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Nikki and Brie Bella.

WWE superstars that were released in 2012 - Where are they now?

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We're coming up to that time of the year where it is common for WWE to release superstars that have become surplus to requirements on both Monday Night RAW, SmackDown Live, and on NXT.

Several superstars have already been released by the company, but back in 2012, only seven superstars were released throughout the calendar year.

Surprisingly as well, only one male superstar was released in that year, while the other six were female. Here are the seven superstars that were released by the WWE in 2012 and where they are now.

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Nikki and Brie Bella - The Bella Twins

Nikki Bella, alongside her twin sister Brie, were both released by the WWE in April 2012, but they were not out for very long. In March the following year, they both returned to the company during a backstage segment with Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, confronting the then Divas Champion Kaitlyn.

The Twins then went on to split after Brie storyline quit the WWE and slapped Stephanie McMahon at Payback in 2014. When Brie returned to face Stephanie at SummerSlam that year, Nikki turned heel on her by attacking her sister, allowing Stephanie to win. 

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Brie later turned heel herself after she was forced to be Nikki's assistant after losing at Hell in a Cell, reforming The Bella Twins under the name Team Bella. Nikki then won her second Divas Championship by defeating AJ Lee at Survivor Series and went on to be the longest reign Divas Champion in WWE history.

Team Bella feuded with the NXT call-ups Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch the following summer in the Divas Revolution and after becoming the new longest reigning Divas Champion in history, Nikki was defeated by Charlotte at Night of Champions in 2015.

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Nikki then took a break from wrestling to have neck surgery while Brie was involved in various feuds before she herself took an extended break from the ring to start a family. Nikki returned to wrestling at SummerSlam in 2016 and had various feuds before recently teaming up with now-fiancee John Cena in a mixed tag team match at WrestleMania 33 against The Miz and Maryse.

Nikki hasn't been seen in WWE since Cena proposed to her at the end of the match.

Goldust

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Like The Bella Twins, Goldust wasn't away from the WWE for long when he was released in May 2012, as he made a surprise appearance in the Royal Rumble the following year for a confrontation with his brother, Cody Rhodes.

Goldust returned fully to the WWE later in the year in September to help his brother get his job back with the company by defeating The Shield at Battleground. The two then formed The Brotherhood and became tag team champions. They would later lose the titles at the Royal Rumble in 2014 to The New Age Outlaws, before breaking up in June the same year.

Later that month Cody, this time under the Stardust gimmick, would team up with Goldust again for various feuds, winning the tag team titles after defeating The Usos at Night of Champions. They lost the titles at Survivor Series to The Miz and Damien Mizdow, which began a losing streak for the team and, as a result, they eventually broke up once more.

Goldust then was sidelined for several months due to shoulder surgery before returning to feud with Stardust, and then eventually team up with R-Truth to form The Golden Truth. The tag team would have various feuds before splitting up just recently in May this year to began a feud between the two, with Goldust returning to his former gimmick from the Attitude Era.

Kharma

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Kharma was granted her release from the WWE in July 2012 as she wasn' t ready to come back in the time which they had allotted to her. In September the following her, she expressed her interest to come back to the company, but nothing came of it.

She has since gone on to work on the independent circuit, including returning to TNA for a year, and in Japan as well.

Maxine

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Maxine was released by the WWE in June 2012 after never making an appearance on the main roster, spending all her time in NXT. She has since gone on to make appearances for TNA in 2014 and Lucha Underground, where she has been since 2014. She has also acted in a couple of TV shows and movies.

Kelly Kelly

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Kelly Kelly was released from her WWE contract in September 2012 after she needed time off to heal a neck injury. After spending some time on the independent circuit, she returned to the WWE in February this year to be an ambassador for the company.

Beth Phoenix

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Beth Phoenix was granted her release from the WWE in September 2012 due to family reasons. She has since gone on to start a family with fellow former WWE superstar Edge, having two children together.

In April this year, Phoenix was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, making her the youngest inductee of all time at age 36, the first inductee to be born in the 80s, and the quickest female to be inducted after her retirement. She, alongside Edge, are also the first real-life couple to be inducted as well.

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