Watching celebrity relationships end is hard, but not knowing what put the nail in the coffin is even harder. That's why it's bittersweet news that John Cena and Nikki Bella's split will be on Total Divas' new season. Hearing that the two wrestlers broke up just weeks before their scheduled May 5 wedding was devastating enough, so reliving it on TV will likely be even more difficult. But it will also help fans process the split, and either inch them toward closure — or stoke the rumors of reconciliation.
Either way, it will be a compelling combination of positive and negative, which by the sound of it, is exactly how Bella feels about the upcoming episodes herself. The latest round of the reality show premieres on Sunday, so the Associated Press caught up with Bella and her twin sister Brie on a recent red carpet, doing some promotion. When asked how much of the sisters' "real-life drama" audiences would get to see reflected, Bella's answer was clear: "pretty much 100 percent." She continued:
"It's just such a real-life family. We don't hold back, we don't close our books, we keep 'em fully open ... It's when you have to relive it, and when the world sees it, and how people are gonna judge you or talk about it — that makes it difficult."
At the end of the day "difficult" is likely an understatement; Total Bellas was filming in the months before the wedding was called off, so there will probably be a lot to relive. Audiences will be along for the ride as the entire six-year relationship unravels, reliving it in real time alongside Cena and Bella. Oof. Already in a preview for Season 3, footage captured her talking wedding plans, and Brie scolding her for walking on eggshells around her fiancé and not taking more of a stand for what she wants.
And things will only escalate from there. In April, Brie told People that Bella and her former fiancé allowed their entire breakup to be filmed, so it will all be out there. From the good, to the bad, to the in-between. So buckle your seatbelts and get ready to tune in, because as Bella explained to AP on the red carpet, she's doing this all for the fans. She said,
"Why [Brie] and I signed up for reality TV was, if we could change one person's life or make someone feel like they're not alone, game over, that's what we want. That's our purpose. And so, even though we put the tough times out there, we know everyone else in this world is going through tough times. And if they can know that Brie and I are there for them, that's what we love."
In short, Bella is generously opening herself up to pain and criticism, in the hopes that it might help her fans to see someone persevering through a true low.
And who knows? Depending on how things go from here, they might also get to see the wrestler at a true high, because a reconciliation with Cena doesn't seem completely out of the question. As the Blockers star shared on the May 14 episode of TODAY, he still has some very real feelings for his former fiancée. He said,
“It’s been incredibly reflective, which is amazing, but it’s very difficult. I had my heart broken out of nowhere — or, for me, it was out of nowhere — and anyone who's experienced that knows that it comes with a series of bad feelings. I’ve looked at myself every day, and I’ve tried to evaluate myself every day, and the woman I love. For anyone out there speculating on what I’m doing with my life now: I still love Nicole. I would still love to marry Nicole. I still would love to have a family with Nicole.”
You can't get much clearer than that, can you? It really opens up questions about what will happen next for this pair, but the one thing that's clear is that no matter what it is, they'll be bringing their fans along for the ride.