Weddings in pro wrestling are nothing new, in fact, in the WWE you can trace it all the way back to 1984 when Paul Vachon married Ophelia on an episode of Tuesday Night Titans. The latest example, the wedding of Braxton Sutter to Laurel Van Ness “live” on Impact Wrestling was the spark that inspired me to write this article. I’m not going to cover every wedding that has ever taken place in a ring on TV, but I am going to hit the highs and lows that we’ve seen over the past 33 years.
The Match Made in Heaven
If you were born in the 1980’s this is likely one of the wrestling weddings that holds a place in your heart. In 1991, Macho Man Randy Savage finally married Miss Elizabeth in the middle of the ring at SummerSlam. This is one of the only times that I can remember where a wrestling wedding ceremony went off without a hitch. These two had only recently reunited after Macho Man lost to the Ultimate Warrior in a retirement match at Wrestlemania, but they had been a real life and on screen couple for years. It wouldn’t be a wrestling wedding without some sort of drama, and to their credit the WWE (WWF at the time) saved this until the reception and used Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the Undertaker as a way to spoil the fun and get Macho Man back in the ring.
The Authority is born
November 29th 1999 is a day that will go down in wrestling history. WWE fans at the time likely didn’t realize that they were witnessing the birth of couple who would dominate the wrestling world for the next 17 years and beyond. In fact, at the time, we all thought that we were going to see Stephanie McMahon marry Test. In what is probably the best “swerve” in wrestling wedding history, Triple H appeared and presented video, supposedly from the previous night showing him and a “drugged” Stephanie getting married in a drive-thru wedding chapel in Las Vegas. This would lead to a match between Vince McMahon and Triple H where Stephanie turned on her father and the McMahon-Helmsley Era was born. As a side note here, it should be pointed out that in addition to almost marrying Test, Stephanie was almost wed to the Undertaker in April of 1999 as well. There is some debate as to how far into their real-life relationship, if at all, Stephanie and Triple H were at this time, but they are still married, both on-screen and off today. In another side note, these two also had their “official” on-screen wedding in 2002, with Triple H calling it off and saying they were over.
Billy and Chuck
There are a lot of rumours surrounding this wedding and tag team in general. Billy and Chuck had been portrayed on TV as an openly gay pair along with their manager Rico. In 2002, this was a hot button issue and the two of them having a commitment ceremony on TV, gained national media attention and was praised by various LGBT groups. Try to keep in mind that this was all taking place towards the tail end of the “attitude era” and was all set into motion in 1 week. Billy and Chuck stopped the ceremony midway through saying that the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Eric Bischoff revealed himself to be the preacher and called out 3 Minute warning who then destroyed Billy and Chuck. This incident caused a bit of a PR nightmare for the WWE and I’d be willing to bet we’ll never see another “commitment ceremony” in the WWE again or if we do it certainly won’t end the same way.
Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan
In terms of a wedding that went nowhere and has more or less been wiped from the collective memory of wrestling fans, Bully Ray marrying Brooke Hogan has to be at the top of the list. At the time, this angle seemed like it could have gone somewhere as Aces and Eights was probably the best NWO rip off that TNA had ever come up with and the tension that this whole situation created between Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray was also good at the time. Despite all that January 10, 2013 and the ceremony that ended with a beat down by the Aces and Eights on the whole wedding party probably doesn’t hold quite the place in wrestling fans hearts as weddings that have come before or since.
The Rated R Superstar has been the groom in two weddings, both of which I personally enjoyed. The first occurred on June 20, 2005 when real life met wrestling as Edge married his on-screen and real life girlfriend Lita, who was actually married to Kane at the time. This came as a result of the affair between Lita and Edge being made public by Lita’s at the time boyfriend Matt Hardy, which caused the relationship to become part of the storylines. This would lead to the infamous “Live Sex Celebration” and a power couple on Smackdown for a nice run. Ever the opportunist Edge also married Vickie Guerrero in 2008. The reception which was interrupted by Triple H, man that guy knows how to spoil a wedding, revealed that Edge had kissed Alicia Fox and was making fun of Vickie behind her back. This was the beginning of the end for the couple as Vickie would turn on Edge in the coming weeks and bring an end to their “La Famila” storyline that had been going on for the better part of two years.
I chose not to mention any weddings that happened between wrestlers on shows like total divas, as there are no real storylines attached with them, although they do tend to bleed over into on-screen storylines over time. I was surprised that I didn’t find any examples from many examples from WCW and the ones that I did lacked a bit of the “wow” factor. TNA has had their fair share, Jeff and Karen Jarrett or So Cal Val and Jay Lethal for example. Weddings in wrestling are always fun, you can be sure that there is going to be a serve at some point and even if the ceremony actually goes off smoothly that’s never the end of the story. I’m sure that the Sutter/Van Ness wedding will not be the last that we see in pro wrestling, but it certainly did its part to carry on the entertaining legacy.
What’s your favourite wedding in pro wrestling history? Let us know in the comments.