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Nikki Bella wasn’t originally planning on returning to WWE until October

When Eva Marie was suspended 30 days for a Wellness Policy violation, it created an opening in the SmackDown Live women’s match at SummerSlam. That’s when Nikki Bella was called into action, even if she was joining the heel side as a returning hero.

As she told Busted Open (HT: Wrestling Inc), that wasn’t originally the plan:

"I think that's what made me more nervous than ever was I didn't want, when I did make my comeback and was able to get in the ring, I didn't want it to be like 'oh… she's back.' I wanted to be impressive. I wanted to be at the same level as all those girls. So, only being able to get in the ring for two weeks before that, because I wasn't planning on coming back until October. So, I was like, 'OK, I'm going to have all this time to really train hard, be at the level where these girls are at.' But, I knew that I had to change my style as well. I wanted to be able to stay on the same level as all the girls in the new era, but knowing that I had to protect myself as well.

"It was a lot of pressure. Even on the Sunday of SummerSlam, I was hidden all day. No one could see me. I literally didn't come off the bus until the middle of Dolph [Ziggler] and Dean's [Ambrose] match which was on right before us….I was so nervous, but when I came back and to that reaction, it was weird it was like 'I'm home.' It gave me this feeling and it was good and even though I didn't do much because they were like 'OK, we don't know what you can do.' That was my first match back. I had trained, but… so that's why I did just very little. I didn't want to come back and then 'oh, I'm injured again.'"

The good news is not only did she do just fine in that match, though, like she says, she wasn’t asked to do much, but she’s been working a full schedule ever since. Her next pay-per-view match is scheduled for tomorrow night (Oct. 9, 2016) when she takes on Carmella in a singles match at No Mercy.

Me thinks it’s already clear she’s on — or even above — the level of the rest of the division.

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