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USA Insider Barmageddon

Nikki Bella Reflects On Her Time As A Hooters Girl: 'A Man Couldn't Do It'

Nikki Bella will host "Barmageddon," but it won't be her first time hosting a party at a bar. 

By Tyler McCarthy
Image of Nikki Bella and Brie Bella

Nikki Bella will soon host a slew of celebrity guests and “barthletes” at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant in Nashville on the upcoming USA Network gameshow “Barmageddon.” But the WWE star is no stranger to bar life: She recently opened up about a reunion she and her sister had at one of their first bar jobs together — Hooters. 

How to Watch

Watch Barmageddon on USA Network and Peacock.

Nikki and Brie Bella previously told Kevin Hart in an interview that they worked at the restaurant for three years and considered it their first foray into show business, given all the performance work they had to do to keep customers happy. Over the weekend, the duo went to a wedding in San Diego where they had the opportunity to reconnect with the ladies they worked with years ago. 

Speaking on the latest episode of their “The Bellas Podcast,” they opened up about what the reunion meant to them and reflected on how formative their time working as wait staff was. 

“There’s nothing like going to your old stomping grounds,” Brie said. “Even though half the time they’re not what they were when you were in your 20s, there’s something about it when you go there, you always feel young again.” 

Nikki said it was easy to fall back into old dynamics with their co-workers. 

“You guys, we hadn’t seen some of these girls, these women, in 18 years … When we saw everyone it was like we didn’t miss a beat,” she said. “I feel like we just came out of jump start and we were ready to get on the floor and work!” 

“I always thought it was gross that we always felt drenched in the wing oil of the building, but I think it was almost like the fountain of youth for us all because everyone looked the same,” Brie added. “No one aged.” 

Maybe it’s the Hooters reunion or perhaps it's that she’s spending a lot of time with Shelton and Carson Daly partying it up for “Barmageddon,” but Nikki couldn’t help but reflect on how important simply socializing at a bar can be in crafting who someone is. 

“Hooters, at that time, the women, the organization, the experience, what it did for all of us, right? Of how we grew into women, how we took on life but then also what all our friendships meant,” Nikki explained. “Hooters probably was really shocked too, like, ‘I can’t believe what this place taught all these women!’ But that’s what everyone was writing, what it taught them, what it gave them, the empowerment, the love, the motivation just all the things. It just filled your heart up in a way that … a man couldn’t do it, another job probably couldn’t do it, but Hooters did it for us and those women at that time. It was just a beautiful time for us.” 

Brie added: “You don’t have to be an athlete to be a strong woman, you don’t have to be on an athletic team to feel driven or really strong. Like, we could be Hooter girls and we all walked away feeling like really strong empowered women.” 

Nikki hopes to give more women that exact feeling by connecting them with celebrities for a series of bar games designed to level the playing field between ordinary people and extraordinary recognition all under the roof of a bar. 

"Barmageddon" premieres in late 2022 on USA Network. Meanwhile, you can catch up on the Bellas on WWE on Peacock.

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