When “Total Bellas” premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday, Oct. 5 on E!, twin stars Brie and Nikki Bella will be watching from Napa Valley, Calif.
“Unfortunately, our men [Daniel Bryan and John Cena] can’t make it, because they have other obligations,” Nikki said, ‘but our girlfriends will be there, which we’re excited about, and we also partnered with a few wine makers...The Bellas are actually coming out with their own wine. So we’re there for harvest, ready to bottle up some stuff. Our wine comes out in May, and we’re super excited about it.”
The Bellas are California girls (San Diego born), and Napa Valley is a renowned Californian wine-producing region north of San Francisco, with hundreds of vineyards set amid rolling hills. Sounds like a good fit.
As for the show...the Bellas, their girlfriends, wine. That could be an episode unto itself. Do I hear “Brie Mode?”
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The new weekly reality show is the spinoff to the successful WWE “Total Divas” on E!.
“It was WWE and E!’s idea,” Brie said. “They brought it to Nikki and I, and how could we say ‘No.’ It was crazy that they wanted a deeper look into our family. For Nikki and I, too, the fact that you get to see a bigger perspective from [Daniel’s] eyes and John’s eyes and momma Bella and our brother and Johnny Laurinaitis, it’s really neat.”
John Laurinaitis, a fomer vice president of talent relations for WWE and on-screen Raw general manager, is a current road agent for the company. In March, he married Kathy Colace, mom of the Bella Twins.
“We definitely talk about wrestling [when they all get together], because it’s where we all met,” a happy Brie said. “It’s funny, too, to see Johnny...He’s our step-dad...He has strong opinions about how we are, how we take care of ourselves. You actually see John Laurinaitis get real emotional about joining our family.”
Nikki added: “It’s so cute.”
Brie continued: “I think people will love seeing that side of him.
“We all love wrestling. We love talking about it, but we all have these other things going on in our lives, too.”
The Bellas, 32, will remain part of “Total Divas,” which is filming season six.
“That’s our baby,” Brie said. “We love ‘Total Divas,’ and at the end of the day, we are WWE superstars, and we love giving that world an inside look -- inside the ring and outside the ring of the female WWE superstars. So that will always have a big place in our hearts.”
How will “Total Bellas” differ from “Total Divas”?
“Having our family [on Total Bellas] makes it different [from Total Divas] and also seeing the perspective of the guys; you actually get to hear from [Daniel’s] point of view and my brother’s point of view, John’s point of view,” Brie said. “So naturally it makes the show different. Plus, you’re going to see more ... advice than you ever had on ‘Total Divas.’ It’s kind of crazy. We never thought how could we make this different. It just naturally happened that way.”
The show will cover some interesting ground, including Nikki’s neck surgery/recovery and Daniel’s struggle with a forced retirement from concussions/injuries. During that time, Daniel and Brie, husband and wife, decided to become roommates with John and Nikki for three months in John and Nikki’s Tampa home.
“We thought it was going to be [better going through these things together], but it actually was harder,” Nikki said. “I think in big moments like that, you should be on your own and let yourself heal where you consider home. Unfortunately, [Daniel] didn’t get that. He was in my home. He wasn’t around his family. He was around our family. I think he thought he had to put on a tough face everyday, but deep down inside, he was hurting really bad, and you see that on ‘Total Bellas’ throughout all of the six episodes.
“So when you think it’s good to have your support system right there in your home, it’s not. I think it’s good to have them nearby but not in the home.”
Especially since Brie and Daniel had to abide by Johnathon Cena II House Rules.
No.1: Do not leave towels on the floor.
No.2: Formal dinner once a week (usually Wednesday).
No.3: Morning coffee together everyday.
No.4: Evening fire outside.
No.5: If going to be up late, text or tell him.
Brie’s favorite Johnathon Cena II House Rule.
“None of them,” she quickly responded.
Nikki then replied: “She wanted the Downton Abbey dinners because she got to sip on Caymus and Opus One [wines].”
Brie noted: “Yea, okay, that might have been my favorite.”
Brie continued: “It was crazy. I had to make my bed every morning.”
Nikki sarcastically said, “Wow. I feel so bad for you,” while Brie is saying, “I was constantly bare-footed in their freezing, cold house. I had to always pick up after myself. I just, uhh, I felt like I was at boarding school or something.”
Could we see a spinoff from the spinoff?
Brie answered: “Oh my gosh. Definitely.”
Nikki added: “Yea, the next one will be “Total Cena and Bryan” together...Two guys who went crazy dating the Bella Twins...Just kidding.”
Brie last competed in WWE at WrestleMania 32 in April in Arlington/Dallas. A current ambassador for WWE, she is no longer wrestling.
“Baby making is fun, [Nikki ewws] and I’m enjoying it,” Brie said, “but I do miss the ring so much. I didn’t retire because of an injury. I didn’t retire because I felt like I couldn’t keep up anymore. It’s because I wanted to become a mother.
‘That was really difficult, and it was so bittersweet, because I was looking forward to my new chapter in my life, but at the same time, I didn’t know if I was exactly ready to close this one. Every Monday night and Tuesday night, when I watch Raw and SmackDown [Live], I do miss it. I yearn for that ring, but who says I don’t get to make a comeback. Right after I have my first child, I’ll be back in that ring.”
Brie and Nikki recently appeared beautifully fit on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine. Were Daniel and John a little jealous?
“The boys were really cute about it,” Nikki said. “They were very happy for us, and it’s such an honor to be on that cover, but it was a lot of hard work. No carbs, no sugar, for like over a month, which is very hard in our life, and a ton of working out.
“It was such a huge accomplishment that it was worth every calorie I didn’t consume.”
An athlete, Nikki played soccer collegiately. She also acted, modeled and did promotional work as did Brie, leading to their foray with WWE in 2007. They worked hard at their new craft, and it paid off. Brie won the WWE Divas title, and in 2015, Nikki, a two-time WWE women’s champ, was ranked No.1 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Female Top 50.
Nikki’s career-threatening, neck injury served as a setback from November to August, where she then made a surprise return at WWE’s SummerSlam.
“It’s been absolutely amazing,” she said. “I truly feel like I’m a living Wonder Woman. I feel great. I feel stronger than ever, and I’ve been on cloud nine. I literally walk backstage, and I have this permanent, big smile on my face.
“That’s why when I didn’t win the championship and people were asking me if I was upset, I was like, ‘No.’ Just being able to walk to that ring and have a match again, I felt like a champ. So I’m very excited to see what the future holds for Nikki Bella.”
As for the now, it’s “Total Bellas” on E!.
Role models indeed.
Brie and Nikki Bella are empowering women, especially the youth, resonating with young girls.
When did it hit them that the Bella Twins became these fascinating role models.
Nikki answered: “Instagram and them coming up to us and asking us for photos...a couple of years ago...when we had a lot of little girls dressing like us and asking us for photos. Brie and I were like, ‘Oh my goodness. We have this whole new fanbase.’
“At that very moment, Brie and I realized that we were role models for all these little girls, and that really meant something to us. So that’s why we’ve been so strong about women empowerment and being role models and continuing to spread that word. It means a lot to Brie and I, and it’s what keeps us going and what makes us want to continue with ‘Total Bellas,’ ‘Total Divas’ at WWE.”
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