Despite the fact that marriage has been joining one man and one woman (or two people of the same sex, whatevs) together for thousands of years, there are many who believe human beings are not meant to be monogamous. Those who push for the normalization of polygamy point to the small number of animals that mate for life, as well as the inability of humans to be satisfied with what they’ve got as evidence of the need for multiple sexual partners. Staying faithful to somebody is indeed pretty hard, particularly if you are away from your partner for long periods of time.
It is notoriously difficult to make a marriage work in the wacky world of professional wrestling. Performers are often on the road for 300 days a year, which means there are a lot of lonely nights during which one might be tempted to do something they shouldn’t and seek love from an outside source. Many of WWE’s biggest superstars, the ones who rarely have any time at home, have been caught in a cheating scandal at some time or another. This always results in extremely negative publicity for WWE and sends the company into panic mode. While these situations would likely be greatly reduced if WWE just gave its performers more time off, Vince McMahon and his PR team prefer the more traditional professional wrestling method of dealing with infidelity: Deny ‘til you die.
While that would have been a sound plan a couple of decades ago, the age of the internet has made it impossible for WWE to forget about the private lives of its more sleazy superstars. Here are 15 of the biggest WWE cheating scandals of all time.
15. Chris Jericho/ Kelly Kelly
Chris Jericho is one of the most decorated superstars in the history of professional wrestling and has been married for almost two decades, which is the majority of his WWE career. That’s a lot of nights away from home.
There have long been rumors of Y2J being involved with other women on the road, sometimes ring rats and sometimes members of WWE’s Women’s division. One of the most infamous Jericho affair rumors suggests he became involved with Kelly Kelly, the face of WWE’s Diva’s division during its darkest days.
Although Kelly would have been quite a bit younger than Jericho at the time of their affair, the two were apparently very close when the road and pictures of the two together can be found in abundance on the internet. In a couple of pictures, the pair can be seen getting far closer than what would be considered normal for friends. They were even captured kissing on several occasions!
14. Jeff Jarrett/Karen Angle
Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle’s relationship was hounded by controversy in its early years. It was revealed on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show by a caller claiming to be a TNA insider. There are conflicting reports about when the relationship started between the two, but the general consensus is that they began seeing each other while Karen was still married to Kurt Angle.
The relationship garnered a lot of negative attention for TNA – the first attention the company had received in years – and management decided to suspend Jarrett for unprofessional behavior in order to save face. When he returned, the situation was turned into a ridiculous and convoluted storyline, in typical TNA fashion.
13. The Kat/People Who Weren’t Jerry Lawler
The Kat – real name Stacey Carter – had a long relationship with Jerry “The King Lawler” prior to signing with WWE. The two met when Carter was still a teenager and Lawler later admitted that although he was married at the time, he was so attracted to Carter that he considered an affair.
After Lawler’s marriage ended, he and Carter began seeing each other and eventually married in 2000, one year after The King helped his young love score a job with Vince McMahon. The Kat was eventually released from WWE in 2001 and Jerry Lawler left the company in protest.
However, Lawler later ended the marriage and returned to WWE after he discovered Carter had embarked on multiple affairs behind his back. He was welcomed back with open arms, with McMahon and others delighted that he had finally come to know the truth.
12. Shawn Michaels/Sunny
Shawn Michaels’ rivalry with Bret “The Hitman” Hart crossed the threshold from fantasy to reality when he suggested Hart had been cheating on his wife by having some “Sunny days”. The thinly veiled accusations sent shockwaves through the wrestling world, though many fans failed to realize that Michaels himself had also been enjoying some Sunny days.
Michaels and Sunny spent a great deal of time together during the mid-90s and their relationship eventually evolved from a close friendship to one that was sexual in nature. The Heartbreak Kid was single at the time, but Sunny was married to Chris Candido, who was also competing in the then WWF.
According to reports, everybody in the company was aware of Sunny’s infidelities but her husband, who was blindly devoted to her and had been since high school. The relationship between Michaels and Sunny eventually died out and she left the company shortly after.
11. Chris Benoit/Nancy Benoit
When Chris Benoit was a member of the WCW roster, he was put into a storyline which saw him paired with a young woman by the name of Nancy Sullivan. At the time, Nancy was married to Kevin Sullivan, who was a big player behind the scenes in the company. Although their relationship started out as a professional one, Chris and Nancy began to fall hard for each other and it wasn’t long before they were hooking up behind her husband’s back. The relationship was eventually discovered and Sullivan and Nancy split up. She married Benoit shortly after and became pregnant.
Several years later, in June of 2007, Chris Benoit murdered Nancy and their child in a fit of rage brought on by years of steroid abuse and concussions. He took his own life a couple of days later. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Chris was the perpetrator of the crime, there are some who genuinely believe that Kevin Sullivan committed the murders in order to punish Benoit for stealing his wife.
10. Alberto Del Rio/Paige
On the 13th of May, 2016, a rumor surfaced on the internet regarding WWE superstars Alberto Del Rio and Paige. Numerous websites reported that the two were dating, claims which were later backed up by pictures of the two kissing and holding hands. This would have been all well and good, if Del Rio wasn’t married at the time.
The following month, Del Rio’s wife filed divorce documents, claiming their marriage had been destroyed by her husband’s unfaithfulness on the road. The former Mrs. Del Rio stated that the two had parted ways on the 27th of May, which was exactly two weeks after reports of a relationship between Del Rio and Paige hit the internet.
Alberto Del Rio left WWE shortly after this, though his relationship with Paige appears to be going strong. This is much to the chagrin of WWE management, who are said to view the former WWE World Champion as a bad influence on Paige.
9. Hulk Hogan/His Daughter’s Friend
The struggle of Hulk and Linda Hogan (on the right in the photo) to keep their marriage alive was a major focus of the later episodes of Hogan Knows Best. Most viewers believed the marital problems to be fictitious, but it turned out the pair were having legitimate issues.
According to various sources, the marriage fell apart completely after Linda discovered The Hulkster had been sleeping with a woman named Christiane Plante, who had been working with Brooke Hogan on her 2006 album. Plante herself has claimed that she slept with Hogan while the family was still filming the reality TV series.
8. Terri Runnels/Shawn Stasiak
Terri Runnels found her greatest fame as the manager of Goldust during his initial stint in what was then the World Wrestling Federation. The two had fantastic chemistry on screen, largely due to the fact that they were married in real life.
Goldust’s father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, made no secret about his disdain for his son’s wife, whom he believed was using him to further her own career, and he may have been right. While still married to Goldust, Terri was placed into a storyline with Shawn Stasiak, accompanying him to the ring during his matches. Much like Chris and Nancy Benoit, it is said that Terri and Shawn legitimately fell for each other during this period and embarked on a whirlwind affair.
It has been said that Batista and Melina were in a relationship together during Batista’s initial run as World Heavyweight Champion on SmackDown. The nature of Melina’s relationship with John Morrison is quite complicated and nobody is really sure what’s going on there, so she may or may not have been single during her encounters with Batista. One thing is for sure, however: Batista was married at the time.
From 1998 to 2006, The Animal was married to a woman named Angie, who was with him from his debut in WWE to his first world title win, and for a little while after. Their relationship likely suffered when Batista began going out on the road and living the demanding life of a WWE superstar.
Batista himself claims that the relationship with Melina didn’t start until after his divorce from Angie. However, multiple insider reports, as well as Melina’s reputation behind the scenes, suggest otherwise.
6. Bret Hart/Various Women
Bret “The Hitman” Hart really doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would cheat on his wife. He has always appeared as a voice of bitter reason in a crazy world and for the most part managed to abstain from steroids, alcohol, and dangerous drugs. In his autobiography, however, Hart details numerous affairs while on the road.
The Hitman notes that he did initially try to remain faithful to his first wife, Julie, but found it increasingly difficult. After a while, the long trips away and the normalization of adultery around him became too much to bear and he gave into temptation.
Although Julie had her suspicions about Bret’s infidelities, it seems she did not have any real confirmation until he released his autobiography. She has since compared reading the book to reading about the life of someone she had never even heard of.
5. CM Punk/AJ Lee
For a long time, Punk was in a relationship with former WWE Women’s Champion Lita, with whom he had a lot in common. Toward the end of their relationship, however, Punk began growing close with Lee. Reports from those who spent time backstage in WWE claim that Punk would neglect Lita and seek out AJ at events, and it wasn’t long before rumors of an affair between the two began. Punk and Lita parted ways shortly after these rumors came out and he married AJ in 2014.
Many wrestling fans and pundits have pointed out a video from 2000 in which a young AJ Lee meets Lita at a signing and tearfully informs her that she wants to be just like her. While Lita no doubt thought this was cute at the time, she probably doesn’t find AJ’s determination to follow in her footsteps so amusing today.
4. Triple H/Stephanie McMahon
During his early years in WWE, Triple H was involved in a much-publicized relationship with Chyna. Hunter and the female bodybuilder made quite the pair and really came over as something special on camera.
At some point during the relationship, Triple H became involved with Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of Vince McMahon. Triple H and Stephanie kept their relationship secret for a number of reasons, including the fact that Hunter did not want to look as though he was dating the daughter of the boss to further his own career. There was also the little problem that he was still going out with Chyna.
When she learned of Triple H’s affair, Chyna was distraught. Her personal problems began to damage her work in the ring and it wasn’t long before she was released from the company. Triple H went on to marry Stephanie McMahon and the two are now WWE’s resident power couple.
If the phrase “relationship goals” had existed during the first half of the 00s, it likely would have been used to describe Matt Hardyand Lita. The two were in one of the most enduring relationships in WWE and were frequently paired together on television. It was clear that they were very much in love… until they weren’t.
In 2005, it was revealed by Matt Hardy that Lita had been cheating on him with fellow WWE superstar Edge, who was on track to becoming one of the biggest stars in the company. Hardy handled the situation like most people who have been cheated on and so was released from WWE due to unprofessional conduct. He was later brought back and the whole situation was turned into a storyline.
Edge and Lita remained together for a little while and brought on a mini Attitude Era with outrageous stunts such as their “sex celebration” live on Raw after Edge captured the WWE World Championship.
2. John Cena/Mickie James
John Cena has been the face of WWE for over a decade and so is held to a pretty high standard. He is marketed primarily to children and any scandal involving him could rock the entire company, much like what happened when Hulk Hogan admitted to using steroids to gain his massive size. That’s why WWE has worked so hard to keep the rumors of John Cena’s sordid sexual life at bay.
According to Kenny Dysktra, who competed on WWE television from 2006 to 2009, John Cena was romantically involved with Mickie James while she was still engaged to him. Dykstra claims that James began seeing Cena behind his back and that WWE management drafted him to SmackDown, away from James and Cena, after he discovered the affair.
Dykstra kept this to himself for some time as he didn’t want to ruin his chances of being rehired by WWE – he was released shortly after his move to the blue brand – but finally decided to tell his story in 2012, frustrated by the continued worship of Cena by women and children.
1. Seth Rollins/Zahra Schreiber
Seth Rollins’ libido got him into a great deal of trouble in early 2015 when it was revealed that he had been cheating on his fiancé with a woman from WWE’s developmental system.
This was revealed after Rollins’ Twitter account was hacked and nude photos of NXT talent Zahra Schreiber were posted without his or her consent. Rollins’ then fiancé was understandably infuriated to learn of his sexual misdeeds and posted a (very) nude photo of him in retaliation.
WWE talent are reportedly told not to discuss the situation with anybody, least of all Seth Rollins, who was expected to win the WWE World Championship sooner rather than later. A little over a year later, the situation has been pretty much forgotten about and Seth Rollins has broken up with Schreiber, who has since left the wrestling business altogether.