Fans were about to exhale a sigh of relief that the relationship between Ric Flair and Lacey Evans was merely one of mentor and student. Then WWE creative slapped us with references that Evans’ real-life pregnancy may result in a new Flair. We still don’t know how Lacey’s husband, who features prominently on the star’s Instagram, feels about it all…
Since the death of kayfabe, romantic storylines occupy a bizarre place in sports entertainment. We often see our favourite superstars more on social media than we do on weekly wrestling programming. On top of this the WWE Network has found a successful niche in wrestling documentaries. Though these peaks behind the curtain are curated by the company, and the editing decisions primarily concern themselves with protecting the company’s reputation and secrets, the talent are shown real and raw.
This poses challenges in telling romance stories through the lens of professional wrestling. Fans being invited into personal lives and relationships often muddies the characters we see on-screen. In real life, having a fake girlfriend makes you a bit of a loser. Yet, in the semi-reality of professional wrestling, a Kay-Bae comes with great advantages…
10. Vickie Guerrero
Vickie Guerrero, the real-life wife of the iconic Eddie, became increasingly involved with WWE after her husband’s death. In an inspired move, she was not cast as the eternal grieving widow, but rather as an authority heel. She excelled at being that potent combination of irritating and vindictive.
In 2007, Vickie capitalised on Teddy Long’s kayfabe heart attack to become the new General Manager of SmackDown. She showed her worth as an on-air love interest, making her faux-beau Edge the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. ‘The Ultimate Opportunist’ used this, and several acts of favouritism, to win SmackDown’s main prize at Armageddon 2007. Edge gave Vickie an engagement ring, which only spurred on her desire to be useful. When the Championship was taken out of the situation, though, Edge’s admiration wavered. Vickie then fled WWE heartbroken.
She returned with her on-screen boyfriend Eric Escobar, who quickly revealed he too was using her. Undeterred, ‘The Cougar’ embarked on a new relationship with Dolph Ziggler. Although she awarded him the World Heavyweight Championship on SmackDown’s 600th episode, Ziggler lost it that same night. He was unable to manipulate and exploit her quite as well as the Machiavellian Edge.