It’s been forever since I reviewed a DVD for y’all, so I decided to dip into my collection of shoot interviews. It’s quite odd to see one that was made before a performer returned to the company. Notably the New Age Outlaws did a lot of interviews burying the likes of Shawn Michaels and Triple H – which become positively hilarious now that they’ve been re-employed by WWE. The Bella Twins recorded this interview after their 2012 departure. They didn’t enjoy anything close to the amount of TV time they got when they returned, so let’s see if there’s anything good in this one.
The twins start off by saying they’ve been athletes their whole lives. With their soccer team, they travelled all over the country. They weren’t wrestling fans at first, because it wasn’t allowed in the house. Apparently Mama Bella was quite conservative and wouldn’t let them watch it – along with other shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Saved By The Bell of all things. Their brother JJ was a fan however and eventually got them into it. In their 20s when they worked in Hooters, wrestling was on TV all the time there – so they became hooked around that time. As soon as they were out of high school, someone suggested they become identical models. In addition to modelling they did some films and reality TV. According to Brie, you can spot her at the very end of The Wedding Crashers.
Brie in the background to the right.
Brie claims she heard about the Diva Search through their agent – who knew they were both athletic and had an interest in wrestling. Not knowing too much about what it would involve, they showed up in workout clothes and discovered everyone else done to the nines. For the audition, they had to do a hypothetical entrance and cut a promo. Nikki jokes that in her promo she got into a back-and-forth argument with The Miz. The office was pleased with them but they were told right away that twins couldn’t be in the competition on TV. According to Nikki, they were offered a try-out at the end of the auditions.
The 2006 Diva Search contestants; among the girls who made it to WWE were Layla, Maryse, Brooke Adams, and Rosa Mendes.
Their try-out happened at the former Deep South Wrestling. Bill DeMott was the trainer, and other girls there included Angel Williams, Shantelle Taylor and Krissy Vaine. The workers went extra hard on them, but they had expected that and had been used to it in their years playing soccer. They were part of the original FCW – which first began as two rings beside a batting cage, before getting upgraded to a warehouse. The twins put over their trainers – Dr Tom Prichard, Steve Kern, Billy Kidman and Steve Madison – as well as Krissy Vaine and Natalya for helping them out. They claim that they went for extra sessions after dark with Kern and Prichard to really get the basics ground into them. They knew how the rest of the talent felt about models being brought into WWE and wanted to gain everyone’s respect. They describe each day training as an audition, saying they never knew who would walk through the doors. Nikki jokes that she was always made up a little just in case.
The twins with Team Blondage (Krissy Vaine & Amber O’Neal).
Nikki and Brie talk in great detail about their fellow Divas and have good things to say about nearly everyone. Maryse lived on their couch for a few months when she was in between apartments. She also learned some of her English from them, having auditioned for the Diva Search knowing only French. Kelly Kelly was Nikki’s best friend and gave nicknames to everyone. Natalya helped properly teach them how to work in the ring, and in turn they taught her how to do the ‘Diva thing’ – make-up, fashion etc. Eve Torres was a Diva that was always willing to try new things in the ring and they both really enjoyed working with her. Mickie James was a locker room leader and gets described as “super sweet but would still keep you in check.” Alicia Fox gets put over a lot, as someone who bumps very well and always makes them laugh with the random things she blurts out in the ring. Even Lacey Von Erich gets a mention. The twins mention a day when Steve Kern was trying to talk to her, but she kept ignoring him to repeatedly backflip off the turnbuckle. They have lots of good things to say about Katie Lea, with whom they worked on ECW. They describe her as very patient in the ring with them, and a genius at coming up with ideas. Brie says they were very good friends outside the ring too. When Maria Kanellis is mentioned, they decline comment.
Melina gets talked about a bit too. They say she was very much like Mickie James – a locker room leader. They have nothing but good things to say about her, saying she was like a sister them. When asked about the amount of backstage heat she had, they theorise that it may have stemmed from stuff that happened when she was first in the company. They claim they never saw a nasty side to her at all. They were constantly pitching ideas for creative to put the three of them together – for a stable they called ‘Latina Heat’. They got to team together for a couple of 6-Diva tags but nothing ever came of it.
They got the call to go up to TV with no guarantee that they would actually be used. At the time Nikki had broken her nose twice and was sporting two black eyes, requiring a hefty amount of ice and make-up to help match her with Brie. To hide under the ring, Nikki would dress as a crew member and sneak under while the lights were dimmed. Once Brie got stuck under the ring and had to remain there for the rest of the show – including having to sit under a match involving Big Show and the Great Khali. They really put over Victoria for helping them out when they started on TV, Brie saying that she was the best Diva they could have hoped to work with. They say good things about Fit Finlay too, claiming he was always pushing the girls to showcase themselves and lobbying hard to get them more time. He was let go around the time Brie won the Divas’ Championship and the division really suffered as a result.
Brie as the Divas’ Champion in 2011.
The sisters really enjoyed their storyline on ECW with the Colons and Miz & Morrison. Most of the segments were completely improvised, and they’d often need multiple takes because everyone would laugh so much. Nikki loved the part where she got to turn heel, as she’d wanted to be a heel from day one. When she first went out with Miz & Morrison, she made some sexy gestures to reflect the new attitude. And when she got backstage, she found Stephanie with her hands on her hips saying “I don’t think this [the gestures] is allowed”, as the entrance was in slow-motion – meaning Nikki accidentally broke PG on live television. Brie jokes that working with Nikki meant that she didn’t have to worry about being too stiff – but they affirm that they loved working with each other. The storyline quietly disappeared at WrestleMania 25, where they weren’t included in the tag team match. Since they were also in the Miss WrestleMania battle royal, management didn’t want them going out twice – and the draft split Miz and Morrison up and put the sisters on Raw.
It was their idea to be seen with the celebrity guest hosts on Raw every week. At that point in time, Divas were struggling to get on TV and get into proper storylines. So they opted to do that as a way to still be seen on TV every week. Brie also explains that they worried management would think they had “done it all” with the sisters wrestling, so it was a way to keep them appearing without overstaying their welcome. It became a tradition for them to greet the guests every week and show them around – so they’d be with them for the entire day. They list Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Snoop Dogg and Bob Barker as their favourites to work with. Elsewhere they put over Jillian Hall, saying they had their best matches with her. They felt WWE dropped the ball with her character, saying she brought a lot on Superstars that wasn’t really tapped into. They speak fondly about their little program with Gail Kim, and were very disappointed that it didn’t go anywhere. Outside the ring Brie says she frequently went to Gail for advice and ideas. Their NXT rookie Jamie Keyes apparently wasn’t voted off the competition but asked to be eliminated after an early episode, so that was disappointing to them. But they liked the resulting storyline of Nikki turning heel and bullying the rookies.
Nikki vs Naomi on NXT Season 3.
Daniel Bryan naturally gets discussed quite a bit. They liked their program with him, especially some of the entrances they tested out at live events. Nikki would always be extra playful with him – climbing on his back, ruffling his hair etc. – because she knew he found it annoying. They claim one night they decided not to wear underwear just to mess with him. Brie gets very sentimental as she talks about how they fell for each other – saying they didn’t start dating until the storyline had ended. But beforehand she knew he was interested in her, as he’d asked for her number at the start of the angle and would frequently flirt with her in messages. When asked about the storyline with AJ, Brie says she didn’t mind as she knew it was a part of show business – and she enjoyed seeing Bryan get a chance to explore his character. Nikki’s likewise asked about her relationship with Dolph Ziggler – saying he has a very big heart. Brie recalls a fun moment at FCW where she blindsided him with a Thesz Press during training.
Couple picture of Nikki and Dolph Ziggler.
When Kharma is brought up, the twins describe her as very laid back and easy to work with. They were surprised at the direction AJ Lee went in; they expected her to be portrayed as the innocent little girl, rather than the unstable crazy chick she morphed into. Layla is mentioned too, the sisters saying she was far more creative than she was given credit for. Beth Phoenix is called the easiest person to work with, and Nikki lists their tag matches against her and Kelly Kelly as some of her favourites. Nikki also says it was an honour that Beth was the one she won the belt from. The time for their match got cut but she still loved it. At that point they still weren’t sure if they were going to leave yet, thus feeding the rumour that the title switch was done to persuade them to stay. Brie compliments the TNA Knockouts and how brilliant their wrestling is but says she and her sister would only work for WWE. They finish the interview by offering advice to wannabe Divas to pursue their dreams and work hard.
Nikki as the Divas’ Champion in 2011.
Overall it was a pretty fun interview. Obviously the girls hadn’t received anything like the amount of spotlight they got in their 2013 return, so that does limit what questions they could be asked. But they talk in good detail about most things and seem to have good memories. Towards the end it does seem like they’re rushing through lots of questions but overall it was enjoyable. Nikki and Brie make for a good double act, and actually talk over each other and finish each other’s sentences in classic twin fashion. So it’s definitely worth a watch if one is a fan of the Bellas. The DVD can be bought at this link.
I’ve decided that when I review a shoot interview, I’ll grade it the same way I do a match. They’ll be graded on Career Information – how much was covered about their careers, Screen Presence – how interesting the subject is during the interview, Candids – if anything we heard was particularly juicy or surprising, Fun Stuff – what fun backstage stories were shared, and Overall Entertainment.
*Career Information: The Bellas were asked lots about their careers up until that part of time. The interviewer hit pretty much every point and gave them plenty to discuss. It didn’t bore things too long talking about their pre-wrestling careers – it went straight for the interesting stuff. 19/20
*Screen Presence: The twins made for some great interviewees. They were very bubbly and lively on screen, didn’t talk over each other too much and were able to talk about a lot. 20/20
*Candids - They kept things pretty classy, since Maria was the only one they appeared not to have good things to say about. Clearly they had a potential return in mind, and wisely didn’t piss anyone off. We did hear a couple of surprising things though. and Nikki was quite professional to talk about her relationship with Dolph Ziggler without airing any dirty laundry. 16/20
*Fun Stuff - A ton of great backstage stories were shared, and we heard some good things about a lot of the other women – Maryse living on their couch, Brie getting trapped under the ring for a whole show, the Daniel Bryan stuff. 20/20
*Overall Entertainment: A great interview where the Bellas are fun on-screen and share a lot of cool stories. A follow-up when they’re done with WWE is bound to be even juicier. 18/20
Final Score: 93%