Wrestling Weddings - You know nothing good ever comes of them, yet, we all still tune in.
We're all still compelled by the sheer madness of a supposedly sacred event taking place inside a wrestling ring, and the inevitable wackiness that tends to coincide.
It's the type of event that should have wrestling purists out on the streets with torches and pitchfork at the mere mention, yet, we continue to be fascinated with the phenomenon.
It's the glorious train wreck that simply must be seen, and pro wrestling keeps bringing it to us, time and time again.
We should have known this was going to end with a letdown, all along...
When it comes right down to it, any respectable professional wrestling show, wishing to honor the premise that pro wrestling, in the context of the wrestling show, is supposed to be some kind of combat sport, should not have weddings.
There's no logical reason for it.
After all, when's the last time you heard of an NFL player getting married during a game?
Weddings at sporting events simply don't happen.
Wedding Proposals might, but certainly not Weddings themselves.
Only a select few among us would ever even consider having a public wedding ceremony, and of those, only the truly insane would ever think to do so as part of a wrestling show.
Plus, the lower the promotion in question is on the totem poll, the less prestigious of places your public wedding would likely take place.
If you're dealing with WWE, just about every major sports arena in the world is a possibility.
If it's TNA, your wedding will more than likely be at Universal Studios.
Of course, if you're dealing with anything smaller, you're more than likely going to end up getting married in a High School Gym, or a National Guard Armory, or even an old, musty Bingo Hall where the toilets barely work!
Try convincing your blushing bride-to-be to go along with that...
While you're at it, good luck trying to convince the would-be Mrs. to wear a dress like this on her wedding day!
Outside of the sheer logical inconsistency, there's also the whole "soap opera" element that comes into play once you, the wrestling promoter, decide to put a wedding on your show.
After all, the only reason you'd even book a wedding is if said wedding had some sort of purpose within your storylines, right?
So, why are you booking a wedding?
Is there an angle where two guys have been fighting for the affections of a woman?
Are you paying off years and years of a relationship between wrestler and manager by having the two marry?
Are you, perhaps, looking to con a Gay and Lesbian Rights organization into thinking you're not so bad, just to betray their trust by revealing the couple in question were only pretending to be gay?
Or, maybe, you're looking to reveal that a hated heel has married into the promoter's family.
Or maybe, just maybe, you're just looking for fresh and new ways to convince people to watch two guys beat up one another, and figure, why not piss all over a supposedly sacred institution?
After all, it's just entertainment, right?
It's not like you're ruining your own credibility by presenting over-the-top, wacky storylines that only serve to make you, and your fans, look like absolute morons, right?
Speaking of angles that make wrestling fans feel like complete morons...
Of course, once you decide that logic doesn't matter, and artistic credibility with the general public be damned, you're ready to take the piss right out of one of Life's most sacred institutions.
After all, it's not like all this ballyhoo over the sanctity of marriage actually means anything.
It's not as if people wait their entire lives for that one, precious moment, where they can finally declare their love to the people most important to them by dedicating themselves to one other person for the rest of their natural life.
It's not as if entire movements have come about for the sole purpose of expanding or contracting the legal definition of marriage over the years, or that there are couples who are, even now, discriminated against because of their race or gender to marry the partner of their choice.
And surely there's no religious context by which a majority of the world's population garners their beliefs about what marriage should and should not be, so it's not like anyone is bound to be offended by your complete disrespect for the institution.
Let's not forget the World of Sh*t that is the Kurt Angle/Karen Angle-Jarrett relationship, which, at this stage, sees AJ Styles committing adultery with Kurt's then-wife.
So, now that you're willing to toss logic out the window, artistic integrity be damned, and accept that you're about to make a sh*t-ton of enemies, now, all you have to do is map out your scenario.
You could go the easy route, and use this plot point to pay off a long-standing relationship between a wrestler and his manager, as WWE did with Randy Savage and Elizabeth.
For the most part, the ceremony was played straight, with the couple happily tying the knot at SummerSlam 1991.
The only shenanigans of note were the arrival of a pair of uninvited guests, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and the Undertaker, who harassed the bride and attacked the groom during the reception.
A Match Made in Heaven. Literally, these days...
If you want to take things a step further, you could go through with the wedding, as normal, but when the minister decides to ask if anyone objects to the marriage, you could have someone speak up.
This is often used as a plot point in soap operas, and the occasional film, but it's also effective in wrestling, as Triple H proved in 1999, when he used that moment to announce to the McMahon family that young Stephanie, who was about to marry Test, was already a married woman.
She and Triple H had tied the knot in Vegas just the week before.
Linda McMahon's "Rage Face" here is just priceless!
Sure, at the time, Stephanie was devastated, but we would learn later on that this Vegas marriage had been a plan in the works for some time.
Stephanie wanted to hurt her father after the torment he allowed the Undertaker to put her though, just so Vince could take once last stab at "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and she could think of no better way than to let the Lead Degenerate himself, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, to be the guy she ultimately gave it up to.
"Hey Pops! How's it hangin'?"
Now, if you're really looking to offend someone, you can always bring rape into the situation, as Kane did with Lita in 2004.
See, in order to assure that Kane would not outright murder her then-boyfriend Matt Hardy (who, even back then, had a really hard time keeping his personal life, personal), Lita had to agree to have sex with Kane.
Shortly after, Lita got pregnant, but she couldn't know for sure whether Matt was the father, or if she was carrying Kane's demon seed.
So Matt Hardy and Kane fought at SummerSlam for the right to marry Lita, which Kane won.
Keeping Your Rapist's Baby: A Great Foundation for a Marriage
Matt Hardy, of course, tried to stop the wedding, only to be severely injured by Kane.
By the time Matt was healthy enough to come back, Lita had divorced Kane and hooked up with Edge, whom she tried to marry. Kane wasn't going to have any of that, though, as he crashed their wedding a year later.
Infidelity - Another Great Foundation for a Marriage
Of course, all of this would end up going back to Matt Hardy, who, even then, just couldn't keep his personal life personal. After throwing a hissy fit over being dumped by Lita in real life, Matt Hardy would get fired from WWE, only to find that fans took Matt's side in the matter and demanded WWE bring him back. Once they did, Matt would feud with Lita's new man, Edge, until WWE decided to move Matt Hardy to a different show and hope that maybe, if they brought his brother Jeff back, he'd behave.
We, unfortunately, saw how
that story ended...
Do I even NEED a caption, here?
But if you really want to draw the ratings and piss a whole hell of a lot of people off, you got to go big.
You've got to get topical.
You have to address something with not only moral and religious ramifications, but political ones, as well.
Plus, it helps if you can manage to embarrass at least one major special interest organization, in the process.
Folks, to pull this off, you've got to go gay.
Yep. We're going here.
Oh yes, the infamous wedding of Billy and Chuck, the undisputed king of tasteless, over-the-top ridiculous pro wrestling weddings.
In 2002, someone in WWE thought it would be a good idea to take the tag team of Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo, who had, at this point, been playing an ambiguously gay duo, and go all the way with it.
Not only did they decide that Billy and Chuck were going to come out of the closet, but the couple was going to wed on special edition of SmackDown.
WWE even enlisted the help of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in order to secure mainstream media coverage for the upcoming angle.
Unfortunately, for mainstream audiences and GLAAD, WWE decided to use this moment to cement the rivalry between Monday Night Raw, and Thursday Night (at the time) SmackDown.
You know, back when this whole "brand split" thing was actually supposed to matter...
Think of it this way, Chuck. It's either Billy, or Michelle McCool. Your choice!
To tell you the truth, WWE really f*cked everyone over with this wedding - the fans, the wrestlers involved, the mainstream media, and especially GLAAD.
In fact, this segment has probably done some untold damage to the concept of Gay Marriage, as well, as WWE was quick to glom to stereotypes for comedic value.
Billy and Chuck came down the aisle the way they always did, dancing and prancing, this time to a rendition of the Disco favorite, "It's Raining Men," sung by gospel singers.
As the ceremony went on, you could tell that Billy and Chuck's personal stylist, Rico, was pushing them into this situation, and eventually, Billy and Chuck admitted that they weren't gay.
This wedding was simply a publicity stunt set up by Rico that had gone too far.
The minister of the ceremony then revealed that he was actually Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff, who had hired Rico to humiliate Billy and Chuck in a cheap attempt to harm the SmackDown brand, and ordered his goons, the 3 Minute Warning, to take Billy and Chuck out, an act that was intended to escalate the Brand War between Raw and SmackDown.
Instead, it now stands as one of the most embarrassing moments in wrestling history, a moment where WWE basically burned every possible bridge of goodwill it ever attempted to gain by enlisting GLAAD to help them publicize a gay wedding in the first place.
Every wrestling fan, ever, after witnessing the Billy & Chuck Wedding.
There's a lot of problems with the Billy and Chuck wedding, the worst of which was how they handled Billy and Chuck's reveal that they weren't actually gay.
In all honesty, there was no "good way" to pull that reveal off, as no matter how WWE decided to reveal that Billy and Chuck weren't gay, they were going to incur the wrath of GLAAD, as well as the wrath of fans for wasting our time with this crap.
The best you could hope for here is that you can do the reveal in a way where "not being gay" isn't what turns Billy and Chuck babyface.
In other words, you want the Bischoff reveal and the 3 Minute Warning beatdown to be what turns Billy and Chuck, not the admission that they're straight.
The moment Billy said, "we're not gay," the arena popped.
This, of course, meant that "being straight" was their babyface turn, and not "getting beat up by jerks from Raw".
This, of course, means that people were booing Billy and Chuck because they were gay.
It also meant that, once Billy and Chuck admitted to being straight, audiences stopped caring, as Billy and Chuck's act died the moment Billy said, "I'm not gay."
Gunn got hurt shortly afterwards, and the duo was split up, repackaged, and for the most part, forgotten.
It would be several years later when Billy Gunn would become relevant again, this time, as an effeminate pretty boy tagging alongside Velvet Sky and Angelina Love in TNA, showing the wrestling world that maybe Billy and Chuck should have been allowed to marry, after all.
"If it meant sharing a locker room with these two, you'd pretend to be gay, too!"
To be perfectly honest with you, if a wrestling company wants to be taken seriously in any way, it would be wise to avoid wedding angles at all cost.
Unfortunately, thanks to the wild and unpredictable nature of past wrestling weddings, they've become a staple of sports entertainment, and a proven ratings draw.
Hell, maybe the next wrestling wedding will be in CHIKARA, once Veronica finally comes to her senses and dumps that Mr. Touchdown so she and Marchie Archie can get married and have a little marching band of their own.
One can only hope...
"You were meant for me, and I was meant for you." - Jewel