Nikki Garcia says participants in 2016 WWE SummerSlam tag bout weren't made aware of her involvement until two matches beforehand

Originally published at Nikki Garcia says participants in 2016 WWE SummerSlam tag bout weren't made aware of her involvement until two matches beforehand

It was an in-house secret that Nikki would be coming back.

Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York played host to WWE SummerSlam in 2016. The 10th match of the night featured the in-ring return of Nikki Garcia a.k.a. Nikki Bella, who had been sidelined after undergoing neck surgery. 

Garcia opened up about that match on the newest edition of The Nikki & Brie Show that Carmella was the featured guest on. Nikki teamed with Natalya and Alexa Bliss to defeat Naomi, Becky Lynch and Carmella. She stated that her colleagues in the match were not made aware of her involvement until two matches prior. 

At the time, Nikki posted on Instagram that she was hidden away on a bus and surprised everyone, including her partners. She filled in because Eva Marie failed her wellness test. Nikki was contacted on six days notice. Carmella remembers a crash pad being brought to the garage of the Barclays and her and Nikki practicing the ‘Rack Attack’ finisher. 

Nikki: But also, (SummerSlam 2016 return) was nerve-racking because they literally did not want them to know I was there till — was it two matches before?

Carmella: You remember? And I had to go and take your finisher in the garage at Barclays. They just put a crash pad out by the trucks and they’re like, ‘Okay’ and we had never touched before so we were like, ‘Alright, but you need to take her finish.’ I’m like, ‘Okay’ and they’re like, ‘Okay, now go.’

Nikki: And I go, ‘Well shouldn’t I do more stuff in the match than just come and hit a finisher?’ And they’re like, ‘No, you’ll be fine’ and I’m like, ‘But it’s like a massive match. It’s SummerSlam in Brooklyn…’ I remember just sitting on the bus and being like, ‘I just got back from neck surgery.’ I hadn’t even had a practice match. We all know why I got put in that position, which I was so grateful for, when someone failed their test and they called me, they go, ‘Hey, can you actually be ready in six days?’ And I was like, ‘Sure.’ No pressure (she joked)…

They spoke highly of that 2016-2017 period of SmackDown for the women’s division. Nikki shared that was she was bummed about not being in the Six-Pack Challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania 33.

She was involved in a mixed tag that saw herself and John Cena face The Miz and Maryse. Cena proposed to Garcia after the match. 

Nikki: And it was funny because I remember that WrestleMania (33) and I had to do the mixed tag. But I remember when they came to me with the idea of the mixed tag and I should be so happy that I remember I go, ‘But wait, I wanna be in the women’s match’ and they were like, ‘Wait, no. But we just said you’re gonna do –’ and I’m like, ‘But there’s the Women’s Championship match’ and remember how bummed I was? Because I wanted to be with you guys.

Nikki Garcia’s name made headlines in April as AEW President Tony Khan stated that he’d interested in working with her. For more on that, head over to POST Wrestling’s write-up about it

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Nikki & Brie Show with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.