Nikki Bella is still Divas Champion, but she wouldn’t have held on to her title without some Twin Magic help from her sister Brie on more than one occasion.
Both Bellas are dominant in the WWE ring, and both are still leaders on Total Divas, which returns this month for its fourth season on E! in the UK and US.
Ahead of next week’s season premiere, we got in touch with Brie to talk about baby fever, the NXT girls and what she really thinks about Eva Marie.
At the end of season three it looked like you and Nikki might not re-sign with the company – what changed your minds?
“That’s what’s actually great about this season. You’ll get to see the reasons why Nikki and I do go back and forth on re-signing. I’m gonna be 32, I’m married to this amazing man and I have crazy baby fever.
“I so badly want to become a mother. The hard part in my career is I that can’t do both. With Nikki too, I think people sometimes don’t realise how much we’re on the road. There’s no time off, there’s no vacations and you miss your family.
“You start looking at all the wedding pictures and family reunions and you start realising you’re not a part of those pictures. I think you start craving the simple life. But then you sometimes realise you’re not ready for it yet – but you’ll see that this season.”
Can Nikki beat the record for the longest Divas Title reign?
“I really think Nikki can do it. I definitely think our Divas division needs to change. We need more girls from NXT up on the roster so Nikki can get in the ring with them. It’s been the same girls that we’ve been battling with for I would say maybe six months.
“We want some fresh blood. We’re like begging Vince to bring up the NXT girls – bring ’em up, let’s get them in the ring.”
The NXT girls have had some great attention – Triple H has been very high on them and they get lots of time on the shows – what’s the relationship like with the main roster women?
“I think everyone on the main roster for the Divas would love that [more time]. Why wouldn’t you? Gosh, that’s why we’re all here, we love to wrestle. If we were able to get 20 minutes on a show that would just be a miracle.
“If you got to our live events you’ll see it – we get matches that long. I have to say Triple H has done such a great job down there with NXT. I hope all the NXT people realise how lucky they are. When I came into developmental we actually started off in a batting cage.
“There was only two rings, then we moved to a canned food building. Television didn’t exist yet with FCW [Florida Championship Wrestling], we had nothing like the Performance Center. I can only imagine starting in that.
“I can see why those girls haven’t been brought up yet because they’re running their own live events down there, they have their own shows that they’re doing very well. Because NXT’s doing so well it’s hard to bring the talent up so quickly because they have their own stories going, their own characters.
“There’s a lot of respect between both brands and both rosters. WWE in the end is one big family. We’re all under the same umbrella and we root for each other. At the same time, I see them more than I see my family, so you feel close to them and feel like they are family.”
In a teaser for season four of Total Divas Eva Marie gets a bit of heat for not using the amazing Performance Center and instead training with Brian Kendrick in LA – what do you think about that?
“That’s why everyone got angry. For the E! audience it’ll be a little difficult for them to understand, but the WWE audience will completely understand. When our company built something so beautiful, so immaculate and you don’t want to train there with girls who are incredible in the ring, it makes no sense.
“It’s like, wait a second, you’d be more than blessed to be down there and you say no? It sounds crazy. It’s like someone giving you a million dollars and going, ‘No, you can keep it, that’s okay’.
“What it is too is you have your girls up on the main roster who are on the road about 300 days a year, because we do a lot of filming on off-days with Total Divas – we’re barely making it home, we’re exhausted.
“You see someone like that who just wants to be in LA so she can sleep in her bed every night, enjoy her husband and we’re all looking at her like, we would have loved that too! But when you have a passion for this business you’re willing to sacrifice everything – and that’s what we all did.
“When you see someone else who won’t sacrifice anything, claws start coming out, things are going to be said. But I guess that’s why Total Divas is a great show to tune into, because none of us Divas hold back. We all have very strong personalities, we have very big opinions, and you’re going to see that this season.”
Eva Marie gets a lot of time on the show and a lot of attention on the WWE website and YouTube – is she a future Divas Champion or will she not make the necessary sacrifices?
“Obviously you can tell the company loves her, you know they do. They put her on a lot for not being in the ring, but in the end you have to prove yourself in the ring.
“In the end my husband Daniel Bryan has shown everyone, I feel like my sister and I [have], if the crowd doesn’t connect with you, you have no place to go. The crowd lets us know so much of what they want – you know how much sometimes ‘the bosses don’t listen’? They do.
“I think the company can only hold your hand so far until you have to – on your own – make a name and a statement in that ring with no-one else. That I think might be hard for her. She will definitely get to that point, it’s just whether she can continue with it and actually prove she can be a WWE Divas Champion.”
It’s coming up to the anniversary of last year’s SummerSlam and Nikki turning on you – is there any temptation to let her get to 294 days and finally get revenge? Should she be watching her back?
“Nikki should always be watching her back! [laughs] I think at this point she’s my sister I have her back. We are Team Bella and we are looking to get more people to get on to Team Bella on the Divas roster. I have nothing but support for her.
“Now, granted, emotions do get really high and maybe SummerSlam might just bring up a few and you never know, but as of now, sometimes the Bellas stand alone as you see, and sometimes everyone will come against us. For now she’s my sister and blood’s thicker than water so I’ve got her back.”
Alicia Fox is now part of Team Bella – is there anyone else you’d like to join the gang?
“Yeah, I would love to have Natalya because she was trained in the [Hart] Dungeon, so someone like her would be great. Obviously if I can go down to NXT and pick a couple of girls, like maybe Charlotte or Sasha Banks, yes, I could make quite a great army!
“Slowly but surely we’re going to try to convince some girls on our team, then you never know – they just might try to take the Bellas down. I think Nikki and I both have to watch our backs! At times it’s like everyone is out to get us. There’s always daggers in my back and it’s very hard to pull them all out.”
Daniel’s said that he regrets spending so much of his life on wrestling and not enough on family – as someone who’s also sacrificed so much for the business can you empathise?
“I definitely can. It’s crazy when you lose people who are close to you. For us it’s like time never ends and it goes so fast. I started in the business I was just turning 23 and I’m 31 now.
“For me I still feel 23. You start losing people and you realise the ring will always be there but those people won’t. You never get to give them a hug again, you never get to ask them how their day is. At any moment you’re still taking your breaths here on Earth you can go to that ring.
“That’s what both my husband and I realised. That’s why you see us struggle in season 4 with do I stay or do I go, because we want to be parents so bad. Bryan’s 34 – we don’t want to be 40 and be like, ‘Oh shoot, we haven’t done that yet, and maybe we should’.
“We know the ring will always be there. And I was like, you know what – I could be a MILF! We never know. I could have a child and come back to the ring and be the MILF! You know what I mean? That’s what we realised. The ring is always there.
“We love wrestling so much that we know we’ll never lose that passion. Instead of just sacrificing everything and not seeing anyone for years and years, we can actually do both and balance that. It’s sad that it sometimes takes losing someone to realise it but we’re grateful that we’ve realised it now.”
What would you like your and Nikki’s legacy to be in the WWE?
“It would be that we broke down every barrier that was made about us. My sister and I came in the business and people didn’t think we belonged in the business. We heard it over and over, week by week. We still actually hear it. And that never took us down.
“We were like, we don’t care. We’re going to get better. We love this too much for anyone to take it away. We proved ourselves. The difference from my sister and I compared to any other Diva is we proved ourselves in front of the audience.
“Everyone saw us improve, everyone saw our heart and our passion, month by month, year by year us getting better. No regrets. Every day we wake up with no regrets and I hope when we leave people are like, ‘I can do it because those girls never gave up and I can do the same’.
“I hope I give hope to girls who watch Total Divas and are like, ‘Dude, wrestling’s cool’. Turn on the TV and say, ‘This is amazing’ and at 22 years old they’re like, ‘You know what, I wanna be a Diva’. I hope I give hope and inspiration not only to young women but older women who don’t know what they want and find something great.”
Total Divas Season 4 launches on Sunday, July 12 at 6pm on E! in the UK and July 7 on E! in the US at 9/8 CT