Nikki Bella and John Cena's decision to call of their engagement shocked fans in April, and now "Total Bellas" viewers get to watch the unraveling of what they thought was a rock-solid relationship.
The warning signs were on full display in the Season 3 premiere of the E! reality show that returned Sunday night. At first, all seemed well, as Cena and Nikki went to the pier where the wrestler originally planned to propose to his love (he popped the question in the ring at Wrestlemania last year) and they talked about their upcoming nuptials -- which were supposed to occur this summer. But then it became clear there were many issues bubbling up.
Here are three telling moments of tension the cameras captured for the first episode of what may very well be a very dramatic season.
Nikki and Brie both flew to Napa Valley, where they bottled up their chardonnay from their wine line Belle Radici, and Nikki dropped a bombshell. Napa has always been her dream wedding location, but she decided to compromise with her fiancé instead, agreeing to have the ceremony on his mom's lawn in his hometown of West Newbury, Massachusetts.
Brie was thrown. "When I hear my sister say that her and John are going to get married in West Newbury, I'm thinking more sacrifices you're making for John."
Her friends couldn't believe her decision, either. "It's always been my dream [to be married in Napa]," Nikki said. "But I just know that John just really wants to get married in his hometown."
Brie couldn't let it go, and asked her twin why she was allowing Cena be the one to decide the wedding location.
"Finally the love of my life wants to get married and I don't want to rock that boat," Nikki replied. "I don't want him to then regret ever proposing to me. I've come so far with John and I don't want to give him a reason to get cold feet or be like, 'Ah, see I shouldn't be doing this.' Think of Carrie and Big -- Big didn't show up. I don't want that."
Later at dinner, Brie voiced her concerns yet again. "I don't understand why you have to walk on eggshells with [John], with this wedding. It's like absolutely ridiculous ... sometimes you just tiptoe around John to not make him angry and I think that's just bullshit."
"What I really want to do is to get married," Nikki said.
John and Nikki's different point of view on kids also caused tension between the WWE Diva and her sister when Nikki admitted watching Brie's daughter, Birdie, grow up only made her want to have a child more.
"I was like 100 percent OK not being a mom and then Birdie just gets cuter by the day," Nikki said.
"Does it make you wanna be a mom?" her sister asked, to whick Nikki replied, "I mean yeah of course." Nikki told her sister that when she brought up the topic of kids to John (again), he said "absolutely not."
"Are you sad that will never happen for you?" Brie asked.
"I mean, yeah, but what am I gonna do?" Nikki said in reply.
"It's such a load of shit," Brie told the camera in a confessional. "What the f-ck are you doing? There is someone else out there who will marry you and give you babies. Some place in your heart you just have to be like, 'I love you, you're great man, you're just not for me."
To make matters worse, Nikki revealed she was already "lonely" at home, due to the couples' busy and often opposite schedules. In fact, she revealed they've only shared a bed 30 or 40 nights in the last six months.
"What's hard at times, what people don't realize about my relationship is I'm alone a lot," Nikki told the camera in a confessional. "And I'm alone in these big beautiful homes which you're like, 'Gosh, these homes are unreal.' But to be honest, since we've gotten engaged, John and I have probably shared our bed together maybe 30 days total out of like six months. Or 40 days."
"So hearing Brie and Lauren and JJ and Bryan all talk about their family stuff and their kids, it makes it like just sink in a little bit more of how lonely it will be and how lonely it gets."