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411's Total Divas Report 12.01.13
Posted by Ryan Byers on 12.09.2013





Do you like Ryan's exasperated ranting about Total Divas? If so, check out his exasperated ranting about numerous other wrestling-related topics on Twitter.

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to YOUR 411mania Total Divas Report for . . . a show that aired a week ago.

Yes, some of you probably caught the fact that I missed reviewing last week's episode. If you're curious as to why, it's because, since Season 1.5 of the show started airing, I have not been watching it and recapping it on its first run. Instead, I've been watching my other Sunday night television institution, The Walking Dead (followed by Talking Dead) and then catching a replay of the Divas that E! typically has on an hour after the first showing of the new episode. However, last week, E! aired a Keeping up with the Calrissians Christmas special, which threw their whole schedule off and meant that I would have to stay up ungodly late if I was going to watch Total Divas on Sunday Night. Given my work schedule, that was not happening.

So, here we are a week later, with little old me doing a Total Divas double shot in order to be a completest and review every episode. I do too much for you people.

Trinity meets with Stone Cold Seamstress Sandra about how revealing her new ring gear is. She's afraid that her girls will pop out of it, if you know what I mean. She apparently refers to her breasts as her "potatoes," coming off of her referring to her vagina as her "cookie" during the last run of episodes. I'm afraid to ask what she calls her asshole . . . the calamari ring?

The show's theme song hits and, afterwards, Brie is wrestling Tamina Snuka on an episode of Raw. She says that she misses having Nikki around as a partner, which, having already watched the episode that follows this one, I can tell you is a rare instance of Total Divas FORESHADOWING~!

Speaking of Nikki, we cut to John Cena's fortress of solitude in Tampa, Florida, where he is screwing with the wrap around his bad arm. Nikki sits down in a chair and asks if she can drink coffee on it, which shows you right away how anal Cena is about keeping his place clean (but more on that later). Speaking about the place being clean, Nikki thinks it is too institutional and recommends some personal photographs or candles. That's what we need, a WWE home decorating show.

Ariane is in a recording studio working on a single called "Bye Bye." She's shown swinging into the microphone, but what's coming out of her mouth is ridiculously overproduced and auto-tuned, so either the audio here was faked or, more likely, Ariane is a cyborg. Ariane and boyfriend Vinny celebrate what they think was a good studio session by having her snap off a quick headscissors on him. Seriously. The dynamic duo drives away from the studio and talks about Vinny's career. Apparently he has driven an armored car for eight years (which causes my confidence in our financial system to plummet) and is trying to open up a side business running a hookah store. Ariane tries to convince him to make more money, which she repeatedly refers to as "that chingle chingle." Remind me never to incorporate that into my day-to-day vocabulary. Anyway, the upshot of all this is that Ariane thinks Vinny should try out for a role as a professional wrestler with WWE. She does a mock introduction of his non-existent wrestling character and, in the process, reveals that she's not even aware of what ethnic group her boyfriend belongs to, botching the pronunciation of "Armenian."

Also driving down the road are Trinity and Jon Uso, when they get a call from her father, who is looking for a place to crash. Trinity opens their house to him. So, the show has been on for about five minutes and already we've got three storylines ripped straight from situation comedies set up.

Cena and Nikki Bella are going out for lunch, and she does a lousy job of parking his car. They talk about how frustrated Cena is by the fact that he can't wrestle, and Nikki claims that she's going to take his mind off of it by redecorating his house. Nikki essentially says "first the cohabitation agreement and now this!" as though the two things are remotely comparable. Oh yeah, and Cena apparently has chess boards all over his house. Well, at least there's some sort of motif.

After a commercial, Ariane and Vincent are goofing around in a park, and I swear that Ariane is wearing one of those tutus that people put on their two year old daughters for birthday parties. After a minute or so, "Bill" calls and says that he'll fit Vinny in for an audition at their earliest convenience. Vinny is hesitant but agrees he'll do it.

In the Trinity/Uso household, they joke about making a sex tape when her father walks in. I do NOT want to see any sex tape that begins that way. Trinity's dad, who looks like a cross between Reverend Run and Luke Gallows, immediately hits the couch and starts eating. I can see this going well.

Back at Casa de Cena, John chastises Nikki for putting her dirty workout clothes into the hamper for non-workout clothes. Yup, anal. He also does a routine revolving around making the hampers talk to Nikki, in which he comes off as a poor man's Adam Sandler. I guess that's better than coming off as a poor man's Hulk Hogan. I'm also amazed that Nikki didn't react by saying, "Oh, wow, your hampers talk!"

At the WWE Performance Center, we learn that the "Bill" from Ariane and Vinny's telephone call was Bill DeMott, who initially puts Vince through some calisthenics, all with Ariane cheerleading. Vinny does well for all of about three minutes, but his cardio is nowhere near the elite level that WWE wrestler's has to be. DeMott, in a manner far more polite than it would probably be if television cameras were not there, tells Vincent that he needs to get into shape before he comes back. I'm no athlete, so it's somewhat hypocritical for me to say this, but I do feel that I should note for the record that DeMott gave this lecture to Vincent while looking like was smuggling beach balls underneath his polo shirt.

As an aside, given the high volume of sexually charged content on this show, I'm surprised that they didn't just give DeMott back his old WCW gimmick of "Hugh G. Rection" for his Total Divas appearances.

After the break, Vinny is at his hotel room, and he's sore. He's got rope burn and tries to tell Ariane that he's not up for being a wrestler. She COMPLETELY IGNORES HIM and tells him that she's giving him a once in a lifetime opportunity. Yeah, and performing neurosurgery would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, but that doesn't mean that I'm qualified to do it or even have the natural aptitude to do it.

Nikki is driving back to Cena's house and talking to Brie on the phone about how she had to go to the grocery store because her boyfriend has another weird hang up about keeping solid food in the house. John Cena, Gerber enthusiast. Also, Nikki makes fun of virgins.

Back at the Trinity/Uso house, Jon and Trin are sleeping on the couch while Reverend Gallows takes over their bed. Trinity is also wearing a onesie, which means we've oddly had two separate scenes of Funkadactyls dressed like toddlers in this episode.

It's day two at the Performance Center, where Bill is trying to teach Vinny to run the ropes "for the first time" . . . even though he pretty clearly had tell-tale signs of running the ropes in the last scene that featured him, which was supposed to be a day prior. Ariane demonstrates rope running, and she is one of the last people that I would have teach that lesson. Bill is not impressed with Vinny's efforts and says that the Armenian is moving like he weighs four hundred pounds. Bill would know. DeMott is pretty disgusted with how winded Vinny is getting and gives him a two minute break, after which he puts some headgear on him and tries to teach him how to bump. Vince takes one bump and just can't handle it, ultimately causing DeMott to call off the rest of the tryout. Ultimately, Vincent understands and is very gracious to Bill for giving him the opportunity, which is a bit of a departure from the meathead demeanor he's had throughout the rest of the series.

When the couple gets out to the parking lot, Vinny is in tears and tries to hide them by putting a towel over his head. So THAT'S what Tazz was doing for all those years. Vince admits that he's upset because he never wanted to do this and only went through with it because Ariane pushed him, only for him to wind up looking like a big fool. Based on how this storyline went down, he's got every right to feel that way.

Backstage at another WWE event, Creepy Talent Relations Underboss Mark approaches Eva Marie and tells her that Mattel is here to scan her for her first action figure. Nattie Neidhart is getting scanned, and she complains about Eva getting a doll made of her so early into her WWE run. Also, for no apparent reason, she refers to Eva Marie as "a hooch." Remember when Nattie was supposed to be the babyface diva on this show?

Jon and Trinity have a conversation about how it's getting uncomfortable for him to have her dad around all the time. What I'm really getting out of this segment, though, is that Trinity has to wear so much makeup for an episode of Raw that she's got decidedly more on than Jon, and he is literally wearing war paint.

In Los Angeles, Ariane and Vinny go out for a fancy dinner, which is Ariane's make good for putting Vince through the embarrassing WWE tryout. They talk about his hookah bar plans, and, honestly, I would be pretty excited about a spinoff reality show about Vince's crazy Armenian hookah bar. The couple kisses and makes up over the table.

Back in Tampa, Nikki has prepared dinner for John Cena, and he is quite literally appalled to see food on his counter. He immediately starts cleaning up small remnants of the ingredients and gets even more indignant when Nikki implies that they might be eating home cooked meals on more than one occasion. Okay, John Cena, who for the majority of this show's run has been one of the few rational characters, has now been turned into a cartoon character just as bad as all of the rest. Rather than being the likable, hardworking face of the company, he is now a hypochondriac neat freak, who I anticipate in three episodes will be wearing Kleenex boxes on his feet a la Howard Hughes.

After some commercials (or rather one commercial for Tide, since I'm watching this on demand), John Cena and his as-of-yet-unseen buddy Rob meet in his gym to play chess. The conversation gets really weird and seemingly has nothing to do with the rest of the episode. Cena starts asking about the pawns on the board and whether you can still win the game if some of them die. Rob notes that, yes, you can, and it's the king who you really want to capture. This causes Cena to leap up from his seat momentarily to draw a little arm wrap around the right triceps of the king on his chess set. Eventually, the conversation comes around to something a little bit more relevation, as Cena explains his "issues" with Nikki to Rob as Rob thoroughly annihilates him in the chess game. Cena asks why Rob won't let him win, and Rob says that's because it wouldn't be winning. Eventually Rob dispenses some sage advice, telling Cena that, if he wants things done 100% his way all the time, what he's going to have to do is cut himself off from all human interaction. Again, just like Howard Hughes! Unfortunately, we don't get to see that downward spiral, as John admits that Rob is right and walks off to go correct things. Cena asks Rob if he is "bad," and Rob says no as a tank ominously sits in the background. Hopefully Rob becomes a recurring character, fixing everybody's problems from his chess station in John Cena's weight room.

Trinity, Jon, and Natalya gather at a bar to watch Trinity's father perform with his band. They briefly play a song with Trinity assisting on vocals, and there are some remarkably white people dancing to the jam . . . and I'm not just talking about Nattie. This grows into Trinity inviting her father and his posse back to the apartment for an after-party, which Jon doesn't want anything to do with. Well, just go home with Nattie.

We cut to the apartment, where Reverend Gallows busts out a huge amp and plugs his iPod into it to be as obnoxious as humanly possible. Jon flies off the handle and pulls Trinity into the hallway, lecturing her about how he needs to get up early in the morning. They don't explicitly state this but, based on her behavior, I'm pretty sure that Trinity is drunk. Eventually, Jon walks out, causing Trinity to mope on her couch instead of partying further.

Back at Cena's place, he apologizes to Nikki by putting out a bunch of candles and presenting her with a dozen roses. There are also some empty picture frames set out . . . and six of Nikki's finest vibrators! Okay, so that last one isn't true, but, given how this show has gone for the last several episodes, would anybody be surprised? Anyway, Cena cops to the fact that he probably needs to get over his weird hangups, and they agree to cook dinner.

Trinity and her father have a heart-to-heart on a pier, in an gender-role reversed version of my favorite scene from The Wrestler. Hopefully this doesn't mean Trinity will die from a heart attack while Ram Jamming Ernest Miller. (Though, if she did, the match could be based on a feud over Trinity stealing Miller's entrance music.) Trinity tells her pops that he needs to go do his own thing because living with him is putting too much strain on her relationship with Jon. Daddy initially says that he's been cut deep but, in the blink of an eye, he changes his tune (Get it? Because he's a musician) and says he understands. Well, then I guess it didn't cut him too deep after all. I guess you could say it just bladed him.

Overall: It could just be because I watched this episode out of order and literally within seconds of viewing the December 8 episode, but this show didn't make that much of an impression on me, positively or negatively. I mentioned early in the recap that it felt like the storylines were being lifted out of a sitcom, and that is a feeling that continued throughout the remainder of the episode. Seriously, the plots were: 1) young couple has "cool" dad move in with them, creating tension in their relationship; 2) young couple moves in with each other and has trivial disagreements related to the fact that one of them is a neat freak; and 3) girlfriend convinces boyfriend to take on a new job that he ultimately proves not to be particularly good at, to great comedic effect. There's a reason that storylines like these have been staples of family-friendly sitcoms for decades, and it's because just about any hack can write them, they're fairly universally relatable, and they're so banal that virtually no human being the western world could be offended by them. What's the key word there? Banal. I've got nothing to complain about, really, aside from the fact that I sat in front of my television for forty-five minutes and wasn't particularly entertained. If you're grading on the Total Divas curve, that's a pretty good episode.

Oh, and where the hell was that bit with Eva Marie's action figure supposed to lead?

Do you like Ryan's exasperated ranting about Total Divas? If so, check out his exasperated ranting about numerous other wrestling-related topics on Twitter.





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