As announced on the 21st of February edition of Friday Night Smackdown, on Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross’ talk show segment “A Moment of Bliss” and confirmed by numerous news sources from the likes of People Magazine to Bleacher Report, Nicole and Brie Bella are to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2020.
Originally trying out for the WWE Diva Search in 2006, models Stephanie Nicole & Brianna Garcia-Colace were later signed by World Wrestling Entertainment to developmental contracts in 2007 being assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (now NXT) in a class that consists of Victoria Crawford (Alicia Fox) & Natalie Neidhart (Natalya) spending a year under the FCW umbrella prior to their debut into the mainstream. Their main roster beginning started on the Smackdown brand on the 29th of August 2008 as Brie Bella, an upstart diva defeated wrestling legend Victoria which would lead to a series of matches including Natalya. During the matches, Brie would roll out the ring and hide underneath the ring, then to be rejuvenated and win. However, the strategy would be deemed picked up on. On the 7th of November 2008 edition of Smackdown both Natalya and Victoria would reach under the ring, thinking that they have Brie each, they both pulled out a person, enter in Brie’s twin, Nicole “Nikki” Bella. Dubbed as “The Bella Twins” the duo would compete as a team throughout their career.
Both Brie and Nicole would end up winning the Divas Championship during their tenures in WWE. Brie would be the first to win the title on an April 11, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw, defeating Eve Torres. Brie would hold the title for 70 days eventually losing the title to Kelly Kelly on a “Power to the People” edition of Raw. This would be Brie only reign with the championship
As for Nicole, she would hold the Divas Championship on two occasion. The first being a win defeating future WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2018) Beth Phoenix in a lumber jill match. This reign would only last six days in which she would drop the title to Diva Search winner, the English born Layla El. Nikki’s second reign wouldn’t come for another two years as she would defeat AJ Lee at Survivor Series 2014 which would be her’s and the title’s longest reign at 301 days before losing the title to Charlotte Flair at Night of Champions 2015, dropping the title to take care of a neck injury.
The Bella Enterprise: From Total Divas to Total Bellas
On the 28th of July 2013, Total Divas would debut on the entertainment and celebrity pop culture channel E! Network as a show that takes an inside look on the lives of the female talent on the WWE roster and throughout the series, both Brie and Nicole have been the centerpiece of the show which would lead to a spin-off.
On the 5th of October 2016, Total Bella would debut on E! Network as well digging deeper to the lives of the duo with their relationships with their significant others as well their lives within and after professional wrestling as they would announce their retirement from in-ring competition in March of 2019
Legacy & Impact
Despite the twins being one of the last women of an era of women’s wrestling that is considered to be a more controversial topic within fans, The Bella Twins have proven to be a positive change within the times. Their constant will and determination to improve themselves in the ring, the position as top women putting over talent as true antagonists and the marketability that they possess that paved the way for women to succeed in the sale of merchandise and crossing over into the mainstream whether it’s reality television, social media presence, clothing, and wine sales, etc. Both Nicole and Brie Bella should be celebrated as game-changers in their own right like many of their male counterparts within the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame.
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