Nikki Bella couldn’t wait to get back in the ring after suffering a career-threatening neck injury, but her fellow WWE Divas were hesitant.
Speaking with PEOPLE Now, the Total Divas star recalls her shock when other wrestlers did not want to compete with her after the recovering.
“All the girls would be like, ‘Oh, we don’t want to work with you. I don’t want to re-injure you,’ ” she says. “That kind of took me by surprise because I was like, ‘Wait, what? I just had the toughest journey of my life, I came back in record time and now people don’t want to get in the ring with me?’ ”
Bella, 33, proved everyone wrong when she made her comeback debut during SummerSlam in August.
“That was an incredible moment,” she recalls. “I literally was told, ‘You have that one percent chance of getting back in that ring,’ and when I did, woo!”
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Bella, who recently got engaged to John Cena during WrestleMania 33, was thrilled to return to the ring and get in front of a live audience again, which she says is her favorite part of being a WWE star.
“There is nothing like when you walk down that ramp with the WWE universe, and they’re booing you or they’re cheering you,” the wrestler and reality TV star says. “Then whatever you do in that ring, they’re reacting to it. It really is this Broadway with body slams.”
Bella also says her job gives her a sense of confidence.
“Honestly, to be a woman and be able to wrestle is so kick-butt,” she tells PEOPLE Now. “It is the best thing ever. Like, yeah, look what I can do. It makes me really proud.”
But her family, including twin sister and fellow WWE diva Brie Bella, is there to remind her who is she really is.
“If I ever thought that I was cool for one second for what I do, my cousins would put me in a check real quick,” she says.
Total Divas airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on E!