Well, folks, the fairytale is over. After roughly five years of dating and one as fiancées, top WWE superstar John Cena and his “Total Diva” girlfriend Nikki Bella have decided to call off the engagement. More than that, they’ve apparently given up on their relationship altogether, with Bella packing her bags and leaving Cena’s mansion in the middle of April 2018.
While this may be a shock to casual fans who assumed the two were a match made in heaven when Cena proposed in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania 33, audiences that actually paid attention to how they acted together aren’t too surprised. Despite the talk about these two being a dream couple, they quite frankly seemed destined to fail from the start, with almost every episode of Nikki’s reality show documenting their slow crawl to splitsville.
Depending on how one feel about the idea of romance in general, the break-up of John Cena and Nikki Bella could be viewed as both good or bad, and that goes for the wrestlers personally and how it will effect the business at large. Ultimately, though, a person’s emotions about the ordeal are entirely up to them. We’re just here to explain why everyone should have prepared for the situation long ago. Keep reading for 10 reasons we knew John Cena and Nikki Bella would inevitably break up (plus 5 why they might get back together before we know it).
15 WHY THEY BROKE UP: They Had Zero Chemistry
For all the talk about how John Cena and Nikki Bella were some sort of “dream couple,” anyone who actually watched the two on Total Divas/Bellas knows the exact opposite was true. Nearly all of their interactions looked wooden and impersonal, like two actors playing the role of boyfriend and girlfriend without any passion whatsoever in what they say or do. WWE even brilliantly parodied this fact in the build to WrestleMania 33, when The Miz and Maryse did accurate impersonations of the two, with the main joke being that Cena is basically an emotionless wrestling robot, unable to connect with Nikki or anyone else in their lives. In many respects, it felt like Cena took at the idea of a relationship as some sort of legal agreement, a fact this list will get into as it continues. To start it off, though, we’re just saying the two rarely seemed to be in love, at least not on camera.
14 WHY THEY BROKE UP: Nikki Was In Love With John's Character
In The Miz and Maryse’s parodies of John Cena and Nikki Bella, after suggesting Big Match John didn’t actually care about Fearless Nikki, the punch line was that she somehow didn’t notice, because she was too busy focusing on herself. This was another fairly accurate read on their relationship, as whenever Cena did something that upset Nikki’s perception of him, it was like her world collapsing. From the beginning of their relationship, Bella’s friends noticed she treated Cena exactly like his character, in his words “a goody too-shoes Superman.” This meant he was the perfect guy who would definitely give her whatever she wanted or asked for, at least in her mind. Obviously, no person can be that ideal, and whenever Nikki was confronted with imperfect realities about John, she didn't know how to respond. After six years, she probably figured out the truth, which must be why early reports are saying it was Nikki who officially called things off.
13 WHY THEY’LL GET BACK TOGETHER: Nikki’s a Total Diva
While the big announcement about John Cena and Nikki Bella’s broken engagement has already hit the presses, it may be some time before the full story comes out. Have no fears about it ending up a mystery, however, as it’s pretty much a guarantee fans will learn all about it in the next few episodes of Total Bellas. The third season is set to begin in late May of 2018, and the breakup of Cena and Nikki will almost definitely be the biggest plotline. The catch is that such is the nature of reality television that their attempts to navigate life as friends after the relationship is over will also be documented, and the potential for backsliding in this scenario is incredibly high. Even if the two don’t completely kiss and makeup, there will probably at least an episode or two of “will they or won’t they” that will have fans online going crazy.
12 WHY THEY BROKE UP: The Proposal Felt Forced
Believe it or not, there’s a reason only two people have ever actually proposed marriage in wrestling rings (that we’re aware of, anyway). Somehow, the industry standard that the fake version of this arrangement never, ever lasts didn’t clue in John Cena, who made his grand gesture by getting down on one knee at WrestleMania 33, after he and his former fiancée defeated The Miz and Maryse. Long before the match even happened, most fans were well aware how it would end, the rumor mill running rampant with speculation at this potential “WrestleMania moment.” The catch is that people also immediately started questioning if Cena was in this for all the wrong reasons—after years of steadfastly refusing the idea of marriage, he was suddenly okay with the idea just before the Showcase of Immortals, which almost felt a little bit too coincidental. Lo and behold, one year later, we’re finding out out his heart wasn’t really in it.
11 WHY THEY BROKE UP: They’ve Both Been Divorced Before
In the modern era, it really doesn’t mean much about a person’s moral structure if they happen to have been divorced. With roughly half of marriages ending that way, it just doesn’t feel right to castigate people for being part of the norm. That said, statistically, after a person gets divorced once, the chance they’ll get divorced a second time becomes significantly higher. John Cena and Nikki Bella couldn’t even make it all the way down the aisle before decided to call it quits for the second time. In Cena’s case, his past marriage to Elizabeth Huberdeau was a big part of why he didn’t want to get hitched again, and it’s entirely possible the memories got to be too much as he approached the big day. For Nikki, marriage number one was probably just a case of tying the knot too young, but that nonetheless displays an impulsive pattern that could mean she was rushing into things again, as well.
10 WHY THEY’LL GET BACK TOGETHER: The Breakup Makes WWE Look Bad
On the heels of WrestleMania 33, the biggest story in wrestling had nothing to do with the WWE World or Universal Championships changing hands, nor did the main event featuring The Undertaker receive all that much press. Instead, all mainstream news outlets were focused on the mixed tag match pitting The Miz and Maryse against John Cena and Nikki Bella, primarily due to it ending with Cena’s big proposal. The highlight of all these stories was that in the wild and wacky world of pro wrestling, two crazy kids managed to find in love, showing a softer side of the sports entertainment industry. For it all to fall apart a year later makes the biggest moment of WrestleMania 33 seem entirely fake in retrospect, seriously marring the show’s place in history. Then again, most people already knew that everything else that happens at WrestleMania is fake, so it’s probably not all that surprising to learn this display of “love” was also somewhat scripted.
9 WHY THEY BROKE UP: They Argued All The Time
Ultimately, why does any couple break up? Even if things look complacent or robotic, for all outsiders know, that’s exactly the sort of life the involved parties want to live. Unless, of course, they’re constantly arguing about it, which was apparently the case with John Cena and Nikki Bella. Watch any given episode of Total Divas/Bellas that focuses on the two spending time together, and there will almost definitely be at least one scene where one or both of them is involved in a minor spat of some kind. Sure, many of these are petty and over within 30 minutes or less, but even forced drama will start feeling real if it happens 20 times per year or more. To understand what the couple was fighting about, well, check out any other entry on this list. Not that it even matters, though, because the point is that the two were regularly shouting about one thing or another, and that never leads to a positive marriage.
8 WHY THEY’LL GET BACK TOGETHER: Their Flaws Were A Perfect Match
Looking over this list, it should be pretty clear that both John Cena and Nikki Bella had some serious issues that lead to their breakup. However, it’s also fair to acknowledge that everyone is flawed in their own way, but that doesn’t stop most folks from dating and getting married. The hard part is finding a person you care about enough that their flaws don’t matter. Or, even better, finding someone who has the sort of flaws that really don’t bother you, which seemed to be the case with Cena and Bella for most of their coupling. It’s already been pointed out that Cena was robotic and disinterested, and that Bella was a bit aloof about this, but those two facts almost cancel one another out. In this sense, they really were perfect for one another, as no one else would put up with that sort of behavior.
7 WHY THEY BROKE UP: Cena’s Too Busy For What Nikki Wants
To a person more aware than Nikki Bella, it should have been pretty obvious John Cena wouldn’t be able to provide what she wanted. From the very beginning, it Nikki's goal appeared to be settling down and raising a traditional family with her dream man, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, Cena was never going to be the guy to make that happen for her. In stark contrast to the idyllic family life, Cena’s dream is apparently to continue working for WWE, making movies, and meeting with sick children until the day he dies, spending somewhere around 90% of his time travelling to make this happen. These two lifestyles are literally polar opposites, such to the extent there’s absolutely no middle ground between them that won’t leave one party extremely disappointed. For a long time, Nikki made the common mistake of thinking she could somehow change John’s desires, but eventually, she must have realized that was impossible.
6 WHY THEY’LL GET BACK TOGETHER: Cena’s Also Too Busy For Anyone Else
Looking at John Cena’s schedule, it seems impossible that he could ever fulfill Nikki Bella’s desires. More important than that, however, is the fact his nonstop work ethic makes it borderline impossible for him to have a normal relationship with any woman at all, especially one outside of the wrestling business. Sure, his fame, fortune, and physique mean plenty of women might be interested, but he just won’t have time for any of them unless they’re on the road with him. Granted, we don’t have any inside information about John Cena’s personal feelings, so it’s entirely possible he might just be done with relationships in general for now. On the other hand, if the man actually wants to find love, he really doesn’t have that many options aside from his ex. If not a reunion with Nikki, Cena’s next relationship will probably be with another woman in the WWE Universe, or perhaps a costar in one of his movies.
5 WHY THEY BROKE UP: Cena’s Rules Were Ridiculous
Of all the big red flashing warning signs that things weren’t going to work out between John Cena and Nikki Bella, by far the most alarming was the 75 page document John made Nikki sign before moving in to his house. While marriage is technically a contract as well, it’s usually about a page long, and most couples treat that part of the deal like the legal formality it is. Cena’s arrangement with Bella was terribly serious, detailing many rules about how she was to treat his home. It also outlined what should happen in the case of a breakup, which wasn’t exactly the most hopeful clause it contained. Almost any other woman would have broken up with Cena the second he handed her lawyer that document, so the fact Nikki powered through as long as she did is somewhat surprising in and of itself. That said, it makes us wonder if the contract also had a “getting back together” waiver.
4 WHY THEY BROKE UP: Cena Didn’t Want To Get Married In The First Place
Aside from the ridiculous contract John Cena made Nikki Bella sign before moving in together, the second biggest issue going into their marriage is the fact that, well, John Cena didn’t want to get married. To anyone. Ever again. The 16 time WWE Champion was abundantly clear about this to his momentary fiancée, her sister Brie, and everyone else in their family, repeatedly stating he had no interest in ever settling down. Obviously, Cena had some sort of change of heart around WrestleMania 33, leading to his big proposal, but this move was never explained, nor understood by the majority of the WWE Universe. The only logical explanation is that the same way Nikki assumed he would change, Cena was assuming Nikki would suddenly accept that his version of “marriage” was pretty much a name only situation to shut her up about their other problems. If that was the case, his plan clearly didn’t work.
3 WHY THEY’LL GET BACK TOGETHER: Could It All Be A Work?
When a person says they don’t want to get married their entire life, then suddenly gets engaged live on camera, it’s reasonable for people to suggest that may have been scripted. That goes double on a so-called “reality” television show, and tenfold when inside the WWE Universe. Given this information, it’s hardly a stretch to assume large parts of the relationship between John Cena and Nikki Bella have been faked or exaggerated from day one. Total Divas and Total Bellas have been around for a while now and fans are losing interest, and nothing can win them all back like a huge doomed romance plot. Cena has lied about his real life to enhance WWE angles before, when he pretended to be injured so his comeback at the Royal Rumble 2008 would be a surprise. With his career becoming complacent, why wouldn’t he come up with an even bigger lie for some storyline that hasn’t played out yet?
2 WHY THEY BROKE UP: Nikki Wants Kids, John Doesn’t
I have been meaning to post about this amazing event. Take me back to those Havana Nights 💛 Absolutely love what @vanity.claire has done with @whatmattersfoundation It was an honor to be apart of such an incredible event with such giving, incredible women. Definitely check them out and see how they truly give back to the women that need us in our communities. #womenempoweringwomen
According to sources close to the couple, it ultimately all came down to this one issue for Nikki Bella. That’s a little bit surprising, if only because John Cena had been firm about his position in the matter from the very beginning. In a never-ending argument that has split up countless couples before these two, it seemed Nikki’s biggest dream in life had always been to have children, while Cena had absolutely no interest in the idea. Arguing he was far too busy with WWE and movies to ever give a single child the attention he or she would deserve, Cena always told Nikki that no matter what happened between them, he would never willingly become a father. Presumably, Nikki figured that if she could change his mind on the whole marriage thing, she might be able to flip this decision, too, but Cena eventually made it clear that wouldn’t be the case.
1 WHY THEY BROKE UP: Cena’s First Love Is WWE
To put it bluntly, Nikki Bella simply never had a chance at truly winning the heart of John Cena. Unfortunately for her, and any other would be Mrs. Cena who may come along in the future, the Face of WWE is already in love with something else—the idea of being a pro wrestling superstar for Vince McMahon’s company. Half of the items on this part of the list are all about how Cena was too busy or too distracted with work to ever settle down, and this doesn’t happen to a guy by accident. The only reason Cena spends so much time away from Bella doing various promotions for WWE is because he likes that second thing a whole lot more, and he always will. No matter who Cena is with, there will never be a woman more alluring than a roaring crowd or elated Make a Wish children whose dreams he can make come true.