With Edge and Vickie Guerrero scheduled to tie the knot on tomorrow’s episode of Smackdown, it seems like an appropriate time to reminisce about past holy – or, in some cases, unholy – unions that have taken place on WWE programs.
WWE weddings are the very definition of train-wreck television. The over-the-top ceremonies basically fall into two categories: ones that are so bad that they’re good and ones that are just so bad. At some of the better weddings, I’ve actually gotten teary-eyed – from laughing so hard.
While some wrestling fans detest this type of sports entertainment, the wedding shows usually do well in the ratings and often result in memorable angles.
Here’s a look at my favorite WWE weddings:
Randy Savage and Elizabeth (SummerSlam, 8/26/91): The ceremony for the real-life husband and wife went on last on the pay-per-view broadcast. The wedding itself was surprisingly uneventful, as viewers kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. The reception, however, was classic. When Elizabeth opened one of the gifts, a cobra popped out, causing mass hysteria. Jake Roberts and The Undertaker then crashed the party, attacking Savage and terrorizing Elizabeth before Sid Justice (aka Sid Vicious) made the save. Roberts delivered some of the all-time great heel performances during this story line.
The Undertaker and Stephanie McMahon (Raw, 4/26/99): In my opinion, The Undertaker’s best persona was during this period, when he was the demonic leader of the Ministry of Darkness. The “black wedding” marked the television debut of Stephanie McMahon (she was 22 at the time), who was kidnapped by The Undertaker and forced to be his bride. Paul Bearer presided over the borderline-Satanic ritual, as Stephanie was dressed all in black and bound to The Undertaker’s symbol (don’t call it a cross!). She did a good job of acting terrified, and The Undertaker was at his all-time creepiest. Ken Shamrock and The Big Show tried to intervene, but they were beaten down by The Undertaker’s minions (which included Bradshaw and Ron Simmons).
Finally, Steve Austin showed up, cleaned house and untied Stephanie. She immediately ran up to Austin and hugged him, but Austin would not return the embrace. Then Vince McMahon, Austin’s sworn enemy, came out. As Vince hugged his daughter, he looked at Austin and mouthed, “Thank you.” It was a great angle, but the story line eventually was weakened by an implausible plot twist: It turned out that Vince McMahon masterminded the whole thing and was the “Higher Power” that Undertaker had often referred to.
Test and Stephanie McMahon (Raw, 11/29/99): Stephanie was still playing a wholesome character at this point. I thought for sure that the angle was going to be that Test was cheating on her, thus turning him heel and giving him a big push. Instead, this story line pretty much solidified his status as a mid-carder for life. In one of the most entertaining surprise twists, Triple H interrupted the wedding and claimed that he and Stephanie already were married. He proceeded to show a video of him and an unconscious Stephanie getting hitched at a drive-through wedding chapel.
The story line would take an even more shocking turn a couple weeks later. During a match between Triple H and Vince McMahon, Stephanie turned on her father and joined Triple H in ushering in the McMahon-Helmsley era. Stephanie’s character eventually became stale, but during her initial heel turn, she was one of the most entertaining performers in WWE.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (Raw, 2/11/02): Their relationship had hit the skids and a separation seemed imminent. But when Stephanie told Triple H that she was pregnant, he agreed to renew their vows. Just prior to the ceremony, however, Triple H’s mother-in-law, Linda McMahon, told him that Stephanie had lied about the pregnancy. During what had been a classy ceremony, Triple H suddenly went off on Stephanie, telling her that he knew that she had lied and what exactly he thought of her. He then destroyed the wedding set, gave Vince McMahon a Pedigree and pie-faced Stephanie. Her reactions while Triple H was berating her were tremendous, and the fiendish look on her face as Jim Ross yelled, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” was one of the best closing shots ever on Raw.
By the way, Triple H and Stephanie’s real-life wedding in 2003 went off without incident, although Michael Hayes’ performance at the reception reportedly was a spectacle worthy of a WWE televised wedding.
Kane and Lita (Raw, 8/23/04): Even though she was in love with Matt Hardy, Lita was forced to marry Kane because he defeated Hardy in a match in which Lita had agreed to wed the winner. Lita, who earlier in the story line had been abducted by Kane, was carrying his child. The wedding was befitting of the perverse story line. Kane looked dapper in a white tux, while Lita wore a black dress. In the middle of the ceremony, Trish Stratus came out in the most risqué wedding getup of all time to verbally humiliate Lita, and a catfight quickly ensued.
Once order was restored, the odd couple exchanged vows. Lita, speaking in a monotone voice, said: “I hate you Kane more than life itself. … The only joy I have now in life is in hoping and praying that you suffer a horrible accident, resulting in your painful and immediate death. I sincerely hope you rot in hell.” Kane’s response: “That was lovely.” Suddenly, Hardy crashed the wedding and attacked Kane. Of course, since Hardy always seems to get buried in WWE, Kane eventually chokeslammed him off the stage, said “I do” and carried off his new bride.
Edge and Lita (Raw, 6/20/05): In real life, longtime couple Matt Hardy and Lita split up after she had cheated on him with Edge. Hardy went public with the situation on his Web site, which led to WWE releasing him. None of this was initially acknowledged on the air because Lita was married to Kane in the story line. Lita, however, was greeted with chants of “You screwed Matt!” at every arena she appeared in, prompting WWE to turn her heel and align her with Edge. The weirdest thing about the TV story line was that Kane, who had black-mailed Lita into having sex with him and then forced her to marry him against her will, somehow became a babyface when Lita left him for Edge.
The Edge-Lita nuptials produced two memorable highlights, but enough about Lita’s wedding dress with the plunging neckline. No, I’m actually talking about the point in the ceremony when the priest asked if anyone objected to the wedding, and Hardy’s entrance music played. There was a huge pop, but he wasn’t there. Edge and Lita were just taunting the fans (and Hardy). And then there was the big payoff. As the priest was about to make the marriage official, he said: “By the power invested in me by God, our Father, and the Lord … ” Just then, Kane’s head popped up through the floor, and the priest yelled, “Jesus Christ!” I just watched that again on You Tube and it still makes me laugh out loud. The priest’s delivery and the look on Kane’s face as he was coming through the floor were gold. Edge and Lita managed to get away from Kane nearly unscathed, but the priest was not as lucky, as Kane gave him a tombstone piledriver.