When Bella and Chigvintsev first met in 2017, the Diva wrestler was still in a high-profile relationship with WWE star John Cena. In addition, she and Cena were on the road to getting married, after many years together. Bella and Cena’s relationship ultimately ended while it was featured on Bella’s reality show Total Bellas. The two called it quits in July 2018.
Following the split, Bella and Chigvintsev struck up a romantic relationship. Us Weekly reported that when Bella and Chigvintsev went public with their relationship in March 2019, they had already been dating “for a while”. Bella talked about her relationship with Chigvintsev for the first time on Total Bellas and said, “I just feel like this free spirit. Truly like a butterfly out of her cage … I never in my life would’ve thought that, like, I would’ve had a lot in common with a Russian. I’m ready to really explore new things and people and just really see what certain chemistries are all about.”
Chigvintsev went on to on the next season of Total Bellas.
Bella Ran Out of Her First Date with Chigvintsev
Bella had a problem on her first date with Chigvintsev and it was one that most couples don’t have to deal with … paparazzi. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Bella revealed that she actually ran away during her first date with Chigvintsev. Bella said, “Our first date was at the farmer’s market in Studio City, and I had no idea that it was filled with paparazzi. So Artem and I are, like, looking at vegetables — and I honestly think he was picking up tomatoes — and I see a paparazzi in this corner, and one in the other corner and I just freaked. I walked away from him, all the way to my car that was parked at Von’s and I drove off. And poor Artem, all of a sudden I get a text like, ‘Uhh, where did you go?’ I didn’t even say anything.”
Chigvintsev’s response to this was thinking he had done “something wrong”. But that wasn’t the only obstacle in the relationship.
Brie Bella Didn’t Like Artem Chigvintsev
When Bella started dating Chigvintsev, her sister Brie was not a fan of the DWTS pro. In fact, Bella said that he wasn’t allowed at family events. Bella explained to Entertainment Tonight, “It’s one thing when your family doesn’t like the person that you’re with, but when it’s your twin sister who you do business with, who you’re around all the time … I was like, ‘OK, this is really hard.’ Like, I’d be on Facetime and Brie would be in with [her daughter] Birdie, and she’d be like, ‘Artem is not allowed to look into the camera.’ He couldn’t even be on Facetime, even in the background.”
Over time, Chigvintsev and Bella’s sister have formed a friendship. In fact, their baby boys were born one day apart. Bella and Chigvintsev’s son Matteo was born July 31, 2020, with Brie’s son Buddy being born the very next day, as reported by People. Chigvintsev and Bella have nicknamed their son “Teo”, according to their Instagram hashtags.
Nikki Bella Was Apprehensive About Getting Engaged Again
On Total Bellas, Bella expressed concern over the possibility of getting engaged to Chigvintsev and she was also nervous about the idea of having kids. Nevertheless, Chigvintsev proposed on the show and she accepted. In addition, Bella found out she was pregnant while filming and gave viewers an inside look at her gender reveal party.
Bella told People that Chigvintsev has been “amazing” with their son and never complains. Bella also has written on Instagram that she and their baby are excited for Chigvintsev’s return to Dancing With the Stars. She wrote, “Congratulations Daddy!! We are so happy and proud of you! We can’t wait to watch you dance every Monday night on @dancingabc.”