Note: Due to some suspicious Slammy-esque stuffing of the ballot box in this year’s Gooker Award poll, Wrestlecrap will be awarding the prize to the top two vote-getters. Next week will see the induction of Vince McMahon’s brass-ring fiasco, but this week we present WWE’s Nikki vs. Brie Bella feud, the co-winner of the 2014 Gooker Award.
Just as I do for the Blizzard of 2015, the collapse of the Russian ruble, and Eva Marie, I blame Total Divas for this one.
Before the E! Network reality show came along to inform viewers that the Bella Twins were not only ring veterans but the bona fide stars of WWE programming, the possibility of a Bella vs. Bella feud was unthinkable, if only for the fact that no one could tell the two apart.
It’s the same reason that in the case of the Usos, WWE has never implemented the standard practice of abruptly breaking the team up, having them feud, then releasing whomever got over the least, as they’ve done for nearly every tag team from The Rockers to the Hart Dynasty. If they hadn’t been twins, they would never have survived the longest dues-paying period for a team in WWE history to win the tag titles.
But WWE doesn’t have a Divas’ Tag Title…
…so when when WWE saw that Total Divas was actually portraying Brie and Nikki Bella as two individuals with distinct personalities…
…there was no stopping Creative from splitting the pair up and pitting them against one another in wrestling’s worst angle of 2014.
After all, Total Divas had allowed fans to finally distinguish one twin from the other.
For the uninitiated, here’s a mnemonic device: Nikki looks more like a porn star; she’s the girlfriend of Mr. Hustler, Loyalty, and Respect, John Cena. Cena does the AA, and Nikki got the DDs.
Brie, on the other hand, is the one with no meat on her bones; she’s the vegan Daniel Bryan’s wife.
As far as personality goes, Nikki is always crassly talking about her boobs and vagina. Brie, on the other hand, is more down-to-earth, except when she drinks and goes into “Brie Mode,” where she’s loud, loose, and obnoxious. Come to think of it, it should be called, “Nikki Mode.”
Also — and you can’t make this stuff up — Nikki, the one with the boob job, has a finisher called “The Rack Attack.”
Now that the Universe was up to speed on who was who…
…WWE could now have the two twins come to blows, which they did…
This should have been the first sign that a Brie vs. Nikki feud would not pan out. Instead, undaunted by the total lack of enthusiasm toward a Bella vs. Bella feud, WWE Creative pressed on and pulled the trigger at Summerslam.
Piggy-backing on the Brie-Stephanie feud, which many fans actually gave a hoot about, the Bella feud kicked off when Nikki decked her sister, costing her the match to the hated boss.
Nikki, you see, resented the fact that Brie had quit months earlier, leading to Nikki being punished by The Authority in Brie’s place.
With no real possibility of great matches springing from this angle, WWE needed to work some real magic with the promos to generate interest in the inevitable blow-off match.
Instead, Nikki’s unconvincing promos centered on the unseen (and uninteresting) family drama brewing between the two, we were told, for three decades. Brie had always mistreated poor Nikki. Why, Brie had been trying to hog the spotlight since before the Bellas were even born. Now Nikki was finally tired of “playing second fiddle to a sister that never gave a damn” about her.
“Yes I do!” pouted Brie (who was no doubt also distraught over the mysterious disappearance of her backbone, having stood up to the boss-lady all that summer). To which Nikki responded with faux-pouting and sarcastic baby talk about how Brie was “everyone’s favorite Bella Twin.” Never mind that, for most of their careers, the question of “Who’s your favorite Bella Twin?” was akin to asking, “What’s your favorite turnbuckle?”
And you know what? The first sentence of this paragraph was apparently a verbal tic that Nikki used to start every sentence in her promos.
It wasn’t long before things turned physical. Okay, it was extremely long before things turned physical, as anyone who sat through their many ten-minute segments could attest, but eventually, Nikki took out her frustrations with some of the most vicious arm-flailing and hair-pulling fans had seen in years.
Ironically, contrary to what Jerry Lawler may have had in mind, he would end up having to pull Nikki off instead of vice versa.
As Lawler proved a bit too dedicated to separating the Bella Twins, a chant of “Jerry! Jerry!” broke out. Wouldn’t it be funny, the viewer no doubt thought, if they got Jerry Springer to settle this dispute instead of Jerry Lawler? And then the viewer chuckled once or twice before wondering whether Monday Night Football was on. (Unfortunately, it wasn’t)
And so Nikki continued to antagonize her sister, while Brie week after week refused to fight her own flesh and blood. It was reminiscent of the first Kane vs. Undertaker feud, except instead of comically fake lightning bolts, we got comically fake t-…
…tears. And plenty of them, too, as Brie turned on the waterworks for most of her time on screen, spilling enough saline over Nikki to fill a pair of breast implants (See? There was a boob-job joke coming, after all). She offered up practically no resistance to Nikki, who berated her with delightful lines like, “You were the reason Dad left us” and, of course, the immortal “I wish you had died in the womb!”
Horrendous acting aside, there is no way to say the word, “womb” without sounding silly. Now, if Nikki had said she wished Brie would die in a car accident, then she wouldn’t have sounded silly. Just crazy.
“I have no sister!” yelled Nikki on more than one occasion. If that’s the case, shouldn’t she have been concerned that a stranger who looked almost exactly like her was working for the same company? I guess that’s why Nikki wanted Brie to quit, no matter how insincere she may have sounded.
After the brouhaha with Jerry Lawler, Nikki was given a platform to tell the fans about the real Brie Bella in a series of laughable vignettes called, “Growing Up Bella.”
Before commercial breaks, Nikki would talk to the camera about one rotten thing Brie did to her after another. There was the time Brie stole her sister’s driver’s license, crashed a car, and blamed it on Nikki.
Then there was the time Brie got Nikki to take her final exams for her in high school.
And perhaps worst of all, there was the time Brie stole Nikki’s date on prom night (presumably after Nikki had already cheated for her on the exams). At least the guy had a built-in excuse: “Honestly, I thought she was you! I didn’t even know you had a twin sister!”
And about all of these travesties, Nikki had never told anyone.
The next week, Jerry Springer hosted a special segment aimed at settling the dispute between the Bellas. Also, Monday Night Football premiered.
Along with taped messages from the Bellas’ parents, during the fifteen-minute segment Jerry brought out the twins’ brother, JJ, who Brie said was on her side. But surprise, surprise, JJ had actually sided with Nikki, telling Brie to stop playing the victim! But double surprise, surprise (surprise, surprise, surprise, surprise), JJ really blamed Nikki after all!
Soon, both Bellas were exchanging wild slap attempts, “accidentally” knocking over Jerry Springer…
…and “accidentally” striking their own brother.
Next came the big catfight spot, where the Twins were supposed to roll around the ring and steamroll Jerry Springer. Instead, in a metaphor for this whole angle, they failed to get over.
Stephanie McMahon, who had consistently outshined both Bellas in the acting department throughout this whole feud, then joined the fray to try to salvage the spot before the Bella Twins once again tried — and failed — to roll over the talk show host.
Jerry and Stephanie both corpsed on camera as the announcers tried to convey the gravity of the situation, which left Springer injured and having to be carried off on a stretcher.
As the feud trudged on, the acting never got better, but the promos somehow got even more laughable. Instead of Nikki discussing which Bella Twin should have died before birth (Fetus? She hardly knows us!), the embarrassing verbal exchanges now centered on the Bella name.
Nikki told Brie that she was “an embarrassment to the name Bella” and that she should stop calling herself Brie “Bella,” as if “Bella” were their family name.
So I guess that was their brother “JJ Bella” we saw a couple weeks back? Jerry Springer seemed to think so.
And those two different last names their parents had, neither of which were “Bella”? Those must have been typos or something.
After two months of husky-voiced bickering and so very, very much crying…
…the feud finally led to a one-on-one contest at Hell in a Cell, where Brie and Nikki duked it out in a match where the loser would have to be the winner’s personal assistant for thirty days. Babyfaces do not have a great track record in these kinds of matches, so naturally Brie lost to Nikki…
…leading to such shenanigans as the evil twin making her new servant fetch a smoothie, only to pour it over Brie’s head…
…or making the newly-dubbed “Cinderbella” (the name didn’t stick) serve her tea while wearing white butler gloves.
These kinds of humiliating chores led JBL, never an expert on comic books, to note that Bruce Wayne had to do everything that Batman told him to do. Wait, so this whole time Nikki was just Brie in disguise?
Nikki even had Brie dress up like AJ for an “exhibition” match to prepare for her title shot against the Divas’ champion. Jobbing, apparently, was not in Brie’s job description, as she ended up surprising her sister and master for the win.
What was in Brie’s job description, however, was weaponized sexual favors, as the good twin shocked AJ with this kiss, letting Nikki sneak-attack the champion and pin her in short order.
And so, with only two days remaining on Brie’s servitude, she had seemingly reconciled with her twin sister by turning heel.
So was this just a ruse on Brie’s part so she could turn around and double-cross her sister once the stipulation ran out? Nope. Even after the thirty days were over, Brie kept helping Nikki retain her title and started tagging with her again. Looking back, I guess it was better for Nikki that her sister didn’t die in the womb.
Neither Brie nor Nikki ever bothered to explain what was behind this change of heart, which proved that old saying:
“To those who did not watch the Bellas feud, no explanation will suffice. To those who did watch the Bellas feud, no explanation is necessary so long as it’s over and never, ever happens again.”