Nikki Bella Reveals Cyst on Her Brain Forced Her Into Early WWE Retirement

Nikki Bella officially retired from the WWE last year, and the athlete has now revealed that she did so because of a cyst on her brain.

Bella and her twin sister, Brie Bella, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night, where Nikki discussed the end of her wrestling career and the injuries that led her there. As fans know, the reality star broke her neck and had surgery, and while she recovered and returned to wrestling, she ultimately decided to leave the ring.

"I really wanted to go back and fight for the tag titles," she said. "I've always had my neck issues, and after neck surgery it hasn't been OK. I [felt] like I needed to get that checkup before we went back for the tag titles."

"Then it came back that I herniated the disk above where I had surgery, I have all this inflammation around the metal, and then I have a cyst on my brain," Nikki continued. "So they were like, 'You're done, no more, you're out.' So I didn't get a choice."

Nikki further discussed the diagnosis during an interview with TMZ Sports.

“I can’t compete...They found a cyst on my brain, which thank god, it’s benign,” the 35-year-old explained.

"It’s super scary, of course, it’s just something you’re never gonna hear," she said. "But I’m so grateful, I’m grateful for my health, I’m grateful that it’s benign. It’s something that you have to watch out for, you know, the rest of your life because you never know how it can change. But I’m definitely grateful because I know people go through it worse. It was definitely really scary and it also sucks at the same time because it just keeps me out of the ring."

Nikki also stressed the importance of monitoring your health and trusting yourself if you feel like something is wrong, noting, “Trust your gut; if you don’t feel right, go get it handled!”

While she's out of the WWE for now, Nikki didn't rule out the possibility of an eventual return.

“I believe in miracles, you never know!” she said. “We’ll see what the man upstairs has in store for me.”

Nikki's final match happened during a WWE European tour in 2018, and she told her family on an episode of Total Bellas that it was being in Europe that made her decide to hang up her boots.

“Being on the European tour, I’ve had a lot of time to think,” Nikki explained. “Just how my body feels, being away from my company, how time-consuming this is.”


“I just feel like I’m too old for that travel. So I realized like, why am I doing this — I don’t feel good,” she added. “I really am ready to hang up the jersey. Like, I can say it fully.”

Photo Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images