The crux of Nikki Bella's feud with Ronda Rousey centers around how Rousey views the Bella Twins as being divas instead of women's Superstars. Nikki and Brie still proud of the diva's era even though WWE has tried to distance itself from it in recent years.
As a former diva, Nikki believes she doesn't get enough credit for her role in starting the Women's Revolution and she discussed that on the In This Corner podcast with Brian Campbell.
"Definitely not," Nikki responded when asked if the Bellas get enough credit for starting the Women's Revolution. "I guess it's the point where I don't feel like I need the credit, but it's more or less been the disrespect where I have been the punching bag and I think that is hard because, as we know, especially WWE they are pros to "perception is reality." So, however they perceive someone people tend to believe that where that person is that person, and for some reason my sister and I have been turned into the punching bags, like, oh, put them with this person and let that person talk about The Bellas and it will elevate them, and that is who we have become. We have been that for a very long time, and it gets exhausting and I'm not going to lie it gets very frustrating because for some reason we have been the women that don't care about wrestling. But I have been here for 12 years; I have broken my neck and have come back. I absolutely love professional wrestling; I have a passion for that."
Nikki reminds everyone that she and Brie debuted as wrestlers and not as valets or non-wrestling personalities. The Bellas also came up with the idea of being assistants to the Celebrity Hosts that Raw used to have, but Nikki thinks their crossover ability with people outside of wrestling has hurt them at times with WWE.
"My sister and I, no one will ever give us any credit because we have become the 'no, use them for this because they have this outside success,' or they have that, but that's fine," said Nikki. "But it's just like the word "diva." I was in so many meetings where I talked about how that word is going to be made beautiful, strong and powerful, and it also gave the SmackDown women something to compete for because we weren't competing for anything. So, we were like, yes, let's make this so strong and powerful, which is what we made the Divas Championship become - something beautiful like that. A lot of little girls were wearing the Divas Championship, they loved it, and I think that is what is hard about the current era now: because Triple H and that group decided to use it as a bad word, it's like, wait, what do you mean?
"You taught us to make that word an amazing word and that is what we did. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it, and I was part of that. I saw the work that was put into that and it was beautiful. I saw the work that was put into that bridge when people wanted to see more of us, and that was beautiful, and then when it gets taken away from the diva's era that hurts me. If you think diva is a bad word then I am going to kick your a** to show you that it is not a bad word."
Nikki and Brie embraced the word "diva" and made it represent something meaningful in a male-dominated industry. But when WWE changed "divas" to "women's Superstars," the word almost seemed to become an insult. Nikki believes the women from the diva's era, including herself, should still be held in high regard.
"When you look at those champions: Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Melina, AJ Lee, Paige, Brie Bella, Eve Torres, they are strong and fierce women that cared and worked really hard, so I am here to remind people of that history. You want to praise the Attitude Era, and praise bra and bikini matches, but you want to discredit women that worked hard because there is a butterfly on a championship design? That is not okay with me, that is not empowering, so I think Evolution means a lot of things, and hopefully after Evolution we can stop talking about diva being a bad word. We get blamed for something but they tell us to be at certain places, I am here to stick up for those women, to remind people of how hard they have worked," stated Nikki.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit In This Corner with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: In This Corner
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.