Monday night was an emotional night in the ballroom on Dancing With the Stars, and WWE champion Nikki Bella was no exception. It was "Most Memorable Year" night, and Bella opened up about 2016, the year she suffered an almost career-ending neck injury.
On the show, the 33-year-old talked about how she was in a lot of pain — and at some point couldn't feel her feet.
"I finally got an MRI and I found out that my neck was about to break in half," she said.
"I was told my career is over. I just couldn't accept that. I wanted to get back to wrestling. I wanted to get back to what I'm passionate about when I left. And I was literally back in that ring seven months later."
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Bella talked about the exact moment she found out that her neck was about to break in half on Entertainment Tonight.
"I think any time you hear that you're about to paralyze yourself, or even worse, it's just scary, because you start to realize how precious life is," she said.
"I felt like, in that moment, I was taking it for granted. I was loving being the champion and I wasn't listening to my body. I almost felt like I was untouchable in a way — that I could just keep going and everything would be OK. I fortunately was lucky enough to catch it before then, but when you hear that stuff ... I had to be so strong, mentally."
"My injury and my comeback has taught me that I am a fighter and you can try and keep this girl down but it won't happen."
She added that her now-fiancé, John Cena, supported her through the whole journey, even when others said to take it slower than what she wanted.
"He was very supportive and he motivated me a lot," she gushed. "He just gave me such an inner strength that [made be believe] I can overcome this. Because so many people were like, 'You've done it all. Like, just give up. Just live the rest of your life healthy.' And he kinda was like that, but he knew what I wanted at the end of the day, so he really helped push me, in a good way."
"I feel like you need that support system," she added. "I realized that at the time. Support systems and support groups are so important, because that's what makes you stronger."
After her and pro partner Artem Chigvintsev's performance Monday night, Bella told Fox News that although Cena is supportive of her time on DWTS, he wants her to quit WWE.
"He is like, 'You have your health. Why continue? You've done everything you can as a WWE superstar.' But I don't believe that. There's so much more us females can do and I always want to be at the forefront of that," Bella said.
She said that her first thought when waking up from surgery was when she could get back in that right.
"Even when I woke up from surgery, my first thing, looking at my doctor, I was like, 'Did it work?' Because all I could think about is my comeback…and that's why I came back seven months later."