Savage had all the necessary tools to be
a superstar when he entered WWE in 1984--he had a good look,
he could work, he could talk, and he was charismatic. But
what really shot him to the top was the decision to make the
lovely Elizabeth his manager in 1985.
Elizabeth, a.k.a. the late Liz Hulette, Savage's real-life
wife at the time (but not acknowledged as such in story lines),
was the first female manager in WWE history. Elegant, petite,
and somewhat mysterious, Elizabeth's presence at Savage's
side made the "Macho Man" stand out in a company loaded with
The couple made for an interesting dichotomy, as people hated
him but loved her. Savage drew the fans'ire by verbally abusing
Elizabeth, who, despite Savage's abhorrent behavior, remained
Savage later turned babyface after saving Elizabeth, who perfectly
played the damsel in distress, from an attack by the Hart
Foundation and the Honky Tonk Man. That led to Savage and
Hulk Hogan forming the Megapowers. Hogan's interference helped
Savage defeat Ted DiBiase, "the Million Dollar Man," in the
finals of the WWE world title tournament at WrestleMania IV.
For one year, Savage and Elizabeth were on top of the wrestling
world. Then, in one of WWE's most memorable story lines, an
insanely jealous Savage accused Hogan of "lusting after Elizabeth."
An enraged Savage turned on Hogan and shoved Elizabeth to
the ground in an era when such violence toward women in wrestling
was considered shocking. Eventually, Savage and Elizabeth
reconciled and were "married" at SummerSlam in 1991. Seven
months later at WrestleMauia VIII, Savage regained the WWE
title by defeating Ric Flair, who had lied about having an
affair with Elizabeth.
In 1992, Savage and Hulette divorced, and she left the business.
Elizabeth resurfaced in WCW in 1996 and resumed an on-air
partnership with Savage. This time, she turned on him and
sided with Flair before later going back to Savage again.
By that point the story lines had been played out, and she
went on to become the valet and real-life girlfriend of Lex
Luger. Elizabeth died of an apparent drug overdose at Luger's
home this past spring.
2. TRIPLE H & STEPANIE
The McMahon-Helmsley era was a glorious one indeed. The couple's
reign in WWE, which spanned the latter part of 1999 through
2000, was the main story line during a time when WWE was at
its peak both creatively and popularity-wise.
It all began with the engagement of Stephanie, a sweet, wholesome,
young girl in love, and Test. But before the nuptials could
take place, Triple H, the smartass leader of D-Generarion
X, kidnapped Stephanie, sedated her, and whisked her off to
a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas, where he and an unconscious
Stephanie were pronounced man and wife.
When she came to, Stephanie was mortified at having married
Triple H. This led to a match between Triple H and WWE chairman
Vince McMahon, who was defending his daughter's honor. Stephanie,
however, doublecrossed her father--she said the whole Vegas
kidnapping was an elaborate ruse--and her interference helped
Triple H gain the victory.
Overnight, Stephanie morphed into an overbearing, spoiled,
screechy-voiced villainess with a penchant for wearing outfits
that would embarrass a streetwalker. After a disgusted Vince
McMahon took some time off, the powerhungry couple had all
the stroke in WWE and made decisions that stacked the deck
against the federation's babyfaces.
Along the way, Triple H won the WWE world title several times,
and Stephanie somehow managed to capture the women's title.
A love triangle between Stephanie, Triple H, and Kurt Angle
made for great television and a hot feud. Coincidentally,
a real-life love triangle played out behind the scenes and
in the tabloids as Triple H began an affair with Stephanie
while he was still dating Chyna.
The Triple H-Stephanie on-air union ended when he left her
at the altar as they were to renew their vows after he found
out Stephanie had fled about being pregnant. While they're
no longer together on camera, Triple H and Stephanie are still
an item off screen--some would say life has imitated art judging
by the power the couple yields backstage--and they were married
for real in October.
3. TULLY BLANCHARD & BABY DOLL
During the mid-'80s, the Crockett promotion, based in the
Carolinas, was on fire, and Blanchard, a cocky, young heel,
was one of the company's top stars. A talented worker and
good promo man, Blanchard really became a money player when
Baby Doll became his valet.
The angle began with Blanchard going on a search for the "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 WWE's Elizabeth--she said what was on her mind, taunted
fans, and never hesitated to interfere in Blanchard's matches.
She was invaluable to Blanchard as he engaged in classic feuds
with Magnum T.A. over the U.S. title and Dusty Rhodes over
the NWA television title.
In a surprising twist, Baby Doll had a falling out with Blanchard
and became an ally to Rhodes. However, proving that you can
never trust a woman (at least not in pro wrestling), she subsequently
turned on Rhodes and rejoined Blanchard and the Four Horsemen.
The real-life relationship between Blanchard and Baby Doll
was strictly business, she was married to a wrestler--mid-card
babyface Sam Houston, who in story lines was a frequent victim
of attacks by Blanchard and company.
4. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE & KIMBERLY
Early in his career, Page was constantly 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
Initially, Page and Kimberly had a SavageElizabeth type dynamic
in that the fans booed him and cheered her because of the
way he mistreated her. In 1995, Page fell on hard times after
losing a loserleaves-WCW match to the Booty Man (a.k.a. Brutus
Beefcake), who also won Kimberly's services. Page, however,
returned a short while later, and he and Kimberly reunited.
DDP hit it big in 1997 when he turned babyface after rejecting
an offer to join the NWO. Page became a bonafide superstar
when he defeated Randy Savage, with Kimberly (who was now
as Page's wife on television) and Elizabeth in their respective
men's comers. At that point, Page and Kimberly, who also was
the leader of the Nitro Girls dance troupe, were the undisputed
top couple in sports entertainment.
Page went on to win the first of his three WCW world titles
in 1999. In 2000, Kimberly turned on Page and allied herself
with Eric Bischoff and the New Blood heel faction. Page and
Kimberly were actually on opposite sides for some mixed tag
matches, but before the angle could fully play out, Page took
some time off to heal his neck and back injuries, and Kimberly
left the business. When Page returned several months later,
his wife did not, and she also remained at home during Page's
5. "GORGEOUS" JIMMY GARVIN & PRECIOUS
Garvin and his blonde valet Sunshine were making life miserable
for babyfaces in the Texasbased World Class Championship Wrestling
in the early '80s, but that wasn't satisfied. Deciding he
needed two valets, he brought in another blonde named Precious,
who was Garvin's real-life wife, Patty.
Not surprisingly, the two women didn't get along, and Sunshine
allied herself with the popular "Gentleman" Chris Adams and
other babyfaces in mixed tag matches against Garvin and Precious.
The heel couple later moved on to the Crocker promotion, where
Garvin often won matches after Precious blinded his opponents
by spraying perfume in their eyes.
Garvin and Precious eventually became babyfaces, and Garvin
made a strong challenge for Ric Flair's NWA world title. The
Garvin-Flair title program, which was the highlight of Garvin's
career, came about after the "Nature Boy" hit on Precious,
who responded with a slap to the face. Flair went on to defeat
Garvin in a cage match, and as a result, he won a night with
In a memorable interview, Flair, in anticipation of his date
with Precious, brought ont a mannequin dressed as her and
proceeded to make out with it. When the big night finally
arrived, it was Garvin's brother Ron in drag, not Precious,
who was waiting for Flair in a hotel room. Ron Garvin, known
as the "Man With the Hands of Stone," KO'd the lascivious
champion with one punch.
6. TRIPLE H & CHYNA
Part of Triple H's Connecticut-snob gimmick in 1995 was that
he would always come to the ring accompanied by beautiful
Two years later, Triple H settled on having just one woman
by his side, and she looked nothing like the fashionmodel
types he had previously been banging out with. The muscular,
Amazon-like Chyna made her debut by coming out of the audience
and attacking Goldus's valet, Marlena, violently shaking her
like a rag doll. Chyna's character, somewhat patterned after
Baby Doll, got physically involved in Triple H's matches,
helping her man win by delivering the dreaded low blow to
his opponents. Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna comprised
the original D-Generation X, the top heel group in WWE at
the time. After DX became babyfaces, Chyna turned on Triple
H and joined Vince McMahon's Corporation.
It wasn't long, however, before Triple H again turned heel
and he and Chyna were back together. As Triple H began to
work his way up to main events, he and Chyna parted ways and
she began competing against men. The two remained together
off camera until Triple H damped her for Stephanie McMahon.
Chyna left WWE shortly thereafter.
7. GOLDUST & MARLENA
WWE fans didn't know what to make of this bizarre heel duo
when they debuted in 1995. Goldust (a.k.a. Dustin Runnels),
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 (a.k.a. Terri Runnels, Dustin's wife) was his sexy,
The antics of Goldust and Marlena were at the forefront of
WWE's transformation from family entertainment to an edgier,
more adult product. A lesbian story line between Marlena and
Sable was one angle that was nixed shortly after it started
because it was deemed too racy (although flint certainly isn't
the case today).
After Goldust and Marlena turned babyface, Goldust engaged
in a feud with Brian Pillman, who won Marlena's services in
a match. Just as the angle was picking up steam, however,
Pillman died suddenly.
Eventually, Goldust and Marlena split in the story line, and
Dustin and Terri Runnels divorced in real life.
8. "EXOTIC" ADRIAN STREET & MISS LINDA,
While Gorgeous George was the first effeminate wrestler to
make a splash, it was Street who took the gimmick to another
level. The native of England created an androgynous character
that would serve as the inspiration for flamboyant wrestlers
such as "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, Goldust, and Rico, among
others. Street also was one of the first wrestlers in the
early 1980s to use face paint and have a female valet.
While Street and Linda were married in real life, he played
Iris part so well that none of the fans had a clue he actually
was heterosexual Wearing lipstick, garish eye makeup, and
his hair in pigtails, Street would skip to the flag and then
prance around like a ballet dancer. He and Miss Linda drew
a lot of heel heat in every territory in which they appeared.
Street feuded with some of the top names in the business during
9. STEVE AUSTIN & LADY BLOSSOM
Long before he became "Stone Cold," Austin was involved in
an angle that was way ahead of its time. While it has become
commonplace for wrestlers and their real-life wives to participate
in soap opera-type story lines, that wasn't the case back
Austin, with long, blond hair, was a rookie in the USWA in
Texas, when he turned on his mentor, Chris Adams. To get under
Adams' skin, Austin brought in Jeannie Clark (a.k.a. Lady
Blossom), Adams' real-life ex-wife, to be his valet. Adams'
real-life second wife, Toni, then came in to be her husband's
Austin, Adams, and the two busty blondes participated in a
wild feud featuring mixed-tag matches and impromptu catfights.
Austin and Clark ended up getting married in real life, and
they eventually moved on to WCW, where she became known as
Lady Blossom. The couple became a successful high midcard
act in WCW before she decided to leave the business. Austin
and Clark, who reportedly came up with the "Stone Cold" moniker
for him, divorced in 1999.
10. BILLY & CHUCK
The careers of Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo were going nowhere
when the WWE creative team put them together as a heel tag
team last year.
At first, a homosexual relationship between the twotime WWE
tag-team champions was strongly implied, but never actually
stated. That is, until Chuck got down on one knee in the ring
and proposed to Billy. The buildup for the commitment ceremony
on "Smackdown" garnered a lot of mainstream publicity for
WWE, including praise from GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance
GLAAD, however, was anything but when it saw how the angle
played out. Just before they were about to say "I do," it
was revealed that the whole thing was a publicity stunt and
they actually were straight. Just like that, Billy and Chuck,
who had been booed for being homosexuals, received cheers
for being heterosexuals. Shortly thereafter, Gunn suffered
a shoulder injury that sidelined him for nearly eight months,
and his partnership with Palumbo was history.