Loser has to be the Winner's personal assistant match
Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella
Blood is thicker than water...right? Maybe we'll find out, as the twins finally go one-on-one on pay-per-view (PPV).
The Road to Hell in a Cell
Hard to believe that (1) this feud has only been going on for two months, and (2) this is the first time Nikki and Brie will compete against each other in a WWE ring.
The genesis of their split goes back to...well, probably when WWE decided to participate in a 'reality' show called Total Divas with Brianna and Nicole Garcia-Colace as the stars. But setting aside the semi-kayfabe of that E! show, which in a bizarre bit of scheduling will air its season finale opposite Hell in a Cell, the feud has its roots in Brie quitting the WWE rather than allowing her real life husband, Daniel Bryan, to be stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
As Mrs. Bryan's resignation notice came with a slap to Stephanie McMahon's face (and an arrest warrant), the Principal Owner of WWE took her frustrations out on the only Bella still employed by her company. Nikki was placed in a series of handicap matches: two (or more)-on-one, one arm tied behind your back and other stipulations meant to punish Brie by forcing her to watch her sister take beatings were the norm for much of the Summer.
In order to get the charges which lead to McMahon's arrest warrant dropped, Steph agreed to a match against Brie at SummerSlam. The pair acquitted (pun intended) themselves well, but fans were denied a decisive finish when Nikki revealed that she had allied herself with the Billion Dollar Princess.
The single sister was angry that her happily married twin had left her to take her punishment on Raw and Smackdown for weeks - and also had a laundry list of simmering resentments dating back to their childhood. Nikki's turn resulted in two things: being made the female face of WWE by McMahon and getting a title shot at Night of Champions, and the 'reality' television world invading the wrestling one. The apex of the latter was a guest appearance by Jerry Springer on Raw to mediate their dispute.
Falling short of the Divas title on last month's PPV, Nikki instead lobbied Stephanie to allow her to put her sister in the same litany of handicap matches that she had face during Brie's absence. When her sister was able to do what she hadn't been able to - win despite the odds - Nikki herself got involved in the action.
This has escalate to a series of multi-women matches that harken back to the first season of Total Divas, where female heels from the show were pitted against babyface ones in an attempt at synergy between the two properties. Now at least, the bouts have some kayfabe context.
What's at Stake?
In order to up the ante - and really make this a match worthy of a return engagement by the former mayor of Cleveland - the twins taunted each other into adding a stipluation to their first PPV showdown...the loser will have to serve as the winner's personal assistant for a month.
Since the filming schedule for E! will probably relegate much of those antics to Raw, the loser is much more likely to have to engage in demeaning tasks that involve bathrooms and/or bodily functions as opposed to making dinner reservations. So while there's dignity on the line for Brie or Nikki, really, we all lose.
Both women have shown a commitment to becoming better pro wrestlers, though, and we should be treated to a decent-to-good women's match with some real animosity between the competitors. On a packed card that also features a Divas title match, it's unclear how much time they'll get, but whatever is allotted will probably feature actual wrestling instead of the overbooking shenanigans we could have counted on from a Bellas match of a few years back.
Which is also good because it's highly unlikely that this is the end of their feud. Rumors are already floating of Team Brie vs. Team Nikki Survivor Series match that will be packed with Total Divas' stars, and maybe a blow-off at TLC in an actual tables, ladders and chairs match.
That the twins would get that opportunity, and that I won't dread it, is a welcome surprise.
Can Nikki and Brie keep their fans eyes on HiaC on the WWE Network as opposed to their usual Sunday night home on E!?
We'll tell you what we think, and look forward to hearing your thoughts, right here at cSs!