Honestly, everything makes sense now. All the questions we’d been asking ourselves about the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship have pretty much been answered. Why would WWE introduce these belts that talent and fans have been asking for, and put them on the popular team of Sasha Banks and Bayley, who were among the loudest advocates for the title in the first place, only to switch the belts to the IIconics at WrestleMania, and then not give the new Champs anything to do for months afterward? Why would you alienate Sasha Banks and completely rewrite the plan for Bayley (possibly for the good of her character, admittedly) if you had nothing planned for the IIconics anyway? What was the point of all that? It turns out the point was supposed to be the Bella Twins.
Just last month on Jimmy Fallon, Nikki Bella revealed that she can’t return to the ring because of a herniated disk and a cyst on her brain. In that interview, she lamented that she and Brie would have liked to come back and feud for the Women’s Tag Team Championship, something they previously hinted that they might do as recently as March, right before WrestleMania.
In the latest episode of The Bellas Podcast (transcribed by Fightful), the Twins reveal just how close they came to that return:
Nikki: So Brie and I, we were gonna come back and fight for the tag titles after WrestleMania and we were gonna go against The IIconics for a few months — it was gonna be a lot of fun, really excited and you know, deep down inside, I kept having this weird feeling that I needed to get an X-ray on my neck, because for a while I wasn’t feeling okay. Brie knows, that in December, after Evolution, I just kept telling her, “Brie, I feel off.” Like, my head doesn’t feel right and I just kept feeling off and I even told her, “Do you think I’m just super unhealthy?” But I live a very healthy lifestyle but I couldn’t figure it out.
Brie: But before, to everyone, we had our gear. We had everything!
Nikki: I mean, we were ready. Bella Twins were coming back in a big way.
Brie: The Smackdown after WrestleMania. I mean, we had it all planned out. We were in New York thinking it’s still happening.
So there it is: The Bella Twins were supposed to return to challenge the IIconics on the Smackdown after WrestleMania. WWE had the IIconics win the belts at Mania because they wanted heels to feud with the Bellas, who would obviously return as faces. When the Bellas had to pull out at the last minute after Nikki realized the seriousness of her medical issues, WWE was left without anything for the IIconics to do. For that matter, the lack of the Bella Twins’ star power probably made the whole division seem less valuable to the company, hence the sudden lack of booking. Hopefully WWE can get over their obsession with returning stars of the past and start booking their Women’s Tag Division like it matters in the present.