Back in 2003 when I was writing for the now-defunct Wrestling Digest, I did a feature story on the Top 10 on-screen couples in wrestling history. With today being Valentine's Day, I thought it would be fun to revisit the list and update it.
1. RANDY SAVAGE & ELIZABETH: "The Macho Man" had all the necessary tools to be a superstar when he entered the WWF in 1984. But what really shot him to the top was the decision to make the lovely Elizabeth his manager in 1985. Elizabeth, Savage's real-life wife at the time (but not acknowledged as such in story lines), was the first female manager in WWF history. The couple made for an interesting dichotomy, as people loved the elegant, quiet Elizabeth, but hated Savage, who verbally abused and bullied her. Savage's jealousy over then-tag partner Hulk Hogan "having lust in his eyes" for Elizabeth was the basis for the main event at WrestleMania V in 1989 between Savage and Hogan. After Savage and Elizabeth spit in the story line, they had a memorable and emotional reunion at WresteMania VII. Their on-screen marriage at SummerSlam several months later produced a famous angle in which Jake "The Snake" Roberts crashed the reception after giving the couple a gift that had a cobra inside the box.
2. TRIPLE H & STEPHANIE McMAHON: The McMahon-Helmsley Era was a glorious one indeed. The couple's reign in the WWF, which spanned the latter part of 1999 through 2000, was the main story line during a time when the WWF was at its peak both creatively and in popularity. It began when Triple H tricked the wholesome daughter of Vince McMahon into marrying him. At first she seemed mortified at having married the crude leader of D-Generation X, but she eventually turned on her father and revealed that she and Triple H were indeed a couple. Overnight, sweet, innocent Stephanie morphed into an obnoxious, screechy-voiced, scantily-clad heel. After a disgusted Vince McMahon took some time off, the power-hungry couple had all the stroke in the company and constantly stacked the deck against the babyfaces. The couple eventually split up on camera, and then got married in real life.
3. EDGE & LITA: The key to Edge going from an upper mid-card heel to a main-event heel was his association with Lita in a 2005 angle that played off the real-life love triangle involving the two of them and Matt Hardy. When Lita, a babyface at the time, was mercilessly getting jeered by the crowd due to her real-life affair with Edge (supposedly while she was still Hardy's girlfriend) becoming public knowledge, WWE had no choice but to turn it into a story line. Edge and Lita had tremendous chemistry as a sleazy heel couple. In one of the most notorious scenes in WWE history, Edge and Lita stripped down to their underwear and engaged in simulated sex acts under the covers in a bed that had been set up in the ring on Raw.
4. EDGE & VICKIE GUERRERO: Edge cemented his reputation as the ultimate opportunist by engaging in a romantic relationship with a woman he clearly was not attracted to, but who wielded power as the general manager of Smackdown. All Guerrero had to do to generate heat was show her face before the crowd, and when she would yell "Excuse me!" in an attempt to quiet down the fans, the heat was off the charts. The on-again, off-again union between Edge and Guerrero was the dominant story line on Smackdown for more than a year.
5. TULLY BLANCHARD & BABY DOLL: Blanchard, one of the top heels in Jim Crockett Promotions in the mid-80s, went on a search for his "Perfect 10." His quest ended when he laid eyes on Baby Doll, a tall, big-boned blonde whose physical stature rivaled some of the male wrestlers. The leather-clad Baby Doll was the antithesis of the WWF's Elizabeth – she spoke her mind, taunted fans and never hesitated to interfere in Blanchard's matches. She was a big part of Blanchard's act as he engaged in classic feuds with Magnum T.A. over the U.S. title and Dusty Rhodes over the NWA television title. Blanchard and Baby Doll eventually had a falling out, and she became an ally to Rhodes.
6. "GORGEOUS" JIMMY GARVIN & PRECIOUS: The real-life married couple got over as a heel act in World Class Championship Wrestling in the early '80s before moving on a few years later to Jim Crockett Promotions. The flamboyant Garvin often won matches with the aid of Precious, who blinded his opponents by spraying perfume in their eyes. Garvin and Precious eventually became babyfaces, and he engaged in a memorable program with NWA world champion Ric Flair after "The Nature Boy" repeatedly hit on Precious.
7. TRIPLE H & CHYNA: A facet of Triple H's Connecticut-snob gimmick in 1995 was that he would always come to the ring accompanied by beautiful women. Two years later, Triple H settled on having just one woman by his side, and she looked nothing like the fashion-model types he had previously been hanging out with. The muscular, masculine-looking Chyna made her debut by coming out of the audience and attacking Goldust's valet, Marlena, and violently shaking her like a rag doll. Chyna, who was Triple H's real-life girlfriend, routinely helped him win matches by delivering low blows to his opponents. Along with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna comprised the original D-Generation X, the top heel group in the WWF at the time.
8. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE & KIMBERLY: Early in his career, Page was always surrounded by a bevy of beauties known as the Diamond Dolls. Eventually in WCW, DDP came to the ring with just one Diamond Doll – his real-life wife at the time, Kimberly. Initially, Page and Kimberly had a Randy Savage-Elizabeth type dynamic in that the fans booed him and cheered her because of the way he mistreated her. After the couple split and subsequently reconciled, DDP got a major push in 1997 when he rejected an offer to join the nWo. Page became a bona fide main-eventer during a series of matches against Savage, with Kimberly (who was now acknowledged as Page's wife on television) and Elizabeth in their respective men's corners.
9. GOLDUST & MARLENA: WWF fans didn't know what to make of this bizarre heel duo when they debuted in 1995. Goldust, sporting a blond wig and gold and black face paint, was portrayed as being either gay or bisexual (it was never made clear), and he had a habit of quoting lines from movies in his promos. Marlena (Terri Runnels, Dustin's wife at the time) was his sexy, cigar-smoking accomplice. The antics of Goldust and Marlena were at the forefront of the WWF's transformation from family entertainment to an edgier, more adult product.
10. "EXOTIC" ADRIAN STREET & MISS LINDA: While Gorgeous George was the first effeminate wrestler to make it big, it was Street who pushed the envelope even further with the gimmick. The native of Wales created an androgynous character that would serve as the inspiration for flamboyant wrestlers such as "Adorable" Adrian Adonis and Goldust. Wearing lipstick and garish eye makeup and putting his hair in pigtails, Street would skip to the ring and prance around like a ballet dancer. He also was one of the first wrestlers in the early '80s to have a female valet. He and Miss Linda worked in various territories, with their most successful runs occurring in Florida and Tennessee.