Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Editorial10 Wrestling Couples Split Up & Working For Other Promotions

10 Wrestling Couples Split Up & Working For Other Promotions

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Is it right to work together while in love? Sometimes having space is healthy for a relationship, but being out on the road all the time isn’t. For some couples, spending weeks, if not months apart, could lead to a real strain on the affairs of the heart. As we get back to normality, wrestlers will naturally spend less time at home as companies like WWE & AEW tour the world again.

With a new era dawning, we should remember this important fact. Wrestlers put their bodies on the line, but they also sacrifice time with their loved ones to entertain us. It’s a rough road with few pit stops and only the strongest pull through. Let’s look at 10 wrestling couples who are split up and adjusting to the world while working for other promotions.

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Adam Cole (NXT) & Britt Baker (AEW)

One of the most known couples working each side of the WWE & AEW coin is Adam Cole & Britt Baker. It is common knowledge that Cole is great friends with members of The Elite, often hanging around with them when he can (they were in Bullet Club together), while Baker sits in at NXT shows to watch her boyfriend in action. I think they have adapted to this way of life better than most.

While Cole isn’t up for plugging the other company on-air, the AEW Women’s Champion dropped a Saudi Arabia insult this week. She has talked up WWE’s work though, like how Bayley & Sasha Banks inspired her to wrestle, while also saying it’s her time and they are the past. Baker has been nothing but complimentary about the way WWE has treated her when she visits NXT, so there’s a definite disconnect between what her character says on TV than what she says in formal interviews.

Charlotte Flair (WWE) & Andrade El Idolo (AEW)

wrestling couples

With Andrade debuting on AEW Dynamite, Charlotte Flair hasn’t shied away from plugging his work. This is tough for WWE because they hate giving any exposure to other companies, but what can they do about it? Fire her? Highly unlikely. And if they don’t use her, it screams of pettiness. They don’t want another Zelina Vega situation on their hands.

The biggest question I see being asked about Charlotte is if she would give WWE the middle finger and jump to AEW. If we assume she is slightly frustrated, I could understand it because she has achieved everything in WWE. Where does Charlotte go from here? She has hit a brick wall creatively, and all that’s left is to build others up. Going back to NXT kept her busy for a few months, but she’s back where on Raw doing the same old thing.

I read a comment from an interview today, where Charlotte said Andrade helped her gain confidence while going through a rough patch. They understand each other because they come from wrestling families; they were born in to the business and share this upbringing in common. Andrade helps her improve in the ring, while she gives him pointers on how to come across like a star. All the while, WWE has to keep her sweet, otherwise AEW could pick up an amazing talent.

Big Swole (AEW) & Cedric Alexander (WWE)

Going under the radar in both companies is the 2+ year married couple of Big Swole & Cedric Alexander. It only feels like a few weeks ago when Cedric was enjoying the run of his life in the Hurt Business, but has since dropped off in to the lower mid-card. Meanwhile, Swole struggles to make it on to Dynamite, as her name frequently pops up in the AEW Dark results.

I believe they have the best family life you could ask for, but they have to be frustrated with their positions at work. Personally, I think Cedric would flourish way more in AEW, because when he’s allowed to go full pelt he’s one of the best athletes in the business. As for Swole, she just needs time to prove her worth.

Nash Carter (NXT) & Kimber Lee (Impact)

wrestling couples

They were both in Impact Wrestling together last year, before Wentz of The Rascalz moved on to NXT and became Nash Carter of MSK. From there, he and partner Wes Lee swiftly became the NXT Tag Team Champions!

Kimber Lee had been closely associated with Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo til just recently, so it will be interesting to see what happens to her when Su Yung returns. Whatever happens from here, they are both moving up in the world and enjoying life.

Drake Maverick (WWE) & Renee Michelle (Indies)

With the recent WWE roster cuts, Drake Maverick lost his odd tag team pairing with Killian Dain and hasn’t found a way back to TV yet. Renee Michelle, who we may remember from Maverick’s 24/7 title days, recently worked a few matches with Impact Wrestling, but there’s no mention of signing a contract. Michelle is spending her days waiting for independent bookings and retweeting AEW posts, perhaps hoping the other company will notice and take a chance on her.

It’s a shame that WWE didn’t keep them together, because I thought they were entertaining as a team. I know Maverick will find his place because he’s too talented to be wasted, but Michelle has so much to prove in an era where the quality of women’s wrestling could prove to be a mountain she can’t climb alone.

Jordynne Grace (Impact) & Jonathan Gresham (ROH)

wrestling couples

Encouraged by intergender wrestling, you can find proper wrestling matches between Jordynne Grace & Jonathan Gresham in the public domain. Two of the fastest rising stars outside of WWE & AEW, I believe there’s so much untapped potential here.

Grace is a powerhouse, who reminds me a little of Chyna in the way she can believably wrestle anybody. As for Gresham, I don’t watch Ring of Honor because I don’t get access to it in the UK, but I know he is the ROH Pure Champion for a reason. He wants to prove to the world he can be more than that, while Grace seeks more titles in Impact’s Knockouts division. Working in different companies doesn’t affect them as much because Impact Wrestling & Ring Of Honor don’t tour on the scale of other companies.

Kiera Hogan (Impact) & Diamante (AEW)

As one of wrestling’s most popular gay couples, Kiera Hogan & Diamante have not been shy with sharing their love for one another. They might work for different companies, but they find time to get together and take sweet pictures like this.

Kiera is the current two-time Knockouts Tag Team Champion with Tasha Steelz, while Diamante is working singles matches on Dark with mixed success. Both are finding their way in the world, and they could prove one day to be top draws wherever they work. And yes, they have wrestled against each other many times, but only for independent promotions.

Toni Storm (NXT) & Juice Robinson (New Japan/Impact)

wrestling couples

There isn’t any recent information about Toni Storm & Juice Robinson to confirm their status, but there isn’t anything denying they are still together. Storm disappeared for much of 2020, and Robinson worked primarily for New Japan as a tag team with David Finlay. Toni returned to NXT as a heel, not long before Juice started working with Impact in a cross-promotional deal.

This would have helped them, because it meant Juice would sometimes be in the United States. While he & David Finlay won and took the Impact Tag Team titles back to New Japan, Storm struggled to assert herself on NXT. As part of Pride month, Toni revealed she is bisexual, making her the second women in NXT (after Tegan Nox) to do so, but said nothing about any past or present relationships. Robinson has since lost the Impact titles and isn’t appearing on their shows anymore. Working with different companies brings challenges, but being on another continent is something else.

Blair Davenport AKA Bea Priestley (NXT UK) & Will Ospreay (New Japan)

Speaking of working on other continents, there is a similar deal with Bea Priestley, now going by Blair Davenport, and long-time boyfriend Will Ospreay. In 2019, they revealed they were moving to Japan because their careers were there, but this will have to change because Priestley just signed with WWE’s NXT UK brand. Bea hasn’t been able to settle in the past two years, as she moved from World of Sport to AEW, from AEW to New Japan, and now New Japan to NXT UK.

While that happened, Will Ospreay remained in Japan because he hates traveling, which isn’t a good thing if he ever wants to wrestle for WWE or AEW. He won the IWGP World Heavyweight title in April, but had to vacate it after suffering a neck injury in his first defense. So it’s likely but unconfirmed, at least for the time being, that they are living in England while the new Blair Davenport gets her feet under the table in NXT UK.

Also Read: 72 Real-Life Wrestling Relationships In Pictures (1/3)

Malakai Aleister Black (AEW) & Zelina Vega (WWE)

Wow, it has been a crazy week for these two. Scratch that, it has been an even crazier year. Zelina Vega got fired for breaching her contract, cried foul, and showed her support for unionization while disappearing in to gaming streams. Black sat in catering because Paul Heyman was no longer around to bat for him. WWE neither confirmed nor denied it, but we all know they weren’t using him partly because of Vega.

Let’s not be naive or beat around the bush. WWE didn’t know what to do with him creatively, and also didn’t want to shine any light on Vega after she opened an OnlyFans account against their wishes. WWE brought Black back to TV with a fresh look, video packages, new music, the whole nine yards. His push happened for a mere few weeks before WWE announced he was released, and the wrestling world sat back in their chairs before dejectedly resting their faces in their hands. It pleasantly surprised me when Vega popped up in WWE again, like nothing happened (even the union tweet disappeared). Yet, not so much when she was booked to lose to Liv Morgan on her first night back.

An even bigger surprise was Malakai (Aleister) Black popping up on AEW Dynamite. You’d think if WWE could negotiate something with Zelina, they’d find a way with Aleister too. It didn’t happen, and WWE’s loss is AEW’s gain. I wish them both the best and hope they can finally settle in to regular work, because they have so much to give us. Thanks for reading!

Honorable Mentions:

  • Miro (AEW) & Lana (Free Agent)
  • Shawn Spears (AEW) & Peyton Royce (Free Agent)
  • Matt Cardona AKA Zack Ryder (Impact) & Chelsea Green (Free Agent)
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