Brie Bella Retires, Beth Phoenix In-Ring Update and Shad Gaspard in WWE Roundup

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2019

Brie Bella, left, and Nikki Bella arrive at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe. 


Brie Bella Officially Retired—For Good This Time 

Brie Bella announced on Sunday's episode of Total Bellas that she was done competing in WWE after her appearance at the Evolution pay-per-view.

"Bryan and I have an announcement!" Brie said on the E! show. "I decided that after Evolution, I'm gonna be fully retired."

"I love WWE, but the one thing I learned is that I can't do everything. I just can't," she continued. "I know deep down inside that I'm making the right decision, that the boots have to be hung, that I need to go back to Phoenix and just really put more concentration on the things that are in my future instead of what was in my past."

Brie was in Nikki Bella's corner for her Evolution match against Ronda Rousey. She interfered on her sister's behalf in Nikki's Raw women's championship match, which main-evented the pay-per-view.

Brie returned to WWE on a part-time basis in 2018 after her first retirement in 2016. She competed in the women's Royal Rumble, was part of Daniel Bryan's feud with The Miz, and teamed with Nikki and Rousey at WWE Super Show-Down against The Riott Squad.

Neither Nikki nor Brie Bella have competed in WWE since Evolution. 

"Talk about dropping two huge bombs," Nikki said in the episode. "I guess retirement I always thought would be something that Brie and I would talk about together. I just did not expect this big change after such an incredible comeback."


Divas of Doom Comeback Upcoming?

That appears to be the case after Sunday's Fastlane pay-per-view. Beth Phoenix confronted Tamina following the women's tag team match between Sasha Banks and Bayley and Tamina and Nia Jax, leading to the latter pummeling the WWE Hall of Famer. 

Natalya, her former partner in crime, ran in to make the save. The Divas of Doom competed together in 2011-12, largely as heels.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio said WWE is planning for a Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka vs. The Divas of Doom matchup, presumably at WrestleMania (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News). 

This program is one that I'm not sure anyone was clamoring for. The Tamina-Nia tag team hasn't gone over as the monster heels WWE was hoping, and the Divas of Doom aren't a nostalgia team that brings WrestleMania-level box office numbers. 

It'll be nice to see Beth Phoenix return to the ring, but she hasn't competed since 2012. If this is a short-term feud leading up to a match with Banks and Bayley, then maybe the WrestleMania spotlight will be worth it. But putting Beth Phoenix's big return into a feud with a trio of the less-dynamic workers in the company isn't going to light the world on fire.


Shad Gaspard Backstage at Fastlane

Shad Gaspard, who competed in WWE as part of Cryme Tyme, was in Cleveland on Sunday for Fastlane, per PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc).

Gaspard has been competing on the independent circuit since 2012. He has still regularly competed with JTG, his Cryme Tyme partner.

It's unclear if there was any reasoning behind Gaspard's appearance or if he was just backstage hanging out. WWE regularly accommodates ex-Superstars, even beyond their working relationship.