21 Wholesome WWE Pictures Proving Dreams Come True!

1 – Mercedes Moné (AKA Sasha Banks) Is A Kane-anite

A young Mercedes Moné (AKA Sasha Banks) meets Kane.
Photo Credit: WWE.

The artist formerly known as Sasha Banks was born Mercedes Varnado, and she can be seen here dwarfed by the Mayor Of Knoxville, Kane.

Judging from Kane’s t-shirt, this photo was taken around 2005, three years before Varnado began her in-ring training and around five years before making her way around the indie circuits as Mercedes KV.

No doubt the flame of her passion for the business was wafted by this meeting with the Big Red Machine, who took time out of his busy schedule of burning and burying people alive for this photo.

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2 – A Young AJ Lee Meets Her Favorite Wrestler, Lita

A young AJ Lee meets her favorite wrestler Lita.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Here is young AJ Lee, wearing a Lita shirt, having a breakdown meeting her idol at a 2001 fan event.

Of course, just under a decade later, Lee would make her WWE debut, and the two would become peers.

3 – AJ Lee and Lita Meet as Wrestlers

Lita and AJ Lee talk backstage in WWE.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Here is a photo taken backstage with a far more composed AJ Lee taking advice from her mentor, Lita, while sitting on some steps.

Of course, things would go from totally adorable to awkward when AJ’s husband, CM Punk, reportedly broke up with Lita to pursue a relationship with Lee, but let’s move along and keep things positive, shall we?

4 – CM Punk Meets Steve Austin

18-year-old CM Punk meets Steve Austin.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Speaking of CM Punk, it seems Captain Straight Edge is constantly in the wrestling news.

Since his return to the ring, he’s become a grizzled and grumpy veteran who wants nothing more than to eat a muffin and air his grievances, cementing his place as the Frank Costanza of pro wrestling.

It wasn’t always that way, though. Once upon a time, Punk was a fresh-faced teenager standing in line for hours waiting for a photo op with his hero, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

5 – CM Punk and Steve Austin Meet Again

A young CM Punk meets Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Already, CM Punk had one thing in common with Stone Cold: an unwillingness to smile for the camera.

Punk made a name for himself, became one of the biggest stars in the industry, and maybe most important of all, earned the respect of his idol, as Steve Austin revealed in an interview with Forbes.

6 – Steve Austin on His Friend, CM Punk

CM Punk and Stone Cold Steve Austin shake hands as Jim Ross looks on.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Great promo guy, great worker, he’s got his own thing going, and we’re just friends,” Steve Austin shared in his interview with Forbes. “I remember there’s a picture of myself and him from Chicago, my favorite town to work in, my favorite building. And I guess he had come down to where we were all hanging out.”

Austin continued, “Maybe he looked up to me back in the day, but I don’t know if I so much mentored him because I think he paid his own dues. He learned it the way he did and got over on his own merits.

“The fact that maybe I could have been somewhat of an influence would be flattering if that were the case. But he’s made his own career.”

7 – Bayley’s Heroes

Bailey as a young wrestling fan.
Photo Credit: WWE.

More awkward childhood photos, ahoy! This picture shows a young Bayley, real name Pamela Rose Martinez, chilling in her bedroom.

With signed photos of Bret Hart and various other bits of WWE merchandise and posters behind her, it’s easy to see how much professional wrestling meant to her growing up.

8 – Wrestling Fan Bayley Meets John Cena

Wrestling fan Bayley meets John Cena at a wrestling convention.
Photo Credit: WWE.

As Bayley got older, she spent much time at conventions meeting WWE stars such as John Cena.

9 – Bayley Meets Edge and Victoria at a Wrestling Convention

Bayley meets Edge and Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon) at a wrestling convention.
Photo Credit: @itsBayleyWWE.

Bayley would even go on to meet wrestlers Edge and Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon) at wrestling conventions.

10 – Bayley and John Cena: Once a Fan, Now Friends

Sasha Banks (AKA Mercedes Moné), John Cena, and Bayley.
Photo Credit: WWE.

So you can’t help but feel good when she now poses for photos with co-worker John Cena (and fellow fan girl Sasha Banks/Mercedes Moné).

11 – Bayley: Winning at Life and Proving Dreams Do Come True

Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon), Bayley, and Edge backstage at the WWE Royal Rumble in 2021.
Photo Credit: @itsBayleyWWE.

And here is Bayley reunited with Edge and Victoria almost two decades later at the WWE Royal Rumble in 2021.

As Bayley herself said in the original caption when she shared this photo on Twitter, “I’m the REAL (Rumble) winner. Winner of my dreams and aspirations and goals and decisions and work and LIFE.”

12 – A Childhood Dream for John Cena

Young John Cena envisioned wrestling greatness from a young age.
Photo Credit: WWE.

The champ is here! And the champ has always been there, at least in John Cena’s mind, as this picture of him as a boy holding a homemade title can attest.

Cena gave some details behind the snapshot during an interview with Jimmy Fallon during the run-up to WrestleMania 33.

“I remember whom I beat; it was my little brother at our version of WrestleMania. Back then, as a child, I could see myself being in the ring at WrestleMania. And whenever I go into the ring, I always see myself as that happy. As happy as that kid was right there.”

Cena, of course, would go on to win real-world championships, a co-record holding 16 times.

13 – JeriKO: Young Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho Fan

Young WWE and Chris Jericho fan, Kevin Owens.
Photo Credit: WWE.

One of the big matches at WWE WrestleMania 33 saw Kevin Owens take on Chris Jericho.

Kevin Owens was a big Y2J fan and even adorned his shirt and famous pose when he was younger.

This picture would show up during the feud on an episode of Raw, with Jericho exposing the REAL Kevin Owens.

“This is not a trick or a doctored photo; this is the real Kevin Owens in his parent’s basement at sixteen years old,” Jericho said. He doesn’t look like a prizefighter to me; he looks like a fan of Jericho. HE WAS MARKING OUT, MAAAAAAN!”

14 – Kevin Owens: From a Fan of Chris Jericho to Becoming Friends

Jeri-KO: Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.
Photo Credit: WWE.

If you were to go back in time and tell young Kevin Owens that he would be facing Chris Jericho at WrestleMania after a lengthy program consisting of a tag run as Jeri-KO and one of the most popular segments in Raw history, he would probably give you a stunner for your nonsense!

15 – Young Kofi Kingston Meets Ricky Morton

16-year-old Kofi Kingston meets Ricky Morton of the Rock 'n' Roll Express at WrestleMania 14 in 1998.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah was born in Ghana but moved to Boston at a young age.

In 1998, when WrestleMania 14 rolled into town, a sixteen-year-old Kofi Kingston jumped at the chance to meet tag legend Ricky Morton, who was teaming with co-Rock ‘n’ Roll Express member Robert Gibson in the Tag Team Battle Royale.

16 – Kofi Kingston Reunites with Ricky Morton 20 Years later

Kofi Kingston and Ricky Morton backstage at WrestleMania 33.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Almost twenty years later, at WrestleMania 33, Kofi Kingston reunited with Ricky Morton.

Kingston was now a tag team legend, being part of the longest-reigning WWE Tag Team champions with New Day, and Morton had ascended to the upper echelons of wrestling immortality by being freshly inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.

17 – Roman Reigns and Uncle Hulk Hogan

Sika, his son, a young Roman Reigns, and Hulk Hogan backstage.
Photo Credit: WWE.

For all intents and purposes, Roman Reigns is the top guy in the WWE today, with an astounding lengthy run as Universal Champion.

But before, he was a top guy; he was a small guy.

Being part of the legendary Anoa’i family, Roman met all kinds of legends, including one of the top guys of them all, Hulk Hogan.

18 – Hulk Hogan on Meeting Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns and Hulk Hogan.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Hulk Hogan Hogan recalls meeting the young tribal chief with Forbes.

“Well, I got a soft spot in my heart for Roman. I was real good friends with his dad, Sika, one of the Wild Samoans, and of course, his partner Afa.

We had a barbecue in San Francisco after the Cow Palace, and the Samoans invited me over to their house. Little did I know there were going to be 40 or 50 of them there. The whole family was there.

“The next thing I knew, we started drinking wine and eating barbecue. I woke up at five o’clock in the morning, sleeping in the front yard with a bunch of his Samoan brothers.

“During that time, they took a picture of me holding Roman Reigns, and he was like two or three years old. So there’s been a picture that’s circulated around of me holding Roman.

“His dad, Sika, was standing next to me. So, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Roman, but I think he’s one of the only main event guys that’s keeping the art form alive. He can go out there and wing it. He doesn’t need a writer to tell him what to say.”

You can learn more about Hogan’s troubled beginnings with the Wild Samoans here!

19 – Shawn Michaels, Being The Man Before Beating The Man

A young HBK Shawn Michaels poses in a mirror, holding a magazine with Ric Flair on the cover.
Photo Credit: WWE.

When arguing who is the greatest of all time, a strong case can be made for both Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels.

However, Shawn might not have been as excellent as he was if it wasn’t for the inspiration of the Nature Boy, Ric Flair.

Here is a young Michael Hickenbottom dressed in a suit, with a bandage on his head, emulating his hero and the then NWA World Champion’s pose on the cover of Pro Wrestling Illustrated.

Judging from the issue date of April 1984, this would put Shawn at around eighteen, six months before debuting in the NWA mid-western territory himself.

20 – Shawn Michaels on Ending His Hero Ric Flair’s WWE In-Ring Career

Shawn Michaels with Ric Flair.
Photo Credit: WWE.

It is quite poetically fitting that Ric Flair, who had influenced young Shawn Michaels, chose the Heartbreak Kid to end his WWE in-ring career twenty-four years later.

So that famous “I’m sorry, I love you” couldn’t be any more real, just ask Naitch himself, as he told Talk Sport.

“That wasn’t rehearsed; that wasn’t even discussed. That was just raw, pure emotion. He knew that I didn’t want to leave. I think Vince knew that too, but it was time.”

21 – Matt Cardona (AKA Zack Ryder) Meets Razor Ramon

Matt Cardona (AKA Zack Ryder) meets Razor Ramon Scott Hall, and then later in life backstage in WWE.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Matt Cardona has been a wrestling fan his entire life. He was in the crowd when Razor Ramon defeated Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X for the Intercontinental Title in a classic WWF ladder match.

So imagine how mind-blowing it must have been for him when he met Ramon. Not only that, but the bad guy let him hold HIS IC championship.

Fast forward to WrestleMania 32, and Cardona, then fighting under the name Zack Ryder, wins his Intercontinental title in a ladder match.

According to Cardona, he knew exactly what he had to do the second the match was over and ran backstage to find Scott Hall and let him hold his title.

As these 21 heartwarming WWE photos proved, dreams can come true!

Owen Hart’s Death: What Really Happened, From Those There

RIP Owen Hart (1965-1999).

VINCE McMAHON: “Earlier that day, I was shocked and surprised by what Owen said.”

On May 23rd, 1999, the wrestling world mourned the loss of Owen Hart. People behind the scenes on this unthinkable day reflect on the tragedy, answering the all-important questions.

Learn more in Owen Hart’s Death: What Really Happened, From Those There

Mr Perfect Curt Hennig – A Great Life with an Unfortunate End

On camera, Curt Hennig was arrogant, and he backed up his Mr. Perfect persona brilliantly. However, outside of the ring, it was a different story. Here is the story of an extraordinary life with an unfortunate end.

On camera, Curt Hennig was arrogant, and he backed up his Mr. Perfect persona brilliantly. However, outside of the ring, it was a different story.

Learn the story of an extraordinary life with an unfortunate end.

Katie Vick – Behind WWE’s Most Shameful TV Segment

The Legend of Katie Vick, featuring Kane and Triple H.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Bruce Prichard: "Vince McMahon was like, ‘I love it! That’s perfect!’ I lost a couple of crew members because of this shoot that were highly offended at the subject matter."

In 2002, Katie Vick was introduced to the WWE audience. Many consider what followed one of the most tasteless segments in television history!

Learn more: Katie Vick: Behind WWE’s Most Shameful Storyline

The Andre the Giant Fight That Turned REAL in Japan!

When Andre the Giant and Akira Maeda met in the ring in May of '86, things did not go to plan!
When Andre the Giant and Akira Maeda met in the ring in May of ’86, things did not go to plan!

Andre the Giant showed up at the Japanese venue more inebriated than usual in May ’86. He was to face Akira Maeda, a wrestler building a reputation as someone hard to do business with. Together, there was a possibility for volatility, and much like a forest fire, it only took a spark!

Read: Andre the Giant and Akira Maeda Fight That Turned REAL in Japan

The Kick That Ruined Bret Hart

Bret Hart and Goldberg - The Kick That Ruined Bret's Career
Photo Credit: WWE.

BRET HART: "One of the last things I said to Goldberg before I walked out to the ring was, ‘Don’t hurt me. I wish he heard me a little better."
GOLDBERG: "This will forever go down in history as the biggest mistake that I have ever made in my entire life."

What was supposed to be a moment for the two former WCW tag team champions to shine turned into a match with dire consequences.

Read Bret Hart and Goldberg – The Kick That Ruined Bret’s Career

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Tim Buckler, a senior writer here at Pro Wrestling Stories, has been an author for over a decade, penning articles for sites such as WhatCulture, Screen Rant, Inside The Ropes, and many more, but his heart will always belong to Pro Wrestling Stories. He also presents a pop culture radio show entitled "The Little Telly Upstairs," which airs every Thursday 8-10 pm on Radio Woking, featuring news, views, and music from film, television, comic books, video games and, of course, Pro Wrestling. Follow him @blockbusterman on Twitter for more of his ramblings!