Nerd Culture

WWE's Daniel Bryan and Bella Twins Coming to Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2016

Don’t look now, but it seems as though professional wrestling is fast becoming an accepted part of geek culture. Seriously.

For proof, you can look no further than all the coverage the WWE gets in the geek press or on websites like Nerdist. Or, more locally, there's the fact that this year’s Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest will feature a slew of famous names from the wrestling world, such as WWE superstar John Cena and legends Jake “The Snake” Roberts and The Honkytonk Man.

And late last week, Fan Fest added a few more names to that list, including WWE icons Daniel Bryan and twin sisters Nikki and Brie Bella.

As many a wrestling mark could tell you, Bryan is the scruffy underdog whose epic 16-year grappling career took him from the indie wrestling world (where he was the geek darling known as American Dragon) all the way to the main event of WrestleMania 30, where he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He was forced to retire earlier this year due to injuries, but currently plays the role of general manager on Smackdown.

Meanwhile, the Bella twins are both champions in their own right, as both Nikki and Brie individually won the WWE’s now-defunct Divas championship on multiple occasions.

Interestingly enough, both Bryan and the Bellas are connected with Phoenix. Nikki and Brie were raised in Scottsdale, played soccer in a number of local youth clubs, and graduated from Chaparral High School.

Bryan, a native of Washington State, moved to the Valley in 2013 after he started dating Brie. The couple married in 2014 and currently live in Arcadia. Bryan made headlines that same year when he chased down and subdued a burglar (with a sleeper hold, no less) who had broken into the couple’s home.

You could probably ask Bryan about the experience during his appearances at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest. While organizers haven’t announced the specifics of either Bryan’s or the Bellas' Q&A panels, photo sessions, or meet and greets, we’re certain that fans will have the chance to interact with the wrestling superstars.

You might want to avoid trying to put 'em in a headlock, however.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.