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“Total Bellas” Recap (S4 Ep10): The Evolution of the Bellas | Nikki Is Dating Artem

Nikki Bella’s defining characteristic as a competitor, entrepreneur and a person has always been that she throws herself full-tilt into whatever she’s pursuing at any given moment. So it’s not exactly a surprise on the Total Bellas Season 4 finale when she decides to keep her comeback going by signing up for WWE’s European tour in the wake of her big match with Ronda Rousey. As Brie points out, the Bella businesses have already taken a hit during their return to the ring, Nikki has worn herself down over a long career — the twins celebrate their 35th birthday this episode — and given that the Bellas have already attained their desired successes, she could stand to say no to something once in a while.

Nevertheless, she persists, and it turns out Brie’s right. The tour is much harder to get through, physically, than Nikki thinks it’s going to be, and she decides to officially retire from in-ring competition upon her return to the States. (In an interesting contrast, this is all happening at the same time that Daniel Bryan breaks bad, revitalizes his career and gets his dream match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.) Hanging over all this is the question of what, exactly, Nikki is going to do next: She’s no longer a wrestler, she’s still in the wilderness of single life (the episode features a pointed visit to Napa Valley, where she was supposed to be married once upon a time), and Brie is still relocating to Phoenix and leaving Nikki to her devices in Los Angeles. The idea of a driven woman having nowhere in particular to go weighs heavily on Brie, who openly wonders after moving into her new house whether Nikki will be able to find a sufficient love and support system.

Turns out, she needn’t have worried. Foreshadowed by an offhanded line about Nikki possibly seeing someone that Brie shoo-shoos away, the season closes on the revelation that Nikki is having the time of her life in L.A. — thanks, in no small part to the fact that she’s dating her “Dancing With the Stars” partner Artem after all.