Romance in Wrestling
Happy Monday TJR readers! We are just six days removed from the most romantic day on the calendar, Valentines Day, and I’m hoping that every one of you had a nice V-Day with their significant other, or at the very least got laid. I noticed that no one here at thejohnreport.net took it upon themselves to post a Valentines Day themed piece last week. Well have no fear because I, like a forgetful albeit sweet boyfriend, have decided to give you a Romance themed article… six days late. It’s the thought that counts right?<!--more-->All kidding aside, nothing causes drama, in storytelling and real life, like romance, which is why the WWE oft injects it into their storytelling. Love, relationships, and romance are a very useful tool in storytelling not only because they are a breeding ground for drama, but also because they are relatable. Everyone to some degree can relate to being in a relationship or being in love, case and point, the palpable heat that Eve got at the end of Raw last week. There are a lot of us that can relate to being led on, and subsequently friend-zoned by a girl (or guy) we were crazy about.Over the years, the WWE Universe has seen many a relationship play out before their eyes. From Test and Stephanie McMahon, to Santino and Maria (or Beth Phoenix, or Tamina), romance in wrestling is widespread, and can affect a story in a multitude of ways. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to list what are in my opinion, WWE’s Top Five Romances. With so many trysts and on screen romances to choose from, some of my picks may be a little controversial.Please note I'm only talking about couples of the last 15 years or so. I wasn't watching WWE before that, so I'm going off of my own experiences as a fan. Let’s have some fun, starting with some…Honorable MentionsTrish Stratus and Mickie James - That picture says it all am I right? Seriously, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at the very least acknowledge this gem of an on-screen romance. The storyline was actually very well crafted, with Mickie James debuting as Trish’s biggest fan. The two became fast friends, but Mickie was becoming increasingly obsessed with Trish, eventually confessing that she loved Stratus. After being scorned by Trish, Mickie promised to destroy her.It was a classic tale, told countless times on television and in movies, and the WWE adapted it superbly. This storyline, and its characters had some depth, and looking back, it was refreshing to see a well planned out story unfold in the Women’s Division. They put a hell of a lot more effort into writing for the Divas back then.The Rock and Lillian Garcia - I know, I know, this technically never bloomed into a full-blown romance, but the flirty banter exchanged between The Rock and Lillian Garcia was gold. It was highly entertaining and the two displayed great chemistry during these comedic, innuendo-laden exchanges with one another. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourselves:http://youtu.be/XtMML_zdfxAhttp://youtu.be/w1DJkgkNlccLillian and The Rock’s flirt-mance certainly deserves an honorable mention on a list of the WWE’s Best Romances, and will remain one of The Rock’s funniest bits, in my humble opinion.Now that I’ve gotten the honorable mentions out of the way, I’ll dive right into the Top Five.5. Eddie Guerrero and ChynaWho could forget Eddie Guerrero’s pursuit of Chyna. The 9th Wonder of the World, whom Eddie affectionately referred to as “Mamacita”, resisted his romantic advances at first, much like Penelope Pussycat resisted the affections of Pepé Le Pew. Eventually Chyna would relent, and proclaim to the WWE Universe that she just couldn’t resist Eddie’s “Latino Heat”. Their courtship was a lot of fun to watch play out, and their relationship was equally if not more entertaining. Eddie and Chyna attending Eddie’s prom after he earned his G.E.D. and making it to Backlash 2000 just in time to defend his European Chamionship (Guerrero wrestling the match in his Tuxedo Pants and Bowtie still cracks me up), is just one example of the fun these two brought to WWE programming during the course of their relationship.Unfortunately, their love couldn’t last. Their relationship became rocky when Eddie accidently pinned Chyna and won her Intercontinental Championship (he claimed he was attempting to revive her). Needless to say Chyna was not pleased. Eddie was also becoming increasingly jealous, and was extremely upset about Chyna agreeing to pose in Playboy Magazine, which led to a hilarious series of vignettes involving Eddie attempting to break into the Playboy Mansion and stop the photo shoot. The couple would eventually split when Eddie was caught cheating with two of Godfather’s hoes (hey Victoria, how you doin’?). From courtship, to eventual break-up, Eddie and Chyna’s relationship was definitely an entertaining one, and remains a shining example of not only what a phenomenal performer Eddie Guerrero was, but also how fun the mid-card can be when a little effort is put into writing storylines for them.4. Daniel Bryan and A.J.I may look back at this list in a few months and wonder why I had this ranked so high, but as of right now, I’m loving A.J. and Daniel Bryan’s “relationship”. I put the word relationship in quotes because it is painfully obvious that A.J. is being used by Daniel Bryan, and that his feelings for her are at the very least not nearly as strong as her feelings for him. Not every love story is a happy one, and this certainly isn’t going to be recalled as a beautiful romance, but hell is it captivating. A.J. and Daniel’s relationship is one of the major catalysts behind Daniel Bryan’s recent change in attitude. During the course of their tryst, Daniel’s become more egotistical, preachy, and self-righteous. Basically a Grade-A Douchebag; and I’m loving every bit of it.I’m still waiting to see if the WWE will stick the landing, but I’ve been very entertained thus far, watching Daniel Bryan manipulate A.J. and using her when he needs help to avoid losing the World Heavyweight Championship, and proving to be more and more loathsome as the storyline progresses. This might just be the best thing going in the WWE right now, and I’m hoping against hope that they don’t screw it up somehow.3. Billy and ChuckThis may be a little controversial, since in the end it was revealed that Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo's whole “relationship” was a hoax cooked up by the duo and their stylist Rico. That being said, until that reveal, watching their relationship play out on screen was definitely interesting, and fairly progressive of the WWE. As the tag team became increasingly affectionate toward one another, you had to take notice. In effect, the storyline became in a small way, must see TV, if only to see how far the WWE was willing to take the story.Despite the fact that they revealed that they were only playing gay during their Commitment Ceremony, the duo for a time had people’s undivided attention and were a formidable force in the squared circle. GLAAD was upset with the outcome of the storyline (mainly with the two revealing they weren’t really gay) and in this case, I have to say I agree wit their criticism. This story would have been much more progressive, and in my opinion better if Billy and Chuck (the characters) had in fact been gay. It would have done a great job in helping to dispel the stereotype of gay men being sissies. I can understand why the WWE didn’t go all the way with it, but as a story, it would have been more effective if the duo’s characters (an important distinction) were gay. All that withstanding, the storyline was attention grabbing, Billy and Chuck had great chemistry as performers, and I give the WWE some credit for being as progressive as they were with the material.2. Triple H and Stephanie McMahonQuite frankly the most powerful couple in the history of the WWE was and still is Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. The two had a memorable run together as an on-screen pairing and their off-screen relationship is still going strong. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Triple H crashing what was supposed to be Test and Stephanie McMahon’s wedding, and revealing that he had married a drugged Stephanie at a chapel in Vegas. The ensuing struggle between a now sympathetic Mr. McMahon and Triple H, which ended with Stephanie betraying her father and embracing her husband, was gripping and more importantly entertaining TV. It was the classic tale of Daddy’s little girl falling in love with the Bad Boy, much to daddy’s dismay, and the WWE presented it perfectly.The subsequent McMahon-Helmsley Era was definitely an interesting and chaotic period in WWE history that had fans on the edge of their seats waiting to see each new development in the story. The duo obviously had very good chemistry on-screen, and some may think that they should be number one on a list of WWE’s Best Romances. That being said, this unforgettable couple occupies the number two spot on my list.1. Edge and LitaThat’s right, Edge and Lita edged out Trips and Steph on my list of WWE’s Best Romances, and honestly after giving it some thought, there wasn’t any way I could put them lower. The couple was dirty, scandalous, and oh so wrong. I just couldn’t help but be thoroughly entertained by the pair’s antics (they had a live sex celebration in the ring for christ’s sake). The two were paired together on-screen following the story of Matt Hardy and Lita’s real life split, due to infidelity on her part, with Matt’s good friend (at the time) Edge. They brought the real life drama to TV and Edge’s career skyrocketed to new heights as the newly dubbed “Rated R Superstar”.Edge and Lita’s on-screen chemistry was palpable. Their characters relationship personified lust, and yet they always seemed wholly devoted to one another in every way. I’d be lying if I said that the fact that Lita has never been hotter than she was during this period of time, and the fact the Edge was my favorite superstar at the time didn’t factor into their placement at the top of my list. Their careers flourished partially as a result of this on-screen pairing, and they pushed every boundary during the course of their relationship. They commanded your attention, and you couldn’t take your eyes off them. It was that presence, along with everything else I’ve said that garnered Edge and Lita the title of WWE’s Very Best Romance.There you have it, but what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my list? What are some of your favorite on-screen romances in the WWE? Should romance have a place in Pro-Wrestling?Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying, “There is absolutely, positively, No Sex in the Champagne Room. None!” Chris Rock’s a seriously funny dude. Have a great week everybody!