Niki Bella, the 35-year-old Total Bellas star, announced this week that she would retire from the WWE for good after 12 years.
“I just feel like I’m too old for that travel,” the 35-year-old explained during the season finale of the show. “So I realized like, why am I doing this — I don’t feel good. I really am ready to hang up the jersey. Like, I can say it fully.”
“Being on the European tour, I’ve had a lot of time to think,” she added later on. “Just how my body feels, being away from my company, how time-consuming this is…I’m ready to put the kicks aside and I’m ready to take Nikki Bella into a different direction.”
Bella, born Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace, announced the news nearly six months after her twin sister Brie revealed her retirement last October. Niki first joined WWE back in 2007 with Brie and they both made their SmackDown debut the following year. She is a two-time WWE Divas champion. According to Sky Sports, she intends on focusing on her other interests following her time with the WWE, including a wine label and a clothing brand.
Like some wrestlers however, the duo might actually make a comeback sooner rather than later. They’re already expected to appear at WrestleMania Axxess in April, and might even return for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Both sisters explained that they’ve been begging for tag team titles for years, and this championship might just be enough to bring them both out of retirement.
“Nicole and I did tell everyone that we are stepping away from the ring, which is true, we are. But we also said that before the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles came into place,” Brie said in a statement. “This is the thing, for years we were begging for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Begging. We never thought it could truly be a reality. The fact that it is now, makes it extremely tempting for us to go back and fight for them because we’re really the longest reigning, most authentic tag team.”