WWE's Nikki Bella: 'I was told neck surgery would end my career'
Bella hails doctor and WWE after resuming wrestling
Last Updated: 16/02/17 11:34am
Nikki Bella told Gorilla Position that she is relishing still being able to wrestle for WWE after being told that neck surgery would end her career.
Bella, WWE's longest-reigning Divas Champion, was out of the ring between November 2015 and August 2016 as she battled back from her operation.
The 33-year-old says her determination, 'miraculous' work from her doctor, and immense support from WWE helped her make an unexpected recovery.
"I was told 'you can never wrestle again, this is it for you' but I was not going to accept that," Bella - who will face Natalya in a Falls Count Anywhere Match on Smackdown on Tuesday night - told James Delow.
"The ring is my home and I wasn't ready to leave. I also have so much love and support here and that's why I fought so hard to come back.
"My doctor was a miracle worker - I owe everything to him every time I step in that ring - but I couldn't have done it without WWE either. They gave me resources - surgeons, doctors and trainers.
"I was fortunate enough to have the best and that's what got me back in the ring, something I am, so grateful for. It's a blessing and that's why I have a permanent smile on my face now.
"When something is taken from you and you get it back you have a new appreciation and I now look at things in a whole new way. I know it could have gone a different way for me so I don't bitch about things anymore."
Bella returned to the Smackdown roster at SummerSlam - but has kept a keen eye on the Raw brand, including Sasha Banks and Charlotte's history-making Hell in a Cell Match in Boston in October.
Banks and Charlotte became the first females to compete inside the metal structure and close out a main-roster pay-per-view.
"I felt so happy as the road that women had been paving for so many years was actually starting to pay off," added Bella.
"It's not about being better than the males, it's about wanting to be treated equally and at that moment you felt the equality.
It's not about being better than the males, it's about wanting to be treated equally and at that moment you felt the equality.
"I hear people say 'do you wish it was you?' but my whole fight hasn't been for me, it's been for all the women in WWE and women in general.
"I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't dying to be in their [Banks and Charlotte's] position but I am just so proud of them. It made a statement about what women can do - and this is just the beginning."
Hear more from Bella on the Gorilla Position podcast: http://www.skysports.com/podcasts/gorilla-position
Watch Bella wrestle Natalya on next week's WWE Smackdown, live at 1am on Sky Sports 5 on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning,