Nikki Bella totally broke John Cena’s heart when she called their engagement off a few weeks before their wedding. The couple dated for 6 years and starred in the series Total Bellas together. Fans caught glimpses of their relationship troubles and many were not surprised that they didn’t go through with the wedding.
From the start, John made it clear that he never intended to get married. They also never agreed on having kids. Nikki wanted to be a mom and John claimed that he never wanted to be a dad. This struggle played out often during Total Bellas episodes. Not only that, Nikki held onto secrets and even lied to John about important subjects.
They were famously engaged in the WWE ring when John got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. It seemed like a storybook romance but trouble was on the horizon.
The wedding date was pushed back due to their work schedules. Nikki felt like something was off while she tried on wedding dresses. Soon after, she finally called off the wedding. Yet, all may not be lost for the duo. John made a public plea to win her back, and it was recently reported by various celeb news sites that they are officially back together. Please enjoy this list of 15 facts about John Cena and Nikki Bella’s complicated relationship.
15 It All Started With A Steak Dinner
John and Nikki met when they worked together at WWE. They were friends for many years before their relationship blossomed into a romance. The couple began dating in 2012 after John finally worked up the nerve to ask her out on a date.
According to PopSugar, John admitted that it came down to one simple question. "I was brave enough to be like, 'Hey, would you like to go to dinner with me tonight?' and she said, 'Yes.' I was overjoyed," he shared.
The folks over at E! News reported the inside scoop on how Nikki remembered that special evening: "On my best first date, there was a very big, handsome man with an amazing smile and dimples," the Diva told WWE. "He came to my hotel and picked me up as if we were in the same city and took me to a nice steakhouse. We just talked and chatted for hours."
The duo hit it off and the date became the first of many.
"That first one went into the second one where we just had an amazing dance in the middle of the restaurant," Nikki explained, according to Fame10. "No one's ever done that with me, and yes, that was John. So he's awesome."
14 John Required Nikki To Sign A 75 Page Co-Habitation Contract
Nikki moved into John’s home in 2013 after he presented her with a 75-page cohabitation agreement. There was an upsetting clause stating that if they ever broke up, Nikki would have to vacate his home with her belongings as soon as possible. Another item that gave Nikki pause was when he called her a guest in his home.
As told by People, part of the contract read: “Although I do not wish to be formal, I do not want there to be any misunderstanding regarding your presence at the home as my guest,” he wrote. “In the event that I ask you to vacate the home, you agree to immediately vacate the home and remove any and all items you have brought into the home as soon as possible.”
John explained to Nikki during an episode of Total Divas that he was simply trying to protect his family: “This is what my life is. This is what it’s become,” he told Nikki. “You met my family. You think my mom paid for that house herself? She didn’t. My brother lives in that house, they’re expecting a child. My younger brother, he’s got medical problems.”
His explanation put her mind at ease and Nikki eventually signed the document.
13 Nikki Hid Her First Marriage From John
As the relationship progressed, Nikki kept a big secret from John — she had been married once before. The truth came out during an episode of Total Bellas and it turned out that John wasn’t the only one surprised by the news, because Nikki had hidden her first marriage from her family as well.
She finally spilled the beans. According to People, Nikki had this to say to her family: “I got married when I was 20. And got divorced at 23, to my high school sweetheart... Basically, we got married by Elvis. We drove to Vegas, did it.”
It wasn’t until she and John had been dating for 3 years that she finally divulged that detail from her past.
It was actually her brother that revealed the news to John by accident: “I heard you’re handling everything awesome,” J, Nikki's brother, J told Cena. “For her to tell you that she’s been married before and you had no problem with it, I have to give you kudos man.” John looked flabbergasted.
Nikki eventually told John and he was surprisingly cool with the news. “I don’t care,” he responded, as told by People. “What you did before you met me is what you did before you met me, I don’t need to know everything about you.”
12 But John Was Also Married Once Before
Perhaps one reason that John didn’t seem to have a problem with Nikki’s previous marriage was that he also married — and divorced — his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Huberdeau. The couple split in 2012 after being married for 3 years. John claimed that his commitment to his wrestling career totally got in the way of their relationship.
According to the Daily News, John sat down for a revealing interview on the Hit105, Abby & Matt radio show and discussed what had gone wrong. He said: "'I have made [WWE] my absolute life...I don't have a family. I tried marriage once and I realized [my] WWE-marriage was the one that was going to survive."
TMZ also reported that the couple embarked on a home remodel that was “sending them to the poor house" and the courthouse. “Cena has blamed the divorce on the remodel, claiming it caused unbearable strife between him and his wife,” an insider wrote.
Yet, Elizabeth was reportedly blindsided by the divorce and suspected that John had been unfaithful to her. Her attorney told TMZ: “[They had] been getting tips Cena had been messing around during the marriage.” His ex-wife had plans to challenge the prenup.
11 Nikki And John Couldn't Agree About Having Children
Trouble started brewing in John and Nikki’s relationship when it became clear that they couldn’t come to an agreement about having kids. She desperately wanted to be a mother, while John felt just as strongly that he did not want to be a father.
The disagreement was a reoccurring struggle throughout their 6-year relationship.
An insider close to John revealed to People: “It’s not fair to a kid to bring them into the world if you’re not prepared to be focused on them, and he’s just not... He doesn’t want to be an absentee parent and he doesn’t see how he wouldn’t be given everything he wants to do in his career and in his life.”
A person from Nikki’s camp gave their perspective on the subject to People as well, saying: “They have had an on and off relationship for years. It’s no secret that they didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, but, when you’re in love, you turn a blind eye. And that’s what Nikki did.”
The insider continued, “When Nikki changed her stance about wanting kids, everyone knew that wasn’t her. You can’t take motherhood away from a woman.”
10 John Never Wanted To Marry Again
Not only did John make it clear from the start that he didn’t want to have kids but he was also very open about the fact that he didn’t want to get married again. Between his failed first marriage and his devotion to his career, it wouldn’t fit his lifestyle.
He discussed his feelings on the topic during an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine: John said, “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.'”
Nikki did her best to go along with John’s plan as long as she possibly could but her desire to get married became a heavy burden. She spoke with E! News, saying: "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 said. “I know this is probably going to be a tough conversation, but I gotta just voice myself."
9 Nikki Previously Dated Dolph Ziggler
Nikki had a relationship with another wrestler before she dated John. She began seeing Dolph Ziggler in 2008, shortly after she joined Smackdown. The couple eventually broke up, but it seems like Dolph never really moved on from Nikki.
According to Cosmopolitan, he approached her during an episode of 'Total Bellas' and offered to marry her and have babies together — something Ziggler claimed that Cena would never be willing to do.
He later revealed in an interview with Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast that he wasn't concerned about making John mad. “After a while, you reach a certain point to where you know what your talent is, you know what you’re capable of, and you have to not care,” he said. “And 10 years ago, Attitude Era guys told me to step on some toes. How am I not doing that right now? You have to not give a [darn] to stand up for what you want to do and that’s what I’m doing.”
Nikki later told John about Dolph's advances during an episode of Total Divas. "I have to tell you something. I've been trying to tell you for like a week," Nikki said over a romantic dinner. "Dolph pulled me aside at work and told me that he wants to give me marriage and babies — and then he tried to kiss me."
8 John Proposed To Nikki In The WWE Rink
Nikki's little plan to make John jealous must have worked, because he proposed to her soon after she let him know that Dolph had offered to give her everything that she wants. He got down on one knee in the ring after they had won a match against The Miz and his wife, Maryse.
According to People, the couple spoke with the folks over at Today about the proposal, and John revealed that he'd been planning the big moment for some time. “I found the absolute right person,” John said of Nikki during their appearance. “A strong person that I consider an inspiration, an equal. Somebody who, when I’m feeling down, picks me up. Somebody when she’s down, I can pick her up.”
When Nikki was asked if she wished he would have proposed in a more private setting she had this to say: “It’s where we met,” she told Today. “It’s our passion, it’s our life and so, for me, it was kinda like he’s my prince charming and he’s just saying I want her to be my queen at her home and in front of our family. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for it to be any other way. It was perfect.”
7 John Refused To Give Nikki The Power Of Attorney
Another red flag totally popped up during an episode of Total Bellas, when Nikki and John discussed who would serve as power of attorney for the other if something were to happen to them. According to E! News, Nikki made it clear that she would be happy to have John make decisions on her behalf.
Yet, when it came time for John to admit who he would want for his power of attorney, things got a bit awkward.
E! reports their conversation as follows:
"That's up to me, it's not you," John tells Nikki, "But that's confidential." She asks, "You're never going to tell me?" To which John replies, "No, it's confidential."
Understandably Nicki added: "That's like keeping a secret from me... Well good, I'm happy it's not me, kind of…I wanna be No. 2." However, to her surprise, John responds,"You're not even on the list."
"We share a life together. I understand that I'm not his wife but like I feel that if I'm not the power of attorney I should know who is because John is my everything. He's my world," Nikki vented. "And I feel as if this has taken us a few steps back instead of forward. I don't know. I just, I wish he would tell me."
6 Nikki Felt Like Being With John Made Her Career More Difficult
You might think that dating John Cena might give Nikki a slight advantage in the ring. Many people have accused her of getting where she is in her career because of him. Well, Nikki clapped back at the haters during an interview with Digital Spy. She claimed that being with John has actually made her career more difficult.
"No, it makes my career so much harder, because no matter how hard I work I'm always going to have people take away everything I do because of John. I won't get certain things because people will be like, 'Oh, people are gonna think she has this because of John' so let's just not give it to me," she continued: "I have to work so much harder being with a successful man to just prove myself.”
She doesn’t let the criticism bother her for too long, though, as she told Digital Spy. Nikki takes it all in stride and sees the backlash as a sign of her success. "You know what, when you're succeeding and you're doing something right... As I've got haters I know I'm doing something right," she said.
So, there you have it. Nikki has to work harder than the average girl in the ring.
5 Nikki Was Going To Freeze Her Eggs
During an episode of Total Bellas, Nikki’s sister, Brie, totally convinced her that she needed to take action since John didn’t want to have kids. She suggested that Nikki should freeze her eggs in case things didn’t work out with John. That way, she could have children in the future. Nikki decided this was a great idea and visited a fertility clinic behind John’s back.
All was going as planned until John found the hormones Nikki had to take to begin the process of freezing her eggs.
According to Bustle, finding the hormones finally got his attention. “John revealed that seeing Nikki take his advice that he might not be the right person for her shook him. "It just occurred to me that I may lose you one day," he told her.
John then told Nikki that “he wants her to stick around” and that “he likes having her in his life.” Nikki was so pleased that he shared his feelings and that she decided to stop freezing her eggs. Although, that plan didn’t last too long. She had a change of heart after playing with her nieces and nephews and decided to have the procedure with John’s full support.
4 Nikki Was Not Excited About Wedding Dress Shopping
Every little girl dreams of growing up and feeling the thrill of trying on wedding dresses. Fans got a glimpse of Nikki living out her special moment during an episode of Total Bellas.
According to the folks over at Us Weekly, her sister Brie was excited to share the moment. “Finally, my sister is trying on wedding dresses! I am so excited to be here ’cause Nicole has been dreaming about this moment forever, so hopefully we find the one,” Brie said in the clip while the family filed into the store.
Yet, Nikki found herself forcing a fake smile and couldn’t shake the feeling that she just wasn’t into trying on dresses. “I thought you’re supposed to be excited for this,” she said. “Like when you watch the movies or all I’ll hear from my friends is like, ‘Oh my gosh, greatest day! Break out the champagne!’ And like for me, I’m just like, ‘Let’s make this quick.’ There’s just something that’s not feeling right.”
Her negative reaction to trying on dresses was yet another sign that trouble was brewing for the couple. Perhaps it was woman’s intuition that John might not have really been the right guy for her?
3 John Didn't Care About The Wedding Pomp And Circumstance
During wedding-planning, John was definitely involved, but he made it clear that the wedding details were more important to Nikki then they were to him. He admitted that he wasn’t really interested in the pomp and circumstance that can come with a ceremony.
People compiled everything that John had said about the wedding-planning: “I’ve stressed to Nicole that I would really like to get it done because I guess it took me so long to ask, now that I’ve made the commitment I really just want to get married,” he said. “I want it yesterday, but we have a date. I’m excited, but I also have great perspective that I want the day to be important for Nicole.”
We guess John isn't really one for the frills and thrills of traditional weddings.
When it came down to it, he really wanted Nikki to make most of the decisions.
According to People, he said: “All that information rests on her shoulders. I’m involved in every single step of the process, but I am like the last checkpoint. So, let’s say, décor will be chosen. And then I’ll be given three options but be nudged to like number two. I will politely agree to number two, but I am very much actively a part of the process.”
2 Nikki Announced Their Split Publically Weeks Before The Wedding
Just weeks before John and Nikki were set to tie the knot, things came crashing to a halt. The couple broke up and called off the engagement. All of the red flags finally caught up with Nikki and she pulled the plug on the wedding. According to Entertainment Tonight, they took to social media to announce the news to their fans.
“After much contemplation and 6 years of being together, Nikki Bella and John Cena announced today their decision to separate as a couple,” read a statement posted to Bella’s Instagram account. “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.”
An insider told People that Nikki called off the wedding because she didn’t want a “pity husband...He was making it abundantly clear that he was going into this gritting his teeth the whole way."
The insider continues: “Nikki is an amazing, talented, strong, one-of-a-kind woman. Anyone would be lucky to have her in their life — yet John acted more and more like he was doing her a favor by somehow conceding to go ahead and marry her,” the insider shared.
1 John Made A Public Plea To Win Nikki Back
Shortly after the break up was announced, John paid a visit to The Today Show. Fans were shocked when he opened up about what he thought went wrong and how he felt about the engagement being called off so abruptly.
"It's been very difficult," John told TODAY hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford; "I had my heart broken out of nowhere — or, for me, it was out of nowhere — and anyone who's experienced that knows that it comes with a series of bad feelings."
It seems like he had some time to reflect on the part he played in the failure of their relationship.
“I was stubborn, selfish, self-focused, life had always been about me, and then, slowly over time, this woman waltzes in and steals my heart," he explained.
"Whether I want to realize it or not, she becomes my No. 1, so I’m willing to go back on all of these things that I say. And a lot of them, I was hanging onto just of stubbornness — 'I won't have kids' — and it took a very strong look in the mirror for me to be, like, 'Why? This person is my No. 1, and it's something that's very valuable to her. Of course, we can do this!'"