Bobby Between The Ropes – The WWE Highlights of Brie Bella, Top Brie Matches & Segments…
Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016


The news broke this week that Brie Bella had retired from wrestling. After her husband Daniel Bryan announced his own retirement – and some well documented desires to start a family – it was widely anticipated that she would be following him out the door. Brie and her sister Nikki (who as far as we know will be remaining with the company) entered the WWE as part of the 2006 Diva Search. Told that twins couldn’t go into the contest on TV, they were instead offered try-outs. For years the Bella Twins were indistinguishable – even when Brie briefly held the Divas’ Championship in 2011. But when they returned to WWE in the year 2013, they began to differentiate their personalities. Fans came to know Brie as the sensible soft-spoken Granola Girl who had a fondness for hard drinking. So let’s enter Brie Mode one last time as we relive the highlights from her career.

Best Segments:

Butterfly Brie – Raw 2011:

This match is both too short and too unmemorable to be included in Brie’s list of best matches – but it is a career highlight nonetheless. Brie and Nikki had made a bet to decide which of them would be Daniel Bryan’s ‘first’ (look how well that turned out). But when they discovered he’d been seeing Gail Kim, they turned heel and became the bitchy Bellas we all know and love. They turned their attention to the Divas’ Champion Eve Torres. Eve was feeling savvy when she faced Brie for the title; having the referee draw an X on Nikki so they couldn’t switch. But ironically the distraction from the twins attempting to switch proved enough for Brie to get there anyway. She did nothing of note while holding the belt. But history will read ‘Brie Bella – one time Divas’ Champion’ anyway, and that’s something to be proud of at least.

Wedding Bells – Total Divas:

It’s not often that one gets to have the happiest day of their life broadcast for a million viewers to watch on television. Brie’s romance with Bryan Danielson started in 2011 when she and her sister were placed into a storyline with him. According to Brie, she knew he possibly liked her when he asked for her number to discuss possible segments – and sent her a few flirtatious text messages. Within a year, they were an item. Their relationship has been one of the essences of Total Divas ever since the show’s premiere episode. They’ve worried about where to live, their finances, their adorable dog Josie and even how much skin Brie should show on a regular basis. Knowing that weddings are reality TV gold, the E! Network offered to pay for the ceremony when Brie decided to become Mrs Danielson. Although it is sad that the two of them will be stepping away from wrestling, almost everyone will feel warm and fuzzy at the thought of this lovely couple now creating a new family together.

The Slap Heard Around The World – Payback 2014:

Brie’s marriage was mostly for pleasure, but it had some business benefits too. Her husband finally achieved his dream of becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion – besting the Authority at last. But disaster soon struck in the form of the injury that would eventually cause his retirement. He was forced to vacate the title, and WWE found that they still had all this momentum and no idea what to do with it. Someone then remembered Bryan’s wife. And so Stephanie McMahon offered him an ultimatum: relinquish the title or Brie would be fired. Brie took matters into her own hands and refused to let Stephanie control them – so she quit. She also slapped the boss in the face, managing to get herself massively over – in a way that the ‘model Divas’ had struggled to do for years.

It’s Brie’s Show Now – Raw 2014:

Brie’s departure led to Stephanie taking out her angers on her poor unsuspecting sister. Nikki decided to invite Brie to Raw as a fan for some moral support one night. Stephanie didn’t like this and gave Brie a receipt for that little slap. Of course what Steph didn’t realise was that – since Brie was there as a fan and not an employee – what she did kind of counts as assault. Later in the night, policemen appeared and took Stephanie away in handcuffs! This was a real badass moment and something that made many casual fans warm to Brie after all. It’s always great to see females in WWE getting to one-up the boss a la vintage Stone Cold.

Cool For The Summer – Raw 2014:

Not even a month after the previous segment, Brie was rehired officially and granted whatever she wanted. She chose a match with Stephanie at SummerSlam. And included in that package was a segment closing the main event of Raw – something women had not done for years in WWE. Truth be told, Brie’s mic work wasn’t the best (it never has been) but I doubt anyone could have a segment like this with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, and not call it a career highlight.

Best Matches:

10 – vs Victoria – Smackdown 2008:

It might be surprising to realise – given that the Bella Twins were better known for their character rather than wrestling – Brie actually debuted in a wrestling capacity. She and Nikki were used as wrestlers for their first few months. The matches were routine; Brie would go out and wrestle. Her opponents would kick her out of the ring, she would secretly switch with Nikki and get the win. Her opponents were pretty much just Victoria, and sometimes Natalya. But Victoria was always the go-to girl for helping new talent tap into their potential. Thanks to her, Brie shows off some promise and flair that wouldn’t get tapped into until many years later. Both sisters credit the Vicious Vixen with helping them out so much in their debuts.

9 – vs Naomi – Raw 2013:

It might seem odd to include this match on my list. Indeed, if I could think of any others, this would be the first one to be cut. But this match does have a little bit of significance to me. I was one of Brie Bella’s biggest detractors before the year 2013. In contrast to her sister, she had never impressed me in the ring. She was known for bland rest holds and dull matches. I remember sitting in front of the TV ready to yawn…and I never did. Afterwards I went to myself “wow, that was actually alright” – so I can pinpoint this as a match where Brie really started to up her game. She bumps and sells for Naomi, and dominates the match in a nice heel way. It’s a very solid match from top to bottom, and Brie really impressed me at the time. I said there was hope for her after all.

8 – vs Alicia Fox – Main Event 2015:

There is approximately no story behind this match at all – unless you count Nikki being in the middle of a feud with Naomi in the background. So this has no bearing on the on-again off-again Alicia alliance with the twins. I remember getting bored with Brie as a heel again and desperately wanting her to be a face. This match came along (before the twins flip-flopped every week) and confirmed Brie’s superiority in the role. There’s a valiant quality to her that just made her a nice plucky good girl. Alicia of course works well with anyone, and we actually rarely saw her and Brie mixing it up – especially once their alliance quietly disbanded. Besides one bad botch with a missile dropkick, this is just a fun little match that captures Brie’s improved in-ring persona.

7 – vs AJ Lee – Smackdown 2015:

In what was unknowingly one of AJ Lee’s last singles matches, she and Brie faced off on one Smackdown leading into WrestleMania 31. The Bellas had been bullying Paige for weeks at a time – and cheating to prevent her from relieving Nikki of the Divas’ Championship. So AJ had made the save to help Paige out. What’s more is that this was in the middle of the #GiveDivasAChance movement – that prayed for longer match times. The women got their wish here with a twelve-minute segment. Brie was able to control and dominate the 3-time champion for most of those minutes – but AJ ultimately came back and took control with the Black Widow. She and Paige would go on to beat Brie and Nikki at WrestleMania.

6 – vs Charlotte vs Sasha Banks – Battleground 2015:

The Divas Revolution storyline started off with a bang – featuring a representative from each of the three stables squaring off in a triple threat match. Sasha Banks represented the wild cards Team BAD, Charlotte the stars’ team PCB and Brie the main roster long runners Team Bella. With Charlotte and Sasha being very familiar with each other from numerous NXT battles, Brie could very easily have become the third wheel here. But she didn’t let it deter her and tried as best she could to not back down. She was able to hold her own with the NXT girls and even come close to winning. Although she posted The Boss towards the end of the match, it was Flair Jr who claimed the win by making Brie tap to the Figure 8.

5 – vs AJ Lee – Hell In A Cell 2013:

Before Brie got to slap the taste out of Stephanie’s mouth, her relationship with Daniel Bryan benefitted her in other ways. She found herself getting targeted by Randy Orton – against whom Bryan was feuding. One lady who couldn’t resist mocking this was the Divas’ Champion AJ Lee. AJ had retained her title against Brie once before, thanks to a distraction from Tamina. But this time, Nikki had recovered from an injury and was ready to even the odds. What followed was a nice match full of good psychology from the champ, fun moves from the challenger and good chemistry all around. Brie was suddenly impressing everyone with her newfound flair in the ring. Unfortunately, a running knee knocked Nikki in the head by accident – allowing AJ to trap her in the Black Widow. Thus AJ kept her title.

4 – vs Becky Lynch – Main Event 2015:

The 2015 Divas Revolution storyline didn’t offer much in the way of actual story – but it did help shake things up with what matches we got to see. Namely Brie got to work with one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of the Emerald Isle. Brie and Becky were the supporting players in their respective stables – Nikki being the champion and Charlotte being the #1 contender – but the two of them got to take centre stage on Main Event. Becky also got to demonstrate that if you put someone into a ring with her, they’ll learn lots. Much like the match with Alicia earlier, not any story behind this one – but it’s lots of fun and it’s one for Brie to be proud of.

3 – vs Natalya – SummerSlam 2013:

In the middle of 2013, a few of the lesser seen members of the women’s division were suddenly getting attention. The reason? A new reality TV show would focus on their behind the scenes lives. Most fans expected it to flop. It’s currently on its fifth season, with another one on the way. The popularity of the show led to WWE putting a singles match on their second-biggest PPV of the year. Brie also found herself getting an unusual amount of spotlight; Nikki had suffered a career-threatening shin injury, so Brie was given the chance to be the alpha twin. I can pinpoint this match as the time that Brie really started getting good. She and Natalya went toe-to-toe in a fun and physical bout that saw Brie showing some newfound tenacity. Ultimately, she was done in with an Alabama Slam into a Sharpshooter.

2 – vs Stephanie McMahon – SummerSlam 2014:

Brie has competed at three SummerSlams in a row, and the 2016 one won’t feel the same without her. I see no need to detail the history behind this bout – since it’s all recapped in most of her best segments. This could have gone one of two ways: a hit or a disaster. In my opinion, it was the former. Stephanie and Brie had reportedly been training their asses off to get prepared for it – this being Stephanie’s first match in over ten years. While not the best wrestling match, it’s still a lot of fun. There was a lacklustre Divas’ Championship match between AJ Lee and Paige earlier in the night – and this one blew that out of the water through sheer psychology alone. Nikki’s heel turn at the end was a genuine mark-out moment for me. With her help, Steph hit a Pedigree and came out on top.

1 – vs Nikki Bella – Hell In A Cell 2014:

After Nikki turned heel on Brie, we looked to get a long-awaited sister vs sister feud. What we actually got? Horribly-acted segments, cringey ‘growing up Bella’ vignettes and terrible lines like “I wish you’d died in the womb”. But when the sisters met in the ring, it was a different story. I loved everything about this match when I watched it live, and I still do. Brie and Nikki put on probably not the highest quality bout, but it was still one of the best matches of their careers. Nikki was the perfect evil heel and Brie the perfect underdog face. Brie even kicked out of her sister’s Rack Attack. But after a forearm from Nikki, a second Rack Attack did her in. This would also get Brie thirty days as Nikki’s slave.

So there’s Brie Bella’s career done and dusted. She got to main event Raw a couple of times, she got to wrestle at high profile events like WrestleMania, SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble. She enjoyed TV-time as a cast member of Total Divas – and plenty of merchandise to go along with it. Way back in 2011 she was even Divas’ Champion for a brief period. Yet even looking back through the list of matches, there does feel a bit like something…lacking. There were so many missed opportunities and wasted potential – especially in 2014 when she was especially over with the fans. She leaves WWE rather quietly, uniquely getting to win her last match after nearly two years of putting everyone else over. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss Brie. Flawed performer though she was, she did bring something to the picture. Fans certainly thought so too and they were willing to embrace her as Daniel Bryan’s beloved wife. It’s not the career it could have been – but there will be plenty of fond memories. So for one last time….Briiiiiiiiiieeeee Mooooooooooooode!!!!


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