by Allison Crist | Tue., May. 5, 2020 4:00 AM
The Bella Twins' book is finally here.
Today marks the release of Brie Bella and Nikki Bella's new memoir, Incomparable, and you can get an exclusive sneak peek here. In the above clip, you'll not only hear snippets from the book, but also get an inside look at the process of recording the audiobook version, available from Simon & Schuster Audio.
"And so, at a young age, Brie and I decided we did not want to be victims. Instead, we wanted to be survivors, the heroes of our own stories, to take control and responsibility for our lives," Nikki reads in the video. "It's a fine line and hard to do—acknowledging that you have been a victim, that you have been wronged, but at the same time not letting the victimhood continue to take your life hostage."
Next, you get a glimpse of Brie, who's reading the final lines of Incomparable's introduction.
"The following pages are not promo cutting, they are reality," she says into a microphone. "And while some of the storylines in the ring have not been 'true,' this overall through line is: We are the heroes of our own story, and our story is our own to make. While we experienced some of our stories together, a lot of it happened to us individually, and we had to go it alone—even though we are identical twins, our stories are incomparable. And your story will be incomparable, too."
These stories told in the book date back to the twins' childhood, covering everything from their parents' tumultuous relationship to the various relationships they found themselves in as they attended high school. Nikki even shares multiple past rape experiences during her teen years in one very emotional chapter.
From tough beginnings to their super successful WWE careers and becoming the stars of E!'s Total Divas and Total Bellas, Nikki and Brie don't hold anything back. Check out all of the revelations made in Incomparable in the gallery below.
When Nikki Bella and Brie Bella's mother, Kathy Colace, was pregnant with them, her health insurance didn't cover ultrasounds or anything beyond listening for a heartbeat during check-ups. As a result, she was only planning for one baby.
"It was a huge shock to everyone, though in looking at photos of my pregnant mother, I'm not sure how anyone was surprised," Nikki explained. "I guess it was before the days when IVF became so common, and twins were a rarity. As my mom tells it, we attracted attention everywhere we went—particularly because we liked to hold hands, even when we were tiny babies."
The Bella sisters have talked about their childhood before, but in Incomparable, both Nikki and Brie really opened up about their parents' fighting, their father Jon Garcia leaving their mom for another woman, his drug addiction and more.
"When you grow up how we did, you equate love and pain," Brie wrote, later adding that she and Nikki found solace in their "Nana and Pop Pop."
Brie continued, "Nicole and I would put up a front that we were strong, but inside we had imploded. We had no confidence, we were terrified. It sort of felt like we were living a double life. In front of my grandparents, we pretended like our home life was perfect, wholesome, and complete. I think they knew that it was actually broken, that we were being hurt by our dad, and that it was all very toxic."
The twins explained that, in addition to themselves, their mom and father have since "recovered" from the hard years.
"For better or for worse, he taught us how to fight—and he certainly knew how," Brie wrote.
Throughout Incomparable, both Nikki and Brie recount previous relationships of theirs—the latter even dedicating an entire chapter to a boy she dated in high school named Bear. When they were together, he was killed by a drunk driver, which left a lasting impact on Brie.
"I still pray to Bear every day. I ask him for help with difficult situations, I ask him for strength before matches, I ask him for advice about tricky decisions," she wrote. "I ask him if he's doing a big skateboarding ramp up in heaven. If there's a beautiful sunset, I'll ask him if he painted it for me. I have reason to believe that he hears me, because he sends me signs all the time."
Nikki also had a high school sweetheart, whom she even went on to marry. The two eloped in a Las Vegas ceremony that she described as "very Britney Spears." However, the marriage was short-lived and their relationship unhealthy.
"We never lived together. I never took his last name. He ended up being shipped off to war despite our marriage certificate. That happened when we weren't actually together as a couple anymore and were dating other people, which I think I used as justification for asking him for a divorce when he was away," Nikki wrote. "I shouldn't have done that. I should have waited until he came home to ask him to let me go. I definitely owed him that, even though I ultimately knew that our attachment wasn't healthy and our relationship wasn't good for either of us anymore."
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Around the same point in Incomparable, Nikki explained that she needed to discuss "the darker undercurrent" of her time in high school. For example, she said that at age 15, her virginity was stolen from her without her consent.
"I was raped, by a guy I thought was a friend, while I was passed out at a party," she wrote, adding, "It is f--ked up—shocking in retrospect—that it never occurred to me to call the police. I didn't even tell my sister because by admitting that it had happened, it became true, it became fact."
At 16, Nikki was raped again—this time after getting her head bashed into a bathroom sink in a hotel room where she and a group of people were drinking.
"I had clearly been roofied—I was groggy, and I couldn't see straight, but I could see four condom wrappers littered across the bathroom floor and realized that I had been raped," Nikki said.
She continued, "I count myself lucky because I was unconscious for both rapes...If I had been aware of what was happening to me in the moment, I would never have been able to escape it, or get over it."
Nikki was this close to becoming a professional soccer player. After walking on to a team in college, she said she eventually led the girls to a state championship and landed herself MVP in California.
"My coach at the time thought I was very marketable and urged me to move to Italy to try to make it as a professional player," Nikki wrote, adding that one of the reasons she didn't was because Brie's agent called her with what would become a life-changing opportunity: the WWE Diva Search.
After attending community college and working a number of different jobs—from waitressing at Hooters to modeling—the call from Brie's agent inspired the twins to attend a wrestling training program in Georgia.
"It was pretty brutal, but it was also love-at-first-bump for us. We just knew that we were meant to do this, so the bulls--t from the other girls didn't really bother us," Nikki wrote, referring to some of the other women wrestlers that gave her and Brie a hard time. "We had big smiles and lots of energy, which probably only added fuel to the fire. But that's how we operated—heads up, eyes on the prize, plenty of beer at the party for everyone. It always felt easier to show no resistance and let the girls talk shit and walk all over us, than to fight the locker room fights. We saved our energy for the ring."
Nikki and Brie continued training, moving on to a developmental program where they were put on diets to look more alike and began practicing "straightforward wrestling" for around 14 months.
"But instead of performing in front of arena crowds, we went at each other in church parking lots and high school auditoriums where there might be a dozen people in the stands," Nikki wrote.
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Nikki and Brie's WWE SmackDown debut was one for the books.
"We were some of the first women ever to debut on the main stage as wrestlers, rather than as valets, managers, or love interests for the men," Brie explained in the book's first chapter. "This was one of the reasons that the neck hairs of the other women in the locker room were up."
The sisters managed to pull off their first-ever "Twin Magic" maneuver, with Brie taking on Victoria—a longtime WWE veteran—in the beginning, and Nikki sneaking out from under the ring to trade her places when she got tired.
"I pretended to be exhausted as she grabbed me by the hair, and then I flipped her over and pinned her for a three count," Nikki wrote. "So, while Brie was the first to walk the SmackDown ramp, I was the first to win a SmackDown match."
Once the Bella twins reached WWE success, they wanted to ensure the environment they were working in was an equitable one.
"Over the five years of our first WWE contract, the really bad apples started to get fired, one by one. The scene backstage became healthier, friendlier, and less intensely competitive," Brie wrote. "As we became veterans, we also vowed to change the culture, and to try to create more camaraderie among all the women."
They took their attempts to make improvements to another level when it came time to renew their contracts, and they chose not to.
"...one of the reasons that Brie and I decided to walk away from WWE was that we knew it had to change profoundly. We wanted equality, and we wanted respect," Nikki explained. "It took us leaving for everyone to realize that we were missed—that we actually brought a lot with us."
The two jumped on the opportunity to create change by signing on to E!'s Total Divas.
"The reality show was major for a number of reasons, but I think it was most impactful because people everywhere got to see how strong the women wrestlers really are," Nikki added. "All on our own."
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
"While showing off wrestling was always the main goal of the show, it was a major relief to let fans see our more normal human sides as well, particularly because Brie and I had only ever been part of twin storylines," Nikki wrote. "With Total Divas, the fans got to see us for who we really are."
So, when she and Brie were presented with the idea of Total Bellas, they jumped at the opportunity. However, they acknowledged in their book how much their family has sacrificed for the show.
"When we filmed Total Divas, we didn't make much money at first, as it was all just for a pilot," Brie explained. "But we knew it had the legs to potentially go far, and we had a lot of faith in it. I hope Total Bellas does for our family what Total Divas did for me and Nicole."
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Nikki didn't quite break her neck, but she came pretty close—most likely due to her famous finishing move, "The Rack Attack," in which she lifted her opponent over her shoulders and then jumped to her knees. For the longest time, doctors would tell her she was completely fine; that is, until one recognized that she was "about to break her neck in half."
After undergoing different surgeries and practicing various forms of physical therapy, Nikki finally came to the conclusion that her in-ring career had to come to an end.
"But I'm getting older now, and looking back at life in general, I've come to realize that health is first," she wrote. "There's so much more to life outside of wrestling. When I was younger, I wanted to die out there in the ring, but now I can recognize my wrestling career for what it's been—an incredible chapter of my life. Life-making, really."
January 2018's Royal Rumble was supposed to mark the end of the Bella twins' wrestling careers, but Ronda Rousey ended up debuting that night. Afterwards, Nikki went on a tweetstorm that advocated not just for her and Brie, but the other women wrestlers that were upstaged.
"It was nothing against Ronda—it is thrilling that she is at WWE—but it was a bit of a slap in the face to all the historic women wrestlers who had come out for the match, the main event, only to have the moment upstaged by the Ronda announcement," Nikki wrote. "It just didn't need to happen like that."
Evolution ultimately served as the twins' goodbye. "That night was career-justifying," Nikki added. "That night was worth breaking my neck for."
Brie's husband, WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan (born Bryan Danielson), didn't tell her he loved her until the day he proposed.
"He had warned me in our early days of dating that he wouldn't say it," Brie wrote. "He had only ever told two people he loved them: his mom, Betty, and his sister, Billie Sue. He thought the way we all throw the word around—'I love this smoothie, I love the way these pants make my ass look, I love you, I love pasta'—cheapened it, made it meaningless."
Brie went on to detail how the two first met, all of their "firsts," their fast-tracked wedding, and the birth of their daughter, Birdie. She also discussed Bryan's sobriety and his mental health struggles.
"I think that Bryan's story is really inspirational. I feel that he needs to spend some time out on the road speaking, letting people know that they're not alone if they suffer from depression or mental illness," Brie explained. "We filmed his complete breakdown for Total Bellas—it was all on tape. He had the option to cut it, but we ended up airing a significant portion of it. He wanted other people who are feeling the same way, who grapple with the same types of issues, to see him tackle it head-on."
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Without explicitly stating his name, Nikki delved into her former relationship with John Cena—but not before explaining that she wanted to respect his privacy by only sharing what she learned about herself "during a time of extreme highs and lows," in the hope that it helps some of her readers.
"I am attached to a very disturbing core belief that I am only lovable when I put other people first. That I only deserve their affection because I am useful and handy," Nikki wrote. "I learned from my ex that this is a profound fallacy. He could see the real me and love me just the same. It felt too good to be true; I felt undeserving."
Ultimately, in addition to Nikki's personal emotional struggles, the two simply couldn't align on what they wanted.
"Because I was terrified of losing my love, I stuffed my desire for marriage and kids as deep as I could," Nikki said. "He had made it clear that they weren't on the menu for him. That's tough, though, because if you're inclined that way, then the more you grow to love someone, the more you want it all. I stopped giving voice to those needs, though. I was worried my ex would call it off and let me go. And while I wanted those thing very badly—I just wanted him more."
As Nikki and John's wedding day approached, she said she started to panic. And eventually, she "broke."
"I had to walk away. I had to let it all go," Nikki wrote. "The fallout was terrible, particularly the speculation within the news media and on social media that it was all for ratings. The thing about reality TV is that you don't get to pick and choose what you show—and the pressure from filming inherently creates drama."
She continued, "It brings things to a head by applying a heavy load to the sensitive parts of your life. Having our relationship fall apart on national TV was excruciating. I had to relive it all again, while also having my heart broken from missing my ex."
The twins explained that they want to use their platform for good, especially when it comes to their own business ventures. Though they've already established themselves in a number of areas—from essentials and lingerie to wine—their long-term goal is to "move into feminine hygiene products, to create organic tampons and wipes and lubes that are sex and body positive, and completely free from toxins."
Nikki also expressed her dream of having her own talk show with Brie, or running their own production company.
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Brie marked the conclusion of Incomparable with an inspirational message.
"As has been said by many wise people in the world (and many bumper stickers): Be the change you want to see in the world," she wrote. "We feel like we've been put on earth to do exactly that. If we can change just one person's life, then it's worth it. We are pleasers, and we take care of other people first."
She continued, "I'm grateful for every day that I get to breathe. You only get so much time, so let's make every moment count."
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