Nikki Bella and John Cena are winning the summer of love! It's just a fact. Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande may be smooshing themselves across your Instagram feed, and Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas may be engaging in wholesome family fun, but Bella and Cena are giving the performance of a lifetime.
To recap: As of now, they're "just friends." Bella shared in a YouTube video that as of June 26 she and Cena aren't in a relationship.
"I’ll admit my relationship, it has been in a super emotional rollercoaster ride," she said in a video titled "Relationship Update." The roller coaster is currently set to "platonic," but that could change. Even in this video, which lasts a full six minutes, Bella leaves the possibility open.
"We talk every day," Bella says. Cena is apparently in China shooting a movie, and they're taking the time to reevaluate. "I do have hope for us," she adds. "There's a lot of issues that I had to deal with [and I had to] really know what I wanted for the rest of my life. And I'm just beyond grateful that I have this amazing man who is staying by my side and helping me fight through those issues."
A.k.a., anything can happen in the future.
In case you haven't been following, Bella, née Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace, and Cena split for real in early April 2018, weeks before their May 5 wedding date. This was actually the second time they'd split since getting engaged — they'd uncoupled and recoupled in January of this year. This action unfurled on Total Bellas in May, ironically, just as breakup #2 made headlines. But the real media spectacle began April 15, when a report that they'd really broken up made it to TMZ. The same day, seeming inspired by the TMZ report, the couple released a statement on Instagram. The statement was Mad Libs celebrity breakup note. It read, "Nikki Bella and John Cena announced today their decision to separate as a couple. While this decision was a difficult one, we continue to have a great deal of love and respect for one another."
Okay. So. Then, Cena appeared on The Today Show on May 15 and declared he still loved Bella.
"I still love Nicole, I still would love to marry Nicole, I still would love to have a family with Nicole," he said. Children were a big factor in their relationship tensions. Their January breakup hinged entirely on Cena agreeing to have a child with Bella, who'd decided that she wanted a family. (In an episode that aired in June, Cena told Bella, "I will give you a child," evoking a bizarro Grimm's fairytale.) Cena's Today Show appearance rang of rom-com rising action; he'd gone on national television to re-declare his love and commitment to Bella. This is actually a thing that happens in Wimbledon, Kirsten Dunst's tennis rom-com.
The plan worked, maybe. Six weeks after the May breakup, they reportedly got back together, per People. "They were always going to find their way back to one another," said a source, waxing a smidge bromidic. After this report, Cena reiterated to E! that he wanted kids.
"By the way, that's an about-face for me and I realize very much that I have been steadfast in saying that I don't want children," he told the outlet last month. He seemed to be emphasizing the drama of the situation: Look at this statement I just gave you. Isn't it crazy?
This underlining of drama is an arena in which both Bella and Cena excel. They are wrestlers. They've made their career out of playacting duels. Wrestling, at least the WWE version, is 90% theater and 10% choreography. How much of this breakup is theater? How much of it is choreography? How much of it is heartbreak? Bella and Cena are swaddled in so many layers of performance that it's impossible to tell. But, whatever is happening, the show is impressive.
The latest update from Bella is that they are definitely just friends. The date of the wedding came and went, and Cena is currently filming Project X in China. Cena is, though, staying by Bella's side. She has hope for the future, she said. Meanwhile, the Blockers actor said in a recent episode of Total Bellas that he would reverse his vasectomy for Bella. (This is from their earlier breakup!) Even if the couple doesn't get back together, they will appear in headlines together, sharing thoughts about one another as they storyboard the Greatest Love Story of Summer 2k18.
Representatives for Bella and Cena did not immediately return Refinery29's requests to confirm the status of their relationship.