DAMIEN KING LEE (3s): Hi, I’m Damien King Lee and this is the fucked up story of my life and the lives of my guests. In this series of podcasts I’ll be speaking to unique and inspiring individuals about their life, their personal stories, struggles, and experiences. Hey, this is a Damien King Lee and welcome to my podcast show, Life Is… and I’m today here joined by The Voice, and we are here to introduce to you this week, the incredible Bella Twins. We had a sensational chat with these two girls, so much to say…
THE VOICE (46s): They were incredible weren’t they?
DAMIEN KING LEE (48s): They were incredible. So, you’re going to hopefully enjoy the show as much as we did. Please enjoy. Let me introduce you, this is guys… This is my, my, my first ever podcast, and I can’t be more excited and more delighted to say that we have the most beautiful two women on the planet, besides my fiancé, in case she’s going to watch this [laughs] Nikki and Brie Bella so… here they are.
THE VOICE (1m 23s): Two WWE Hall of Famers now, which was pretty amazing and… and also, you know, the stars of Total Divas and Total Bellas. I mean, you guys, I don’t know what’s coming up on the horizon for you guys, but yeah, I don’t even know how even have time for this, so thanks a lot
BRIE BELLA (1m 41s): When Nicole and I actually, cause we are pregnant about to be mothers together, you know, it kinda just as a full circle for us, it’s like, we’d been a tag team since we’ve been in the womb. All we’ve ever known is each other. And all we, you know, I always tell everyone like Nicole and I didn’t experience the first day of school alone. Like we always were together or when we walked into birthday parties or everything, we did, we always had the support of one another. And you know, when Nicole and I tell our story and especially from our book, Incomparable, but even from the WWE ring, to being entrepreneurs, to now being mom’s we always tell everyone if it wasn’t for the support of each other, we don’t know how we would’ve gone through it because we’ve gone through so many downs, but we did make those downs go into ups or like, Nicole and I like to say we’ve turned every negative into a positive.
BRIE BELLA (2m 36s): But, you know, I think people were really shocked when our book came out because we, you know, we’d been on reality television for a little over seven years now and we are open books, but everyone kind of just took those years they saw us on TV and just defined us as strong women from being WWE superstars and then into entrepreneurs, where Nicole and I were, well, our story started when we were really young. It didn’t start seven years ago when everyone saw it on national TV. So we thought it was really important to write a book and finally open up cause we’ve always kind of kept hidden our childhood, but to finally open up and just let everyone know that we went through a lot of struggles and we feel like if we never accomplished anything in life, people would be like, ah, that’s understandable because who their dad was and how they were raised, it would make sense, but we never wanted that story and so Nicole and I kinda thought to ourselves, you know what, let’s write a memoir where we could help people understand that we’re in control of our own stories and that we could be the heroes of our own stories and that instead of letting the things that bring you down, which we’ll go into what brought us down in our childhood, but instead of it really bringing us down and getting lost in it, how can we grow from it?
BRIE BELLA (3m 58s): And that’s when we truly feel like… When we became almost 18 and we looked at everything, we really became strong women. And it was…
NIKKI BELLA (4m 6s): Well no… I would say before that
BRIE BELLA (4m 8s): Even before, yeah, I would say before too. It took us a little bit to digest and to really find the strength, but it was definitely our childhood that made us, I would say wrestling superstars before we actually became them, because we wrestled all of these things in our life, but I do believe we became really strong, like, you know, at a young age.
NIKKI BELLA (4m 28s): Right, well, you know, for Brie and I, being with the WWE now for, I think it’s 15 years, since 2007 and, and then being on reality TV, we’ve been so fortunate enough to have this incredible worldwide fandom that called themselves the Bella army and for Brie. And I very early on at WWE we realized how important it was to be authentic and to truly walk in your truth because that brings you true connection to a live crowd or television viewers and that’s where the connection was. And then we grew to having a very intimate relationship with our Bella Army and so…
NIKKI BELLA (5m 11s): When the opportunity came to write a memoir about our whole life, it was something that Brie and I finally wanted to dig into because when you are in the spotlight and you are put in that role model position, you hear so many incredible stories of how you inspire and motivate people. And their stories were starting to inspire, motivate Brie and I. And I’m like, Brie, when you look at all of our fans, they have gone through so much in life from, you know, tragedies, they hold onto pain, they really look up to us about helping them get through that. And here, no one knew about our childhood or things that we went through.
NIKKI BELLA (5m 52s): And Brie, and I were already known as the reality stars that were relatable, how we live life and how we portray ourselves and just who we are as people. Brie and I have always loved to relate to our audience… and we just both said like, let’s relate to them more like people truly don’t know what we’ve overcome and what we’ve been through and so it was important for us to talk about our childhood, the abuse we went through. I remember there were two stories in our book that I spoke about and my mom heard it for the first time when our memoir dropped in May. I was raped twice in high school and for me, yeah, it was so important to talk about it because when I started to see…
NIKKI BELLA (6m 38s): I mean, first there was the Me Too Movement and I remember thinking like I would have done anything to have a movement like that when I was in high school, because those women spoke out and they gave you the courage and the bravery to want to speak out too. But back in 2000, no one spoke about all that stuff, you know?
DAMIEN KING LEE (6m 58s): Yeah. It was kind of tucked away, wasn’t it? Yeah…
NIKKI BELLA (7m 1s): Yeah, definitely.
BRIE BELLA (7m 2s): And I think too, it made women… And women still do it to this day, but they’re kinda getting out of it, blame themselves. Like they’re like, well, did I put myself in this situation? So, and which you’ll elaborate on, but when it comes to rape or being sexually harassed or molested, I feel like women, and I’m sure men did this too, the first thing a victim does is to be like, I did this to myself and instead of thinking someone did it to me.
NIKKI BELLA (7m 28s): Yes. And, and then I would hear all these stories of young girls and it can happen to boys too, but in high school that, you know, were being raped and date raped, and then in college, and then one of this movement came out and you saw this happening to people in their twenties, in their thirties and on… I was like, I need to start to help be a voice because I held onto so much shame and guilt for so long. I was in and out of therapy because…
BRIE BELLA (7m 58s): For 20 years, right?
NIKKI BELLA (7m 59s): For 20 years, because I refused to talk to people about it because I just would always play back in my head at times like… “But maybe I put myself in that situation so maybe I don’t have the right to be, you know… know that it wasn’t my fault” and I just, I would always play this in my head and therapists would be like “you did nothing wrong” but it, it was so hard to convince myself of that because it happened
DAMIEN KING LEE (8m 25s): You carried that shame and that guilt all these years?
NIKKI BELLA (8m 28s): Yeah, yes all these years. And so then I started thinking, you know what? I don’t know if it’s because just getting older and you know, now becoming a mom, but I was like, I don’t want anyone to carry what I have carried this long. I want to help them now. Like I wish when the first time it happened to me at 15 years old that like, someone was able to help me instead of carrying that 15. And now I’m about to be 37 and so… And we wrote this book two years ago. So I was like, I want to be that voice. I need to start to share that because if I could help the youth now, overcome that and know that it’s not their fault, like, and erase that guilt and shame, then I know that’s worth putting your stories out there with the memoir and knowing that like “Hey, Nikki Bella the girl that kicks ass in the ring, can probably kick your ass.”
NIKKI BELLA (9m 20s): This is like, what’s happened to her and this is what she would even carry to the ring.” When I first started, this is the baggage that was… that I would walk through. But I also had this confidence because I always was constantly trying to work on myself. And I just never wanted to be a victim, I always wanted to be a survivor, even though I would push things down, but I never wanted people to know my story because I never wanted people to feel bad for me, you know? And it was the same with just the childhood abuse and everything. I mean, Brie and I even ran away at one point, which is crazy
DAMIEN KING LEE (9m 53s): But what is it, what is it? Something you have hidden through your career? And you, you didn’t talk about it for many, many years. What made you decide within your book that this is something I really wanted to talk about and, and, and let people know about it?
THE VOICE (10m 8s): Was it the Me Too Movement is that what you were saying?
NIKKI BELLA (10m 11s): That was definitely… The Me Too Movement was the… Brie came to me, actually…
BRIE BELLA (10m 16s): I did, I came to Nicole and I was like, I I think you should hashtag Me Too. Like, you’ve been raped twice, you’ve never said… You’ve never told anyone your story. I think this is a time. And she was like, I’m not ready. And I haven’t been a victim of rape, so I didn’t know her inner demons she was battling. I just wanted it to be her strength. And I told her, I’m like, I have your back. Like, I, I will go through this. I have your back. I will go through this with you. But you know, I just don’t live in and what she feels with it, but it wasn’t, it was definitely the Me Too Movement. But I also feel like it was a lot of the reality show.
NIKKI BELLA (10m 55s): Well, no… Your are speaking on my behalf now…
BRIE BELLA (10m 58s): But I mean about the book and telling our stories, and I think it was a lot of what you have gone through is, you start to see people come out and be like, wow, when I watch you on TV and I see like the ups and downs, you go through, it really helps me get through my life. And Nicole and I started to realize how many people we were helping just by being us on TV, like showcased in the good, the bad, the ugly. Because we don’t hold back, we have zero filters, we let everyone looks into our lives and you see like all these crazy stuff, so her and I really realize that, you know what? I, I think there is a lot more to us that people don’t realize that they probably will be inspired by.
NIKKI BELLA (11m 38s): Right. And it’s just, you just start to hear so many people’s stories and even myself with women and knowing like they can’t get through the day, they don’t want to get out of bed. Like they don’t know, they don’t want to see tomorrow. And I was like, I can’t wake up and I can’t wait to wake up and see tomorrow. Like I still, I love life. I love everything it has to offer. And, and it, it would make me so sad to know that they were in this place and it’s like, I need to be their living day superhero. I need to be their wonder woman. I need to speak out. We need to tell them the stories, because I’m always about, like, you have to show people the light at the end of the…
NIKKI BELLA (12m 19s): and you have to show people the light at the end of the tunnel, you need to give them hope because some people just don’t have people in their lives that give them hope and it’s like, you want to be those people that give them hope and show them that you can be here to, you can do these things you can overcome. And, and that’s when it comes into play when you can relate. And I think, especially in this world, that is so filtered in social media and seems so unrelatable can make you feel bad about yourself, but when you can share those stories and Brie, and I just open up the closet door and pull all the skeletons out and be like, look at, this is us. We’re just like you. And this is what we overcame.
NIKKI BELLA (12m 59s): And now we smile every day. Brie has a beautiful family. I’m going to have a family. We still kick ass. We like have all these dreams. They never end, and you can be here too.
DAMIEN KING LEE (13m 12s): Amazing. Amazing. And, you know, look, from here on the other side of the pond, you know, I have some of the things going on, where you guys are just getting on with your daily life and you know… And I was… Look, I was recently on a reality show over here in the UK and one of the things when I was… I don’t know if you have a similar show in the US, but the show over here was called Rich House, Poor House and it was kind of like a life swap. So, you take one family on one divide, you swap lives for a week and, and, and, and you live each others lives. And for me and my family, it was a real, eye-opener to experience, you know, the other…
DAMIEN KING LEE (13m 52s): The other side, in a sense, and this other family situation. And at the end of it, when they brought us together and I, and we first met the other family and they felt that I had this perfect life because they experienced my life for the weak and my family’s life and it was only during that week, that bit by bit, they started to find out the true reality of my life, in my personal situation and my family situation, with regards my health and what I’m going through and the fact that I’m terminal and you know, everyday… in a sense, I’m, I’m fighting for my life. And it’s easy when you…
DAMIEN KING LEE (14m 33s): Particularly, you guys who are in this position of everybody knows you they admire you. They think you’re amazing and they watch what you do, and you have this wonderful life, but when you drill into it, we all have our skeletons, we’re only human. We’re no different to anyone else in many ways and this was my situation. I said, scratch the surface, you may think my life is wonderful and my family’s life is wonderful, but we are fighting out demons. We are fighting out tragedy each day. You can have all the money in the world and all the success in the world but if you haven’t got your health or you, haven’t got your emotional stability, all of these things, you have of nothing, and it’s the great equalizer.
DAMIEN KING LEE (15m 15s): It doesn’t matter where you are in life but these situations that we have when you dig into it, we all have them, but it doesn’t matter where you come from.
BRIE BELLA (15m 25s): I agree. So, you know, it’s funny because we just had this recent conversation with our mom. It was probably a month ago. Our mom actually just had brain surgery last week?
NIKKI BELLA (15m 34s): Two weeks ago.
DAMIEN KING LEE (15m 35s): Your mom had brain surgery? When?
BRIE BELLA (15m 37s): Everything happened, emergency style. Like she just, her face went paralyzed, she lost taste in her mouth, her whole left side, all this and she had a successful surgery. But, you know, before that, we thought she had Bell’s palsy and Nicole and I thought we were bringing her all this stress because our book and everything… But the one thing we told our mom, because we can tell our mom had a lot of shame for our childhood and that our mother at 55? Mom’s 55? At 55 has been holding on to a lot and that, you know, and she’s worked through a lot, but she still hasn’t let go of a lot. And Nicole and I told our mom, we’re like, “Mom, because of our childhood, it’s defined who we are today.
BRIE BELLA (16m 18s): It’s our story. And that is okay. Like, we don’t blame you. We don’t even blame our dad. We don’t play many one.” I mean, what happened to us? Yeah. When we were kids, did we look at other families and be like, oh, we wish we were them or we saw, you know, some friends and we thought their parents were so loving and great granted we didn’t know the secrets behind those doors, but we told our mom we were like “stop holding onto it and feeling so badly about it, because look where we’re at today as women.” And I think that’s the one thing Nicole and I have always been great about and it’s probably because we have each other and we helped each other. And we have gone through a lot of therapy. I will say therapy and life coaches.
DAMIEN KING LEE (16m 57s): You live in California, right? [laughs]
BRIE BELLA (17m 1s): Yeah, so needed! But we always, like, we just, we’ll never regret the, like, the way we were raised. And we don’t ever want to take it away from ourselves. We were like, it’s what’s defined us. It made us strong women. And like you were saying earlier, it’s so true because people… It’s like, you know, when you hear don’t judge a book by its cover? and especially going back to that filtered social media world, people so much want what others have, because they just see this like picture perfect family, or they see the money, or they see the house and the life and they’re like, that’s what I want and they really don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.
BRIE BELLA (17m 44s): One thing that my mother taught me and that I have focused on so much, I feel like in the past decade is defining what success means to me. And what I finally realized was my definition of success is happiness. Because if I am fully happy and my cup of tea is full with no cracks, it doesn’t matter what I have in life, because I’m so happy that I could have a small house, a big house, a cool car an okay car, but happiness, that’s, that’s living rich. That’s priceless. And that’s what I’ve tried to teach people when I have spoken to them, when they compare…
BRIE BELLA (18m 25s): And the things that they want and they’re not happening and it brings them down and “why them and not me?” I just ask them, well, what’s your definition of success? What does it mean to you? And I just, I try to tell so many people that if you are so happy in full, it doesn’t matter what others have
DAMIEN KING LEE (18m 44s): So true. And you know, it’s interesting what you just said there. I mean, particularly you two, when you say behind closed doors. Now, I mentioned earlier, I was on a UK reality show for a week. Okay, it turned out to be about 15 days in total and that for me and my family was so difficult because we just weren’t used to having cameras on us 24/7. We felt it was so intrusive and they wanted to get into every detail of our life and there was no closed doors in a sense. And I can’t imagine what it must be like for you guys. I mean, how do you deal with that? I mean, what part where you find that you can really be true Nikki and true Brie and yourselves, versus the show?
DAMIEN KING LEE (19m 32s): I mean, I’m intrigued
THE VOICE (19m 34s): Or have the lines blurred so much now that you are completely the show.
BRIE BELLA (19m 41s): Honestly, right? It’s, you know, it’s crazy because when we started, I actually didn’t realize how much into our lives we would get into on reality television. Even like this past season of Total Bellas, it was hard because they really went in deep on my marriage. To even like stuff of my marriage was coming out that I didn’t even realize that people just watching and always being around us started to just see. And they were like, “Oh, so you and Brian really don’t….?” Like, they would just bring up different stuff and I’m like, “Oh, I guess, I guess we don’t” because I’m just so busy trying to be an entrepreneur and a mother that my marriage was down very far on my list, which now I’ve put it back up.
BRIE BELLA (20m 23s): But I guess Nicole, and I when we did sign up for a reality, we said, we just have to be open books. We have to let everything show, we can’t hide anything and people are gonna love us, people are going to hate us. We have to be okay with it. So I feel like reality is actually a little easier on us because we just, we’re just us. We like to let it all out and there’s definitely times her and I will look at each other and be like “shit, like the cameras were rolling”…
DAMIEN KING LEE (20m 50s): Do you draw the line somewhere, where the cameras can sort of intrude in some part of your life or is there a line or its kind of a free for all, is it come on guys this us us. I mean, where does it stop?
NIKKI BELLA (21m 5s): That was… You know, where I’ve always feel like I have failed in life, like even since I been young is I’ve never been great with boundaries. And I think it’s because one of my personality traits that I’ve tried to work on for so long as I’m such a people pleaser, it’s like, I’m always afraid I’ll hurt someone’s feelings or when they really need something, it’s like, I literally will stop whatever it is I’m doing that is important in my life to make sure that they’re okay or they need it. I always have had an issue of putting myself first. So I realized, I brought that even into reality TV where I thought I’d have boundaries and then I had no boundaries and then you start to get taken advantage of, and it’s like the worst feeling. I was always someone like, you have to walk in your truth Nicole, because the truth…
NIKKI BELLA (21m 49s): Nothing bad could ever happen to you because whatever you put out there, that’s you, people are going to hate you or like you, but at least, you know, that’s who you are, it’s not made up. But now, having a baby and already feeling so protective of my son before he’s even here, it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like I have to have boundaries. Like, I’ve already felt the lioness like rise in me and it’s like, we have the cameras… I mean, they’re going to be in the delivery room, but like I already have these boundaries.
DAMIEN KING LEE (22m 21s): Wow are you serious? Wow, that’s amazing.
NIKKI BELLA (22m 23s): Yes. So I am going to be just out there for the world.
DAMIEN KING LEE (22m 26s): And you Brie as well or is that just Nikki?
BRIE BELLA (22m 29s): Yes, I gave birth on camera with my daughter Birdie. I’m going to do it this time, but it is like Nicole said… now, I was always better at boundaries than Nicole, which is crazy. And Nicole actually said, when she read our book, she was like, I actually didn’t realize how good you were with boundaries.
NIKKI BELLA (22m 47s): Like when we were younger, like when I was reading the book and just hearing Brie’s stories from like middle school and even high school, I was like, “Oh my sister always has been great with that where I have not at all.”
BRIE BELLA (22m 59s): No, and I definitely struggled as an adult because I’m a people pleaser too, but it is weird when you become a mom and with the reality show, definitely with my daughter, there’s boundaries.
NIKKI BELLA (23m 10s): Brie’s very good. And I feel like that’s where I’ll finally have boundaries on the show is when it comes to my son.
BRIE BELLA (23m 16s): And my husband’s always like, I wish you would be like that with me.
NIKKI BELLA (23m 20s): Our poor relationships with our men. I mean, we throw everything out there. Like I’ll be talking about sex and Artem is like “can you not always be talking about her sex life?” and I’m like, but I like it and it’s a great conversation.
DAMIEN KING LEE (23m 34s): With my fiance when we got approached for this show in the UK, it was the same thing because I said: “guys I’ve been approached…” To my children and, and to Weronika, I said: “we’ve been approached or I’ve been approached to be on this reality show but part of this reality show means that you guys have to be in that too” and they’re like “what?” and they felt really uncomfortable with it at first, you know, when I was trying to drag them into what I thought it would be a good thing for what I do and the business and building the profile of the brand and so forth here in the UK and abroad. But they were reluctant participants in a sense in the early stages and the like: “Oh, we really don’t want to be in this”
DAMIEN KING LEE (24m 20s): and I remember sitting down and having to chat to them and saying: “guys, these are the reasons I think it would be really good for us as a family. I think it would be a really good experience for you as children to understand that, you know, not everything is delivered on a silver plate to you, you know, not everybody has it as good as you guys” and I wanted them to learn a values and it took them time to adjust and understand what I meant. So I get, when you say your husband, Brie… but where do you protect the children? That’s the big question and when my boys went on the show, there were one or two things that were kind of not necessarily edited in the right way, it was out of context.
DAMIEN KING LEE (25m 8s): There were a lot of haters and trolls that came in on my boys and that was the one thing that I was really concerned about going into the show… That my boys would be protected. And there was some pretty nasty things some people said around my boys because of one or two comments that were totally taken out of context, but it was shown up on the cameras in a certain way. And I’m just wondering how you guys feel about, you know, Nicole, you’re going to be a new mom. Brie you’ve already got, I think… You have a daughter who is about three or four now?
BRIE BELLA (25m 37s): Three, yeah.
DAMIEN KING LEE (25m 38s): Yeah, and then another baby on the way. So how do you guys feel about that and protecting the kids?
NIKKI BELLA (25m 48s): Well, you know, the one thing that’s a plus about Brie and I, and we worked really hard on Total Divas of being behind the camera and just doing what we could so we ended up getting an EP credit, like we were… I think some of the only celebrities that actually worked really hard to get an executive producer credit. It took us years to do a lot of extra work and want that and then we became an executive producer on Total Divas and then when Total Bellas came around, that was very important to us to, and it wasn’t just to have a credit, but it was because we really wanted to be hands on and our voices to be taken seriously and when your talent turned into an EP, it’s like the only way I felt like our voices to be heard was to make sure we have that executive producer credit.
NIKKI BELLA (26m 33s): So, where Brie and I are lucky and how we can protect our children is we do get that strong voice. So, I watch all the episodes before they go on air, I’m part of the editing process. So, they’re even been times when my family members and I know exactly what you’re talking about where their reaction was to a completely different conversation, but because they want to build the drama or controversy, they took that reaction to this conversation and Brie, and I will be like: “No, you cannot do that, I am sorry.” And we’ve even behind scenes have had to fight really hard where people were like: “but we need this” and it’s like, “I don’t care, that’s my family.
NIKKI BELLA (27m 14s): Like you are not doing that to them.”
BRIE BELLA (27m 16s): Put it on us. We’re like we can handle it but they can’t. Also they didn’t sign up for it the way we did. But even, you know, there’s been times when I’ve posted Birdie with certain stuff or whatever and when I do see the negative, like some people will just have some stupid negative comments, it always blows my mind. And I always wanna fire back. Like she used to be the queen of firing back, but I’m like, it does nothing.
NIKKI BELLA (27m 44s): Yeah. I was really good with my words. I kill with kindness and it’s like, when you kill with kindness, it like, it makes someone feel kind of silly and stupid, they’re like: “Oh my gosh.” And that’s what I would kind of like do mentally… That’s what I would do mentally to them. I kill them so hard with kindness. I would even… I would read their bios and figure them out as a person and then that’s how I would go in. Like it’s pretty messed up. I think I truly am a lioness.
DAMIEN KING LEE (28m 12s): So I guess you both had this warrior spirit in you, right?
NIKKI AND BRIE BELLA (28m 15s): Totally!
DAMIEN KING LEE (28m 18s): And how about you two are sisters, and twins in effect and you both got this warrior spirit. I mean, how do you two deal with each other?
NIKKI BELLA (28m 30s): Well it used to be a very hardcore fight. Kind of like what they do in the late 1800s.
DAMIEN KING LEE (28m 35s): Is that from the early days, even before WWE?
BRIE BELLA (28m 39s): Yes. We used to get physical with each other…
DAMIEN KING LEE (28m 44s): Really?
BRIE BELLA (28m 45s): Oh yeah. When we were younger, but we as adults, I mean, we definitely can go at each other, but you know…
NIKKI BELLA (28m 52s): We can hit below the belt.
BRIE BELLA (28m 53s): We’ve we’ve worked on that for years, but we can say some really mean stuff
NIKKI BELLA (28m 57s): But what’s crazy with Twins is you forgive each other 10 minutes later. And if someone was around, they’re still affected by what they heard or saw. And then we’re laughing, popping in a bottle of Dom P and they’re like: “seriously, they just said the meanest stuff to each other 10 minutes ago?”
BRIE BELLA (29m 13s): They’re like, how are you guys over it? I mean, my art, my husband, her fiance, and even some of our best friends, like it will take them a full day to get over the stuff they’ll see us say to each other. And they’re just like, they can’t believe it…
NIKKI BELLA (29m 27s): And we’ll be like, get over it guys. We’re fine.
BRIE BELLA (29m 29s): And I think this is how we were raised too, but you know… Nicole and I were saying since this whole pandemic and this quarantine process, we have been together every day, but we’ve gotten in two arguments and think we’d been in quarantine… Her and I have been in quarantine since the end of February, beginning of March so for a really long time. But what we recognized, what was good for us, that wasn’t good for us in the past is because we’ve been together so much we see the hard work each other puts into the companies and to life being a wife, being a fiance, just putting a household together and maybe a pandemic too kind of shifts you in a spiritual way of making you think of what’s important, but…
NIKKI BELLA (30m 15s): We’ve appreciated each other.
BRIE BELLA (30m 16s): Yeah, we have, and we feel really blessed that we’re next door neighbours.
DAMIEN KING LEE (30m 20s): Oh, really? Literally next door neighbours?
BRIE BELLA (30m 22s): I mean I am looking at her window and see her staring at my house
NIKKI BELLA (30m 27s): We never thought we’d be those twins, but Brie, and I think because we’ve travelled the world for so long, but we’re never home that convenience is everything for us. So we knew, we knew that we’d either be driving to each other’s houses every day or we can just walk next door and when I came over to the Thanksgiving two years ago to her house, and then there was an open lot next door and I was like, well, her house is so cute. Like I put these contractors so they would make my house really cute and of course it had to be bigger than Brie’s [laughs]
DAMIEN KING LEE (30m 59s): It’s like a sister thing [laughs]
BRIE BELLA (31m 3s): A lot bigger. It literally looks like her house is gonna eat my house.
NIKKI BELLA (31m 9s): But I was like, this, this is actually, it’s like calling to us. Like this is what we’ve always said would be easy and, and it’s just been so nice.
DAMIEN KING LEE (31m 18s): But you guys must get sick of each other. Come on, you’re doing the show together, you have a wrestle together, you have a podcast together, you must want to see the backside of each other sometimes, right?
NIKKI BELLA (31m 31s): Well, you know, I think it’s… The bond with identical twins I feel like only twins can understand it and sometimes I don’t even think fraternal twins get it, what identical twins can. But we’re literally this egg that split in half. We were in the same womb, like all we’ve ever known as each other and for some reason, like we never get sick of each other and… you know we’ll get in a quick little argument. I could tell like, “Oh, we’re a little sick of each other” but then we’re fine. Yeah. But it it’s really weird we never, we never do. Like, we never get sick of each other.
THE VOICE (32m 6s): Did it ever spill over into the ring? Did you ever have an argument or a fight or something, that you know, it went on a bit too long and then you had a show?
BRIE BELLA (32m 28s): Oh, yeah…
NIKKI BELLA (32m 28s): I’ll take this, Brie. Yeah, we will like start fighting right now…
BRIE BELLA (32m 34s): I know…
NIKKI BELLA (32m 35s): We’re extremely competitive.
BRIE BELLA (32m 35s): We are.
NIKKI BELLA (32m 36s): And Me especially, and I’m a hot head and so…
BRIE BELLA (32m 40s): Once she goes there, it’s hard, like for her to get out.
NIKKI BELLA (32m 41s): Yeah, I can’t get out of it. Like I literally, when I found out a few years ago that I have a brain defect and they’re like: “do you have a hard time shifting your emotions? Like once your, in this emotional state, you can’t really go back” and I go “yeah!” I just thought maybe I was bipolar and wasn’t diagnosed.
BRIE BELLA (32m 57s): I went like, Yeah, she does. I’m like, I’ll second that
NIKKI BELLA (33m 0s): They’re like, you have this brain defect of where that emotion is and it’s hard for you to go back and forth and I’m like, and I’m finding this out now at 35? It’s like, this would have helped me in my whole life.
BRIE BELLA (33m 13s): All those guys who thought you were crazy…
NIKKI BELLA (33m 14s): Yeah
BRIE BELLA (33m 15s): And all your exes, this is going to be our memoir two, so they all know when they read it.
NIKKI BELLA (33m 23s): But yeah, but I would, like, I took the ring and I was a competitive. Brie and I both were competitive soccer players for 11 years and then I went on, I played a little bit of college and I was going to play Pro Bowl.
BRIE BELLA (33m 33s): I love that you call it soccer, in Australia we also call it soccer
NIKKI BELLA (33m 42s): I know… Football? And so I would take that athlete in me and that competitive side, I would bring that to the ring that even though we have predetermined finishes in the WWE, to me, it was still a real battle. So when I felt like my sister didn’t do this, like what we talked about, or I would be very hard on her and then she’d get back to me
BRIE BELLA (34m 1s): Extremely hard
NIKKI BELLA (34m 1s): And, I’ll admit I was a little too hard on Brie, but it caused some arguments in the ring, but then the best is if a girl is too hard on my sister. Like I literally almost got into a legit fight with a girl during the show. I actually think I’m in the UK tour…
BRIE BELLA (34m 17s): At a live event
NIKKI BELLA (34m 19s): Because she just, yeah she hit my sister, like in a way that was so unsafe. And I was like, I mean, in front of everyone, I like bitched her out so bad and then she jumped down, like you want to go? And I was like “yeah, I’ll go like…”
DAMIEN KING LEE (34m 31s): Wow. So it wasn’t for the cameras and the show, it was real, this sort of thing?
BRIE BELLA (34m 37s): Oh yeah. We were real. I don’t know if you remember who Dusty Rhodes was.
THE VOICE (34m 42s): Oh yeah.
BRIE BELLA (34m 42s): The American dream, the American dream. So he trained Nicole and I a lot, early on in our career and he’d hear us fight on the side, but in the middle of the match, you’d be like, damn, he goes, “you guys are like…” What would he say? “I’ve never seen a tag team hate each other so much but then love each other.” And he would see as fight and then like after the match would be cool and he’ll be like, “you just fought, literally talk shit to each other during that whole match, even though your a tag team and then you guys were like cheering with each other after like, everything was cool.” And we’re like, yeah, it sounds about right.
NIKKI BELLA (35m 19s): Because you know what I mean? We got like a Viking spirit to us.
DAMIEN KING LEE (35m 26s): What I was really fascinated by you guys, you know, when you guys came into the wrestling scene as females and what you achieved and what you created in a sense, which was literally a man’s world at, you know, in those early days. And you, you changed all that and it is what it is today. You reshaped wrestling, you know, and you’ve brought the female and women into it and empowered women. It’s amazing. But I mean, it must have been at the early days, really, really challenging. I mean, and I relate to a part of my life too, and I can only imagine how it was for you guys’ in a man’s, male dominated world how you guys sort of broke that and won the trust, the admiration of predominantly a man’s world.
DAMIEN KING LEE (36m 17s): I mean, how did you do that? It must have been difficult in those early days.
NIKKI BELLA (36m 24s): It was so difficult. You know, I think Brie, having a very strong mom and watching her go through such a terrible divorce at 15, but she was just very empowering and strong and just fought through. Brie and I kinda… I mean, I’ll admit, it made me hate men at a very young age because of my parents’ divorce. So I even have stuff that I wrote because I’ve been journaling since I’ve been very, very young journaling, writing poetry, and I literally would write stuff like “I hate men. I’ll be better than them” I’ll like, I read, I still, I Brie always laughs because I save everything.
NIKKI BELLA (37m 6s): So, I mean, I say I still have a passed notes for middle school. And so I’ll read this stuff and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, Nicole, geez, settle down. You were so young.” But I think also then being an athlete and being around girls and then women all the time and that’s how we conquered and we had a victory. I really looked up to my soccer coaches and they were males. But when I got into that industry and Brie, and I noticed very quickly like, “Oh, the women are like eye candy.” Like they’re not, they’re not listening to us or they’re not taking us seriously and I hated the feeling and she hated the feeling and we knew there had to be change. And like it took years and years of blood, sweat, and tears of times that I’m not going to lie I wanted to give up but because I had my twin, she helped me stay.
NIKKI BELLA (37m 54s): Or times Brie wanted to give up and I helped her stay. Honestly, I don’t know if I could have broken those barriers without her, but I do know one thing about our personality was… It would give me more fire the more I heard, no, the more I was disrespected, the more I was treated like a piece of meat, the more that I would try to fight for 10 minutes of a match time and I was given two. And like go pull hair and maybe spank her ass and that will be great. It was like, I came from such a different mentality. Like I wasn’t a hired model. I wasn’t someone that came in as a manager of LA, like I was a professional wrestler.
NIKKI BELLA (38m 37s): I came from a soccer background that wanted to bring my athleticism to the ring and that fire, every time I kept hearing no, and people were being negative and they’re saying, you can’t do it. It was like, fire was rising, like Brie. And I were rising like the Phoenix. And I was like, okay, we’re turning to these goddesses and now we will change. Like we won’t stop fighting out till there is change.
BRIE BELLA (39m 0s): Right. And I think what was hard too, is that it is a male dominated industry. So there is such small amount of females, but we worked just as well.
DAMIEN KING LEE (39m 10s): Probably harder is my guess
BRIE BELLA (39m 12s): Harder because we only had one spot for the women. The guys had their would be 10 to 12 matches so, so many men could work. There’d be one short, little time spot for women. So we were all fighting all the time. But when I saw how hard we were working and how… I hate to say it, there’s a lot of men who worked hard and a lot who didn’t, but they’re getting paid more than us just because they’re men, they’re getting better stories just because they were men…
NIKKI BELLA (39m 40s): More TV time…
BRIE BELLA (39m 42s): It got to a point where we’re like, “no, things have to change.” And when the reality show Total Divas came, Nicole and I knew that this was the time to give women wrestlers a voice. This is a time to showcase that we are doing just as much as the men and we do to deserve everything that they’re getting. That’s why we really wanted to do Total Divas because we’re like, it’s about time that the world knows about us women, wrestlers.
NIKKI BELLA (40m 7s): I agree, I think when you see so many like movements come through and conquer, it’s like what you see kind of at the start of it… I feel like the foundation is that whatever the movement is, is these people are exhausted. They get to a point where they’re, they’re exhausted of inequality, they’re exhausted have been treated at a certain way. And it’s like, you, it’s weird how your mind just shifts. And you’re like, “no, this is going to change.”
BRIE BELLA (40m 31s): Yeah, and, you don’t care about the consequences.
NIKKI BELLA (40m 35s): And I felt like for us and the other woman, we got to a point where we just became exhausted of fighting of being treated differently of bringing in our A game every week but it didn’t matter. And it was like, then the movement came and we are at the forefront and it was like, you could put whatever barrier you want as high we’re going to knock that down
BRIE BELLA (40m 56s): And if the consequence is getting fired, gladly we’ll leave. We didn’t care.
NIKKI BELLA (41m 3s): We were at that point where you have nothing to lose
DAMIEN KING LEE (41m 6s): Hey guys, if you enjoyed the Bella Twins Part 1, make sure you click the link to Part 2. I hope you’ve loved today’s show. Got some great more guests coming each week. Please remember to subscribe right now.