes on Rosa. This led to some dream sequences which broke the fourth wall of wrestling… but for once I didn’t mind so much. Both Zack and Rosa seemed oblivious to what the other was feeling, but they were together and that’s all that mattered. Zack was totally into Rosa, and Rosa was totally into Rosa. It was beautiful and I looked forward to it every week. Eventually Rosa was traded to Smackdown… Zack wasn’t. Long distance relationships rarely ever work. This was no exception. Rosa + Ryder was over, but I still have hope that these two will get back together one day… Unless I can throw my own hat into the ring.
1. Miss Elizabeth & Randy Savage
I hate wrestling weddings. I hate them with a fiery passion. I’d rather watch an hour long iron man match between Rob Terry and The Great Khali than watch any wrestling wedding. That being said, the “Match Made in Heaven” is the exception that proves the rule. It took place at Summer Slam in 1991 and is one of the most memorable wrestling moments of my young life. I’ve always been a fan of Randy Savage. Summer Slam ’91 is one of the few pay per views that my Dad and I ever bought and the wedding of Savage and Elizabeth is the only reason we got it. Honestly, it’s the only thing I can clearly remember about that show. It wasn’t only their wedding that defined their relationship though. Elizabeth played a pivotal and essential role in much of Savage’s career. The implosion of the Mega Powers instantly springs to mind. Their relationship truly meant something to the wrestling business and to the fans that watched it evolve over the years. They were iconic. They set a standard for couples that has not been matched since. Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth are as close to wrestling royalty as it comes.
So there you have it, my top five wrestling couples of all time. It’s a fairly eclectic list and I think I covered a lot of different emotions and motivations involved in love and relationships: infatuation, obsession, rejection, lying, and even a bit of true love. It’s not my intention to cover so much ground, these are just the couples that truly sparked my interest and made me care in one way or another. Love expresses itself in many ways and cannot be explained; It’s best to simply learn to appreciate it while it lasts.