In the fallout of Nikki Bella and John Cena breaking off their engagement just weeks before what was meant to be their wedding day, emotions have surely been running high. On Monday, Cena gave a heartfelt speech on Today about his feelings on the breakup, his persistent love for Bella and his desire to reconcile in the future — a speech that left cohosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb in tears.
Even before he hopped onto a stool in between Gifford and Kotb, it felt like this interview was going to be a tough one. At approximately 7:20 a.m. EST on Monday morning, Cena tweeted out, “Very happy to join @klgandhoda on @TODAYshow this morn! Could use a bit of [wine emoji] to take the edge off.”
But when he actually got to Today and started chatting with the ladies, it got really emotional, really quickly. “It’s been incredibly reflective, which is amazing, but it’s very difficult,” he told Gifford and Kotb. “I had my heart broken out of nowhere — or for me, it was out of nowhere — and anyone who’s experienced that knows that it comes with a series of bad feelings.”
He added, “I still love Nicole. I still would love to marry Nicole. I still would love to have a family with Nicole.” He said that despite speculation that he’s “enjoying the single life,” he’s spent most of his time alone at home, surrounded by memories. His public appearances, he said, are an effort to keep living his life despite how he’s feeling, especially at this time when he was supposed to be on his honeymoon — his “first vacation in 15 years.”
Although Cena didn’t elaborate on the “unfortunate set of circumstances” that led to Bella breaking off their engagement, he said repeatedly that he wants to support her as she chases her happiness and that the situation is “complicated.”
And the plot thickens from there. Later on Monday, Extra asked Bella about Cena’s plea when they chatted on the red carpet at the NBCUniversal Upfront Presentation. Bella had not seen the clip, and when it was described, she told Calloway, “Wow. Well, I’m speechless. That’s crazy.”
Regarding the future, Bella seemed open to anything and that she just wants Cena to be happy.
“I have hope. I’m at a point in my life where I kind of lost me and I want to find me and work on me,” she told Extra. “I just want John and I both to live happily ever after whether it’s together or separate and I just don’t want us to go down the road in life and have regrets of like ‘I did this for you’ or ‘you did this for me,’ so I think it’s okay in relationships to take that moment.”
She also said that filming the next season of her reality show, Total Bellas, put added pressure on her engagement, and she needed to take a step back. “I felt so much pressure from the cameras, the world, my family, John, and I think I started taking care of everyone and forgot about me and that’s what caused me, I don’t know, I don’t want to say ‘snapped,’ I don’t want to say ‘a breakdown,’ but something like that, you know?”
Cena said on Today that since the split, he’s done a lot of self-reflection and realized that things he was stubborn about — like not wanting to have kids — are things he now feels differently about.
At the end of the clip, Cena said that he and Bella are still talking — but that he doesn’t want to hold her back. He looked directly into the camera and said, “For anyone out there speculating on what’s going on, I love her. I want to be with her. I want to make her my wife. I want to be the father of her children. I just want us to work.”
Cena added that even if he and Bella never get back together, he’ll take the time he had with her and be grateful. Only time will tell if these two may walk down the aisle someday, but as we’ve seen time and time again, anything is possible.