For years, Nikki Bella and her twin sister Brie were seen as little more than eye candy for channel surfers tuning into Raw or SmackDown. Determined to change the tune of her critics, Nikki remade herself as a bruising grappler who turned an overlooked title run into a march toward WWE history. On September 15, 2015, she became the longest reigning Divas Champion of all-time, surpassing AJ Lee’s previous record of 295 days — her reign extended to 301 days.
Nikki, who admits to being a “tomboy” with a feminine side, originally intended to play soccer professionally until a devastating leg injury in high school put an end to that dream. After graduating from Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2002, Nikki and Brie both moved to San Diego, California for college. They headed off to Los Angeles, California a year later, where they worked as waitresses at the celebrity-filled Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in hopes of being discovered.
After years of auditions, modeling and an appearance on the short-lived NBC reality show Meet My Folks, the twin duo competed in the 2006 WWE Diva Search and were offered contracts despite failing to make the cut. But they initially rejected the offer, unsure about relocating to the company’s developmental training facility in Tampa, Florida. But WWE came back calling back in 2007, and their mother was won over by representatives from the sports-entertainment organization. Nikki and Brie were thrilled at the idea of working side-by-side as entertainers and athletes.
Nikki and Brie eventually joined Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE’s then-developmental promotion in Tampa, Florida. Training for the competition they’d eventually dismantle, the twin duo made their way onto WWE’s main roster in August 2008 as members of the SmackDown brand. From day one, the femmes fatale turned heads whenever they set foot inside the squared circle.
Fans should know that Nikki is more than just a (really) pretty face. With a dash of “Twin Magic,” the Bellas became a force to be reckoned with in the Divas division, culminating with Brie capturing the Divas Championship for the first time (from Eve on the April 11, 2011 episode of Raw). Nikki followed with a title victory of her own, defeating Beth Phoenix on the April 6, 2012 episode of SmackDown. The devious duo made a lasting mark in WWE — even if it meant hurting anyone who got in their way — and after a brief hiatus from the squared circle, a return in March 2013 proved that Nikki and Brie still have plenty of “Twin Magic” left in their collective arsenal.
Since returning to WWE, Nikki and Brie have drawn success as reality television stars on the hit E! series Total Divas, while remaining vigilant in pursuit of the butterfly emblazoned belt. Many fans believe Nikki’s real-life relationship with John Cena is the reason for her lofty position. Her hard work, however, cannot be ignored. The San Diego, California native has shown tremendous improvement in the squared circle over the years.
Nikki has everything WWE executives look for in a Diva. Well-spoken and intelligent, she can be relied upon to strongly represent the sports-entertainment organization in media interviews and appearances. She also looks great and is more than willing to give fans what they want. Given the number of photos there are online of Nikki wearing next to nothing, it should come as no surprise that she has a tremendous following on Instagram.