Nikki Bella Remembers Total Divas As The First Thing WWE 'Couldn't Control'

The show that launched Nikki Bella and her twin sister Brie into mainstream stardom might also have been what caused some WWE executives to sour on them backstage, the former wrestler said in a new interview.

Speaking with Renee Paquette on "The Sessions" podcast this week, Nikki Bella opened up about criticisms she has for how WWE has treated women on its roster. That includes how she believes the success that "Total Divas" earned her, Brie, and several other WWE women ultimately ruffled feathers within the promotion.

"As far as the boss, I felt like it was the first time he lost control of what he could make and could not make," Bella said, referring to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. "When Brie and I won Diva of the Year [in 2013], we got in trouble and I got yelled at. And 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.'"

Bella said she was shocked at the angry reaction to them winning the fan-voted award. "It wasn't what they wanted," she said. "They were the storytellers. They push who they want the crowd to be behind. Perception is reality; that is WWE to a tee. Even though the fans think they own it, they laughed in the back, like, 'We own you at the end of the day.' So, I truly believe 'Total Divas' was the first thing they couldn't control."

The Bella twins last appeared in WWE at the 2022 Royal Rumble event after three years away from the company. Earlier this year, Nikki also shared other issues she saw with WWE, like not giving women more airtime and recognition during its "Raw" 30th-anniversary special.