The recent incident with Michelle McCool shows how it important it is for the WWE to recognize the contributions of its wrestlers. This does not only apply to the women’s division, but the men’s division too. Of course, the same applies to fans who approach their favorite WWE superstars or start chants in the arena. Let’s hope an incident like this does not happen again in the future.
There have been some talented wrestlers who were inadvertently overshadowed by their famous WWE spouses. But which are the wrestlers who were affected the most? Let us take a look at the wrestlers who had to battle even harder for their career.
1. Michelle McCool – Married To The Undertaker
Michelle McCool probably encountered the most problems because of her famous husband. Even though she was the first Diva’s champion and an integral part of the women’s evolution, she is often forgotten.
Recently, the WWE published an overview of iconic women for women’s history month. However, the company completely forgot about Michelle. She would later respond on social media about not being included. Even her husband The Undertaker responded, which is rare as he is very much a company guy.
We can all understand the frustration of Michelle when it comes to being left out. She was indeed an integral part of the women’s evolution and her contributions should be recognised. Let’s hope the WWE does something to recognize her amazing achievements.
2. AJ Lee – Married To CM Punk
Much like Michelle McCool, AJ Lee had a tough time after her marriage to CM Punk. When Punk left the company, he stirred up the famous “CM Punk” chants, which were used when fans didn’t like the product. Unfortunately, they also did it every time Lee came out to wrestle.
AJ Lee is married to CM Punk, but that does not take away from her achievements. Lee was the WWE Divas Champion three times. She also won three Slammy awards and was Diva of the year in 2012 and 2014. It is a shame her career became overshadowed by her famous husband upon her retirement.
On the bright side, AJ Lee has not sat idly buy since her retirement. She wrote a book called “Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules”. In the book, she discusses her career in professional wrestling. It ended up as number 10 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is also working on a new book at the moment and co-wrote the comic book series GLOW Vs. The Babyface.
3. TJ Wilson – Married To Natalya
Female wrestlers are not the only ones affected by famous spouses, just ask TJ Wilson. Before he retired due to a serious injury, Wilson struggled with the fact fans would call him “Nattie’s husband”. This was even featured during Total Divas, which followed the lives of several female superstars including Nattie.
TJ Wilson, better known under his wrestling name Tyson Kidd, has quite the professional wrestling resume. He was the final graduate of the famous Hart Dungeon and was a member of the Hart Dynasty. TJ Wilson held countless Florida Championship Wrestling championships as well as the World Tag Team Championship with David Hart Smith and WWE Tag Team Championship with David Hart Smith and Cesaro. He was also the recipient of the Bragging Rights Trophy for his contributions to Team SmackDown in 2009.
Even though TJ Wilson has not been inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame, he was inducted in the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame. It is expected that TJ will get an induction for the WWE Hall of Fame in the future.
4. Maryse – Married To The Miz
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a big Maryse fan. In fact, let’s take a quick Maryse entrance break to truly appreciate the brilliance that is Maryse.
The problem Maryse faces is her famous husband Miz. The Miz is well-known in the WWE and one of the company’s biggest celebrities. As she has functioned as his manager and appears in Miz and Mrs, she is commonly associated with her husband.
Maryse achieved a lot as a female wrestler. It is also important to think about the fact she was an active wrestler during a time where women got very little attention. But, she made the best of her opportunity. She won the 2010 Divas Championship Tournament and held the WWE Divas Championship twice. She was even number 9 on the list of top 50 PWI female wrestlers in 2009.
As you may know already, Maryse is retired from professional wrestling. But even though she is retired, we should still recognise the contributions she made to the women’s division. Yes, I am a little bias when it comes to Maryse. But let us be honest, she presented and acted like a true champion.
5. Beth Phoenix – Married To Edge
The WWE mentions Beth Phoenix’ achievements often. However, her personal achievements are often overshadowed because of her husband Edge. Her situation is very comparable to that of AJ Lee. While both women were extremely successful, they were always named alongside their husbands.
Beth Phoenix is a woman who had a massive impact on the women’s division. She’s a three-time WWE Women’s Champion and one-time WWE Divas Champion. Beth Phoenix also took the title of Diva of the Year in 2008 and was one of the few women to ever compete in the men’s Royal Rumble.
Phoenix still plays an active role in wrestling, as she is currently a commentator on the Black and Gold brand. However, the WWE recently used Beth Phoenix for her husband’s current storyline. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is important not to forget what the Glamazon has done for the wrestling business.
Why Wrestlers Get Overshadowed Like This?
Wrestling fans are curious creatures and like to know a lot about the personal lives of their idols. This applies to almost every wrestling fan, including myself. On the flipside, it is disrespectful to chant “Nattie’s husband” or “CM Punk” when these wrestlers’ respective spouses were in the ring.