Once known as The Bella Twins, Brie, and Nikki Garcia put together a strong career in professional wrestling.
Most fans were introduced to Brie and Nikki on an episode of WWE Smackdown for the very first time. Their first main roster match was against former two-time WWE women’s champion Victoria. It was a victory that set the tone for the rest of their careers.
The timing of their victory was significant since the women’s division was going through significant changes when it came to booking. Victoria represented progress when it seemed like there were slow steps in the right direction due to her powerhouse style and her landmark rivalries in the division.
When Brie and Nikki would gain victories over Victoria, it was also to some degree controversial. It was a hard pill to swallow that there was a new generation rising up at this time and it led to changes that coincided with Brie and Nikki being part of the mix.
The Garcia’s overcoming the odds in WWE.
It was a polarizing time for the women’s division which became the diva’s division on a full-time basis. It seemed like there would be a time when WWE fans would witness the division going to the next level, but there was a major backtrack.
The matches were short so it put the competitors who were known for wrestling and those who fans didn’t know had it in them in the same boat. Brie and Nikki obtained the Divas championship one time each during their initial run. Even though they held titles, it wasn’t enough to convince some fans that they were for real due to the state of the Divas division.
The Garcia twins were briefly released by WWE in 2012, and to be honest, that release was the best thing to happen for their careers. They made some appearances in the independent wrestling circuit, which was their first time in the independent wrestling circuit.
It truly showed that they were serious and made lots of fans look at them differently because they didn’t just disappear or go after other endeavors. It was very telling that Nikki and Brie were willing to do whatever it took to stay fresh in the wrestling industry.
This led to a change upon their return and Nikki won her second Divas Championship against AJ Lee. This time felt different than their initial run since Nikki and Brie gradually showed different sides that were previously unknown in two different ways.
In one way, Total Divas was the launch pad that made fans love Nikki and Brie more than ever before, and the other way is how they gradually showed a more aggressive side to their wrestling arsenal than before. Nikki showed a powerhouse side while Brie started to find herself as a quick striker.
It coincided with a new shift that was beginning to take place where the competition in the Divas division, would eventually become the women’s division once again. This also came at a time when Nikki and Brie grew into marketing powerhouses.
Even though it didn’t translate to more championships, Nikki and Brie gained something that was much more important and that’s respect for their hustle. They continued to evolve as not just wrestlers but as businesswomen and that sometimes is more than gaining another title.
Fans may not have liked some of the rivalries that happened with the Authority, the faction war amongst the women’s division, or when Nikki and Brie had a rivalry against each other. They still had to go through hard times and it was still faced with criticism, especially as other women wrestlers rose through the rankings because of their known skills.
Even with the criticism, they kept their head held high as they continued to evolve. It all came full circle at WWE’s only all-women’s pay-per-view Evolution. Nikki went against “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey for the RAW women’s championship in the main event.
The Garcia’s taking part in the main event against Rousey was poetic since it was them coming full circle since they faced their destiny as stars who evolved through the good times and the rough times of the Divas and women’s division against the present day of the women’s division with Ronda Rousey as the star attraction.
They have come a long way as competitors and no doubt they are arguably the best to never win the women’s tag team titles in WWE. Whether people like them or not, it shouldn’t be denied that they made the best of situations and put in the work to make themselves into full-grown stars.