Daniel Bryan defends the Bella Twins from 'hardcore fans'

Women have come a long, long way in the WWE in the past five years.

It wasn’t so long ago that we were treated to lingerie matches and even women fighting in bowls of gravy (seriously, that happened), but women are now seen as legitimate drawing powers in the WWE and with the talent the company has, rightly so.

The ‘diva’ era in the WWE is an often criticised one; women were being hired on their looks as opposed to their in-ring talent and even if they ended up developing as performers, the WWE gave them such little time to showcase their talents it was hard for them to get a real footing in the company.

The Bellas are often associated with that era, despite Nikki Bella, in particular, being the champion that transitioned with the title when the wave of NXT talent came to the main roster.

The Four Horsewomen – Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch – have changed the game in the WWE and lead the charge in terms of talent and despite the Bellas remaining a part of WWE television, it seems hardcore fans refuse to accept that have improved.

The Bellas have been central stars of Total Divas and Total Bellas; two reality TV shows that are extentions of WWE and have been wildly successful. With that crossover appeal, it brings more eyes to the product, but it also gives hardcore fans even more ammunition.

Speaking on Booker T’s Heated Conversations podcast, Daniel Bryan – husband of Brie Bella – defended the twins. Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.

“I don’t think so,” Bryan replied, when asked if they get enough respect. “Obviously I’m very close to the situation and I know that a lot of hardcore wrestling fans look at them and their era as a negative on women’s wrestling. Brie [Bella] was in the ring when the ring when the hashtag ‘give divas a chance’ because they were only in like a 30-second match. I think people were frustrated with this idea that the women weren’t being given more opportunities. They worked very hard for that kind of thing and there were part of this transition into divas to women’s wrestling.

“But I also think that… I get women coming up to me and saying ‘oh my god, you’re Daniel Bryan, right? From the show’. And that’s how I know that they’re not necessarily wrestling fans, they’re Total Divas or Total Bellas fans. I think exposing our product to a different audience is always good. That’s one of things that I think Vince [McMahon] will say, and a lot of people will say, is that one of the great things about things like Total Divas and Total Bellas is it exposes WWE talent to a whole new audience of people.”

Both Bellas have improved almost immeasurably over the past five years and that is indisputable. Perhaps fans should appreciate their efforts to evolve and improve; they don’t need to wrestle ever again thanks to their success outside of the ring, but they do because of their love for it.

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