The Bella Twins Discuss Their Position in The WWE Women’s Evolution
The Bella Twins had a whirlwind of a career in WWE. On this week’s episode of Wrestling With Freddie, both Nikki and Brie sat down to chat about their beginnings in FCW, helping spark the #GiveDivasAChance movement, and more.
When the Bellas were wrestling in FCW, WWE didn’t seem to have much for them should they be called to the main roster. However, Freddie Prinze Jr. was one catalyst that helped bolster them to new heights, but it was on their own merit, too.
Brie explained this, stating, “We do give you [Freddie] a lot of credit because we were down in FCW for so long and they were like, ‘we just don’t know what to do with twins.’ We’re like, ‘seems like it writes itself.’ It was your ideas that you kept pushing that I think it made people in the company see there was something special. The greatest thing was there was no social media and FCW didn’t have television, so we nobody knew Nicole and I. It wasn’t Nikki so much as it was me. They kept saying they had no idea, I had a boyfriend at the time who was like, ‘you gave up everything for wrestling, at what point do you start to give back to the people who were there for you? You never see your family, I’m here alone.’ I was like, ‘that’s a good point.’ I was the one who pushed it. ‘Let us know. You told us at Diva Search you weren’t looking for two. We begged to tryout again. We drove here, we’re getting paid peanuts, if you have no idea what do with twins, we can go somewhere else.”
Once the twins began appearing on WWE television in 2008, they had signed a five-year contract. For the second time in their careers, they leveraged themselves as a way to get more storylines and longer matches for the women in the locker room. As their contracts expired, they walked without a second thought.
Nikki noted this by saying, “We needed to find a way to be treated like the men and treated equally. That’s what we wanted for the women. We wanted to empower the women. We were about everyone. ‘Who are we getting over today? What’s the story?’ We never worried about getting our shit in. We just wanted everything to be good and for people to be happy. The locker room was becoming so miserable because girls were working so hard on live events and getting to Raw or SmackDown and being so disappointed. They were losing their will and their hope. We were like, ‘there needs to be a massive change here, this is not good.'”
So, as it goes, the Total Divas reality show was pitched and The Bellas returned. The show would of course go on to have major success, running for nine seasons and producing the Total Bellas spin-off. Brie recalls using the series to kick-start the #GiveDivasAChance movement. And it actually did; Vince McMahon began to see the rise in ticket sales as people were coming to see the women.
“Vince is about putting asses in seats. He cares about money. The one thing Total Divas did was it showed Vince that people were coming to the shows to see women. It was more than just men. It started being young girls and women buying tickets just to see the Total Divas.”
The Bella Twins had a career that spanned over a decade. In that time, they both held the Divas title, Nikki becoming the longest reigning Divas champion. They returned in 2018 for the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble and they participated in the first and only all women’s pay-per-view that same year, WWE Evolution. In March, they entered the WWE Hall of Fame in the 2020 class.
h/t: Fightful for the transcription.
You can follow Haley Miller on Twitter @Haieyannee.
If you enjoy Bodyslam’s content, you can help donate to the site here. You can also visit our PWTees store and buy Bodyslam official merchandise here.
Follow us on Twitter: @Bodyslam.net.
Like us on Facebook here.