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Nikki Bella Was Originally Slated To Compete On Earlier Season Of Dancing With The Stars

Nikki Bella believes her husband Artem Chigvintsev came into her life for a reason.

Following the likes of Chris Jericho and Stacy Keibler, Nikki Bella became the third WWE Superstar in history to join ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. The former Divas Champion stepped up for the show’s 25th season in the fall of 2017, eventually tying for seventh place. There, she met her future husband, Artem Chigvintsev, who served as her professional dance partner. The two initially started as friends, but after Bella’s split with long-time boyfriend John Cena, she began dating Chigvintsev. The two later welcomed their son Matteo into the world, before finally tying the knot in the summer of 2022.

In a recent appearance on The Sessions with Renee Paquette, Bella revealed that she was actually slated for the ballroom dance competition a year earlier, but evidently, fate took her down a different route. “What I did realize, is Artem was totally heaven-sent to me. He came into my life exactly when he needed to, and he came in for a reason because I was originally supposed to do Dancing with the Stars when I came back with my neck injury at SummerSlam,” she noted. “Dancing with the Stars was trying to give me that season. I was going to dance with Derek Hough.”

Throughout 2016, Bella began training for her comeback after sustaining a neck injury the year prior. After receiving clearance to compete again, she seemed poised to make her wrestling return during the summer of 2016. However, an offer from Dancing With The Stars fell into her lap, leaving Bella with an important decision to make. “I remember sitting and talking with Vince in the office, and I was just telling Vince like, ‘I want my comeback to be in the ring. I’ll do both, but I won’t choose dancing over wrestling. I want to wrestle,'” she recalled. “Vince was just like, ‘Chris Jericho said it was really hard doing both, so you just have to make that decision.'”

Ultimately, Bella chose to wrestle, opening the door for her grand return at SummerSlam. In wake of Eva Marie’s suspension, Bella emerged as the surprise tag team partner for Alexa Bliss and Natalya. The three defeated Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi, igniting Bella’s official return to the company. The following year, Dancing With The Stars reached out to Bella again, and as they say, the rest is history.

“The opportunity came back and look, then I was with Artem. So, I just feel like that’s your journey and things are meant to be,” Bella said.

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