Saying ‘good-bye’ never looked so good. Nikki Bella celebrated the end of her wrestling career while wearing a red-hot outfit and with her love, Artem Chigvintsev, by her side.
All good things must come to an end. After more than a decade in the ring, Nikki Bella, 35, officially closed the book on her wrestling career, and she went out with a bang! “Good Morning Bella Army! Going to use this post for a few things. First, this was my look for my retirement party last week in Phoenix, AZ!” the Total Divas star posted to Instagram on Nov. 6, sharing a picture of her kissing Artem Chigvintsev, 37, while she wore a stunning Dolce & Gabbana red dress. “[Brie Bella] and the [Total Bellas] crew put it together for me, and it meant SO much! (@justinmaxx you’re a rockstar! Love you!) Bella Army your videos made me cry! Can’t wait for you all to see it on Total Bellas!
“Secondly, I have done so much work on myself and continue to do it every day. Work on regret, sadness, pain, being better, being stronger, being healthier, and overall happiness!” added Nikki, before plugging an episode of The Bellas Podcast in which she and her sister focus on “gratitude and showing it everyday this month and not just on Thanksgiving.” After giving some love to makeup artist Eileen Sandoval for “[missing] a date night with her man to come do my glam,” Nikki turned her “gratitude” towards the hunk by her side in the pictures. “Fourthly, wow, lol so grateful for the smiles @theartemc gives me on the daily!”
Since striking up a romance with Artem, Nikki’s life has been full of smiles. “He’s an amazing cook, he’s an amazing lover,” she said on the April 24 episode of her podcast, throwing a little shade at her former fiancé, John Cena. Nikki doubled down on the sly shade on the Oct. 9 episode of The Lady Gang podcast by saying sex with Artem is “100 percent …the best I’ve ever had. Like, the vagina smiles every time.”
Nikki will now have plenty of time to smile like that since she’s no longer wrestling. Though she threw her retirement party last week, she confirmed her exit from the ring on the June 20 episode of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. “I really wanted to go back and fight for the tag titles,” she, alongside Brie, told Jimmy, per ESPN. “I’ve always had my neck issues, and after neck surgery, it hasn’t been OK. I [felt] like I needed to get that checkup before we went back for the tag titles. Then it came back that I herniated the disk above where I had surgery, I have all this inflammation around the metal, and then I have a cyst on my brain,” Bella said. “So they were like, ‘You’re done, no more, you’re out.’”
And thus, Nikki’s 11-year wrestling career came to an end. The WWE signed Nikki and her sister to a developmental contract in June 2007, and three months later, they made their in-ring debut at a Florida Championship Wrestling house show. The Bella Twins made their WWE debut together in 2008 and quickly rose to the top of the women’s division. Nikki most recently wrestled during a WWE European tour in November 2018, with her final televised match happening against Ronda Rousey at the all-women’s PPV event Evolution. Nikki joins her sister in retirement, as Brie announced the end of her in-ring career during a March 2019 episode of Total Bellas.