Now that her former fiancé is out of the picture, WWE fans think Dolph Ziggler is looking for a second chance with Nikki Bella. After the 34-year-old Total Divas reality star announced her split from long-time boyfriend — and short-lived fiancé of just one year — John Cena, many fans have begun speculating that her ex-boyfriend Dolph is trying to win Nikki over. To make matters trickier, John, Dolph, Nikki (and her twin Brie Bella, obviously) all perform together as WWE Superstars. Talk about a love triangle!
While not much is known about Dolph — whose real name is Nicholas Theodore Nemeth — and Nikki’s dating history, we do know that they were totally a thing before John had ever gotten down on one knee during Wrestlemania 33 to propose to her. Keep reading to find out more about Dolph and Nikki’s complicated relationship history.
The former couple began dating in 2008.
The timeline has never exactly been confirmed but it’s believed that Dolph and Nikki began their relationship in 2008. At the time, both of the new-to-WWE stars were living near Tampa, FL and working at WWE’s developmental branch, Florida Championship Wrestling. It was also the year that Nikki made her foray into the WWE. Pictures of them together are dated as early as 2008 and as late as 2010.
Nikki was extremely jealous when Dolph was around girls.
In 2013, former WWE star Maria Kanellis went public about Nikki’s alleged jealousy, stating that her fellow WWE star approached Maria about dancing with Dolph. “Me and Dolph Ziggler were very close friends. We have been for a long time before the twins ever arrived and one time I was dancing with Dolph at a party we were at, at a Green Iguana place or something,” Maria revealed to a wrestling blog.
“So we were all hanging out, having fun and dancing. I was dancing with him. I was dancing with the girls. I was dancing with the other people that were there. So all of a sudden when I’m dancing with Dolph I get a tap on the shoulder and it’s Nikki Bella going, ‘What are you doing?’ And I said, ‘Uh, dancing with my friend?’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, he’s with me.’ I said ‘Okaaaay, sure.'”
He admitted he still has feelings for Nikki.
In fact, Total Divas even worked Dolph’s lingering emotions for Nikki into a storyline. In 2015, the 37-year-old filmed several scenes in which he attempted to win over his ex — who was still dating (and living with) John Cena at the time.
“So you’re saying there’s no feeling back to me?” he asked Nikki during a frank conversation about their relationship they filmed while John was performing.
“I feel like it’s disrespectful to John,” Nikki answered. “He treats me like a queen and no offense, we had a lot of ups and downs.”
“That’s life. Five years later, I’m grown up,” Dolph continued. “All the things that you’ve talked about, that we’ve talked about, I can actually do for you. I can give you kids, I can give you a husband.” Then he leaned in and tried to kiss his former flame, a move that Nikki immediately told John about.
He’s not afraid of upsetting John Cena.
Dolph made it very clear in a recent interview that he’s not bothered by stepping on a few peoples’ toes — even 250-pound John Cena’s. “After a while, you reach a certain point to where you know what your talent is, you know what you’re capable of, and you have to not care,” Dolph said on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast in reference to his love triangle storyline with Nikki. “And 10 years ago, Attitude Era guys told me to step on some toes. How am I not doing that right now? You have to not give a damn to stand up for what you want to do and that’s what I’m doing.”
Dolph didn’t congratulate Nikki and John on their engagement.
Instead, on the night of Wrestlemania 33, Dolph took to Twitter to congratulate literally everyone else. “Hell yeah! Congrats to my fav,” he congratulated Naomi, who won her match that night.
His congratulatory tweet caused many fans to respond, calling Dolph on his shadiness. “No congrats for the [Nikki Bella] or [John Cena]????? Lol hmmmmm [sic],” one fan questioned. Another wrote at the time, “You’re supposed to be crying at your locker room because your ex [Nikki Bella] that you still love is getting married!”
Many fans are into a Dolph/Nikki reunion.
“Looks like Dolph Ziggler was better for Nikki Bella,” one fan wrote on Twitter. Others used hilariously appropriate GIFs to express Dolph’s excitement at Nikki Bella’s newly-single status.
Unfortunately (for us), Dolph has made no movement or statement regarding the breakup. But fans seem to believe Dolph couldn’t be more amped up that he finally has a chance.
“John Cena and Nikki Bella broke up!”
— TurnbuckleTopics (@TT_4You) April 16, 2018