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Ho Yay / WWE

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Depending on who you ask, all of Professional Wrestling is Ho Yay. Many of its detractors love to make this claim and, to be fair, two musclebound men in their underwear rolling on top of each other sounds suspicious out of context. The way matches between two women usually go down doesn't help matters, as they're often blatant Fanservice.

  • D-Generation X is Ho Yay incarnate in the WWE:
    "I'm bi- a lot of things, but lingual ain't one of them."
    • WWE has once parodied this trope in the form of Billy and Chuck, wrestling's answer to the Ambiguously Gay Duo.
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    • Their 2009 reunion kicked off with Triple H tracking down Shawn Michaels at an office cafeteria, where Michaels had apparently found employment as a cook (don't ask). After some mistaken flirting with a male waiter, Trips found Michaels, who tried to explain that he liked his new job by putting his arm around a young man in a suit. It looked for all the world like Michaels was introducing his new boyfriend to his less-than-supportive ex.
    • This is further supported by this video, wherein Shawn Michaels initiates kissing Triple H, twice! The second kiss, Triple H actually flutters a hand as if fanning himself but that was cut out.
    • On the 2/22/10 Raw, the recap video of Shawn's downward spiral leading to his screwjob of The Undertaker in the previous night's Elimination Chamber PPV looks like nothing so much as a failed Love Triangle relationship between Shawn, Triple H, and The Undertaker. It's even set to Placebo's "Running Up That Hill", and it's a gold mine of HoYay. Just, watch the video.
      Triple H: Shawn, you're obsessed. There are plenty of other guys for you to main-event WrestleMania with!
      Shawn Michaels: Not for me.
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    • Shawn and Hunter, again, this time at Shawn's farewell to the WWE. First, Hunter comes out early in the show and promos for a bit on how much he'll miss Shawn. He then says "Mainly, I just wanted to come out and say it, something I've always wanted to say to Shawn. I've never said it. But I want to say it now in front of the whole world-"... and then Sheamus comes out and dashes the dreams of the fangirl brigade by whacking Hunter upside the head with a lead pipe. Later, as Shawn is saying his goodbyes, at the very end of the show (about 5:30 in the clip) Hunter comes out and gives him one of the sweetest damn goodbyes ever, complete with a Headbutt of Love.
    • Shawn's Hall of Fame induction brought a boatload of it. You have the two of them constantly hugging, Hunter telling Shawn he's his brother and he loves him, Shawn teasing Hunter about never saying anything nice about him, and finally, the biggest three-minute lovefest from The Kliq (minus Scott Hall, sadly) ever seen in public. Also, according to Hunter's wife, Shawn is his "road wife".
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    • Not even retirement can separate them. Shawn feels the need to dive across tables to hug Hunter, they sit extra-close on couches for Wrestlemania interviews, and snuggle for Twitter pics.
  • Shawn Michaels is often accused of Ho Yay. No wonder why.
  • An overly long promo by John Cena, Shawn Michaels, and JBL came off more as Cena and Michaels wanting to make out and big, bad JBL not allowing it than Cena pleading for Michaels' dignity to remain instead of him working as JBL's flunky. Even this troper's non-wrestling fan, non-Ho Yay spotting brother got that vibe throughout the entire promo.
  • On the diva side of things, Mickie James has been a constant source of lesbian subtext. Well, initially it wasn't even subtext at all as she debuted as Trish Stratus' Stalker with a Crush, but after she turned face that aspect of her character was dropped... mostly. Except for the fact that for a brief period in 2007 one of her finishers consisted of Mickie kissing her opponent and then knocking them out with a spinning kick... and pretty much any time she and Melina have any interaction whatsoever the subtext level goes to eleven, honestly.
    • The Trish/Mickie Stalker with a Crush angle was predated by one with Sable and Tori (formerly Terri Powers of the LPWA, not Torrie Wilson). Although in that one, Tori played a starstruck fan and Sable the arrogant bitch who blew her off.
  • Candice Michelle and Victoria engaged in some pretty heavy flirting as part of the Pink Ladies/Vince's Devils faction.
    • Speaking of Candice, there was also an infamous scene where a couple of DX fangirls went down on her and Triple H, shown about as blatantly as WWE could get away with.
  • Legacy - the alliance of Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton, and Ted DiBiase Jr. - has been described as the Ambiguously Gay Trio for a large number of reasons. The big one is that they are constantly without pants, even when just hanging out backstage with each other.
  • Chyna and "The Kat" were in a dropped-almost-as-quickly-as-it-started Ambiguously Lesbian angle. Chyna wore a cropped T-shirt that said "MASTER" and The Kat wore one that said "Slave". Chyna only did the routine for one single episode of Raw, but The Kat kept the look several times and briefly accompanied Eddie Guerrero in an outfit that one of the commentators called "Chynette".
  • Beth Phoenix. Outside of Glamarella, Beth has a laundry list of Les Yay moments, from having her own Stalker with a Crush like angle with Rosa Mendes, who later became her "protege" (there was a very cute "An Officer and a Gentleman" bit after one match on Superstars where Beth carried Rosa back to the locker room in her arms), to this promo with Candice Michelle before their 2/3 Falls Match, to this promo with Maria Menounos the night she was traded to Smackdown (yes, explain in detail what you can do to her, Beth!). And is now in some vaguely gay friendship with Natalya as they both feuded against the equally suspicious LayCool and continued their partnership after Face Heel Turns...
  • Ho Yay has been a long tradition for most buddy tag teams, just look up a mid 80's promo for the Can-Am connection and try to think that Rick Martel and Tom Zenk did not seem like they were in love with each other.
  • Big Show and Chris Jericho have taken this to a hilarious new level. Jericho referring to Big Show as his "partner" on an episode of Smackdown being one.
    • Big Show and The Miz later provided a lesser example (to the point where Show said that what he had with Miz was "special"), and upon their breakup and Jericho returning to Raw, the exes met and commiserated about Show. It sounded like they were griping about a mutual ex-boyfriend more than an ex-tag partner.
  • Chris Jericho once again, this time with Kevin Owens in the second half of 2016. They consider themselves best friends and are almost inseparable in angles and promos where they're together, and now that there's some tension between both men, they even fight like an old married couple.
  • CM Punk's obsessive, retreading thrashing of Jeff Hardy during their feud gave this troper a definite "I hate you because I'm attracted to you" vibe, especially with Punk's adamant resolve to drive Jeff away from the show.
    • That whole storyline makes one think of the proverbial little boy on the playground with a crush on a little girl, so he pulls her pigtails. Except that Punk and Jeff Hardy are both the little boy and both the little girl with pigtails.
  • CM Punk and Luke Gallows.
    • Gallows' attack on Punk's NXT Rookie Darren Young can be interpreted as jealousy, considering how much attention Punk had been paying to Young.
    • Not to mention Gallows' obvious anger when Punk spent several months obsessed with bringing ReyMysterio into the fold...during which Punk usually followed beating Rey into a pulp with laying on the mat, petting on him, and blatantly cuddling him.
    • Towards the end of this segment, when R-Truth punches CM Punk out of the ring, Luke Gallows immediately leaps out after him. Normally, if a wrestler's tag team partner is knocked out of the ring, the wrestler will attack the person responsible as a matter-of-course. But there Gallows goes, cradling Punk and brushing his hair out of his face, like a worried boyfriend fussing over his girlfriend.
    • Kofi Kingston is Punk's "road wife".
  • CM Punk again, feigning a faint at one point during the 2011 Royal Rumble and being caught by Batista lookalike Mason Ryan. Ryan looked pretty happy to be holding on.
  • CM Punk has become WWE's resident Ho Yay magnet. Here he is with Alberto Del Rio during the 2011 WWE Draft.
    • There's also Edge calling him a "pretty boy" when he confronted CM Punk and Jeff Hardy over the championship.
  • The promo for John Cena and Randy Orton's match at Bragging Rights features some very interesting lyrics, the most blatant being "You and I were made for this / I was made to taste your kiss." Not to mention the official music video for this song revolves around a romantic relationship.
    • Not to mention after a beatdown on Randy by The Nexus that Cena was forced to watch, he looked so miserable, especially weird since Orton has tried to kill Cena in the past.
    • John Cena hugged Randy Orton after being fired from the WWE. Randy's anger at Cena potentially screwing him...out of the title could be seen as Orton being disappointed that Cena is no longer the man he respects. Plus their Red Oni, Blue Oni, Villainous Cheekbones vs. Lantern Jaw of Justice, and having the two largest Estrogen Brigades made this pairing impossible to not happen.
    • During the Orton and Cena tag team match against the entire RAW roster, the announcers breathlessly rave over how well Randy and John are "cohabitating" (their exact words). The chemistry is only helped by Randy Orton and John Cena's real life friendship.
    • Orton was once asked if he sleeps with Cena in an interview. His answer was "Not recently".
  • Team LayCool celebrate by Layla throwing her arms and legs around McCool and Squeeing loudly. They're also only nice to each other and their manager Vickie Guerrero. Not to mention the synchronized dancing and constantly being around each other.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. tends to attract this a lot. It was most obvious during his five-year relationship with Batista and on-again off-again partnership with Billy Kidman, but it crops up with nearly every tag partner he has and pretty frequently in Foe Yay contexts with his enemies, as in the CM Punk example above.
  • Mr. Perfect and The Genius. When Genius began managing and occasionally tagging with Perfect, WWE aired a vignette of Perfect practicing his dives at a pool, while Genius stood by practically drooling over his... athleticism, including a shot where Genius appears to be staring right at Perfect's crotch. Add in The Genius' fairly fey mannerisms and it really came across as less "Look at this badass fighter on my side" and more "Check out how hot my boyfriend is". The pair also did an in-character interview with Regis Philbin and Kathy Griffin, where Philbin essentialy asked them (as explicitly as eighties broadcasting standards would allow) "Are you guys together", to which Perfect replied "Mind your own business". Genius spent most of the interview gazing lovingly at Perfect, which Regis also pointed out.
  • Remember the Alliance's Shane and Booker T, from giving each other presents to interfering with matches, not to mention the glee they had in their eyes while looking at each other.
    • Shane McMahon and Rob Van Dam, too. During Shane's feud with Kane and the testicle-electrocution incident (look, It Makes Sense in Context), the one that rode to his rescue and made it look like something out of a hurt/comfort fanfic? Rob. They hung all over each other tearfully.
      • Speaking of Kane, he and Rob Van Dam had a lot of tension during their teaming and Kane's subsequent unmasking, the latter also looking like something out of a hurt/comfort fanfic.
  • NXT Season Three has AJ and Kaitlyn, who greet each other with hugs, have a weird handshake, and constantly giggle about jokes they tell amongst them.
  • The Miz and his apprentice Alex Riley, Riley jumped on top of The Miz to save him from a finishing maneuver, he takes the traditionally female role of valet, seems to be the only person, beyond Michael Cole (Who has his own very creepy relationship with The Miz) to bear his presence, and is constantly hyping him up.
    • Add to that The Miz hiring Riley to a "personal services" contract. He's supposed to be his protege, but the wording of that borders on creepy.
  • Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. Regular tag partners who ruffle each other's hair and refuse to beat each other up when ordered. It's adorable.
  • The 02/14/2011 episode of Raw featured a special Valentine's Day edition of the Khali Kiss Cam, where it focused on various audience and backstage couples, urging them to kiss. Then it suddenly showed William Regal listening to Zack Ryder rant about something... whereupon Regal shuts Ryder up by giving him a quick peck to his cheek before exiting stage left with a smile and a shrug.
  • Any time a WWE wrestler retires, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes friendships revealed. Man Hugs abound, and Manly Tears are shed. Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Edge's retirement speeches and send-offs on Raw/Smackdown have ridiculous amounts of some of the most heartwarming Ho Yay around.
  • Go back and watch the episode where John Cena was drafted to Raw and introduced to the audience on Chris Jericho's "The Highlight Reel." Notice that when Cena's theme music is heard, Jericho's face lights up almost immediately and a huge grin spreads over it. He even opens his mouth - silently, but as if he's about to scream like a schoolgirl.
  • In a Randy Orton vs. Evan Bourne match, Orton grasps Bourne by the hair, and maybe it's just the camera angle, but for a moment it looks like the start of a gay porno.
  • On NXT, "power couple" Maxine and Derrick Bateman were involved in a love triangle with Johnny Curtis — except that it came across like the two guys were more interested in each other than they were in Maxine! The tension and the eye-fucking, wowza!
  • When Kane and Sean "X-Pac" Waltman teamed up in 1999, Kane was a masked, silent, and nigh-unstoppable behemoth with no emotions or motivations other than destroying his brother The Undertaker and anyone unfortunate enough to get in his way. His partnership with X-Pac revealed his more protective side, and their subsequent falling-out was a storm of Ho Yay. Highlights include:
    • 1/25/1999, Shane McMahon is humiliating Kane and making him beg for forgiveness. X-Pac runs out to defend Kane and tells Shane to "shut the hell up". Kane proceeds to chokeslam X-Pac, but they form a tag team nonetheless.
    • 3/5/1999, Kane rescues X-Pac from Road Dogg and Billy Gunn without having to throw a punch. He then tenderly picks up X-Pac and carries him from the ring.
    • 08/22/1999, The Undertaker chokeslams X-Pac then summons Kane to follow him. Kane runs back to check on X-Pac, but catches the Titantron replaying the chokeslam. Enraged, Kane chokeslams his brother in revenge, then carries X-Pac to safety. X-Pac recovers, and teary-eyed, pulls Kane into a Man Hug.
    • 9/9/1999, X-Pac's speech to Kane comes across as more of a relationship ultimatum than anything else. Words cannot describe the sight of Kane clinging to the rope, staring longingly after X-Pac as he regretfully walks backstage.
    • 10/11/1999, Kane rescues X-Pac yet again, only for X-Pac to get mad at his Damsel in Distress status.
    • 11/14/1999, neatly summarizes X-Pac and Kane's relationship leading to their falling out. X-Pac and Kane begin acting like feuding exes who never got any closure.
    • /11/2000, after X-Pac has turned on Kane, he then makes a suspiciously bitter speech about Kane's new girlfriend, Tori, calling her a "slut". He proceeded to attack and torment Tori the entire time she was with Kane.
  • Naturally, being best friends for 27 years would have this effect on Edge and Christian. Most notably when Edge had turned heel and Christian came off more like a jilted lover than an ex-tag partner.
  • NXT is loaded with Lesbian subtext. Paige and Emma, Sasha Banks and Charlotte, Bayley and... everyone really. Even after leaving NXT, Sasha and Bayley still fall under this category. Sasha in particular likes instigating it.
    • Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy practically make out every time they win a match.
    • Some fans have noted that the Baron Corbin/Bull Dempsey feud comes off very much like they had a bad breakup and both are very, very bitter about it.
    • Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks especially on twitter. They even said they should go to couples counseling together.
  • Chad Gable and Jason Jordan started as a team when Chad was stalking Jason as he worked out, then gave him an embroidered towel with Chad's name on it. Then Jason finally broke down and agreed to be his partner, but still acted embarrassed to be around Chad, who's creepily enthusiastic about the whole thing and kept trying to get Jason to "say [his] name". Jason is now much cooler with the whole deal after they started winning a bunch of matches, and has Chad call him Jay-Jay. They are the most emotional tag-team in NXT, and they wrestled against Rhyno "that was exciting, let's do it again some time" and Corbin, and they're in the proximity of Wesley "I wear pigtails and leapfrog my partner" Blake and Buddy "we carry around an attractive woman I IRL date and I still feel uncomfortable flirting with her" Murphy. NXT, with it's emphasis on personal feuds that (due to the traditionally limited promo ability of their top talent) have heavy emphasis on the talent breathing and staring at each other, limited male/female romantic interaction and heavy reliance on relationships between the same-gendered characters (as opposed to the main-roster's flagrant disregard of continuity) leads to such moments as Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn acting like a bitter breakup. Plus...Finn Balor could make anybody gay.
    • Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have always had Ho Yay between them, stemming from their tag team days back in the indies, when they were Kevin Steen and El Generico. It then turns into Foe Yay when Steen/Owens inevitably betrays Generico/Zayn. After that, it almost feels as if their existences revolve each other, that they hate each other so much that they'll drop everything just to fight one another. Steen even point-blank stated during the build up to Final Battle 2012 that he and Generico are destined to do this forever, and it shows when they transitioned to Owens and Zayn.
  • The Shield was full of this, without a doubt.
    • Even after Seth Rollins' betrayal, Dean Ambrose is still going after him. While it's out of anger at Seth, some can't help but see the Foe Yay in this. Their interactions prior to the breakup and Dean acting like a Man Scorned, even outright admitting he loved Seth (albeit as a brother), certainly does not help.
    • The closeness of Ambrose and Reigns is pretty damn Ho Yay-riffic. Even after the Shield dissolved, the two still hang out together.
  • Seth Rollins and Triple H, what with Seth literally begging Triple H to trust him and whatnot.
  • Since turning on Fandango, Summer Rae and Layla's interactions have just been loaded with Les Yay. Hell, one of the first things they did after turning on him was dancing together.
  • Paige and AJ Lee. Since cementing her heel turn, Paige has been acting like AJ's psychotic ex-girlfriend, saying that she still loves AJ and making comments like, "We're meant to be together! ...In that ring!" Even before then, when Paige was pretending to be her friend, AJ once finished a match only to approach Paige at the commentary table and compliment how she looked (and Paige complimented her back). Their mutual mistrust veiled behind nice smiles could easily be read as UST.
    • Holy fuck, their match at SummerSlam. Paige decided to get up close and personal with AJ... while she was unconscious. (Thankfully, it didn't go any further than a kiss on the cheek.)
  • In 2008, Michelle McCool and Cherry. Michelle was very protective of her, and they briefly danced together at one point.
  • During their feud, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt actually had quite a bit of this going on. The best example is seen in their match at TLC 2014 - After jumping off a ladder to drive Wyatt into the Spanish Announcers' Table and have them both laying on the ground, Ambrose actually kisses Bray's forehead... and then Bray headbutts him, leading to Ambrose punching him a bunch of times.
    • One could make the case that Wyatt has a shade of this, considering his finisher has a Kiss of Death (on the forehead, but still) as a part of it.
  • Tyson Kidd and Cesaro have a lot of the typical Bromance elements pretty common in a typical tag team, but it has the added layer of Tyson being a bit of a jerk to Natalya (or, at the very least, a bit thick-headed and oblivious). Meaning that Tyson actually seems to prefer to guy around with Cesaro than spending time with his own wife.
    • In one segment, Kidd and Natalya were supposed to be on a double date with Naomi and Jimmy Uso. Kidd showed up late bringing Cesaro with him.
  • Speaking of Cesaro, while his initial team-up with Sheamus saw the two constantly at each other's throats, beginning in 2017 the two have warmed up to each other, and are now so inseparable that they have their own joint titantron and synchronized entrance. The two are extremely touchy-feely with each other, and in one goofy 2018 promo, Cesaro accidentally admitted that they sleep together. The two even named their RAW tag-team championship belts "Peaches" and "Larry". Basically, they seem more like an old married couple than just tag partners nowadays.
  • Though they haven't been in the spotlight very much since Nikki was benched, Brie Bella and Alicia Fox have been almost inseparable and very touchy-feely with all the hugging and hand-holding.
  • Breezango/Fashion Police are basically a tag-team of stripper cops, who do elaborate dress up situations where one of their members, Tyler Breeze, wears a dress and plays the female role.
  • Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, natch. They do everything from hold hands on their way to the ring to at one point wearing "I Love Billie/Peyton" shirts.
  • Moustache Mountain - Trent Seven and Tyler Bate - are pretty cuddly with each other to begin with. There's gifs of them kissing and fixing each others' facial hair. But this was all topped by what happened after Tyler was brutally beaten up by WALTER on NXT UK - Trent carried him backstage, bridal-style, all while fussing over him and anxiously telling people to give him some space.
    • Not to mention the jokes about Trent and Tyler living in a log cabin together.
      • All three members of British Strong Style (Trent, Tyler and Pete Dunne) got very cuddly and touchy-feely after Tyler lost to WALTER at Takeover: Cardiff.
  • Speaking of NXT UK, how about Toni Storm and Kay Lee Ray? Granted, it's more Foe Yay than anything else, but the We Used to Be Friends angle comes off less as Kay Lee being an old friend and more like her being a bitter, jealous ex who's still angry about Toni leaving her.
  • The Broserweights (Matt Riddle and the previously mentioned Pete Dunne) in NXT, but mainly from Matt's side. He's called Pete 'beautiful man' (after apparently not realizing that Pete calling him a 'smartarse' was sarcasm), said "God, I love looking at you" during a backstage interview, and, via Twitter, told him he wanted to be "more than bros". Pete's reaction to all of this was largely bafflement, although not outright anger.
  • Nigel Mcguinness' commentary in NXT UK can sometimes spill into this. He seems especially fond of the pretty boy tag team Pretty Deadly, whose gimmick is similar to Tyler Breeze (vain male models), comparing them favourably to Orlando Bloom characters.

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