We tend to associate the term 'power couple in the world' of sports entertainment with Triple H and Stephanie. However, looking at John Cena and Nikki Bella, we can all admit they're a close second by looking at their bodies of work.
Getting closer to his 40s, Cena remains the poster boy for the WWE. Whether it be inside of the ring as an inspiration to millions or outside of it as a legit Hollywood success, Cena continues to add value to the company due to his name. His partner Nikki is no slouch either, as she continues to rise, becoming a vastly improved in-ring performer, along with taking the WWE’s reality show Total Divas to new heights. Her success on the show has been so profound that the company decided to give her a spin off, Total Bellas.
Although the power couple is thriving today, that wasn’t always the case. Prior to getting to the WWE, Cena underwent some major hardships. The same can be said for Nikki, who struggled with her career path and even left the WWE at one point in time. We highlight several of those instances here in this article with 15 pictures that both John Cena and Nikki Bella don’t want you to see. Enjoy!
16 The Brief Indie Stint
A forgettable part of Nikki Bella's career came during her brief hiatus from the WWE. Had she left for good, her legacy would have been regarded as one of the very worst of all-time (it was really that bad). However, Nikki, and her sister Brie, would reach an agreement with the WWE and return along with a contract clause that saw the twins join the newly made reality show Total Divas. It turned out extremely well for Nikki looking back, but truthfully things looked pretty bad at one point.
Gone from the WWE, The Bellas briefly joined the indie circuit. This is a picture from their appearance in May of 2012 at Northeast Wrestling. They would also appear as managers for CTWE Pro Wrestling in December of 2012. In March of 2013, Nikki and her sister finally made their way back to the WWE, ending their fruitless time away from the company.
15 Awkward Situation
Before John and Nikki would begin to date, Cena had a long history of partying and dating other women, one of which he ended up marrying in Elizabeth Huberdeau. As the face of the WWE and an inspiration to plenty of children around the world, some of his pics alongside his ex-wife aren’t the greatest for his clean-cut image. This is one of the many party pictures of the two that surfaced online from Cena’s past. This one shows John in the background while the two women in the photo are enjoying some inappropriateness, as he looks on. One of the women, which his ex-wife, has her legs in the air in the revealing photo.
With a PG climate, Cena has cleaned up his act considerably since ending his prior relationship. Today, the party life eludes John and he now enjoys the finer things in life, like heading out to a five-star restaurant alongside Nikki Bella. It looks our boy is all grown up.
14 A Candid Shot At Wal-Mart
Although they seem like larger than life entertainers, outside of the ring these wrestlers are just like us. Whether it be on the road or back home, Superstars live a regular life and that includes activities like shopping at Wal-Mart for essentials.
For Cena, you can only imagine how hard it must be to go out, but he certainly doesn’t shy away from doing so. This picture shows Cena alongside Nikki as the two appear to be on the road while picking up some items at the local Wal-Mart. Nowadays, the couple has the luxury of travelling together as they're on the same brand.
For Nikki, she probably wishes this photo was never taken especially judging by her comfy attire and look.
13 Nikki’s Pre-Enhancement Days
After signing with the WWE back in 2007, both Bella Twins joined the developmental branch of FCW to sharpen their skills. They weren’t ready, but the WWE would call them up regardless and they made their main roster debut in the summer of 2008 during an episode of SmackDown. Improvements took some time, but eventually both sisters became big time players for the company.
Along with their improved skills, Nikki has changed a heck of a lot physically since her debut. If you haven’t really noticed, we strongly suggest you visit a local doctor. Most fans however have realized that Nikki’s chest underwent a pretty substantial change. This picture proves that as Nikki’s chest still looks great, but nothing compared to the guns she has today. The change took place after an enhancement surgery and, to Nikki’s credit, she hasn’t shied away from the fact that she did the procedure in the first place. Nonetheless, she’ll want us to forget about her flatter days.
12 Cena & The Blonde Mohawk
As much as wrestling fans love to believe that Cena soared to the top of the mountain quickly, that wasn’t the case. Cena blossomed into a mega star in 2005, but, before that, he was struggling to get his name out there and that all started in 1999.
Rocking an awful blonde Mohawk, John wrestled for Ultimate Pro Wrestling. He held the Heavyweight Championship which was a major plus, but his look, character and total package still had a long way to go. He would sign with OVW following two WWE dark matches and that's when his improvements started. His rise to stardom began during his WWE call up back in 2002. After a strong start, Cena grew to popularity with a gimmick as a rapper. From then on, he has never looked back, becoming a poster boy for the company.
11 Nikki’s Pre-WWE Days
One of the biggest criticisms of the Bellas is the fact that wrestling wasn’t always on their mind. Pockets of wrestling fans now look past that with Nikki’s huge improvements inside of the squared circle, but others still hold true on to that grudge.
The reality is that Nikki and her sister Brie initially sought after a career in the entertainment business. After they got an agent, the two had various projects in the world of both TV and modelling. The picture you see above is from Nikki’s modelling days, as she strikes a pose alongside her sister with some outdated sun glasses. She’s come a long way since the days of those amateur photoshoots!
10 The Wardrobe Malfunction
As fans of sports entertainment, we know that the performers are not immune to botches or wardrobe malfunctions. For poor Nikki, both have taken place throughout her career and on several occasions. However, this malfunction might have been her most revealing.
While she was outside on the floor, the cameras zoomed in and it appeared that one of her breasts was exposed. Nikki is known for wearing tight gear and it seemed like the attire could not withstand the strength of her enhanced puppies. This wasn’t the first time such an ordeal happened to a Bella family member. Poor Brie got it worse, as one of her breast popped out during a live in-ring promo. Although the sisters would like us to forget these moments ever happened, pockets of wrestling fans are thinking otherwise.
9 The Bodybuilding Days
Thanks to Conor McGregor and his war of words with certain WWE stars, he reminded us of Cena’s failed past as a bodybuilder calling him a “failed Mr. Olympia.” The comments were a little harsh, but the reality of it is that Cena did have a failed bodybuilding career before heading to the WWE.
He pursued bodybuilding for quite some time and after it wasn’t paying the bills, Cena turned to a job as a bouncer and later, a limousine driver. He put a lot of time and effort into bodybuilding and it would eventually pay off as Cena would use his sculpted body for a career in the pro wrestling industry. His body remains in top shape today, despite the fact he’s inching closer to his 40s.
8 The Mickie Scandal
It's interesting to look at Cena’s track record with the WWE and how he’s managed to steer away from controversy outside of the ring. However, some issues did manage to arise and one of them was his relationship with Mickie James behind the scenes.
The entire ordeal would result in multiple controversies. Cena divorced his wife in 2012 and even Mickie would leave her partner, Kenny Dykstra. The affair made headlines and was not helped by the fact that the likes of Kenny Dykstra made the details of the affair public in various shoot interviews. Ultimately, the two would split up and James would also leave the company. It seems like things have finally calmed down, as James is a part of the SmackDown brand alongside John Cena and his partner, Nikki Bella. Happily married, Mickie stated that there is no issue between her and the Cena-Bella couple.
7 Nikki & Dolph
Signing with the WWE way back in 2004, Dolph Ziggler eventually made his debut as a member of The Spirit Squad. The group enjoyed their 30 seconds of fame and when it was done, most of them were gone from the company.
Dolph managed to hang on, getting sent down to development in 2007. During that time, Nikki Bella was also signed to a developmental deal and it’s where she met Dolph, as the two worked for FCW. Dolph would aid Nikki as he was already experienced and it would lead to a relationship between the two. The couple would eventually break up and Nikki would start dating Cena shortly after. Despite the failed relationship, the two maintain an amicable friendship today.
6 John & His Failed Marriage
During episodes of Total Divas and Total Bellas, a constant topic of discussion is Cena’s unwillingness to commit to Nikki by asking for her hand in marriage. What the show constantly fails to acknowledge is the fact that Cena likely doesn’t want to remarry because of his first failed marriage.
Both WWE and Cena keep it on the down low, but John did have a failed marriage to the previously mentioned Elizabeth Huberdeau. While working on the film 12 Rounds, Cena proposed to his wife in 2009. The couple officially filed for divorce in May of 2012 and John would start to date Nikki that same year. The marriage was only mentioned once during a heated feud between The Rock and Cena on route to their WrestleMania 29 clash. Surely, that’s the first and last time his failed marriage will be brought up on WWE television.
5 An After-Thought In OVW
As we stated earlier, nothing was guaranteed for Cena during his WWE run and that was further intensified during his OVW stint. Although he managed to win the OVW Heavyweight Title, Cena seemed to be an afterthought. With a terribly generic gimmick as The Prototype, not to mention his terrible haircut, many weren’t sure about his true potential.
What made things even worse was the class of OVW Superstars that Cena had to compete against. Known as the golden era for OVW, the likes of Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and Batista were all brought up during that time. Given how great the other three were, Cena wasn’t as sure of a bet in comparison to them.
In Cena-like fashion, he would put in the work and eventually shine once he got his WWE call up. It's likely he wants us to forget about his early days, when he was struggling to make a name for himself in OVW.
4 Nikki’s Early Days
A lot of WWE fans tend to forget, but at one point in time, The Bellas were gone from the WWE and briefly working the indie circuit. Nikki’s initial WWE run was forgettable and something she hopes won’t hurt her legacy once she steps away from the business. Nikki started on the main roster in 2008 and clearly wasn’t ready. Her matches were filled with various botches and even her entrances weren’t on point, as she lost her shoe at one point during her lackluster run.
Thankfully, that would all change following her return to the company, as Nikki would quietly improve both in the ring as a champion and outside of the ring as a huge social media presence due to her success with Total Divas. When it’s all set and done, Nikki will likely want us to remember everything after 2013.
2 Another Malfunction
Finally unlocking her potential during her second run, Nikki became a dominant Divas Champion, even breaking the record as the longest title holder. Throughout her run, Nikki played the role of a heel, turning on her sister Brie. Once she held the Championship, she feuded with an array of talent, including Paige as you see in the picture above.
While she embarrassed Paige and gained some heel heat, Nikki was caught having another wardrobe malfunction while wearing a tightly fitted skirt which appeared to be a little too low cut. During the segment, those at home got a quick glimpse of Bella’s undergarments as the camera showed an upshot of what Nikki had under the short-skirt. It wasn’t all that bad, but in a PG climate, it’s something Nikki and the WWE want you to forget about.
1 One More Inappropriate Picture
Judging by all the online pictures featuring Cena and his ex-wife, Elizabeth Huberdeau, it seems like the two shared a pretty wild relationship. Looking at how professional Cena is today, it appears that the breakup was for the best, as such photos likely wouldn’t have sat well with the WWE.
This is yet another picture of the couple that both Cena, the WWE and even Nikki don’t want the public to see. Not only does it hurt the company’s image as a whole, but it also hurts Cena’s credibility with the younger fans that idolize him and look at him as a type of superhero. Whatever the case might be, those days are done and Cena remains the most professional WWE Superstar on the roster. The couple continues to re-write their wrongs and we respect the hell out of them for that.