Wrestling Relationship Gaps That Are Pretty Uncomfortable

Hollywood frequently celebrates relationships with uncomfortable age gaps. Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick are a couple with over 40 years between them, and Sir Patrick Stewart is 39 years older than wife Sunny Ozell. As the leading provider of the world's sports entertainment, why would we think professional wrestlers would behave any differently? From older stars like Jerry Lawler to younger grapplers like John Cena, it seems age doesn't factor into the choice to start a relationship for many wrestlers.


"Uncomfortable" is a rough range to assume when talking about matters of the heart — after all, these are all adults, many on their second or third marriage, and as Aaliyah once told us, "Age ain't nothin' but a number." So while a gap of even five years may seem uncomfortable to a younger fan, it isn't all that big a deal to folks who have been alive over 40 years, and love can be blind in respect to age. Perspective can be funny that way. Also, let's not forget the charisma these folks have — you don't work the mic for years without developing a little game. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the wider age gaps in wrestling relationships.

Brock Lesnar and Sable

Sable was still married to Marc Mero when she met her Next Big Thing, Brock Lesnar. Mero told the story of how he found out about the two while on "The Steve Austin Show." Sable had returned to WWE after both she and Mero left and sued WWE. She was accepted back into the company and Mero was left to take care of his daughter and household while Sable was on the road. However, after a while, Sable's goodnight phone calls happened less and less. After one missed call, Mero left a scathing voicemail for her. He quickly regretted it and, wanting to delete the message, so he "called back her number and punched in her code. It says, 'you have two unheard messages.' And okay, I have to listen to the first one to get to mine and it was another wrestler talking about them two ... I remember thinking, 'when I find out who this guy is, I'm going to kick the living tar out of this man!' And then, I found out it was Brock Lesnar!"


Mero has since forgiven the couple, and Lesnar and Sable have been happily married since 2006. With 9 years and 11 months between them, the Beast and one of the most controversial WWE divas of all time share one of the smaller gaps on our list. They do hold the honor of being the only relationship where the woman is the older of the pair, and that's something!

The Rock and Lauren Hashian

The most electrifying man in sports entertainment has moved on from WWE to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, regularly breaking records with his films' box office numbers. Even though "Black Adam" failed to blow audiences away, Dwayne Johnson is still considered to be one of the top leading men in cinema. However, just because Rocky is busy making movies and TV doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't been busy in his love life as well.


Johnson met his current wife, Lauren Hashian, while he was working on the film "The Game Plan" in 2006. Johnson's first marriage didn't work out, but he remains friends and business partners with ex-wife Dany Garcia. Despite a 12 year difference in age, Dwayne and Lauren have enjoyed their lives together, welcoming two daughters into their lives before eventually tying the knot in August of 2019. As he said to People, "I was so fortunate to have fallen in love once. To fall in love again? That's a hard thing to do twice in the position I'm in. I'm one lucky son of a b***h." While The Rock hasn't definitively put his wrestling career behind him, it looks like Dwayne Johnson has successfully done so with his romantic singles career.


John Cena and Shay Shariatzadeh

While the 16 time WWE champion always looks great in the wrestling ring, even after 20 years and nearly a year off, his personal life seems a little less smooth. His first marriage ended in divorce back in 2012, and even though the initial filings implied Cena may have been cheating, the couple settled amicably. After a somewhat uncomfortable proposal to Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33, John Cena and Nikki Bella eventually grew apart, partially due to Cena's reluctance to have children, and their relationship ended after six years. Fortunately, both Cena and Bella have since married new partners, and have found happiness.


Cena met Shay Shariatzadeh while filming "Playing With Fire" in Vancouver, where Shay works as an engineer. As he told Entertainment Tonight, "What's truly special about this one is that, no matter what projects I'm involved with in the future, this one will always have a special meaning because I got to film a special project and meet someone special." The couple has 13 years between them, but they seem to have had no trouble navigating that gap. They married in a private ceremony in 2020 due to the pandemic, and had a separate ceremony in 2022 with friends and family.

The Undertaker and Michelle McCool

The Undertaker is known for a lot of things — chokeslams, Tombstone piledrivers, that one time in 1998 when he threw Mankind off Hell in a Cell and he plummeted 16 feet through an announcer's table. He's reinvented himself in spite of being one of the most unique and instantly recognizable characters in all of wrestling. The biographical series "The Last Ride" seems to have really solidified the end of The Undertaker while also giving fans a look at the man behind the corpse he has portrayed for over thirty years. 


In bringing some humanity back to Calaway, it's nice to know that he's had a partner who is familiar with the business. Michelle McCool is a fellow WWE superstar and has been Undertaker's wife since 2010. Undertaker's relationship with McCool was one that the couple had to keep under wraps at the outset, although she told Lilian Garcia on the "Chasing Glory" podcast that "He kind of courted me for a while and people started noticing." Their 15 year age gap feels minimized by the fact that the two shared the same unique profession, and even trained together before McCool's Royal Rumble appearance in 2022.

Kurt Angle and Giovanna Yannotti

Kurt Angle is a WWE Hall of Famer and one of the best pure wrestlers to ever enter the squared circle. His run as part of the "SmackDown Six" resulted in some of the best wrestling WWE has ever produced, and the man was talked about with reverence and respect no matter where he was performing. He's had an amazing life and career, starting with the well-known tale of his Olympic medal win while nursing a "broken freakin' neck," as he lovingly puts it.


Angle is married to Giovanna Yannotti, a woman 17 years younger than him. They met while on the set of Angle's film "End Game" in 2009, where Giovanna was an extra. While she was instantly attracted to him, she claims in an interview with Vince Russo (h/t Spock & Christine) was unaware of his wrestling background. She had minor roles in a few other films, and has also done modeling work. However, between Angle's two children from his previous marriage as well as the couple's own kids, she's putting most of her time these days into being a mom. She's very active on social media where she ardently supports Kurt and her kids, and also hosts "The Wives of Wrestling Podcast" with Kim Orton, the wife of WWE superstar Randy Orton.


Sheamus and Isabella Rovella

Sheamus has been enjoying a career renaissance as of late. He's been in banger after banger after banger, even taking part in a match of the year candidate with Gunther at 2022's Clash at the Castle event. He's also heading up The Brawling Brutes with Butch and Ridge Holland, who have joined him in several memorable battles with Gunther's Imperium faction. While he's had numerous accolades and championships throughout his 20-plus year career, it seems like he's been especially motivated to perform lately even though he's getting up there in years.


Sheamus and Isabella Revilla got engaged in July of 2021, while the two were vacationing in Sheamus' native Ireland. The 44 year old Sheamus married Isabella in October of 2022 in a lavish New York City celebration full of men in kilts and several of Sheamus' wrestling pals. Isabella is a doctor, a twin, and a fan of both soccer and the WWE, and the two dated for four years before deciding to tie the knot. As the most recent addition to this list, Revilla is 18 years Sheamus' junior, but the newlyweds are clearly very happy together. Revilla has been very open about sharing the bliss that the couple and their many, many dogs share on social media.

Diamond Dallas Page and Payge McMahon

The story behind Diamond Dallas Page and his wife, Payge McMahon, getting "surprise married" in a Tennessee hotel is fantastic. Described in a press release, DDP rented out a hotel and created an invitation for McMahon to a friend's Christmas party. He then invited over a hundred friends to attend the wedding, proposed at the party, and then revealed the wedding was all ready to go! Page invited several of his wrestling buddies to the event, including Rob Van Dam, Marc Mero, nZo, and Big Bill Morrissey.


The couple, who have an 18-year age gap between them, dated a couple years before this clever marriage ambush. Payge is a fascinating person, an avid adventurer who credits her practice of yoga with helping her survive a broken back — twice! DDP, of course, is an avid yoga practitioner himself, having developed his own DDP Yoga system and using it to help several former wrestlers get their lives, and their bodies, in better shape. Despite their age difference, it looks like Diamond Dallas Page and Payge Page (yes, she's Payge Page now) have enough in common to make their relationship last.

Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes

Arguably the face of ECW, Rob Van Dam was a mainstay on professional wrestling television for years. His unorthodox wrestling style and unique airbrushed singlets were 90s mainstays, and whether he was battling Jerry Lynn in a Philadelphia bingo hall or taking part in one of many memorable Money in the Bank matches in WWE, RVD was always grabbing the spotlight. The WWE Hall of Famer is still active today, and had a match against fellow ECW alum Rhino as recently as December of 2022.


Katie Forbes is also a pro wrestler with over a half decade's worth of experience, although she's probably best known for her time as RVD's valet in Impact Wrestling. She met Rob at a wrestling convention in 2016, and the two got married in Las Vegas back in 2021, with former WWE Diva Candice Michelle performing the ceremony. Even with 20 years between them, Rob and Katie have a lot of fun together, as evidenced whenever the two appear together for interviews. And with RVD recently launching his own cannabis brand, it appears the pair are living their best lives together.

Bret Hart and Stephanie Washington

Bret Hart is as beloved a man as you'll find in professional wrestling. Our current wave of superstars grew up idolizing him, and they show that love with in-ring tributes, pink and black gear, and storylines that play off some of his greatest hits. Sadly, he's endured more than his fair share of tragedy as well, with the loss of his brother in the ring and a concussion that forced his retirement.


Hart was divorced twice before he met Stephanie Washington, and the two married in 2010. Stephanie stood by Bret's side after he was diagnosed with (and beat) prostate cancer in 2016, and the couple also dealt with a skin cancer scare in 2020. While Stephanie is significantly younger than Bret — 24 years younger — she said in the A&E "Biography" episode on Bret Hart that "if anything, I like to joke that I feel like sometimes I'm the 63 year old and he's the 38 year old because he's so young at heart and I'm an old soul." After watching the two together in that interview, it's hard to say that their age gap is terribly "uncomfortable." The two are obviously in love and enjoying Bret's retirement and their time together, and sometimes it's nice to just acknowledge that rather than judge it.


Jerry Lawler and Lauryn McBride

The undisputed poster child for uncomfortable age gaps in wrestling relationships is Jerry "The King" Lawler. Lawler's WWE announcing career is basically an HR handbook in what not to say to women in the workplace, although Molly Holly has since said during a Highspots Superstore signing that she liked Lawler and accepted that "he had a job to do ... to entertain the demographic that was watching the show." Lawler has had a number of failed marriages with shockingly young women. For example, his three year marriage to his third wife, Stacy Carter, was notable for both the 20-year age difference between her and Lawler, but also because WWE firing Carter (she was The Kat or Miss Kitty in WWE) led to Lawler walking out on the company just prior to WrestleMania X-7.


Lawler is currently in a relationship with Lauryn McBride, a woman 39 years his junior. They made headlines in 2016 when both he and McBride were both arrested in relation to a domestic violence charge, although those charges were later dropped. He also had a scare with Lauryn in 2018, when he revealed that he'd had a stroke after getting intimate with her only two weeks before that year's WrestleMania. If there's a reasonable argument against their massive age difference, maybe that's it.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.