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 411mania » Wrestling » TV Reports

411's Total Divas Report 12.08.13
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.

So, anybody read any good reality TV reviews lately?

Let's just get right into this.

Nikki Bella is watching John Cena heal from his horrific tricep tear with an electrical stimulator. Showing that they missed their calling as rocket scientists, they put it over his pectoral muscle to see what will happen, and Cena sells a major heart attack to freak Nikki out. Of course, in reality, he's just fine. Careful, John, that sort of thing leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. Just ask Fritz Von Erich.

After the micro theme song, Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan are lifting weights and talking about Brie's women's title match upcoming at Night of Champions, which, according to Brie, "millions of people" tune in to watch. Yeah, if that were a real number, the promotion wouldn't have to worry about producing shows like this to diversify its revenue streams.

At the home of Nattie Neidhart and TJ Wilson, their cat Charlotte has killed a lizard. The other cat, Gismo (the one that was in their wedding), gets a Christmas hat, despite the fact that it's July. The poor bastard.

We get another quick cut, where Trinity and Jon Uso are looking for an engagement ring, despite the fact that they've already been engaged for two years. Trinity explains that they're replacing the original ring because it snags on her clothes a lot. I have never heard a dumber reason for dropping several thousand dollars on something with no practical use . . . but enough about Trinity.

We're backstage at some WWE show somewhere, and Eva Marie compliments Nattie on her outfit, despite the fact that a) they were mortal enemies two weeks ago, which bled over into last week's episode and b) Nattie's outfit is literally a white tank top and pair of blue jeans. What is there to compliment?

There's another cut, and the Bella Twins are in makeup talking about their sex lives. You know, from now on in these reviews, if I say that the episode has cut to Nikki Bella, you can just assume that she's talking about sex in some way unless I say otherwise. That'll save me some time. They also talk about the fact that Nikki has been out of action for five months now, and Brie makes a veiled catty comment about how Nikki might be getting too comfortable on the sidelines. After some match footage, Brie comes to the conclusion that her career can survive without Nikki. Yes, but can either of their careers survive without John Cena?

Trinity is getting her hair cut and talking about a photo shoot she has upcoming for Jet magazine. Jon, who is hanging out with his fiancée and a bunch of women at the salon just like any self-respecting man does, tries to convince her that maybe she shouldn't wear a bikini for the shoot. Oh boy, it's Maria and Santino all over again.

Nattie Neidhart is driving home, when TJ calls her and tells her that Gismo collapsed while heading to his food dish. Ridiculously intense music plays as Nattie explains via voiceover that the cat has been battling kidney disease for some time. She makes it home and the couple rushes to the veterinarian's office. Nattie breaks down crying as we head to a commercial break. I really can't make fun of this one.

On the other side of the commercial, the Bellas are shopping and talking about farting. This is the rare Nikki conversation that does not involve sex. If it did, she would have a remarkably bizarre fetish. Somehow this segues into Brie trying to convince Nikki to get back into the ring, but she doesn't want to do it because her body doesn't feel ready. Keep in mind that this all started because of a MINOR STRESS FRACTURE. Brie sees a guitar and says it would be a great spot at the pay per view if she smacked somebody over the head with it. Somewhere, Jeff Jarrett is watching this show and saying, "It could've been me . . ."

Backstage at a WWE event, Eva Marie tells Cameron she has a bruise on her breast. That is the entire scene. If you're wondering why WWE's creative has been so weak lately, it's because the majority of the writing crew's time lately has been devoted to coming up with excuses for the Total Divas camera crews to gratuitously zoom in on the cast members' boobs.

Nattie is also backstage, and she's on the phone with her vet, who explains that Gismo's collapses are seizures, that his right kidney has failed, that he can no longer use his back legs, and there are few to no options other than to put him to sleep. Still can't make fun of it.

Also backstage, the Funkadactyls are meeting with Talent Relations Jane's creepy underboss, and he reports that the "creative team" has told her that she may soon be involved in a "storyline" involving a romantic interest. This show needs to decide whether it's worked or a whether it's a shoot, because just a couple of months ago they were still tiptoeing around things to maintain the last vestiges of kayfabe, while now everything appears to be out in the open (and I'm not just talking about breasts). The next part of the report is that the storyline will begin sometime after the Night of Champions pay per view, so those of us who watch other WWE programming already know that there has to be something coming up that will cause the storyline to be scrapped. Maybe the angle for the reality show will be that the storyline was dropped because WWE's creative plans are in a constant state of flux. You know, pretty much what the real world scenario is.

After a Nattie vs. Trinity vs. Brie three-way dance, the underboss also pulls Nikki Bella aside and tells her that she needs to suck it up and get back into the ring.

Backstage at what I think is a different WWE event, Nattie and TJ are talking about his big in-ring comeback from knee surgery, which Nattie claims is three months ahead of schedule. Okay, hold on a second. Presumably the taping at which they were told the cat was essentially in terminal condition was Raw, and now they're presumably at a Smackdown taping, so about twenty-four hours have passed . . . and the cat is still alive? Without the use of its back legs and without a kidney? They're letting the poor thing continue to suffer? What exactly is going on here? I hope that this is something that just came of very badly because of the way the show was cut together and not because of how things played out in real life.

Also, they did not acknowledge the fact that Tyson's actual big return to television was as one of "Los Locales," a rather prestigious position.

Speaking of Los Locales, in the background of the last backstage Bella Twin conversation, Ricardo Rodriguez and Eric Rowan were hanging out with each other. I now like to envision the two of them travelling the country together, both totally in character.

After a commercial break, we go to what is being billed as TJ's return to the ring, a matchup against Bo Dallas. Nattie watches from an unnatural, awkward angle on a big monitor backstage. Tyson eventually wins with the sharpshooter, and Bo catches a flight to begin his world tour of Bo-Livia, Cam-Bo-Dia, and Bo-Ston, Mass. After the match, Nattie exclaims, "This one is for Gismo!" and more tears are shed.

Trinity is at her Jet photo shoot and, for some reason, she has decided to bring WWE's own Stone Cold Seamstress Sandra with her. Also, even though we saw Trinity getting what appeared to be a major haircut earlier, her hair really isn't appreciably shorter. Jet executive Mitzi tells Sandra that there's no way Trinity is wearing the one piece bathing suit that Sandra brought along per Jon Uso's instructions. Girrrrrl, I would not say no to Sandra. If Ms. Mitzi winds up face down in a river bank somewhere, you know what happened. Jon and Sandra converse and come to the conclusion that Trinity's "boobies can come down a notch." Poetry, thy name is Total Divas.

TJ Wilson and Nattie are at the vet, and, again, they're told euthanasia is the only option. They spend a few last minutes with Gismo, and then the deed is done . . . but fortunately not shown on camera. Still can't make fun.

And, immediately after that moment that honestly had me tear up a little bit, we immediately jump to happy, upbeat music that scores the cast's latest brunch. Nikki Bella, the bastion of sensitivity, turns the initial conversation about Nattie's beloved pet dying into questioning Brie about what she would do with Nikki's corpse if she passed away. Next, the Bellas make it even more about themselves, starting to bicker about the fact that Brie has been doing the heavy lifting for the team and "keeping the Bella brand alive." Yes, when I think of strong brands in the world of entertainment right now, it's Marvel, Kanye West, and the Bella Twins. While all of this is going on, poor JoJo Offerman sits there silent with her eyeballs ping pong-ing back and forth. At this point, she's essentially the Curt Hawkins of Total Divas.

After another break, we're in Detroit for Night of Champions. Creepy Underboss Mark pulls Trinity into an office with Talent Relations Jane, and they explain that they're upset with her because Jon Uso approached them and attempted to put the kibosh on the previously discussed storyline. Trinity is upset that Jon went behind her back and says that they should have a conversation. After having her makeup done, Trinity seeks advice on this situation from none other than Brodus Clay. Yes, when I think of a wizened veteran who I would consult for career advice, it is the Funk-a-saurus. Trinity explains to Brodus that putting the kibosh on any storyline involving her would likely also negatively impact Brodus' career, because they're a team. That sounds like she's trying to get her fiancée beaten up.

The Bella Twins and Eva Marie are prepping for Brie's championship match. Brie says that she never thought she'd be going solo for the women's championship. I was curious, so I googled it and found out that, not only has she had title shots before, but she actually HELD THE TITLE for two months in 2011. Just more evidence for my theory that Total Divas has its own separate storyline continuity from WWE. You know, the one in which Daniel Bryan is still the WWE Champion.

Trinity confronts Jon Uso backstage. She tells him that at the end of the day they're actors playing roles, and she had no right to go behind her back to potentially ruin an opportunity to advance her career. Part of me wants to agree with her, but another part of me wonders what Kevin Sullivan would have to say about this situation.

The Bellas and Eva Marie are getting ready to hit the ring for Brie's match when, like a bug-eyed trap door spider, Creepy Underbooss Mark grabs Nikki and Eva and tells them that they're not going to be acting as Brie's valets after all, despite the fact that the three of them went out and got adorable matching Rainbow Brite outfits for the evening. Without Nikki and Eva there to complete the look, originally when watching Night of Champions I thought Brie was wearing gear that showed her support of gay rights.

Now, we get to the championship match, which is a four-way involving Nattie, Trinity, Brie, and AJ Lee. Nattie gets the honors of explaining the rules to the E! crowd, and we get highlights from the match, while Nikki worries in the back about whether her being left out this evening will be a harbinger of things to come. I know that I said this during the first run of episodes, but let me say it again: SHE IS JOHN CENA'S GIRLFRIEND. The fact that she's worried about her "spot" is perhaps the least believable storyline of all of the unbelievable storylines that this show has run.

In the ring, AJ taps out Natalya to retain her championship. Despite that, Nikki puts over Brie's performance big time and decides that she needs to work even harder to get up to her sister's level when she returns. However, Nikki can't leave well enough alone and says that, no matter how good Brie is in the ring, her breasts are still smaller. Oh, and their mother is around too, leading Brie to note that both Nikki and Momma Bella used to have chests that looked a lot more like hers before some surgical intervention. I don't know if this review has any female readers, but, if it does, I would like at least one of you to come forward and reassure me that this is not the sort of conversation that ladies typically have with their moms. Yes, this show has warped my perception of women so much that I must actually ask that question.

With five minutes left to go in the show, Trinity leaves the arena and tells Jon that it won't be with him, though he breaks down and apologizes, admitting that he is jealous and insecure. As soon as he admits it, a huge smile breaks across her face, and she tells him that their relationship should be stronger than all of that. Everything is ultimately forgiven, and they do leave the show together after all . . . but Trinity makes him carry all of the bags.

A graphic tells us we are now one week after Night of Champions at Nattie and TJ's house, and Tyson comes in with a teeny, tiny kitten that looks almost exactly like Gismo, minus his trademark underbite. Nattie names him Louis, after Louis Vuitton, and puts him in a ridiculous pink jumper.

Ladies and gentlemen, please do not dress up your pets, unless we're talking about something that is necessary for warmth. It's cruel and unusual.

The "next week on" segment tells us that, in seven days, we will see the SEASON FINALE of Total Divas. I can live with that.

Overall: This show . . . honestly wasn't bad, all things considered. One of my biggest criticisms of Total Divas from the beginning has been that it passes itself off as "reality" while simultaneously pedaling storylines that are so unrealistic that I'm insulted to think somebody expects me to buy them. However, this show didn't have that problem, because there was plenty of what was either genuine human emotion or at least close enough to it for a television show that I was willing to give it a pass. For example, I've been a fan of Nattie Neidhart since long before she signed with WWE, and I've followed her on Twitter since I got onto the platform myself, so I know that she really did love that cat and, knowing that the cat really did die, I could completely buy her reaction, especially being an animal lover myself. (Though, if I'm going to be honest, I have to say that I'm really more of a dog guy . . . never got the whole cat thing.) Also, though I'm sure that their storyline on this television show was a total work, Trinity and Jon are a legitimate couple and do a great job of bringing their "real" chemistry and relationship into the plotlines of this show. So, yeah, not too much to complain about here. I still wouldn't be watching the show if it weren't something I were reviewing for this website, but that makes two consecutive episodes that I didn't find offensively bad, which is a surprising degree of improvement.

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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