WWE'S Bella Twins Are The Next Generation of Women

'M&F' sat down with WWE's Bella Twins to discuss training, wrestling, and 'Total Bellas.'

Total Bellas 

WWE’s most recognizable twins have continued elevating the women’s division in sports entertainment with their actions in and out of the ring. Here’s a look at what these sister-preneurs have in store and how they’re training to keep up.

For decades many of the women in various sports-entertainment companies—Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young notwithstanding— were relegated to supporting roles that included barely there outfits and action that made most diehard fans grimace. WWE continues to change that depiction. In addition to WWE Hall of Famers Lita, Trish Stratus, and Jacqueline revising perceptions, Stephanie McMahon, the company’s Chief Brand Officer, was also mixing it up in the ring and leading by example.

Fast-forward to April 2016 at WrestleMania 32, which was another evolution in sports entertainment. A new generation of highly capable, hyperathletic women—led by entertaining duo Brie and Nikki Bella—gave WWE the perfect excuse to do away with the categorization of a “Divas” championship and introduce a more appropriate “Women’s” title, lending even more (and certainly well-deserved) credibility to a growing division.

The Bella Twins, 32, have become the standard bearers of this rebranding, and for good reason. The two have been featured on all five seasons of Total Divas on E! and were selected for a spin-off, Total Bellas, which debuts in October. Brie was WWE Divas champ in 2011, and Nikki—who is 16 minutes older than her twin—is a two-time titleholder; Nikki’s second reign (301 days) was the longest on record.

“The evolution of the WWE women’s division has come so far,” Brie says. “Not only our generation of women, but so many before us have worked so hard for what happened at WrestleMania 32. Nikki and I got to be a part of the Divas revolution and helped pave the road for history being made for women in WWE. It is such a surreal feeling and an incredible honor.”

Since the Bella Twins are more than just a couple of pretty faces, M&F sat down—and worked out—with them to find out what it takes to survive and thrive in one of the most physical professions in the world.

M&F: You are both very athletic and could have pursued many different things. Why did you think WWE ended up being a specialty?

Nikki: I truly feel it was our calling. We’ve been athletes our whole life and we always wanted to stay athletic, but we were also drawn to entertainment. Since we were little girls, we have loved to perform and act, but we never forgot the first time we saw the female competitors in WWE and we thought it was the coolest thing. We knew it was love at first sight and exactly what we were meant to be.

Brie: It was crazy that Nikki and I were searching to find ourselves, and when we saw WWE everything clicked. That is how we truly knew it was meant to be.

You’re a team, so you work together a lot, but how competitive are you with each other?

Brie: It’s funny, because we are each other’s biggest cheerleaders but are so competitive! As a competitive athlete you always want to come out on top and give your best work. So whether it’s my sister or any other opponent, I’m competitive.

Nikki: I’m competitive, but with my sister I feel like what-ever she gets, I get, and I get to enjoy the ride. But don’t get me wrong—if it’s playing beach volleyball or a pick-up game of soccer, no matter who it is, I’m competitive. I always want to win, which can be good or bad, but I look at it as good.

How demanding is being a WWE Superstar?

Nikki: Being a WWE Superstar can be very demanding. We travel almost 300 days a year and we want to look good and feel strong, but this is how it is for anyone who is in the competition world and wants to be the best. We train, but we also focus on taking care of ourselves at the same time.

How much pressure is there to look the part?

Brie: As WWE Superstars we want to have confidence and stand strong in the ring. We are tomboys. So for us, it was always about physical strength and mental strength. Standing up there with courage is what is important and that is how we want to be portrayed.

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Tell us how you maximize recovery? What are the most important factors for you?

Brie: We definitely try to get as much sleep as possible, but it is hard when you are so busy. We do cryotherapy, acupuncture, A.R.T. (active release techniques), and hot yoga.

Do your genes keep you naturally lean or are you just superstrict in the kitchen?

Brie: For Nicole and me, our biggest thing is “everything in moderation.” We keep a very healthy lifestyle—veggies, fruits, Nikki with her lean protein. We never want to deprive ourselves, and we think that is the way to be in shape. Allow yourself to have cheat meals, but keep everything in moderation. We aren’t big on diets. If you create a healthy lifestyle, then you aren’t sacrificing anything.

Nikki: If I want to have a glass of wine at night, then I know there is no dessert. We stay active, so drinking a lot of water and making those modifications and staying active is what keeps us in shape.