Not meant to be. Nikki Bella and John Cena have been candid about one another since their split.
The former professional wrestlers were friends before they sparked a romance in 2012. The pair got engaged five years later, but Us Weekly broke the news in April 2018 that the athletes called off their wedding.
“While this decision was a difficult one, we continue to have a great deal of love and respect for one another,” Bella and Cena confirmed in an exclusive statement to Us. “We ask that you respect our privacy during this time in our lives.”
One month after the duo’s breakup, Cena admitted on the Today show that he was still in love with Bella. Following a brief reconciliation, the Total Divas alum and the Blockers actor called it quits for good in July 2018.
“After I called off the engagement, we tried to work on our relationship to get back to where it was in order to move forward with our wedding,” Bella explained in an exclusive statement to Us. “After much time and soul-searching alone, and together, we have decided to officially part ways. I had a beautiful and loving six-year relationship with a wonderful man. I have the utmost respect for John, but I know this is what’s best for me.”
The California native moved on with Artem Chigvintsev in 2019, two years after they competed together on season 25 of Dancing With the Stars. Bella and the ballroom dancer announced their engagement in January 2020 and welcomed their first child, son Matteo, that July. Two years later, Bella and Chigvintsev walked down the aisle in Paris.
For the big day, the WWE ambassador wore a gown that she initially purchased for her wedding to Cena. Before the August 2022 ceremony, Bella checked with the Russia native to see how he felt about her unconventional fashion choice — and he was not bothered by it at all.
“He looks at it as just a material thing,” Bella exclusively told Us in January 2023. “He probably wanted me to save money but then didn’t realize I bought a few other dresses after.”
Cena, for his part, moved on with Shay Shariatzadeh following his split from Bella. Us confirmed in October 2020 that the duo quietly tied the knot in Florida.
After officially closing their chapter, Bella and the Bumblebee star have remained supportive of one another. When asked about the breakup in July 2022, the Incomparable coauthor didn’t hold back.
“You almost wish it was bad because it’s so much easier to walk away. It’s so much harder to walk away when it’s loving,” she confessed to Entertainment Tonight at the time. “I think a lot of women get into this situation when it’s like, ‘I love this person, but I don’t know if it’s right for my life,’ and that’s a hard thing. Sometimes we meet amazing people, but we’re just meant to live a different life.”
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