Romance is for girls, wrestling is for boys, right? Ehh, no. When a bunch of sweaty, buff men in tiny underwear roll around in a ring together, it can’t help but attract the attention of a few ladies. As a regular viewer of WWE’s RAW and Smackdown, and a romance reader, I can definitely say that the men in the ring can sometimes bear a striking resemblance to the models on romance novel covers. So today I’ve cast wrestlers from the WWE’s current roster as romance heroes from various sub-genres:
Romantic Suspense - John Cena
There’s no question that John Cena is the WWE’s All-American golden boy. He represents the clean-cut, wholesome face of the organization (clearly, this is why he’s such a big hit with kids). Cena’s strong jaw, buzz cut and bulky stature reminds us of a military romantic suspense hero who could protect any lady in distress. Not to mention Cena's roles in The Marine and 12 Rounds.
Alternate wrestler: The Miz. He might be kind of annoying, but he definitely has that boy-next-door look.
Historical Romance - Fandango
The WWE’s newest addition to its roster, Fandango, was clearly stolen from the cover of a classic bodice ripper. Although he’s supposed to be a sexy ballroom dancer, Fandango is obviously a man of romance and I have a feeling his character was modeled after a certain infamous romance novel cover model. Although his gimmick is a bit goofy, his seductive look would make him an ideal historical romance hero. A Highlander, perhaps?
Alternate wrestlers: Dolph Ziggler, without the bad dye job, and Roman Reigns would both make excellent rakes.
Contemporary Romance - Randy Orton circa 2010/2011
Today, Randy Orton looks like too much of a badass to be considered a contemporary romance hero (although we could see him on the cover of a Julie Ann Walker novel). But in late 2010, Orton had the right amount of tattoos and the perfect close-cropped haircut for a contemporary hero that was just a little bit bad, but still a guy you could take home to mom. Plus, his brooding character just screams “daddy issues.”
Alternate Wrestler: Ryback (just kidding)
Series Romance - Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes’ mustache is epic and beautiful. There was once a time when Rhodes didn’t sport a caterpillar on his upper-lip, and I originally had Rhodes sans 'stache pegged as the perfect series hero. But let's face it, Cody Rhodes' mustache is amazing, and while series heroes usually appear clean-shaven, with a bit of stubble at most, I think Rhodes could be one of Harlequin's rare mustached cover men. Just give him a cowboy hat and he could easily double as a daddy rancher with surprise triplets. Or perhaps a Harlequin Intrigue sheriff.
Alternate Wrestler: Christian
Paranormal Romance - The Rock
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returned to RAW a few months ago to promote his new films and continue his dispute with John Cena, which was resolved at this year’s Wrestlemania (spoiler alert: Cena won). But when he’s not starring in mediocre G.I. Joe movies or talking in third person, we have a feeling The Rock would make an excellent paranormal romance hero. The tribal tattoos, the hulking muscles and his infamous raised eyebrow scream fallen angel with an attitude.
Alternate wrestler: The Undertaker, after lots and lots of Photoshopping
Erotic Romance - CM Punk with long hair
I’m not just saying this because I think CM Punk is the most attractive man on the WWE’s current roster (but seriously, he is the most attractive man on the WWE’s current roster). But if you take a look at him with long hair, doesn’t he look like he could be one of Lauren Dane’s sexy tattooed heroes? Exactly. Just leave Paul Heyman at home, Punk.
Alternate Wrestler: Wade Barrett
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