Nikki and Brie Bella made an appearance on The Tonight Show this Wednesday evening with host Jimmy Fallon, a long-time friend of the WWE, and discussed everything from their recent in-ring retirement to the controversial finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones (which Nikki apparently spoiled for BOTH of their significant others).
During the sit-down interview, Nikki revealed the real reason why she was forced to retire from professional wrestling earlier this year – and it turns out, it actually wasn’t her choice at all.
It has been well-documented that the former Divas Champion has had a series of neck problems, including a major surgery in 2015 that ended up being a major focus of the Total Divas series and eventual Total Bellas spinoff.
Nikki would of course return to the ring for several part-time stints including a high-profile intergender tag team match teaming up with ex-fiance John Cena against The Miz and Maryse, who now have their very own hit reality series, Miz & Mrs. on the USA network.
Her final televised match took place just last year, when she unsuccessfully challenged Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship in the main event of the historic WWE Evolution all-women’s PPV event. She would also return to the ring for a series of non-televised WWE Live event matches across Europe the following month, taking on Rousey and Natalya in what would be her real final matches in the ring.
While on The Tonight Show, Nikki revealed that her and her sister Brie were actually considering making a comeback earlier this year in order to fight for the newly minted WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, but a check-up with the medical team revealed severe complications that would ultimately end her wrestling career.
“I really wanted to go back and fight for the tag titles. I’ve always had my neck issues, and after neck surgery it hasn’t been okay. I feel like I needed to get that check-up before we went back for the tag titles, and then it came back and I have a herniated disc above where I had surgery. I have all this inflammation around the metal, and I have a cyst on my brain. They were like, ‘You’re done!’ I didn’t get a choice.”