After 16 years with WWE, the sisters professionally known as the Bella Twins announced that they are leaving the wrestling entertainment company — and that they are going back to their real names, Brie and Nikki Garcia.
“Today we are officially, from here on out, the Garcia Twins — Brie and Nikki Garcia,” Nikki said Tuesday in the new episode of their SiriusXM show, which is now called “The Nikki & Brie Show.” The twin sisters signed with WWE in 2007 and made their debut that year as The Bella Twins.
WWE currently owns the trademark on “Bella Twins,” according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Bella Twins’ YouTube channel, which at one point had more than 3.5 million subscribers, is no longer available on the video platform. A WWE rep declined to comment on the sisters’ departure.
In the episode of “The Nikki & Brie Show” that first aired Tuesday on SiriusXM, Nikki acknowledged that dropping the Bella Twins identities was a difficult decision — that was years in coming — but that the sisters felt it was time to move on to focus on a “new chapter” as moms, entrepreneurs, TV and podcast hosts, and executive producers. She also noted that they will be turning 40 later this year (their birthday is Nov. 21).
“When our contract came up [for renewal] with WWE, mutually we all knew… we just need to head into this new chapter,” Nikki said. She added that the twins “are so grateful” for their time with WWE and their Bella Twins personae: “I have learned so much in and out of that ring, I have traveled all over the world, I have an incredible fandom.”
Brie commented, “I am so excited to close that chapter on Brie Bella, and put that book to the side, and see what Brie Garcia is going to do next.”
Last week, Amazon Studios announced “Twin Love,” a new dating competition series hosted by Brie and Nikki. The show, from ITV Entertainment, is set to premiere on Prime Video this summer and simultaneously on Amazon Freevee in the U.S. and UK. According to the show’s official description, “‘Twin Love’ is a social dating experiment that explores the love lives of identical twins. Ten sets of twins will be split up and placed into two houses of ‘identical’ casts, where they’ll begin a unique and compelling search for love.”
The Bella Twins’ wrestling career “started out with a bit of deception, as the two identical twins would switch places during Brie’s matches to ensure they picked up the victory,” their official WWE bio reads. “But even after their ruse was discovered, the sisters proved themselves to be tough competitors.”
Brie was the first to capture a WWE title, winning the Divas Championship in April 2011. Nikki followed up with a championship win of her own, then added a second reign that saw her become the longest-reigning Divas Champion in WWE history.
In other TV credits, Nikki appeared on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” Season 25 in 2017. The two starred in reality show appeared on E!’s “Total Divas,” then were featured in their own spinoff on the network, “Total Bellas,” which aired from 2016-21.
Both Nikki and Brie Garcia are repped by WME. SiriusXM’s Stitcher in 2021 inked a deal for what was then “The Bellas Podcast,” hosted by the WWE Hall of Fame inductees. Brie and Nikki Garcia produce the show with support from Stitcher.
Separately, Vince McMahon returned to the WWE earlier this year — after leaving the company last year amid sexual misconduct allegations — and has been actively seeking a buyer.