The real-life relationship between John Cena and Nikki Bella has become an increasingly large part of the WWE’s SmackDown Live storyline.
Cena and Bella have lately been feuding with The Miz and Maryse, another real-life couple, and it is rumored that this is leading to a tag team match at WrestleMania.
Here’s everything you need to know about John Cena and Nikki Bella’s actual relationship.
1. They Have Been Dating Since 2012
John Cena and Nikki Bella have been dating since late 2012.
At the time, Cena had just divorced his wife, Elizabeth Huberdeau. Nikki Bella, meanwhile, wasn’t actually signed with the WWE at the time. She left in April 2012 following a storyline in which she lost her Diva’s Championship to Lalya at Extreme Rules.
Nikki Bella returned to the WWE in March 2013, and by this point she and Cena had been dating for a few months.
Cena recently told Us Magazine that he has something “extremely special” with Nikki Bella.
“She’s truly the love of my life, and she deserves to be treated as such,” he said. “Because we’re in the same industry, she truly understands that there will be fans that are looking for a different sort of admiration, but it takes two to be disrespectful, and I would like to think that in most every encounter, I try to treat her with as much respect as I can.”
For Halloween 2016, John Cena and Nikki Bella dressed as each other, showing off their ridiculous costumes in a WWE YouTube video.
2. Nikki Bella Previously Dated Dolph Ziggler
Several years before she began dating John Cena, Nikki Bella was in a relationship with Dolph Ziggler.
On Total Divas in September 2015, Ziggler actually confessed that he still has feelings for Nikki Bella. Although this particular exchange was almost certainly completely staged for the show, it’s true that Ziggler and Bella did legitimately date for a few years. Dolph Ziggler also previously dated comedian Amy Schumer.
During a recent episode of Talking Smack, The Miz made reference to Nikki Bella’s dating history when he accused John Cena of stealing his girlfriend from Dolph Ziggler, just as he has stolen every aspect of his personality.
In a January 2017 interview, Dolph Ziggler said that he really hates John Cena, though mostly that’s because he’s jealous and wants his spot.
“I hate [Cena], and, like, for real,” Ziggler said, according to Wrestling Inc. “Yeah, I hate everything he stands for. I hate how awkwardly he runs. I hate that I’m better at wrestling, but he has this awesome connection with the fans and I’m so great at wrestling and I haven’t made that great connection with all the fans that aren’t in New York…He is our guy and it’s great. That’s why I hate him. I want to be in that spot and one day I’m going to be. It is so frustrating, especially when I’m like, ‘but I’m so good!’ It drives me. It’s fun and we have a nice little rivalry where he does things his way.”
3. She Says Being With John Cena Makes Her Career More Difficult
Nikki Bella has repeatedly been accused of using her relationship with John Cena to climb up the ladder in the WWE, with some saying she would not be where she is today if it were not for Cena. This was actually brought up on screen back in October 2016, when Carmella told Nikki Bella on SmackDown Live, “You can get away with whatever the hell you want around here considering the fact that your boyfriend is John Cena.”
Bella said in an interview with Digital Spy that this is something she has been told many times.
“It’s not the first time I’ve heard it,” she said. “I’ve actually had to hear it for the past four years of my life. Every. Single. Day.”
She went on to say that for this reason, being with John Cena actually makes her career more, not less, difficult, because “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.”
After she returned to the WWE in 2013, Nikki Bella soon became the longest-reigning Diva’s champion ever. In a 2015 episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer said that Nikki Bella’s relationship with John Cena is “of course” part of the reason she was champion for so long, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that Cena is pulling any strings behind the scenes.
“But did [John Cena] go in there and say…you know, they have a plan for Charlotte to win the title and John Cena says no, she’s not dropping the title and because it’s John Cena they, you know – did that happen? I don’t believe that happened. I’ve asked around and nobody knows anything about that. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen…has John Cena at one point when she was gonna lose or something, has he said anything at some point? I believe he has, yes.”
4. Cena Has Said That He Does Not Want to Get Married
As Total Divas viewers will be well aware of, John Cena has made it abundantly clear to Nikki Bella that he does not want to get married. The reason for this is because Bella wants kids and Cena doesn’t.
Cena told Bella on an episode of Total Divas, “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 another episode of the E! reality show, Cena told Bella that he feels like there is a time bomb over his head because he knows that Bella wants children. And indeed, Bella continues to say that she feels she would be missing out if she doesn’t have children.
“I wanna know that there’s going to be a chance that there could be one day that, it is Mr. and Mrs. Cena, or there might be a chance that one day, we do have a kid,” she told E! Online. “I know this is probably going to be a tough conversation, but I gotta just voice myself. I gotta just tell him how I feel.”
Cena said in an April 2016 interview with Rolling Stone that he loves kids but he knows he could not handle raising one.
“I’ve been upfront about this,” Cena said. “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.'”
Despite what Cena has said in the past, there has been speculation that Cena and Bella’s match at WrestleMania will end with Cena proposing.
5. They Live Together in Tampa, Florida
John Cena and Nikki Bella currently live together in Tampa, Florida.
Viewers got a look at their house on a 2013 episode of Total Divas, in which Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan stay with Nikki Bella and John Cena. As was documented on that show, Cena and Bella’s house is so large that it actually has an elevator that goes up to the master bedroom.
Brie Bella said on Total Divas that she and Daniel Bryan had a hard time adjusting to this lifestyle.
“When I wake up in the morning and see this home, I’m like wow,” Brie Bella said on Total Divas. “This is definitely an extravagant lifestyle, and something [Daniel Bryan] and I aren’t used to.”
Brie Bella also told her sister that the guest house alone is way nicer than the apartment that she lives in.