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      Nikki Bella Doesn't Think The Bellas Receive Enough Credit For Starting The Women's Revolution


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      The crux of Nikki Bella's feud with Ronda Rousey centers around how Rousey views the Bella Twins as being divas instead of women's Superstars. Nikki and Brie still proud of the diva's era even though WWE has tried to distance itself from it in recent years.

      As a former diva, Nikki believes she doesn't get enough credit for her role in starting the Women's Revolution and she discussed that on the In This Corner podcast with Brian Campbell.

      "Definitely not," Nikki responded when asked if the Bellas get enough credit for starting the Women's Revolution. "I guess it's the point where I don't feel like I need the credit, but it's more or less been the disrespect where I have been the punching bag and I think that is hard because, as we know, especially WWE they are pros to "perception is reality." So, however they perceive someone people tend to believe that where that person is that person, and for some reason my sister and I have been turned into the punching bags, like, oh, put them with this person and let that person talk about The Bellas and it will elevate them, and that is who we have become. We have been that for a very long time, and it gets exhausting and I'm not going to lie it gets very frustrating because for some reason we have been the women that don't care about wrestling. But I have been here for 12 years; I have broken my neck and have come back. I absolutely love professional wrestling; I have a passion for that."

      Nikki reminds everyone that she and Brie debuted as wrestlers and not as valets or non-wrestling personalities. The Bellas also came up with the idea of being assistants to the Celebrity Hosts that Raw used to have, but Nikki thinks their crossover ability with people outside of wrestling has hurt them at times with WWE.

      "My sister and I, no one will ever give us any credit because we have become the 'no, use them for this because they have this outside success,' or they have that, but that's fine," said Nikki. "But it's just like the word "diva." I was in so many meetings where I talked about how that word is going to be made beautiful, strong and powerful, and it also gave the SmackDown women something to compete for because we weren't competing for anything. So, we were like, yes, let's make this so strong and powerful, which is what we made the Divas Championship become - something beautiful like that. A lot of little girls were wearing the Divas Championship, they loved it, and I think that is what is hard about the current era now: because Triple H and that group decided to use it as a bad word, it's like, wait, what do you mean?

      "You taught us to make that word an amazing word and that is what we did. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it, and I was part of that. I saw the work that was put into that and it was beautiful. I saw the work that was put into that bridge when people wanted to see more of us, and that was beautiful, and then when it gets taken away from the diva's era that hurts me. If you think diva is a bad word then I am going to kick your a** to show you that it is not a bad word."

      Nikki and Brie embraced the word "diva" and made it represent something meaningful in a male-dominated industry. But when WWE changed "divas" to "women's Superstars," the word almost seemed to become an insult. Nikki believes the women from the diva's era, including herself, should still be held in high regard.

      "When you look at those champions: Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Melina, AJ Lee, Paige, Brie Bella, Eve Torres, they are strong and fierce women that cared and worked really hard, so I am here to remind people of that history. You want to praise the Attitude Era, and praise bra and bikini matches, but you want to discredit women that worked hard because there is a butterfly on a championship design? That is not okay with me, that is not empowering, so I think Evolution means a lot of things, and hopefully after Evolution we can stop talking about diva being a bad word. We get blamed for something but they tell us to be at certain places, I am here to stick up for those women, to remind people of how hard they have worked," stated Nikki.

      https://www.wrestlinginc.com/news/2018/11/nikki-bella-doesnt-think-the-bellas-receive-enough-credit-647474/

      6

      She's right! I hope that one day the Bellas & the rest of the women that worked in between the Attitude Era and current 'NXT' era will eventually get the credit they deserve.

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      The initial success of Total Divas was an important catalyst in WWE’s push of their women’s division and without it, I highly doubt they would have ever capitalized or saw the marketing potential of their women. So yes, she is correct and her frustrations are justified, but her highly polarizing legacy has already been cemented and therefore she can’t do very much to change her perception among the vocal minority. It is emblematic of a much bigger issue, beyond her (and Brie) as performers, and rather rooted in their image as hyperfeminine entrepreneurial women, which clashes with the very insular, “blue collar” ethos of pro wrestling. 

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      I also do think it’s tad funny seeing some smarks claim some moral high ground and scoff at reality TV because they view it as problematic entertainment. Like bitch, if you think reality television is problematic, then what does that make pro wrestling? They’re two peas in a pod henny

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      Edited by Don Draper
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      15 minutes ago, Don Draper said:

      The initial success of Total Divas was an important catalyst in WWE’s push of their women’s division and without it, I highly doubt they would have ever capitalized or saw the marketing potential of their women. So yes, she is correct and her frustrations are justified, but her highly polarizing legacy has already been cemented and therefore she can’t do very much to change her perception among the vocal minority. It is emblematic of a much bigger issue, beyond her (and Brie) as performers, and rather rooted in their image as hyperfeminine entrepreneurial women, which clashes with the very insular, “blue collar” ethos of pro wrestling. 

      Are we sure though? Total Divas’ first season premiered during AJ’s reign and, while all the cast members were given screen time and title opportunities, WWE perpetuated the idea that because they were reality stars they were not credible threats as wrestlers. AJ was the pinnacle of the division as a result of WWE buying into the idea that the “Total Divas” were not up to par, at least at first. Nikki and Brie worked hard to gain a lot of footing and show that they were credible threats after they’d been effectively buried during the AJ period, but Total Divas’ success was more of a detriment that they had to overcome in my opinion. By the next year, Nikki was in her record-breaking reign, but it wasn’t an overnight success story. They had to prove that they were not just reality stars, and I don’t know that they have yet to the general audience. The fact that the storyline is still always about their personal relationships and their outside success isn’t a showcase that they’ve had crossover success (ala the Rock) but instead that, when they do return, they’re still inferior and can’t measure up. We know that’s not true, but that’s the story WWE continues to maintain.

       

      Anyway, I don’t think she’s wrong as the Bellas were incredibly important figures in the rebranding of the division and both have paid their dues, but I also don’t think the defense of “Diva” is as compelling of an argument as it used to be when we are getting the chance now to see Divas (aside from notable exceptions) come back and get a chance to prove themselves and enter back into the conversation about great women’s wrestlers. I think Nikki is rightfully a little hurt about her Evolution program, and I think she should speak out. Just go for it though rather than skirting the issue.

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      They have worked really hard but....the biggest thing that is blocking them from being legends to me is that they can’t just let it be. They will simply never get the respect they want from the crowd they want it from. I would be lying if I said that I saw the major impact they had by themselves on the “revolution” but then again my memory is fucked up so I might have just forgot. :frecklefox:

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      oh settle down! is she serious? she thinks she and her sister don't get enough credit? You have two shows, a clothing line, a wine, MILLIONS of fans and followers, championship reigns, have come from working 30 second matches to telling 15+ minute stories in the ring. what more do you want?? WWE to come outright and say, "The Bellas are the sole and only reason why we started this women's evolution"? And if she thinks that putting her with others because it will elevate them is an insult, like wtf??? that should be an HONOR. You are THAT good that WWE sees that in you and wants you to help the future of the business.

      I don't think there are many people out there who think of the term Diva with a negative connotation. I still call the girls Divas, I don't care. They should be Divas in every sense of the word. Fierce, strong, beautiful and boss bitches who own their shit and don't take any from anyone.

      I'm not a huge Bella fan, but I have never, ever discounted what they have done. To me this kinda comes across like she feels like it was only her and Brie who stepped up and tried to get more for the women. The last paragraph changed my mind, but while I was reading this I'm just like, girl what?

      Maybe she's just salty because of this Ronda business, but she needs to let it go. Ronda is WWE's new toy at Christmas time. Give it time and they'll get bored with her just like they do with everyone else. And guess who they'll come running back to? The Bellas. And guess who will be in the spotlight again? The Bellas.

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      If I was Nikki I’d honestly quit trying to get the approval and credit of smark fans (let’s be real they’re the only ones who still don’t respect her) because she’s never gonna get it. Those fans only have a one streeted view and that’s that Nikki only managed to be successful via John Cena and they are NEVER gonna let that go. Focus on the fans you do have and do respect you because at this point she has nothing to prove, she has stepped up and proven herself as a top talent in the women’s division. 

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      6 hours ago, Mariah. said:

      flksjd this made me laugh for numerous reasons

      kylie.gif

      I’m serious though Mario. Not even trolling but I don’t feel like they’ve left their mark on the industry wrestling wise nor do i think they were an important part of it unless they consider being the fall girls as that.

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      She was asked and she answered. She wasn't only talking about fans and she wasn't only talking about the company, she's discussing the overarching idea that they're arrogant and feel they're the sole reason for the revolution, which is in part due to how WWE portrays them and in part due to how fans perceive them, both sides lazy and relying on the other. They're promoted as legends but they're also most commonly shown to be the regressive big bad-- often at the expense of an entire era-- that needs to be toppled and, in our champion's words, "eviscerated like smallpox." That's what she means with "perception is reality" and being the punching bags need to be knocked down in order to build someone up.

      It's a pretty accurate assessment tbh, and people who misinterpret what she means either don't wish to credit them in the first place or are too far gone into how they've been trained to think. Fans will cry about how x or y doesn't get the credit they deserve but the women themselves can't take pride in their own contributions? ESPECIALLY with how often it's said she's giving PC answers. They can understand what role they've been made to play and still want the respect they deserve. They're well within their rights. They can appreciate the love they do get at the same time too because I don't see anyone else lame enough to make a whole IG dedicated to their fans.

      Y'all baffle me sometimes.

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      Hm. I’m not going to argue the point about starting the revolution because I think that there is no denying that they had a very strong role in getting us to where we are. Nor will I argue the whole respect thing from the fans because the only people that don’t respect them in the universe dislike them because of reasons that are much deeper than them being “The Bellas”. It has been like that for years and it won’t change anytime soon. 

      What I will say is that the company itself doesn’t see them for what they truly are. They milk them for money time and time again & they keep coming back for more. :shrug: This is way above the whole Ronda program but they’ve been used as cash cows for years now without reward while also getting their personal lives dragged through the mud. At some point you have to put your love aside for the sport, and realize that the company literally sees you as only the go to girls when they need to garner buzz. 

      They need a long break. Potentially even retirement because there’s nothing else for them to do. They were the brige that transitioned the division to where it is and became probably the most successful faces the division has seen in a long time (in wrestling and outside of it). Their legacy is more than cemented and anymore laying on their backs for girls like Ronda is only going to tarnish it. I mean no disrespect but they are so much much more than enhancement talent. 

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      9 minutes ago, Shoaib. said:

      She was asked and she answered. She wasn't only talking about fans and she wasn't only talking about the company, she's discussing the overarching idea that they're arrogant and feel they're the sole reason for the revolution, which is in part due to how WWE portrays them and in part due to how fans perceive them, both sides lazy and relying on the other. They're promoted as legends but they're also most commonly shown to be the regressive big bad-- often at the expense of an entire era-- that needs to be toppled and, in our champion's words, "eviscerated like smallpox." That's what she means with "perception is reality" and being the punching bags need to be knocked down in order to build someone up.

      It's a pretty accurate assessment tbh, and people who misinterpret what she means either don't wish to credit them in the first place or are too far gone into how they've been trained to think. Fans will cry about how x or y doesn't get the credit they deserve but the women themselves can't take pride in their own contributions? ESPECIALLY with how often it's said she's giving PC answers. They can understand what role they've been made to play and still want the respect they deserve. They're well within their rights. They can appreciate the love they do get at the same time too because I don't see anyone else lame enough to make a whole IG dedicated to their fans.

      Y'all baffle me sometimes.

      ZFUjj4i.gif

      I stole the gif from this comment without reading it but after reading it, IA! 

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      10 hours ago, Jeigz said:

      Are we sure though? Total Divas’ first season premiered during AJ’s reign and, while all the cast members were given screen time and title opportunities, WWE perpetuated the idea that because they were reality stars they were not credible threats as wrestlers. AJ was the pinnacle of the division as a result of WWE buying into the idea that the “Total Divas” were not up to par, at least at first. Nikki and Brie worked hard to gain a lot of footing and show that they were credible threats after they’d been effectively buried during the AJ period, but Total Divas’ success was more of a detriment that they had to overcome in my opinion. By the next year, Nikki was in her record-breaking reign, but it wasn’t an overnight success story. They had to prove that they were not just reality stars, and I don’t know that they have yet to the general audience. The fact that the storyline is still always about their personal relationships and their outside success isn’t a showcase that they’ve had crossover success (ala the Rock) but instead that, when they do return, they’re still inferior and can’t measure up. We know that’s not true, but that’s the story WWE continues to maintain.

       

      Anyway, I don’t think she’s wrong as the Bellas were incredibly important figures in the rebranding of the division and both have paid their dues, but I also don’t think the defense of “Diva” is as compelling of an argument as it used to be when we are getting the chance now to see Divas (aside from notable exceptions) come back and get a chance to prove themselves and enter back into the conversation about great women’s wrestlers. I think Nikki is rightfully a little hurt about her Evolution program, and I think she should speak out. Just go for it though rather than skirting the issue.

      J0Z9wLb.gif

      Lemme preface this by saying I agree with what both of you are saying for the most part. But to kinda add to what you're saying, WWE was shopping around Total Divas to different networks for a few years prior, so it's not like it was some careless experiment that they cast aside and ignored, either. They were already invested in making it a success and wanted to cash in on the female ensemble reality TV trend, and it paid off. So yes, while it wound up being one of many factors that got the wheels turning and brought new eyes to the division, WWE themselves have made it evident that to them it's mostly just a hit reality show, and for that they are grateful. If they saw it any other way, then Nikki wouldn't be talking about this in the first place and they wouldn't be continuously lambasted as "famewhores" in storyline. I've said it before and I'll say it again: someone in a high position of power (I'm gonna guess it's HHH all things considered) doesn't take the Bellas that seriously and I'm mad about it. 

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      10 hours ago, Jeigz said:

      Are we sure though? Total Divas’ first season premiered during AJ’s reign and, while all the cast members were given screen time and title opportunities, WWE perpetuated the idea that because they were reality stars they were not credible threats as wrestlers. AJ was the pinnacle of the division as a result of WWE buying into the idea that the “Total Divas” were not up to par, at least at first. Nikki and Brie worked hard to gain a lot of footing and show that they were credible threats after they’d been effectively buried during the AJ period, but Total Divas’ success was more of a detriment that they had to overcome in my opinion. By the next year, Nikki was in her record-breaking reign, but it wasn’t an overnight success story. They had to prove that they were not just reality stars, and I don’t know that they have yet to the general audience.

      I get what you're trying to say and it makes sense, but at the same time, you have to consider why the Bellas were able to gain a lot of footing and that honestly comes back to TD. The company wasn't willing to put the same amount of effort into the other women as they had with AJ, but, after the initial adjustment period, TD is really what started getting the other girls more opportunities and the Bellas were the driving force behind that. That's always been one of the reasons I find 2014-15 to be such an interesting period for the women because we saw different methods of making stars go into making what I still think was a pretty fun/exciting year for the most part.

      AJ was what the company was going for at the time after she knocked every opportunity she was given out of the park and backed them into a corner where she was undeniably the biggest female star and bigger than most male too, Paige was them preparing for the next era and kicking down the door for NXT, while the Bellas, and the others in more side programs, were a result of pushing TD and the popularity that came with the chance for those women to get to show their personalities more. It was most noticeable when you had AJ vs. Paige feuding for the title while Brie and Nikki were embroiled with Steph and then each other (which was a direct result of Brie's relationship with Bryan being brought to TV through TD) at the same time, even crossing over eventually. If they weren't gaining traction through the show to allow for that integration, we'd just have been getting AJ/Paige and the NXT takeover probably would've been more nauseating.

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      32 minutes ago, prince. said:

      Hm. I’m not going to argue the point about starting the revolution because I think that there is no denying that they had a very strong role in getting us to where we are. Nor will I argue the whole respect thing from the fans because the only people that don’t respect them in the universe dislike them because of reasons that are much deeper than them being “The Bellas”. It has been like that for years and it won’t change anytime soon. 

      What I will say is that the company itself doesn’t see them for what they truly are. They milk them for money time and time again & they keep coming back for more. :shrug: This is way above the whole Ronda program but they’ve been used as cash cows for years now without reward while also getting their personal lives dragged through the mud. At some point you have to put your love aside for the sport, and realize that the company literally sees you as only the go to girls when they need to garner buzz. 

      They need a long break. Potentially even retirement because there’s nothing else for them to do. They were the brige that transitioned the division to where it is and became probably the most successful faces the division has seen in a long time (in wrestling and outside of it). Their legacy is more than cemented and anymore laying on their backs for girls like Ronda is only going to tarnish it. I mean no disrespect but they are so much much more than enhancement talent. 

      ZFUjj4i.gif

      But they won't because they're too passionate, determined and love feeding their fans. Ugh, they're too much.

      ZFUjj4i.gif

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      7 minutes ago, Shoaib. said:

      But they won't because they're too passionate, determined and love feeding their fans. Ugh, they're too much.

      ZFUjj4i.gif

      Our faves being both sides of the spectrum; either over staying their welcome or leaving too soon. I am exhausted on this Monday morning. 

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