John Cena and his ex, Nikki Bella conflicted over her desire to have children and her love of animals. The Total Divas star bought a puppy named Winston, but Cena had a tough time welcoming the French bulldog into their home.
“Look,” he told Rolling Stone in April 2016. “I know I cannot handle raising a child. It’s like with the dog. My biggest thing to Nicole about the dog was: Love dogs, but I can’t contribute to taking care of one. I don’t have the time.”
“And just because everyone else is happy with children doesn’t mean that’s how I have to live,” he added. “I’ve been upfront about this. I just have things I need to get done. It’s not negotiable. We’ve been to therapy over it. I don’t think it will ever be over with. I’m stubborn and extremely selfish as well. I don’t want kids, I don’t want marriage. That’s me just saying, ‘Hey, this is my life and this is how I’m going to live.”
“You should call animal control, and they should come out and take the dog away,” Cena told his girlfriend.
Eventually, they gave their pup to Bella’s twin sister, Brie, though she still visits him at her sister’s house.
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“Nicole’s a very busy human being who may or may not have enough time for a Frenchie as needy as Winston, so with me retired and Brie retired, we have taken over the reins of Winston,” Brie’s husband Daniel Bryan explained in a video posted to the sisters’ YouTube channel.
The decision was difficult for Nikki who revealed how much she missed her pet dog.
“I miss him. I think with John being gone, too, so much, I’m just back to being alone again,” she told Brie in a September 2017 episode of Total Bellas. “It’s just tough, because for a while, Winston filled that void so much. I just will always look at him as like my firstborn.” “The other reason why it’s so hard — you have a baby, and that’s my baby,” she said, pointing to Winston. “And that’s gonna be my only baby, ever. I’m not gonna have a child, a human being, that will replace what a dog fills.”
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Cena, 40, and Nikki, 34, announced that they called off their engagement on Sunday, a year after he proposed during WrestleMania 33. The couple had planned to marry on May 5 at a destination wedding.
A source told PEOPLE about Brie’s feelings towards Cena;
“On one level, Brie wants to kill him, sure. “No one should be allowed to hurt her sister like this. But honestly, on another level, there’s relief. Nikki was bending over backward to accommodate this guy and everyone, especially Brie, was worried that she was sacrificing way, way too much, especially her motherhood.”