it's over

The Bella Twins Are Dead, Long Live the Garcia Twins

Nikki and Brie Garcia. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Nikki and Brie Bella, the WWE superstar twins and Total Divas alums, are no more. The pair announced today that they would not be renewing their contracts with WWE and would instead begin going by their real names: Nikki and Brie Garcia, as People exclusively reported. The Bellas existed for 17 years, signing with WWE in 2007 and working their way up from the company’s developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling to the main roster in 2008. During their years with the promotion, they won the Divas Championship three times between them (WWE had no women’s tag team title from 1989 until 2019,) they were featured on the reality show Total Divas, and Nikki came dangerously close to marrying John Cena before retiring from wrestling in 2018 because of a neck injury. The duo were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2021, and performed at the Royal Rumble in 2022. “When our contract came up with WWE, mutually we all knew we just needed to head into this new chapter,” Nikki explained on their Sirius XM show (which is now called The Nikki & Brie Show). The two thanked their Bella personas for all they’ve done and — just to make the point clear — tweeted a video of themselves walking into that next chapter through an absolutely massive wooden door:

The name change represents a definitive separation from WWE for the sisters, as the sports-entertainment company has the name “Bella Twins” trademarked, according to Variety. However, the split should not come as a total surprise, given the duo have recently been vocal about issues with Vince McMahon’s promotion. After RAW’s 30th-anniversary show in January, they spoke out about the lack of women honored on it. “You sit back and you’re like, ‘Why aren’t we being appreciated?’” Nikki told Tamron Hall at the time. “ ‘Why don’t we even have a video package showcasing what all these incredible women have done?’” Before they sat down on TV, they’d already offered their unfiltered thoughts on Instagram Live as to why there wasn’t a video package dedicated to the women’s division on the anniversary show: “Because there’s Sasha Banks in it, Mercedes is too over and we can’t say her name,” Nikki says in the clip, while Brie adds, “There’s a couple other girls, and Raya, there’s a bunch of us they don’t want to show.”

“Raya” is short for Saraya, the wrestler known as Page in the WWE, who now performs at rival promotion AEW under her real name. She took the time to weigh in on the duo’s name-change announcement, writing, “Welcome to freedom ladies, I know this next chapter is gonna be even bigger!”

The Bella Twins Are Dead, Long Live the Garcia Twins