Can You Match the Wrestler to Their Storyline?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: KadeBloc

About This Quiz

Every pro wrestling fan has heard it at one time or another: "How can you watch that stuff!? Pro wrestling is fake!" To which we respond, "So is homeopathy, but the difference is, wrestling is fairly upfront about it." 

The truth is, wrestling promotions like the WWF/WWE, ECW and WCW weren't always so direct about using storylines as they are today. "Kayfabe," the practice of staying in character and acting in support of storylines across multiple platforms (in the ring, in promos, around fans), comes from the days when fans were supposed to believe what they were seeing was 100 percent real. 

Nowadays, fans are in on the secret, but good storylines are still the lifeblood of wrestling, coming to a head at the major pay-per-view events like Wrestlemania. Sometimes storylines and the real world get mixed up, such as when a wrestler and manager/valet who are married in real life become a kayfabe couple. (One such couple was "married" on the air years after they tied the knot in real life). Other times, the kayfabe "fourth wall" has to be broken, like the time former wrestler turned announcer Jerry Lawler had a heart attack at ringside. 

We hope you enjoy this quiz on wrestling's best storylines: the ups and downs, the heels and babyfaces, the alliances and the betrayals!


A love of beer and an anti-authority attitude was an evergreen storyline for this legend.

Austin peaked during the "Attitude Era," when he regularly defied Vince McMahon. Unlike some wrestlers who underwent radical changes of character, Austin's remained fairly consistent throughout his career.

He was the babyface who wanted to bring down top heel Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The Rock started his wrestling career as "Rocky Maivia" and became one of the early 2000s' most beloved wrestlers. His foil was the bad-to-the-bone Steve Austin.

A common storyline for this star was another​ wrestler's falling for or disrespecting his beautiful manager, Miss Elizabeth.

Savage and Elizabeth Hulette married in 1984. This didn't stop the WWF from arranging a lavish on-air "wedding" for the pair years later.

Implausibly, this "wrestler" has defeated Ric Flair, The Undertaker, and Triple H as part of his feuds with them.

Strange but true: In character as "Mr. McMahon," Vince McMahon has occasionally wrestled and won matches. (Dirty tricks are usually involved.) Even stranger: Now-President Trump really did make an appearance on WWE programming.

This veteran took a break from his goth persona to be a biker type in the early 2000s.

The Undertaker, like Steven Austin, has had a long-running persona as a fearful Gothic entity. But in the early 2000s, he took on the character of a biker, wearing bandannas and coming down to the ring to Kid Rock theme music.

Implausibly, he came to Mr. McMahon's aid when Stephanie was kidnapped by The Undertaker.

McMahon was forced to ally with Austin to get his daughter back. Austin succeeded in this, but the alliance didn't last long.

This former fitness model could go toe-to-toe with Lita in the ring, back in the Attitude Era.

This is a real compliment. Unlike many women's-division wrestlers of the time, Lita (real name Amy Dumas) had true athletic chops. Gorgeous blonde, Stratus, received a compliment from the bookers when they picked her as Lita's main rival of the early 2000s.

A "rich Connecticut snob" persona introduced this wrestler to the world.

This is an example of life imitating art. Paul "Triple H" Levesque, who grew up in a working-class town in New Hampshire, married Stephanie McMahon in 2003, making him part of a Connecticut family worth more than $1 billion.

His character as an arrogant patriot was helped by the fact that he really was a gold-medal winning Olympian.

Angle won his gold medals at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 (in wrestling, naturally). He disdained pro wrestling until he attended a WWE show and saw "world-class athletes doing very athletic things."

As part of the "Mega Powers," he faced off against the "Twin Towers" in 1989.

Hogan was partnered with Randy Savage as the "Mega Powers." The "Twin Towers" were Akeem and the Big Boss Man.

This likable wrestler turned heel to be a foil to Hulk Hogan around the time of WrestleMania III.

In the run-up to their 1987 WrestleMania match, Andre ripped off Hogan's T-shirt and his crucifix. Pretty small stuff compared to what goes on in the WWE today!

He teamed with his "cousins" the Andersons to be part of the Four Horsemen.

Ric Flair has spent his life in wrestling​ and has both deep friendships and old quarrels to show for it. He and Canadian wrestler, Bret Hart, famously took shots at each other in the 1990s, but apparently have made up.

His feud with Shawn Michaels ended in an apparently-real betrayal in Montreal.

This one is famous! The real "heel" of the story isn't Michaels but Vince McMahon, who promised the Canadian wrestler he could win his final WWF match in Montreal, where he was beloved. Then McMahon had the referee ring the bell while Michaels had Hart in Hart's own "sharpshooter" hold. Hart went on a rampage, punching McMahon in the face behind the scenes. It's widely considered to be a break from the script, though there are a few "Montreal truthers" who believe the whole thing was a more-elaborate-than-usual storyline.

He maneuevered Stephanie McMahon into a Vegas marriage.

Triple H took the unconscious Stephanie McMahon to a drive-thru chapel and (badly) imitated her voice, but the marriage was legal, to her and her father's horror. But later, "Taming of the Shrew" style, she unexpectedly came to Triple H's defense in a match, indicating she'd fallen in love with him against her better nature.

He's the sad sack who lost Stephanie McMahon to Triple H.

A storyline had him engaged to the boss's daughter, until Triple H beat him to the punch. Not-so-fun fact: While in kayfabe it was Test who lost out, in real life Paul "Triple H" Levesque broke up with Joanie "Chyna" Laurer to be with Stephanie McMahon.

In the 1990s, he was a "trillionaire" and finance manager of the "New World Order."

DiBiase was known as "Trillionaire Ted" during this time. He's now an ordained minister, a testament to the variety of things wrestlers pursue after their days in the squared circle.

His feud with The Undertaker culminated in a truly dangerous "Hell in the Cell" match in 1998.

This match remains legendary even in a business where every event is billed as the biggest, the baddest, the most dangerous. Mick Foley, in his "Mankind" character, legitimately fell 20 feet to the arena floor, not once but twice. Terry Funk actually thought he was dead at one point.

Her feud with Charlotte Flair led to them being the first women to headline a "Raw" event.

Banks is part of what's billed as a "women's revolution" in the WWE. Banks and Flair not only headlined Raw, but they competed in the first women's "Hell in a Cell" match, a hardcore-style match that made wrestlers like Mick Foley famous.

For a while, this wrestler feuded with comedian Andy Kaufman.

In a more credulous time, fans believed that Lawler really was angry with Kaufman, who wrestled women on TV and called himself the "Intergender Champion." Lawler later admitted their entire feud was staged, even an incident on the David Letterman show where Kaufman threw his coffee on Lawler.

This wrestler's first persona, in the early 2000s, was a white rapper who freestyled at ringside.

Cena didn't spend too long in this goofy persona. The WWE soon realized that he was better as a clean-cut hero type, supported by his film roles, especially in "The Marine."

Kurt Angle offended this wrestler by blowing his nose on his country's flag.

Suffice it to say that respect for multiculturalism has never been the WWE's strong suit. Fans ate up the storyline in which Singh bribed Olympic hero Angle to blow his nose in the U.S. flag -- only to see Angle do so in the flag of India instead.

In 2014, he quarreled incessantly with "the Authority," aka Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

Bryan is another "babyface"/fan favorite. Triple H and McMahon often take "heel" positions in storylines.

Their brother act isn't an act; these two wrestlers are real brothers.

Matt and Jeff Hardy debuted in the early 2000s with their friend Amy Dumas, who wrestled as "Lita." Eddie and Chavo Guerrero were uncle and nephew, not brothers.

This wrestler debuted as Triple H's bodyguard.

Chyna was known for taking on traditionally masculine roles in the WWF/E, starting with her early "job." Later, she wrestled men for titles not usually open to women.

His ECW storyline was as a wrestler gone around the bend, who carried a mannequin head to the ring with him.

Snow carried around a head with the words "Help Me" written on its forehead. He continued this after making the leap from ECW to the WWE.

An early '90s feud had this wrestler teaming up with Bret Hart against Hart's brother, Owen.

The fun part of this is that Smith was the Harts' in-law in real life. He married one of their sisters, Diana.

This former UFC star got in the ring to assist The Rock, who was being disrespected by Stephanie McMahon.

Rousey has since signed with the WWE. Her short storyline in the incident above, though, showed her supposedly as only a front-row spectator, until Stephanie McMahon taunted The Rock about being unwilling to hit a woman. The Rock then brought Rousey up to the ring to do his fighting for him.

This ground-breaking wrestler became Eddie Guerrero's "Mamacita" in 2000.

Chyna had a brief alliance with Eddie Guerrero, competing with him in an intergender tag team match against Stratus and Val Venis. Both Joanie "Chyna" Laurer and Eddie Guerrero died young, of a ​drug overdose and heart failure respectively.

In the mid-2000s, he turned on his stable, Evolution, to take on Triple H.

This happened just before WrestleMania 21 in 2005. It led to Batista, a growing fan favorite, winning his first heavyweight title.

In the late 1990s, he went on such a long winning streak, his catchphrase became "Who's next?"

Goldberg was immensely popular at the time, so WCW management simply let him rack up a winning streak. The streak was finally broken by Kevin Nash.

In 2016, he agreed to a Hell in a Cell match, with a lockbox of family secrets at stake.

McMahon was upset about his decreased role in the family business. His father promised him control of the "Raw" brand if he won a Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker. If he lost, Shane had to give back a lockbox containing his father's secrets.

His first WWF appearance was as dentist Isaac Yankem.

Fortunately, this oddball persona was short-lived. Wrestler Glenn Jacobs soon became the creepy younger brother of The Undertaker.

In 1998 and 1999, this Sexy Boy was the WWF Commissioner.

The "commissioner" storyline was the company's response to Michaels' back injury. He began wrestling again in the early 2000s.

One of his early-2000s storylines was running down Goldberg with a car.

Storm was acting on the orders of Chris Jericho. Jericho had been jealous of Goldberg since their WCW days.

He became a heel who attacked women before losing the Intercontinental Championship to Chyna.

Jarrett is a third-generation wrestler who has worked for several promotions. It is likely that he agreed to lose the Intercontinental to a woman because he was departing for WCW anyway.

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