Professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev is about to propose to Nikki Bella on Total Bellas, but what some fans may not realize is that Bella met Chigvintsev when she was still engaged to professional WWE wrestler John Cena. The former WWE couple famously dated for six years before calling off their engagement.
Chigvintsev and Bella first met in 2017 when she was partnered with the Russian dancer on Season 25 ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. They finished in seventh place. That same year, Cena shocked Bella with a proposal at WrestleMania 33. Even though they loved each other and tried to make things work, the couple called off their engagement a month before the wedding.
Bella later revealed that Cena never wanted children, but was willing to make the sacrifice for her. Ultimately, she didn’t want to force Cena into anything. Currently, she’s expecting her first child with Chigvintsev.
Bella Said Yes to Chigvintsev in France
The couple hasn’t set a date yet. Aside from Cena, Bella married her high school sweetheart when she was 20 years old. They divorced after three years together, USA Today reported. From 2004 to 2005, Chigvintsev was married to dancer Giselle Peacock.
Chigvintsev proposed to Bella in November while they were in France, though the couple kept it a secret initially. By January, they couldn’t wait to make the announcement. “Excited for 2020 and the next decade with you @theartemc,” she wrote in January. “I said yes in France in November! We have been trying to keep it a secret but really wanted to share our excitement for the New Year!”
“You are the best thing that has ever happened to me,” the dancer wrote in a post of his own. “So excited for what’s to come I love you more than anything and thank you for saying yes.”
During this season of Total Bellas, the wrestler had been talking about how she was afraid to commit to Chigvintsev, but when the moment came and the dancer got down on one knee she said yes. “Artem’s just taught me that love has no rules—it really doesn’t,” she said on her podcast, as noted by E! News. “And it’s so beautiful when it’s like that—when you can just love.”
Bella Can Be Herself Around Chigvintsev
One of the things that made Bella, 36, fall in love with Chigvintsev, 37, was that she can be herself around him. “It’s kind of like my soul gets to have no filter, no makeup. Like, I fully live in my truth with him,” she told E! News.
Part of what made their relationship so easy was they started out as friends and partners on DWTS. “There’s no walking on eggshells,” Bella told E! News. “And it’s amazing because I never have that fear of, ‘Is he not gonna like me because I’m this?’ or ‘Am I afraid to say this thing?’ He just loves every part of me. And it makes me feel beautiful, but not just on the outside, so much on the inside.”
A teaser for Thursday’s episode showed Bella meeting Chigvintsev’s parents for the first time. Chigvintsev helped translate since Bella doesn’t speak Russian and his parents don’t speak English. The dancer reveals that his mom stays up to date by following her future daughter-in-law on social media.
The relationship might seem fast to some, but Bella confessed to the Daily Mail Australia that she knew Chigvintsev was “The One” early into their courtship. “We would hang out every day, going on hikes, going to bars and having wine, and walking the streets [of Los Angeles],” she said about then they first started dating.
The couple is expecting their first child in July and Bella is thrilled the be pregnant alongside sister Brie Bella, who is having her second child with Daniel Bryan. “I feel so lucky because I literally go to Brie so many times a day and say, ‘Hey, I’m feeling this. Is this normal? What should I be doing?'” she told the publication. “I rarely read books about this stuff because I just go to Brie for everything.”
To find out what happens next, don’t miss Total Bellas when it airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on E!