Amicable exes! Nikki Bella gave her former fiancé, John Cena, a sweet shout-out during her WWE Hall of Fame speech. “John, thank you for teaching me a lot about this business and truly helping me find my fearless side,” the Total Bellas star gushed at the ceremony in late March.
Nikki, 37, and John, 43, were together for six years before calling off their engagement in May 2018. According to the Dancing With the Stars alum, who shares son Matteo with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev, she and her former flame weren’t on the same page about starting a family.
“We wanted different things,” Nikki explained during a December 2020 interview with Bravo’s Lisa Vanderpump. “I really wanted to be a mom and he didn’t want to be a father. In the end, he was like, ‘Look, I will give you a kid,’ but I knew deep down in his heart it’s not what he wanted. And I was so afraid that years down the road he would just have regrets and resent me for making him a father.”
Two years prior to their split, John, who is now married to Shay Shariatzadeh, made it clear having children was off the table. “I know I cannot handle raising a child. And just because everyone else is happy with children doesn’t mean that’s how I have to live,” he told Rolling Stone in 2016.
“I’ve been upfront about this. I just have things I need to get done. It’s not negotiable. We’ve been to therapy over it,” John continued. “I don’t think it will ever be over with. I’m stubborn as f–k and extremely selfish, as well. I don’t want kids; I don’t want marriage. That’s me just saying, ‘Hey, this is my life and this is how I’m going to live.'”
Despite going their separate ways, Nikki and John continue to publicly support each other. Not only did the actor congratulate Nikki after giving birth to Matteo in July 2020, but the Incomparable author also sent John well-wishes after he and Shay tied the knot in October of that year.