Nikki Bella (and Brie Bella) spoke with Girlboss Radio about having to deal with how people responded to her once she began dating John Cena, how the Divas era was different from today's era, and calling off the wedding three weeks before.
Nikki noted that despite building up her own career in WWE, once she began dating John Cena, she was known simply as that.
"It started when my ex-fiance and I got engaged - even when we were together - here I accomplished so much in my career and I've been there for 12 years," Nikki said. "Everything turned into, 'Oh yeah, that's John Cena's girlfriend/fiance.' Even when I started to meet people or they would Google me, that's what they recognized me for or that was my 'accomplishment.' I don't know if it's being a strong woman or entrepreneur, but it would kind of frustrate me, because I'm more than that and I always was. The past year and a half was really tough on me."
Switching topics, Nikki said there was definitely a different mentality towards the women wrestlers during the 'Diva' era and respect for them has gone up in the last couple years thanks to the women's revolution.
"Brie and I have been there for almost 12 years and the old perception of us women wrestlers - they called us 'Divas' - they really wanted us to promote the sex appeal of it all," Nikki said. "So, I totally feel like it opened doors for men and other people to treat us that way. That's what has been so amazing about the women's revolution at WWE is we're finally demanding respect, showing the world we're equal to the men. I've noticed in the past few years of them recognizing, dropping the name 'Diva,' and now we're a 'Superstar' like the men. A lot of that has gone away, it rarely happens now."
About her wedding, Nikki noted that it was called off twice, and she ended up doing it three weeks before their wedding date that apparently had a one-hour E! special planned.
"Calling the wedding off three weeks before to the man of your dreams. We have called it off twice," Nikki said. "The first time, he didn't want kids and I thought I could sacrifice that and it was our engagement party, and I was just kind of out of it. Everyone noticed it, even the film crew noticed it, like 'There's something off with her.' ... He called it off the first time because he still didn't want kids and he's like 'You should go and find someone to have kids with.' We're very mature, we're best friends. So, we had called it off, he came back to me a few weeks later and he was like 'You know what, I don't want to lose you, I want kids.'
I just jumped back into it, not even thinking. And then as we got closer to the wedding I realized there were so many more issues that we needed to figure out. It was just getting to the point where I was breaking. I was like, 'I shouldn't feel like this going into my marriage, when I say those vows I want to mean them.' ... It was like three weeks out, we had all these people, wedding dress, maid of honor, dresses. Not to mention I had an E! wedding special, an hour special, like crew and everything. That's why when people say 'It's fake.' Don't you think about the other side of it, like ratings and the money that's [gone into it?]"
You can check out the full interview on iTunes by clicking here.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Girlboss Radio with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.