Nikki Bella and her sister Brie helped usher in a whole new generation of WWE fans through the success of reality TV shows Total Divas and spinoff Total Bellas.
Meanwhile, the sisters also enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in the ring, with Nikki standing as the longest-reigning Divas Champion in history. However, despite their incredible popularity in some wrestling circles, both Nikki and Brie are heavily derided in others.
Speaking on a recent episode of The Bellas Podcast, Nikki claimed that he was the most hated person in professional wrestling.
The WWE Hall of Famer has now appeared on The Sessions with Renee Paquette to discuss her career and life in reality television. Reflecting on becoming a reality TV star, Bella said that she was born to do it.
“I think you’re either born with it or you’re not as far as being yourself and letting things happen in front of the camera. I think that’s one of the things Brie and I found our niche in like, okay, we’re not movie stars. We’re not this. We were born to be reality stars. We always would hear that when we were young.
Our friends would always say this. Even when we started wrestling and being on TV and how we are on our off days, they were like, ‘Shouldn’t you put makeup on if we want to take photos with you on the streets?’ Brie and I just never gave a sh*t. I think that’s what makes us good reality stars is we’re not always strict about our weight. We’re not always strict about what we eat. We like to go have fun. We don’t care at times how we look. I think that translates well on reality TV because we don’t hide anything.
We’re fully open books, the good, the bad, the ugly, and people really relate to that. I also feel like when you have some of these famous families like the Kardashians and a few of the other ones that live life so large, it was like, people were just craving having people to relate to.”
Paquette then suggeted that Nikki doesn’t get enough credit for her contribution to women’s wrestling. The star agreed and said that The Bellas shook up the world and nearly beat the Kardashians in the ratings.
“I remember one time Triple H saying perception is reality in this business and we could perceive people however we want. I think that’s what happened to Brie and I. At that time, they made people believe so much that Brie and I only cared about reality TV and we were only there because of our men because they were super cool and doing amazing things as well, like awesome.
I think when we were in the run, and I know AJ spoke about it in her book, and I think she has regretted a lot because that could have been a time where we could have empowered women even more and created more change. That was still a fight and that locker room was really difficult. A lot of women could speak about that.
I think that was the time when I saw so many women with their heads down that I was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna fight real hard for this.’ I didn’t have to come back with reality cameras. I already had them with me. But I chose to come back to make sure that we showcase women’s wrestling because I thought what women were doing was so badass and they weren’t being appreciated for it.
Honestly, Total Divas should have been praised even more, I felt, because what we were doing was we literally were at the point of almost beating the Kardashians in the ratings. We were shaking the world up and like, what a great time. We could have had the industry behind us, but instead they used it to turn it against us. That was really shocking to me because I was like, ‘But wait, we’re making great changes for Women’s Wrestling. Why are you hating on it?’
Nikki Bella Reflects On Issues With “The Boss”
Bella claimed that she and Brie were both yelled at for being successful.
“I think a few, like, as far as the boss, I felt like it was the first time he lost control of what he could make and not make because when Brie and I won Diva of the Year, we got in trouble, and I got yelled at. I remember we came back so happy and it was like, ‘Oh, because you brought in all these new viewers, and the women are now voting for you, and all these new women are here.’
Everyone around was on the floor like, ‘The Bella Twins are getting yelled at for being successful’, because it wasn’t what they wanted because they were the storytellers. They push who they want the crowd to be behind. Perception is reality. That is WWE to a T. Even though the fans think they own it, no, they laugh in the back. ‘No, we own you at the end of the day.’ So I truly believe Total Divas was the first thing they couldn’t control. They couldn’t control the success. They couldn’t control what the mainstream was.”
Nikki Bella hasn’t wrestled since coming out of retirement to compete in the 2022 women’s Royal Rumble match. The Bella Twins were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020.
H/t to WrestlingNews.Co