In terms of star power in professional wrestling, it doesn’t get much bigger than The Bella Twins. The recently retired starlets had an impressive run in WWE and have also enjoyed a great deal of success outside the ring.
Nikki And Brie Bella have gone to become two of the biggest names in reality television and are still making plenty of headlines – despite their absence from Raw and SmackDown.
Wrestling fans have watched these ladies go from being relative unknowns to becoming household names. That being said, as we are about to learn, there are still a few things most folks don’t know about this dynamic duo.
As wrestling fans, we get used to referring to performers by their ring names. So much so, that it’s easy to forget that the names are favorite WWE stars use are rarely their given names. The Bella Twins are prime examples of performer who don’t use the names their parents gave them while entertaining the masses.
Nikki Bella was born Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace. Her other half, Brie Bella, was named Brianna Monique Garcia-Colace. However, following her marriage to Daniel Bryan (real name Bryan Danielson), Brie changed her last name from Garcia-Colace to Danielson. They were given the last name “Bella” after signing with WWE.
Many performers in the WWE had some prior athletic experience before becoming professional wrestlers – as is the case with Nikki and Brie Bella. Growing up, both girls played soccer while attending Chaparral High School, which is located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Nikki Bella even went so far as to play college ball. The former Divas Champ played soccer for Grossmont College. For those unfamiliar, Grossmont is a community college that is located in El Cajon, California. As a walk on, Bella helped the team win the Pacific Coast Conference Championship. As it turns out, she isn’t the only famous alumni from the school; actress Rachel Bilson also went to Grossmont.
Before getting their big break with the WWE, The Bella Twins worked several different jobs. During their college days, both women worked as waitresses for the restaurant chain Hooters.
To this day, there are still several pictures floating around the internet that show customers getting their pictures taken with Nikki and Brie in their Hooters uniforms. Given that both women were aspiring models it’s easy to understand why Hooters – an establishment that produces its own calendar and provides other modeling opportunities – would be a natural choice. The Bellas aren’t alone, as fellow wrestlers Liv Morgan and Brooke Adams are also former Hooters girls.
By now, most fans are aware that The Bella Twins have become major reality television stars. There shows on E!, Total Divas and Total Bellas, have aired for several seasons. However, most people aren’t aware that their reality television debut predates their first appearance in WWE.
Back in the early 2000s, the twins appeared on a show called Meet My Folks, which originally aired on NBC from 2002-2003. It’s essentially a dating show that involves meeting potential mate’s parents. The show only lasted for 2 seasons (20 episodes total). Nikki and Brie were just 19 years of age when they made their television debut on the series.
Before their WWE days, the twins did a bit of modeling. One of their most noteworthy gigs was with beer giant Budweiser. In fact, the Bella Twins were selected as the World Cup Twins for Budweiser in the early 2000s. The fact that both women were former soccer player, made them a natural choice.
As part of the gig, they were even photographed holding the World Cup. After the job with Budweiser ended, the twins continued to model. In 2006, Nikki and Brie competed in the 2006 International Body Doubles Twin Search, before ultimately making their way to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Believe it or not, The Bella Twins tried out for the WWE Diva Search back in 2006. The reason so few people know this is because the duo was unable to make the final cast and thus did not appear on television. It’s hard to imagine that Nikki and Brie Bella didn’t become one of the eight finalists that year – but neither twin made the cut.
The Diva Search winner in 2006 was Layla El, who went on to have a solid run in WWE. Future champ and reality television star Maryse Ouellet was also a contestant that year – she ended up finishing 7th overall.
Due to their involvement in reality television, The Bella Twins' dating lives have been made very public. Before their recent breakup, Nikki Bella and John Cena were arguably the most high-profile couple in professional wrestling. Brie Bella is romantically linked to well-known wrestler, Daniel Bryan. The two officially tied the knot back in April of 2014.
However, before Brie Bella became a megastar in WWE, she dated rock musician Richie Kotzen. Kotzen has been the guitarist for popular bands like Poison and Mr. Big. The two began dating back in 2004, before deciding to call it quits it 2009.
Fans know that the Bella Twins have appeared (and even starred) in several television shows over the years. However, even die-hard Bella Army members may not know about their appearance in the 2014 comedy-drama, Confessions of a Womanizer.
The film is about a guy named Richie who comes to terms with his womanizing ways. Stars like Gary Busey and C Thomas Howell are also featured in this award-winning motion picture. For their part, Nikki and Brie play the roles of Erica and Sally. The flick was shown at 30 film fests and even won some hardware – 10 awards in total to be exact.
Anyone who has been watching wrestling over the last few years is well aware of the now-defunct relationship between John Cena and Nikki Bella. Heck, their engagement inside the squared circle was one of the highlights from WrestleMania 33, a few years back. However, Cena isn’t the only world champ that Nikki Bella has been romantically linked to over the years.
Before meeting John Cena, Nikki Bella was involved in a relationship with Dolph Ziggler. The two were together from 2008 through 2011. These days, Nikki Bella has decided to date outside of WWE. Her current love interest is a Russian dancer named Artem Chigvintsev.
Despite the fact that they are still only 35 years of age, The Bella Twins have already done quite a lot throughout their illustrious entertainment careers. The duo has even appeared in several music videos since they began modeling back in the mid-2000s.
In Total, Nikki and Brie Bella are credited with appearing in 3 music videos – Right Side of the Bed by Atreyu (2004), Na Na by Trey Songz (2014), and Hollywood by Sophia Grace (2017). The video for Na Na received a lot of attention, as the song reached number 53 on US Billboard Hot 100, but many folks aren’t aware of the twin's appearances in the others.