Today, the Garcia Twins, Brie and Nikki, celebrate another milestone. It's a very personal milestone for the twins: the big 4-0. I'm always amazed by these legendary women; they have done a hell of a lot in their overall careers, going from wrestlers and champions to bonafide celebrities in one fell swoop.
The twins were born about 15 minutes apart on November 21, 1983. Stephanie Nicole (Nikki) was born first, followed by Brianna Monique (Brie) just a quarter of an hour later. The duo's foray into WWE actually began with the Diva Search in 2006, and while they didn't make the final cut, they received a developmental deal a year later, while receiving the well-known Bella Twins name. We would see Brie Bella debut on SmackDown in 2008, while sister Nikki Bella would officially make herself known a few months later, with the revelation that they would switch places under the ring.
With both twins now known, Brie and Nikki spent a number of years in random angles and making brief appearances, and ironically, it was around this time that my fandom of the Bellas increased--mainly because I was repeatedly speaking in defense of them. The twins were on the receiving end of a lot of mocking from fans, which centered on their lack of TV time, and the fact that they were always shown with whoever was guest hosting Raw that week. The elevation for the twins started in late 2010/early 2011, and the first twin to capture a title was Brie, winning the Divas Championship on April 11, 2011, just over a week after WrestleMania 27. Brie's reign at the top lasted three months, and regarding Nikki, she would finally capture the title on April 23, 2012, only to lose the title six days later.
The Bellas left WWE that night in 2012, but they would return less than a year later and basically pick up where they left off. In addition to their return, the twins were also part of the cast of the reality series, Total Divas, which took a look behind the scenes at the careers and personal lives of not only Brie and Nikki, but also fellow superstars Natalya, Naomi, Cameron, and then-newly hired stars Eva Marie and JoJo. As a result of the show, the twins (who had been heels together since 2011) became babyfaces, as did Eva Marie. The storylines also improved for the twins, as 2014 saw Brie in a feud with Stephanie McMahon, due to Stephanie and husband Triple H's unfair treatment towards Brie's husband, Daniel Bryan.
This included a memorable moment where Brie quit in defense of her husband, and actually slapped Stephanie, who retaliated by continuously putting Nikki in unfair matches and situations where she would be easily beaten up. Brie's return led to a bout between herself and Stephanie at SummerSlam that year, but as we all remember, Nikki turned heel during the match and attacked her own sister, allowing Stephanie to defeat Brie. The twins feuded with each other for three months until Survivor Series, which saw Nikki capture her second Divas Championship thanks to willing help from Brie, which reunited the twins as heels again. Nikki's reign lasted 301 days--the longest in the near eight year history of the Divas Championship, and after losing the title to Charlotte Flair, Nikki went on a hiatus due to her injured neck, while Brie continued on regularly until WrestleMania 32. Nikki returned from her hiatus at SummerSlam in 2016, and after becoming a babyface, she would feud with villainesses such as Carmella, Natalya, and Maryse.
By that time, the twins were already bonafide celebs. For one, 2016 saw Nikki and Brie star in their own spinoff of Total Divas, titled Total Bellas. In addition, the duo continued making special appearances in WWE, which included participating in the first ever Women's Royal Rumble in 2018, which saw both Bellas as part of the final three...until Nikki eliminated Brie. The duo appeared in the 2022 Rumble match, and as many of us predicted, Brie actually eliminated Nikki as payback.
In between the Rumble appearances, the Bellas returned to the ring as regulars for a brief period in 2018, which led to Nikki facing off against Ronda Rousey in the main event of the all-women's event, Evolution. In 2020, the Bellas were announced as part of that year's WWE Hall of Fame class, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their induction took place on the following year, along with the 2021 class as well.
The twins' time with WWE is over, but they are continuing to shine elsewhere, while also rebranding themselves under their real surname: Garcia. Over the recent years, the Garcia Twins have appeared in movies and award shows, and they also have their own podcast. Nikki serves as the host of the wild and entertaining celebrity game show, Barmageddon, which just started its second season on the USA Network, and both twins co-host the new Amazon Prime series, Twin Love.
I still love how far Brie and Nikki Garcia have come. I still remember how tough it was for both of them. I also still remember being one of few fans who spoke up for them while they were being mocked for their lack of TV time and their gimmick. Those days, thankfully, are long behind them. The Garcia Twins are absolute superstars, legends, and celebrities, and they will continue to fill all three of those checkboxes.