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By Mike Johnson on 2021-06-08 12:10:00

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, WWE Hall of Famers Nikki and Brie Bella admitted they are gearing up for the end of their run as reality TV stars.

Citing wanting to have a normal childhood for their children, Nikki noted that she's told Brie, "I can maybe do a few more seasons of reality TV, but I just can't raise my son in front of the cameras." "I just don't want him one day to look at me and be like, 'You never gave me that choice. You put my life out there and you didn't let me have the say, choose that,' and I don't want that. I want him to have a normal upbringing and when he's 18 he can choose whatever it is he wants to do, or even younger than that."

On Brie's end, she stated that when her husband Bryan Danielson has had enough, that will be the beginning of the end.   When "Bryan kind of gives me that eye and that talk and I'll be like, 'OK, we're done.'  I'm really respectful of his thoughts all the time and even with his filming. We all know Brian can't film that much because he goes a little crazy with it,.  He loves his own space. He'll shut down."

Brie also noted that her daughter Birdie wants nothing to do with the filming process and is even shy taking photographs.

"Birdie doesn't even let me take pictures," said Brie.  "So, I'm very respectful of her space, what she wants. I only let her film if she wants to walk into a scene," Brie adds. "Both Nicole and I always say, we have to respect our families and at any time where our families feel like it's time for them to be done, then we have to think about that too. So we feel like we might have a little bit in us, but we also have to really just fill it out with our families."

The sisters have been filming for reality TV since 2013, when E! ordered Total Divas.   That series ran for nine seasons (and counting, as it has never been officially canceled, so it can always resume) with Total Bellas, focusing exclusively on the Bellas and their extended family spinning off in 2016.  Bellas has run for seven seasons thus far.

During Summerslam 2017 weekend in New York City, Nikki Bella (who grew from cast member to an Executive Producer of Total Divas; she and Brie both hold that title for Total Bellas) told she didn't believe the reality franchise received the credit it deserved for helping to cultivate and grow WWE's female fan demographic.

"Absolutely not, I don't think it does at all," Bella told "What is unfortunate is that when Total Divas was succeeding and we became a hit reality show, they let people with a mic in the ring just bash it and us Total Divas never got a response.   So, with the fans, it began to give Total Divas a bad name, 'Oh, they are just reality stars.'  Actually, while the girls who aren't on the reality show are just wrestling, us girls on the reality show are wrestling, are filming, are never sleeping, going to appearances, making sure that the world knows how amazing women wrestlers are.  So, I don't feel Total Divas gets enough credit because the words 'reality show' has ruined it for people.  I think certain people also, characters for the company, have ruined it as well out of pure jealousy.  I'll admit that." 

The popularity of Total Divas (which at one point, hit an overnight viewership of 1.67 million) should never be discounted in terms of expanding the WWE fan base.  By intriguing a female audience that had previously ignored pro wrestling (and been ignored by pro wrestling, as well) through the reality exploits of the cast, WWE funneled a new demographic towards the company, turning them into fans for the first time, sort-of a yin to the yang of the WWE NXT women's roster at the time (Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, etc.), helping to cultivate a perfect storm that led to the "women's revolution" on WWE's main roster.

"I think [Total Divas] helped start the women's revolution, " Bella told PWInsider in 2017, "Total Divas [led to] more women started coming to our show, like,  'I gotta check this out.'  I remember when Brie was fighting Stephanie McMahon, so many women showed up because they were like, 'I can't believe she's fighting her boss, Oh My Gosh!'  It was crazy for them to even imagine, like, 'She's gonna hit her?  Like, This is nuts!' and so I think Total Divas has done so much for women's wrestling.  It was the first time that we got an hour of TV to ourselves, to really showcase what women do.  It happened so quickly and so fast.  I want to say that when seasons one and two came out, both of which we were lucky in that they had 16 episodes each, after that season two....Bam!  Everyone wanted to know Natalya, Brie Bella, Naomi, Ariane.  Everyone was like, 'Who are these girls?' and when we go to events, there would be women wrestlers who weren't on the show and were getting more TV time than us and [the fans] wouldn't care about them.  They would be, 'I want to see those Total Divas girls.  Can you bring them back?'

The Bellas were inducted into the 2020 Class of the WWE Hall of Fame earlier this year.


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