The Untold Truth Of Nikki Bella

Nikki Bella is a powerhouse, going from being "the hot chick," "the other twin" opposite tag team partner and fellow wrestler Brie Bella and, worst of all, "the fat one," to holding the Divas championship longer than any other woman in history.


Her high-profile relationship with the John Cena may be the #1 talking point for journos sitting down with Bella, but there's so much more to her than her high-status man candy. Aside from being a vocal supporter of women both in and outside of her field, she's a businesswoman, has her very own reality show with her sister, and she managed to come back from a career-ending injury to prove her biggest career high was no fluke.

She may not give everything away like some of her contemporaries, but Fearless Nikki has more layers to her than her sunny, sexy disposition would suggest. This is her untold truth.

She's the longest reigning Divas champ

It's tough enough for female wrestlers to prove their worth within the male-dominated confines of the WWE (run by the not-exactly-female-friendly Vince McMahon, proponent of the infamous bra-and-panties matches that plagued the nineties and early aughties). Someone who looks like Nikki Bella, with her exotic, curvy beauty, has to work even harder to get over with fans, both male and female.


Following almost a decade of hard work, Bella shocked the world by becoming the Divas Champion, the highest honor in the company for a female wrestler (it's since been changed to the less-offensive Women's Championship). Not only did she nab the title, more than proving that she deserved to be the top woman, but Bella also managed to hold it for a whopping 296 days, making her the longest-running Divas champ in history. 

Not bad for a chick from Scottsdale written off by the majority of the WWE Universe as nothing more than a pretty face. 

She bounced back from a devastating injury

Although she was at the top of her game as the longest-reigning Divas Champion, everything came tumbling down for Bella when, in July 2015, she began experiencing excruciating neck pain. An MRI led to the revelation that she had a herniated disk, complicated by the fact that she had a disk behind her vertebrae. The injury came as a result of her signature move, the Rack Attack, which, as Bella explained to E! News, she unfortunately had to retire as a result.


The long road to recovery was charted on both Total Divas and the Bella-centric spin-off show Total Bellas. Fans watched Bella struggling with a neck brace, frequently getting bad news from various doctors, and breaking down as she tried to get her body back in shape for her big return. The moment came in August 2016 at Summerslam, when Bella was a surprise entrant in a tag match, pulling off the winning move for her team in the process. Fearless Nikki was back once again and fans worldwide were ecstatic. 

She's a bonafide businesswoman

Kicking butt in the WWE, as well as appearing on two hit reality shows, keeps Bella pretty busy, but she somehow finds time to run a couple businesses on the side, too. Forbes sat down with The Bella Twins to discuss their lingerie brand, Birdiebee, as well as wine line Belle Radici. During the interview, Nikki noted that she started working at just 15, which she credits for her irrepressible work ethic these days.


The two sisters were inspired to start their side gigs following Nikki's injury, which kept her out of the ring for the best part of a year, as well as the birth of Brie's baby, Birdie. They wanted to be an inspiration for other women looking to start their own businesses. 

The lingerie line was all about giving back to those less fortunate, while Belle Radici was close to their hearts in an entirely different way. "We were always in Napa. We love wine. So winemakers came to us. They said, 'You're always here. You're always drinking wine on Total Bellas. Why not make your own wine?'" Nikki told Forbes.

She got engaged on the grandest stage of them all

Wrestling is all about storytelling, and one particular plot-point fans couldn't get enough of was poor Nikki's endless waiting for then-boyfriend John Cena to finally pop the question. It was a story-line on Total Bellas as well as on WWE TV, with Bella and Cena facing off against smug marrieds Maryse and The Miz, who even dressed up as the couple in a hilarious skit poking fun at them.


Of course, everybody shut up once Wrestlemania rolled around and, on the grandest stage of them all, in front of the entire WWE Universe, Cena got down on one knee and asked a visibly shocked Bella to marry him. The moment was extra sweet because the anti-marriage Cena (who previously had a messy divorce) had sworn blind he would never get married again. Bella shared on Instagram that it meant even more that it happened in the ring, "a place we call home."

She's completely self-made

The Bella Twins weren't even chosen by WWE the first time around, admitting to Forbes that they didn't make the cut after competing in the 2006 Divas Search, a competition to find the next great female wrestler. Refusing to give up without a fight, they badgered the producers to give them another shot, eventually securing a developmental contract and landing in the training facility. The rest is wrestling history.


It wasn't an easy road for them from the beginning, either. After playing soccer competitively, the twins moved to L.A. after college, working various day jobs as they hustled to make their dreams come true. "I always knew that my bills get paid first and dreams come next. I would always make sure that I made my shifts, bills were paid, saving money, and then I'd start to do what I loved," Nikki told Forbes. Wrestling combined their two loves: sport and entertainment. Bella explained that she knew she'd made it when she was being paid to do what she loved. 

She's all about female empowerment

One of the tenets of Bella's brand as a wrestler is about empowering women and young girls to be the best possible version of themselves. Her character is known as Fearless Nikki, and she was an integral part of the so-called Divas Revolution, which put pressure on those in charge to give female wrestlers a chance to show what they could do, rather than just using them as eye candy in 5-minute matches that meant nothing.


Back in 2015, Bella spoke at the Helen Gordon Davis Center for Women, in Tampa, FL, about the pressures of working in a male-dominated industry. As Inquisitr noted at the time, Bella's speech came in the wake of misogynist comments from Hall of Famer Greg Valentine, who claimed women shouldn't even be in the ring in the first place. Fearless Nikki further lived up to her moniker by conquering a long-held fear of public speaking in the process, as she discussed on Total Bellas

She bares her soul on reality TV

As female wrestlers go, Nikki Bella isn't exactly the biggest over-sharer or fame-chaser (that honor arguably goes to disgraced former WWE Diva, Eva Marie). However, fans are given a fascinating glimpse into her life outside the ring on hit E! reality show, Total Divas, as well as its spin-off Total Bellas, which focuses on The Bella Twins, their partners, their business ventures, etc.


On camera, Bella has opened up about her love, life, fears, and loads more. Her most soul-baring moment came in the wake of her shocking split from fiance John Cena, covered in excruciating detail on the show — among other things, Bella wanted kids and Cena didn't. Coverage of their breakup offered a look at her more vulnerable side. In June 2018, the couple reconciled after Cena revealed on Today that he would have a family with Bella.

Over on YouTube, The Bella Twins share a goofier side to their daily lives, often uploading vids on a whim. Just in case anyone was worried they were getting a bit too serious.

She's fueled by the haters

For years, Nikki was known as "the fat twin" opposite super-slim sister Brie. Yes, they have two completely different body types in spite of being twins, and no, she certainly isn't "fat" by any definition (not that there's anything wrong with being fat, but that's a whole other discussion), but there's a larger issue here: no one deserves judgment or shaming for how they look. To make matters worse, certain members of the WWE Universe see nothing wrong with yelling at female wrestlers about exactly what they'd like to do to them... while they're trying to perform.


In an interview with Digital Spy, Bella admitted that she finds sexist chants incredibly derogatory, inappropriate, and disappointing — particularly given how many small children are present at the live shows. Although Bella wishes fans could see how hard she and the other female wrestlers work to give them a good show, she uses it as motivation to keep pushing forward. "Hopefully as time goes on we can keep winning our crowds into the direction we want, they can start respecting us, and that's what I truly hope and pray for," she said.

She approaches fitness simply

She opened up on Total Divas to colleague Nia Jax about how fans used to pick on her, explaining, "everyone always called me the fat twin and I got body shamed like no other... I'll never forget when all the fans used to call us the Bella chins," as reported by E! News.


After sister Brie encouraged her to be body-positive for the sake of her niece, Birdie, Nikki began to see herself in a whole different light. As for how she stays in shape without going too crazy, Bella explained to BT that it's all about keeping things simple: watching what she eats and varying her workouts as much as possible. 

After her neck injury, she turned to barre instead of weights, as well as hot yoga. For her, it's all about balance. "It does get a lot easier watching what you eat, and it's especially important if you don't have a lot of time to workout. A lot of people can't realistically work out more than three times a week," she explained. 

She relishes getting out of her comfort zone

Fearless Nikki consistently proves herself worthy of her moniker in the ring, but outside of it, Bella is a huge proponent of stepping out of your comfort zone and tackling life head-on. She told BT that hearing a million "No"s in relation to Birdiebee never stopped her pushing forward with the business, encouraging fans to go after what they want and not stopping until they achieve their goals.


Bella also competed on reality competition show Dancing with the Stars and would even like to get into acting some day. "I don't think I'd be a breakout movie star but I would love to get that experience. ... I do find myself thinking wow this would be really fun. I would absolutely love to play a villain type role in a superhero movie — why not?" she enthused.

Additionally, rather than seeing her neck injury as a setback, Bella utilized it to open her eyes to even more areas she could focus on, even finding more instances to challenge herself.