For the past six years, John Cena and Nikki Bella have dominated the world of wrestling. Not only have they commanded the ring, but also the entertainment industry via the reality series Total Bellas.
The duo, who became engaged on April 2, 2017 during the Wrestlemania 33 event at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, have long been a favorite in the wrestling community. Therefore, when they announced that they’d be separating after six years together, shockwaves rippled through the world of wrestling.
Watch the moment John Cena got down on one knee to propose to Bella in front of 75,000 fans…
The WWE power couple first met in 2012, shortly after Cena divorced his first wife. At the time, Bella wasn’t signed to WWE having left in April 2012 following a storyline in which she lost the Diva Championship. By the time Bella returned a year later, she had already been dating Cena, currently a 16-time world champion, for a few months.
This return to the ring as not only a wrestler but John Cena’s girlfriend presented many challenges for Bella, who was accused of using her relationship to climb the WWE ladder. In fact, some went as far as to claim that she wouldn’t be in the position she is now if it wasn’t for her romance with the 16-time world champ and five-time United States champion.
But rather than take the bait, Bella has maintained that her relationship status makes things harder for her.
Talking to Digital Spy in October 2016, the 34-year-old professional-wrestler and longest-reigning Divas Champion explained: “No matter how hard I work I’m always going to have people take away everything I do because of John… I have to work so much harder being with a successful man to just prove myself.”
Despite this pressure, Bella didn’t allow it to affect her relationship with 40-year-old Cena. But whilst her reputation may not be the cause of her split from the wrestling star, it certainly seems that other factors are to blame.
Presently, the former mixed tag-team partners are claiming to still be friends despite the breakdown of their six-year relationship.
“While this decision was a difficult one, we continue to have a great deal of love and respect for one another. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time in our lives,” the couple declared in their joint statement on Sunday.
However, fans have been quick to speculate on the cause of their shock split. Some have referenced Cena’s reluctance to become a father as the reason for their separation. During an episode of Total Divas, Cena made his views on fatherhood very clear to the two-time WWE Divas Champion when he said:
“Would I love to marry you? Absolutely. I love you… What I’m afraid of, and this is the one thing I’m very much afraid of, if we were to get married tomorrow, and then you come to the conclusion that you want children, you know where I stand. In no way would I ask you to sacrifice anything for me.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone in April 2016, Cena echoed this view by saying:
“I’ve been upfront about this. I just have things I need to get done. It’s not negotiable. We’ve been to therapy over it. I don’t think it will ever be over with…I don’t want kids, I don’t want marriage. That’s me just saying, ‘Hey, this is my life and this is how I’m going to live’.”
Speaking more recently, Cena admitted that his role in the film Blockers, in which he plays a father trying to protect his daughter from losing her virginity on prom night, has caused some “difficult” moments in his personal life. Talking to US Weekly he admitted:
“Believe it or not, over the course of filming and promoting this film, the topic has come up so much. I didn’t want to address it or talk about it but now we’ve had some lengthy – and honestly quite difficult – conversations about it but I’m changing my tune.”
He continued to claim that he is being “a stubborn idiot” before hinting that he may come around to the idea, just like he did for marriage.
Whilst their split has been a shock for fans, it must have also come as a surprise to their close friends and family who were due to attend their wedding on May 5.
Luckily, the pair are insistent that they will remain friends despite their current situation. Whether they shall ever enter the ring together again is another thing entirely.