Nikki Bella Announces WWE Retirement on 'Total Bellas' Finale
"I really am ready to hang up the jersey," Bella said on the Season 4 finale Sunday alongside family and friends, including her twin sister Brie Bella who has also retired from in-ring action in WWE. "I can say it fully."
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"I'm ready to take Nikki Bella into a different direction," she continued.
Bella was one of the most popular stars in WWE who teamed up with her sister to form The Bella Twins. She enjoyed multiple reigns as Divas Champion and helped launch WWE reality shows on E! including Total Divas and Total Bellas.
Bella last competed against Ronda Rousey in October for the Raw Women's Championship at WWE Evolution, the company's first-ever all-women's pay-per-view event. Bella and her sister famously faced off against Paige and AJ Lee at WrestleMania 31 in 2015.
Bella was also in a high-profile relationship with John Cena during her time in WWE with the former couple teaming up to take on The Miz and his wife Maryse at WrestleMania 33 in 2017. Cena proposed to Bella after the match before the pair parted ways more than a year later.
The pro wrestler initially went looking to chronicle a standup comedy tour, but the project ended up being so much more.
"Beyond the booty shakes, back flips, best body contests, and hanging on the arm of a celebrity guest host on #raw we had a dream. A dream that was to be the best WWE Superstar we could be," Bella said in August on Instagram in celebration of The Bella Twins' 10th anniversary in WWE.
"Be the best woman we could be. And be the best role model we could be. We knew with extreme hunger and passion we would be unstoppable. That our fire and bravery could help make a change for the women that fight so hard to be here and mean something more then what so many had to be," she continued. "I have gotten to share that ring with some extraordinary and talented women. I feel so beyond lucky and blessed."
Bella also confirmed on the Season 4 finale that she is dating her former Dancing with the Stars partner Artem Chigvinstev. The duo were seen riding off on a motorcycle together as the finale came to a close.
Bella was paired with Chigvinstev during the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars in 2017. The reality star also posted on Instagram Sunday a selfie of herself kissing Chigvinstev on the cheek.
By Wade Sheridan
Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.