WWE Superstar Alum Brie Bella Talks Business, 'Total Bellas' & 'Celebrity Family Feud'

Scott Fishman
Q&A ABC/Byron Cohen

From Double Dare to Hollywood Game Night, WWE superstar alums Brie Bella and sister Nikki are always up for a good competition. And the twinning duo put their Bella brains to the test for an upcoming edition of Celebrity Family Feud. Rounding out the team are fellow Total Bellas cast members mom Kathy Laurinaitis, brother JJ Garcia, and sister-in-law Lauren “Lola.” As a fan of Feud, it was a surreal moment stepping on set.  

“It was fun to come up with your own answers when they’re asking the questions. I have to tell you my family and I was so nervous,” she said. “We didn’t know how well we would do. You’re not prepared at all. You have no idea what the topics are or the questions, so it’s really nerve wracking. Nicole and I didn’t want to make fools of ourselves. I can’t wait for everyone to see the episode because I feel like they’re going to be proud of my sister and I. I give all the credit to my husband [Bryan [Danielson] for hosting “Bella Brains” on our podcast and making my brain work, especially questions back from school.” 

The show was a welcome break from juggling multiple companies, caring for daughter Birdie and taking another step further toward Bella domination with her sister Nikki. Through it all Brie somehow found time to reflect on everything going on in her new normal outside of the pro wrestling ring.  

Did you feel added pressure knowing you were competing against mixed martial arts [MMA] stars?  

Brie Bella: Definitely. I think everyone wants to have bragging rights. We went in wanting to win this because we can’t give MMA bragging rights. 

You both have done so many competition shows over the years. Is there one you haven’t been on that you want to do? 

For myself, I feel like it would be Dancing with the Stars because I saw how my sister fell in love with dance, and she got into incredible shape. She told me, “It’s weird because dancing brings out this whole other side of you.” I would like to feel that. I have always been into athletics. I was a soccer player growing up and then in wrestling. I feel like I’ve never brought that part of myself out. That would be fun to bring out the more romantic and creative side. 

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You mention getting into shape. How has your approach to fitness changed now that you are aren’t working out for that next match? 

I think my biggest motivator is getting rid of the baby weight, always trying to get back to that pre-pregnancy body. For me, it’s about creating a healthy lifestyle where I’m fit but not deprived. I have a personal trainer who keeps me on my toes. I train with him three times a week, so I can do the heavy lifting and someone is watching me, and I’m not hurting myself.

On my days I’m not working with a trainer, I love to do hot yoga. That’s my time to give my body the love and care it needs by stretching and making it more flexible. I feel like hot yoga brings that mind, body, and soul. My sister tells her trainer to train her as if she was going into a WrestleMania match. I feel like you’ll always have that mentality. You always want to be in champion’s shape, but it’s nice not having the pressure that you have to be at a certain point in four weeks. You just make it your lifestyle. 

NIKKI BELLA, BRIE BELLA, JJ GARCIA, KATHY LAURINAITIS, LAUREN JENNIFER GARCIA (ABC/Byron Cohen)

I know Total Bellas returns next year. What has filming been like? Is the experience different than past seasons with you both at an almost crossroads of your lives? 

I think the biggest thing is that in every season, we’ve always been getting ready for this big comeback to wrestling and how wrestling is this big part of our lives. We both are retired now. And since Nikki officially announced that, it’s strange how all these other doors have opened where we are able to give all of our companies so much time. It’s like we are in our next chapter of our life.

You’re going to see cameras capturing Nikki’s retirement and her feelings on it. You’re going to see what happened when meeting the doctors. We both thought we were going back this summer. It’s our next chapter in life, which for me means growing my family. For my sister, it’s being in a new relationship with Artem [Chigvintsev] as a new cast member. He will be filming a lot. My sister is also building a house next door to me. I think it will show us as entrepreneurs.

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There is one thing doing body slams in the ring, but doing body slams is a whole different thing. There are so many ups and downs. Our schedules are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, instead of what our schedule was like through wrestling. Viewers will see our completely new life.

You speak of your many businesses. You got a major win with your wine Belle Radici being sold in Total Wine & More stores. What is it like to see such growth and now be able to share what you’ve made with fans at different tour stops? 

It was a surreal moment when we went nationwide with Total Wine. It’s crazy. It’s like when they tell you you’re going to have a WrestleMania match. It’s an overwhelming feeling.

We’re starting to get the wine in Arizona, and I go to tastings. I talk to them. It’s such a different life now for me, but it’s still as satisfying as being a WWE superstar. I just think my sister and I with Birdiebee and Nicole and Brizee, all our companies were startups. The one thing my sister and I, and thank you Vince McMahon for being our boss, have taken is our branding. [Business] is the same as in wrestling in not only branding but hard work. You have to work 24/7 every day. I really think we got that work ethic from wrestling.

(Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal)

You’re maintaining that connection with fans through The Bellas Podcast. Did you expect to get the big reception you’ve been getting as listeners can relate to what you both are going through in your respective lives? 

When they came to my sister and I about doing a podcast, we didn’t know it was for us. It’s such a different world. The one thing that we realized is that we’re open books. We will tell you about the good, the bad, the ugly. We know some people will hate what we say. Some people will love what we say. Some people will connect with us and won’t. We feel if we live in our truth that it will help other people too. We hope we do keep it real on our podcast, but also have some fun with “Bella Brains.”

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We also want them to understand that they’re not the only ones going through anything bad in their lives. We want them to also realize life should be fun and to let go. The podcast has been good for us. [She] and I are having so much fun. We actually are going to do a live tour in the fall. We’re going to do a live show in Arizona first. We’re going to take our podcast on the road, which we are super excited about. 

So live “Bella Brains” maybe? 

Yes, everyone will see how nervous we get when [my husband] Bryan [Danielson] asks us questions. 

(Photo by: Rocky Widner/E!)

I think I also heard on a past episode of the podcast that you were working on a book?

It’s actually something we’ve been working on for the past two years. It’s been a slow project. We’ve been working with this great ghostwriter. It’s funny because as reality stars you feel like you’ve given a lot of your life, but one thing Nicole and I want to talk about is our childhood. We’ve been through some really big stuff, which has defined us as strong women today.

It’s actually nerve wracking for my sister and I to open up about our childhood and stuff from our past. We see with the podcast, reality shows, that being so open can help people. Our book will be out sometime in 2020, but people are going to get a better look inside our journey where we are today. 

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You’ve attained so much together. What are some of your goals moving forward. Do you have a five-year plan in mind where you want to be? 

I think one thing is when you are an entrepreneur creating and starting companies, your biggest goal is to sell them in the end. We work really hard to keep our brand going strong and constantly think of new creative ideas. Our biggest thing what we’re working on now is connecting all our companies. As business owners, we’re trying to think of steps ahead and grow our company.

Nicole and I will be 36 in November. We always say by 40 [she] and I would be living in Napa Valley with our family. That’s the five-year plan: by then have a couple of companies sold, my own vineyard and [be] living in Napa Valley. 

Celebrity Family Feud, Sunday, August 18, 8/7c, ABC

Total Bellas, Season 5 Premiere, 2020, E!