During an interview with Booker T on the Heated Conversations podcast, Daniel Bryan was asked if he thinks The Bella Twins, comprised of Nikki and his wife, Brie Bella, get enough respect. You will not be surprised at his answer (transcription via Wrestling Inc):
“I don’t think so. Obviously I’m very close to the situation and I know that a lot of hardcore wrestling fans look at them and their era as a negative on women’s wrestling. Brie was in the ring when the ring when the hashtag ‘give divas a chance’ because they were only in like a 30-second match. I think people were frustrated with this idea that the women weren’t being given more opportunities. They worked very hard for that kind of thing and there were part of this transition into divas to women’s wrestling.
”But I also think that... I get women coming up to me and saying ‘oh my god, you’re Daniel Bryan, right? From the show’. And that’s how I know that they’re not necessarily wrestling fans, they’re Total Divas or Total Bellas fans. I think exposing our product to a different audience is always good. That’s one of things that I think Vince [McMahon] will say, and a lot of people will say, is that one of the great things about things like Total Divas and Total Bellas is it exposes WWE talent to a whole new audience of people.”
It is wholly unsurprising that Daniel Bryan would hold this belief about Brie Bella, considering how close he is to the situation. In fairness to him, he mentioned that. Having said that, he’s probably right in one sense, that Nikki & Brie don’t get the respect they deserve, for a number of reasons, not least of which is the impact they have as stars.
And they are stars. That, even more than a wrestler’s ability to actually, you know, wrestle, is what matters in this business. It is not dependent on great matches, it is dependent on star power. How far they go in that regard is up for debate, sure.
But he’s not wrong, at least from the perspective he’s coming at this from.
Even if it is a husband stalking about his wife.