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Nikki Bella Says Vince McMahon Was Angry At Her For Diva Of The Year Win, Being Yelled At For Total Divas’ Success

February 23, 2023 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
Nikki Bella WWE, Nikki Garcia Image Credit: E!

On the latest episode of The Sessions, Nikki Bella held little back when discussing her time in WWE, from the adversarial relationship WWE seemed to have with Total Divas, to the attitude backstage towards fans from higher-ups. Highlights follow:

On the idea that perception is reality: “I remember one time, Triple H saying, ‘perception is reality in this business and we can perceive people however we want.’ And I think that’s what’s happened to Brie and I. At that time they made people believe so much that Brie and I only cared about reality TV, we were only there because of our men, because they were supercool and doing amazing things as well, awesome. I know AJ [Lee] spoke about in her book, and has regretted a lot because that could have been a time where we could have empowered women even more, and created more change.”

On the low morale in the women’s locker room in that era: “That was still a fight and that locker room was really difficult. A lot of women could speak about that. That was the time when I saw so many women with their heads down that I was like… oh, I’m going to fight real hard for this. I didn’t have to come back with reality cameras; I already had them with me. I chose to come back to make sure that we showcased women’s wrestling because I thought what women were doing was so badass, and they weren’t being appreciated for it.”

On WWE seeming spiteful about the success of Total Divas: “Honestly, Total Divas should have been praised even more because we literally were at the point of almost beating the Kardashians in the ratings. We were shaking the world up, and what a great time. We could’ve had the industry behind us; instead they used it to turn it against us. That was really shocking to me, because I was like, we’re making great change for women’s wrestling, why are you hating on it?”

On Vince not liking not being in control of TD: “As far as the boss [Vince McMahon], I felt like it was the first time he lost control of what he could make or not make. When Brie and I won Diva of the Year, we got in trouble. I got yelled at. I remember, we came back so happy, and he was like [Vince impersonation] ‘oh, because you brought in all these new viewers, and the women are now voting for you, and all these new women are here!'”

Nikki on her jaw dropping at Vince tearing her down in that moment: “On the floor. Everyone around was on the floor, like… the Bella twins are getting yelled at for being successful. Because it wasn’t what they wanted. They were the storytellers. They push who they want the crowd to be behind. Perception is reality. That is WWE to a tee. Even though the fans think they own it? No, they [WWE] laugh in the back, you know, ‘we own you at the end of the day.’

If using any of the above quotations, please credit The Sessions h/t 411mania for the transcription.