The Bellas return home to host reunion

Nikki and Brie Bella graduated from Chaparral High School in 2002. (Sequoia Emmanuelle/Contributor)

Chaparral High School graduates Nikki and Brie Bella haven’t been invited to their 20-year reunion.

So, they’re throwing their own party during “The Bellas Podcast” at CB Live at Desert Ridge Marketplace at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10.

“We still haven’t gotten our invitations,” Brie said coyly with a smile.

“We’re like, ‘What’s going on Chaparral?’ I know of other high schools that sent theirs out. So, Nicole and I thought, ‘Why not do our own high school 20-year reunion?’ We’re going to make our podcast a homecoming theme.”

Nikki and Brie will surprise each other with a long-lost guest from high school. Their mom, Kathy Laurinaitis, and brother, JJ Garcia, will make a guest appearance.

“It’s going to be like happy hour with the Bellas,” Brie said. “We’re going to talk about life, have some fun with the Bella fam and then take things back to high school.”

Generally, nerves come with reunions. But the former WWE Superstars, who now serve as ambassadors, don’t see it that way.

“I absolutely loved high school,” said Nikki, who recently married “Dancing with the Stars” performer Artem Chigvintsev in Paris. “Our high school was totally like the movies. Every time I see people from high school, I get so fired up because it takes me back to those days. It was a really amazing four years. I really get excited for that.”

Brie adds, “When I was attending our 10-year high school reunion, people said our 20-year would be better because no one cares. They’re not trying to impress people. All they want to do is have fun. Everyone’s so settled in their lives in a way, and they don’t care. It’s just all about having fun and seeing each other. It’s a different type of energy, which I love.”

The CB Live appearance marks a return to Desert Ridge. Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Bellas brought their podcast there, in the hopes it would kick off a tour.

“CB Live has been our one and only live podcast show,” Nikki said. “Frankie Nunez was our guest. Brie’s husband, (professional wrestler) Bryan Danielson, opened up the show and Artem came on as a guest. It was a lot of fun and memorable and that’s why we’re going back.”

The appearance is a way of promoting the Bella Twins’ brand as well. In 2017, they launched Birdiebee, a lifestyle intimates and activewear brand. The line includes intimates, activewear and loungewear aimed at “empowering and educating women through mirroring the twins’ passion for life, strength, women’s health and wellness, and fun.”

Two years later, they introduced Nicole + Brizee, a body and beauty line, followed by their wine label Bonita Bonita last year. They serve as creative advisers and investors in Colugo.

“How blessed am I that I’ve been able to see the world with my twin sister, been in the ring with my twin sister, and been able to walk red carpets with my twin,” Brie said.

“I truly feel blessed. The one thing for Nikki and I is we’re constantly evolving. We see our brand as an empire—a global empire. In order to do that, you have to evolve. I feel like we’ve done a really great job.

“We’re going to be 39 years old in November and we’re still 20 year olds at heart. With everything we do, we make sure we’re authentic. Now that Nikki’s a mom and Nikki’s a wife, it fun that we get to explore all these different adventures together in life.”

Motherhood has changed both of them. Brie and Danielson are the parents of Buddy and Birdie, while Nikki gave birth to Matteo.

“I feel like, for myself, motherhood has definitely changed me for the best,” Brie said. “For so long, you’re concentrating on yourself and making sure all of you is just shining bright. Then you bring children into the world and you concentrate on them. It just changes your views, how you live your daily life, things you care about.”

Brie said now she can relate to other mothers.

“I was totally one of those who had always talked about my dog, Josie, like it’s the same thing,” she said with a laugh.

“I feel like it’s just changed me and I can connect with my audience who are moms in a different way than my single folks who are our fans.”

The key, Nikki adds, is to stay authentic.

“When we into the (WWE) industry when we were 23 years old,” Nikki added.

“Being almost 39, you learn so much about yourself, not only confidence, but empowerment. Even though we’ve evolved, we’ve always stayed authentic and relatable.”

The Bellas Podcast

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10

Where: CB Live, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix

Cost: Tickets start at $35

Info: 602-910-5161, cblive.com

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