“I was with my fiancé, we were together at six years at that point,” the Total Bellas star, 36, said about her time on season 25 of DWTS in 2017 on “The Bellas Podcast” on Wednesday, October 14. “I remember the one thing that was awkward for me … their leg had to be in between your leg. I remember … it was the first time a man’s leg, other than my fiancé’s, was in between mine and I was like, ‘Woah!’ Like, it was weird.”
Nikki and Artem, 38, danced together for nearly six weeks before being eliminated. The WWE babe and her ex-fiancé, John, 43, called off their engagement in April 2018, just one month before their wedding in Mexico was supposed to take place. Despite that, the pair stayed together for two more months before ending things for good.
Although Nikki and Artem had a very physical relationship while competing on the dance competition show, she confessed she wasn’t “attracted” to the Russian stud at that point.
“The crazy thing being with him now is there was none of those feelings at all,” the Incomparable author dished. However, she said they definitely shared an “emotional bond” because she stepped out of her comfort zone.
“I’m very competitive. I think being an athlete, like I was used to WrestleManias. We would wrestle in front of 100,000 people and then millions of viewers worldwide,” Nikki explained about performing. “When I did Dancing, it was the first time I was ever vulnerable — even with a man because I was always such a strong, independent woman. That’s where the bond started to touch.”
The Arizona native and Artem first sparked dating rumors in January 2019 and got engaged the following November. The pair are still head over heels in love with each other and welcomed their first child, son Matteo, on July 31, 2020.
All in all, Nikki confessed she wished she “could do it again” with a different mindset. “I couldn’t take in the moment of the dance being beautiful because I was thinking of my steps the whole time,” she said. “I wish I could’ve taken in those moments, but then where I got the bond was just having to depend on him. And I had never had to depend on a man before.”
It looks like everything worked out exactly as it was supposed to!