411's Total Divas Report 04.13.14
Posted by Ryan Byers on 04.14.2014
This episode was essentially a backdoor pilot for a new HGTV series about the Bella Twins flipping and selling homes. I wish I was kidding.
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I wonder what Rick Grimes is doing right now.
Nattie Neidhart, the Bellas, and Cameron are having brunch, when Nattie's nose starts bleeding. I guess that "Hart legacy" also involves partaking in some extracurricular activities popular among her father's generation. Nattie ties the blood in to Summer Rae's slap from last week, claiming that her nose has been giving her problems ever since. Cameron is grossed out by the blood and everybody refuses to eat any further. Please. Between drunk dialing Stephanie McMahon, pissing her pants, and shoving Icy Hot into her ass crack, this is the LEAST disgusting thing Nattie has done on this show.
Backstage at a WWE event, the Bellas, Eva, and Tamina Snuka of all people are having coffee when Nikki announces out of nowhere that she has obtained her California real estate license. I bet this is totally legitimate and not a contrived plot device. Yup.
Also backstage, Nattie meets with Talent Relation Jane's Creepy Underboss. He tells her that she's been booked into a women's title match at TLC, which Nattie claims in a confessional is like the Golden Globes to Wrestlemania's Oscars. Royal Rumble? Summerslam? Heck, even Money in the Bank? Of course, Nattie had actually called for the meeting to rat out Summer Rae about the slap, but, when the Underboss tells her that she's getting this opportunity because of her professionalism, she decides to drop the subject.
The Funkadactyls are shown beating AJ and Tamina when Naomi pins Tamina. Nattie is just announced as getting a title shot, but it's Naomi who beats the champion in a non-title match. Counter-intuitive booking at its finest.
Out of nowhere, Nikki is trying to sell what has to be a multi-million dollar home on the California beachfront. The prospective buyers have their faces blurred, probably to conceal the fact that they're really Rosa Mendes and Curt Hawkins, brought in as extras in the same way that your local indy geeks play security guards on Monday Night Raw. This show, which was already a weird hybrid of WWE and Keeping Up with the Kardashians has now morphed into a hybrid of WWE, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and HGTV, as Nikki actually walks around the house for a considerable amount of TV time (by Total Divas standards, anyway) extolling the virtues of this home.
Elsewhere, Trinity is in a dance studio, where she informs us that she's recorded a single - because she's apparently a singer now or something - and is rehearsing dance moves for the accompanying music video.
After the home showing, Nikki Bella and John Cena are together at her San Diego home and drink from Christmas-themed wine goblets for a little bit before Cena gets a call on his cell phone from "Sara." He dodges the subject of the call when she inquires. Scandal! John Cena is cheating on Nikki Bella with the Undertaker's ex-wife!
Trinity and Jon Uso stop off at the home of Stone Cold Seamstress Sandra, because apparently in addition to working for WWE Sandra also does random side jobs and has agreed to prepare the costumes for Trinity's music video. Trinity is upset with Sandra's work on her cat suit, because it has rhinestones all over the front but none on her ass. For reasons I don't comprehend, this is unacceptable to Trinity, because it's not like Sandra is a trained professional who has been doing this for literally decades. Rather than asking if Sandra can make the change, Trinity decides that she's going to do it herself and storms off as the seamstress calls her ungrateful. Correct.
I would like to note, by the way, that this is a complete reversal of Trinity's relationship with Sandra from last season, when she was portrayed as being the one who trusted Sandra implicitly when Cameron doubted her judgment about the "sexiness" of the Funkadactyls' right gear. I've complained about blurred face/heel lines on this show before, and, before this week, would have done so again this week. However, I have come to the realization that you cannot confine the characters on this show to traditional WWE heel/face dynamics. They're more complex. Thus, in order to help everybody understand the characters, I have devised the following chart:
Hopefully that clears everything up.
Back in San Diego, Nikki shows off some new "real estate agent" outfits to John Cena. She claims it makes her feel "sophisticated," which she can barely pronounce. Nikki gets upset when Cena will not look up at her from his computer, and things even don't work when she comes out supposedly braless in a tight white shirt. If she was truly not wearing a bra, her breasts have to have some sort of anti-gravity devices built into them.
At Trinity and Jon's apartment, Trinity and her Uncle Buck . . . wait a minute . . . Uncle Buck?
No, wrong guy. Anyway, Trinity and her Uncle Buck (who appears to be two or three years younger than her despite being her uncle) try to apply rhinestones to her cat suit. That's it. That's the entire scene. Well, that and Uncle Buck makes Trinity a giant pancake the next morning, using a snow shovel to flip it.
Nattie Neidhart and TJ Wilson are at the doctor's office getting Nattie's nose checked out. After 2.5 seconds, the doctor recommends surgery, and our "favorite" diva immediately begins crying, because the surgery is supposedly going to keep her on the shelf for six months and cause her to miss her title shot at TLC. Nattie tells the doctor that she can send any bills to Summer Rae, to which the doctor logically responds, "Who's Summer Rae?"
Great line, but I don't know if it could have been delivered in a way that made it more obvious that it was scripted.
Back at Trinity and Jon's, Sandra stops by to visit and it is revealed that Trinity and Uncle Buck did in fact successfully rhinestone the cat suit. It's amazing what you can do with a Bedazzler. However, things aren't quite as pretty when we get to the music video shoot, as the outfit cannot contain Trinity's mighty ass and splits wide at the booty when she "drops it low" to use her own words.
Seeing his fiancée's exposed flesh leads Jon "Cookie Monster" Uso into beast mode, which for him looks a little something like this . . .
Things get worse still when Trinity's hair extensions fall out during a costume change . . . and then the entire filming is shut down when the police arrive and question the validity of their permits. Whether they were talking about the permit for the video itself or the permit for Total Divas is never made entirely clear.
After a commercial break, the permit questions are resolved but Trinity questions whether she has the ability to finish the video. Jon Uso talks to her for literally 2.5 seconds, and all of her self-doubt is eliminated and she kills it for the rest of the shoot.
At a WWE show in Biloxi, various members of the cast are doing a photo shoot for the No H8 campaign, which is pretty damn cool. However, even though there is no hate, there is still cattiness and gossip, as Nikki mentions she's concerned about all of John Cena's time on the phone and internet, and Eva Marie immediately jumps to the worst possible case scenario, relating this to a story from her own personal life in which it turned out that her boyfriend at the time was cheating on her. Nikki Bella, professional real estate agent, falls for this immediately. Hey Nikki, did you know they took the word "gullible" out of the new edition of the dictionary?
At the same show, WWE in its infinite wisdom has booked a match between Nattie Neidhart and Summer Rae. They apparently know nothing about the slap despite the fact that a camera crew filming one of their television shows was present. Nattie tells Summer to stay away from her face, which Summer doesn't understand and Nattie doesn't clarify. They claim that a roundhouse kick, which obviously connected with Nattie's chest if it connected with anything, was a brutal and reckless shot to the nose by Summer. Nattie is crying after the match and gets comforted by Cameron and Nikki.
First of all, I would like to remind anybody who didn't watch the last show that NATTIE STARTED ALL OF THIS and the slap that supposedly busted her nose occurred when she kept insulting Summer Rae at a meeting Summer set up in order to be professional and clear the air between the two of them . . . clear the air, mind you, of issues that Nattie essentially created out of whole cloth. Second of all, Nattie is going on and on and on and on about how her nose hurts and how she's in pain, despite the fact that there is no blood, no visible dislocation of her nose, or, you know, ALL OF THE TYPICALLY VISIBLE SIGNS THAT EXIST 99% OF THE TIME YOU HAVE A NOSE INJURY. You can put some costume blood around her nostril for the brunch scene at the top of the show but not for the scene where her hated rival supposedly intentionally went after her injury? Come on, now.
They try to claim Nattie's nose is crooked but fail to shoot her from any kind of angle that would actually allow us to judge for ourselves whether it's crooked. Yup.
Back in San Diego, Nikki finds John Cena on the floor and teases putting him in a camel clutch. He says he's going to the gym and refuses to allow her to come along. Nikki then delivers a gem of a line: "John never says no to me . . . never." Did you totally forget about the cliffhanger from three episodes ago in which he stated that he was not going to marry you or have children with you? Pretty sure that counts as saying no.
Nikki recruits her sister to go spy on John Cena, with Nikki claiming that her world is "collapsing before her eyes." Melodramatic much? This leads into a bizarre and awkward conversation that felt like it lasted at least five minutes as Brie and Nikki try to figure out a) how to pronounce "bon bon," b) what a "bon bon" is, and, finally, c) how to spell "bon bon." This is a supposedly high powered professional realtor, ladies and gentlemen.
Eventually the twins arrive at the gym Cena claimed that he was going to be working out at, and they do not find his car in the parking lot. They call him, and he still claims that he is at the gym. They don't call him out then and there, though, with Nikki instead pretending she called to ask him if he needed anything from the grocery store. Again, they're forgetting about the characters from last season, because Cena last season had this weird thing about never keeping food in his kitchen or cooking in his home, so of course he wouldn't want anything from the grocery store.
After a commercial break, Nikki is back home in San Diego, waiting to confront John Cena. "Do you think I'm stupid?" she asks. Welllll . . . do I need to refer back to the bon bon conversation?
Nikki tells him she thinks that he's seeing somebody else.
You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor . . .
However, before he actually has an opportunity to explain himself, Nikki walks out because she "has to go to work." You know, just like real people in the real world would do!
Nattie and TJ are driving, and Mr. Wilson is trying to convince her to take time off to get her nose surgically repaired. Nattie is afraid that, if she takes time off, she'll lose her spot. She acknowledges that her husband knows injuries because he was laid up for almost a year. She does not, however, draw the logical conclusion that TJ was out for a year and his "spot" was not affected at all, meaning that she could probably get away with doing the same thing, particularly since she's a bigger star than he's ever been. At the end of the day, she decides that she's going to put off any medical treatment.
Nikki is getting ready to show her house, when JOHN CENA shows up. Shock of shocks! He says, "I went to see another woman" as we head to a commercial break. If you cannot see where this storyline is going, you cannot have ever watched a television show, wrestling or otherwise, at any prior point in your life.
Aaaand, of course, after the break Cena reveals that the phone calls and secrecy have all been related to the fact that he's going to buy the house that Nikki has been showing because he knows how much she loves it. Also, he's going to move from Florida to California to live with her in the new place. This show has essentially become Who's the Boss? with 100% more overt sexuality.
Backstage at the TLC pay per view, Trinity plays her single for Brodus Clay, who is wearing a leopard print shirt that looks like it came out of somebody's 400 pound grandmother's closet. Brodus likes it.
Nattie is getting ready for her women's title match and starts crying, claiming that her "nose and her legacy" are at stake. Unfortunately, Eminem does not have a rap song about noses that you can set an epic music video to in order to help sell this match. They show some highlights from the match and tease that there are a couple of spots that might have affected Nattie's nose, but she never really sells it in the ring, so the effect is lost. Eventually, AJ reverses a sharpshooter attempt into a rollup and retains the championship clean in the middle.
Backstage, everybody applauds Nattie for her sacrifice, and that's pretty much the end of the show. Well, except for a Bella suggesting that TJ Wilson should join the women's division. It would certainly get him more TV time than what he receives now.
Overall: After a couple of weeks of showing some improvement, this episode sent Total Divas nose diving back down to its prior depths of quality. As alluded to above, the segment with Nikki Bella and John Cena was essentially a plot from a 1980's sitcom transplanted into the middle of a modern reality television show, with the added bonus of Nikki Bella becoming a realtor out of left field. (How is she supposed to have the time to hold down that job with a full WWE schedule, by the way?) I can't wait until the other cast members also start getting non-wrestling side jobs as part of their Total Divas gimmicks. Nattie can be a plumber, Summer Rae can be a hockey player, Cameron can be a garbage collector . . . the possibilities are endless!
The Trinity and Nattie storylines were also pretty bizarre. Regarding the Trinity storyline, they spent far too much time establishing the backstory of her shooting the music video that they couldn't follow through with a fully-formed story about it. They did a fairly decent job of building up the adversity that she was facing during the shoot (though it did come a bit too rapid fire to be realistic), but when they got through all of that they had so little time left for the plot that the whole thing was resolved in the blink of an eye, far more quickly than you would want a show-long storyline to be. It seems that they really could/should have spread this one out between two episodes.
As far as Nattie is concerned, it was very hard to care about her in part because it seemed like she was reaping what she sewed for instigating the vast majority of her problems with Summer Rae but moreso because the whole story was so remarkably contrived. There are ways that they could have booked some aftershocks for the slap and turned them into a credible storyline, but this sure as heck wasn't one of them.
I will say, however, that two weeks in between Total Divas episodes made the show easier to digest. I vote that we do this on a regular basis. I'm sure that fellow Crisely has enough wacky adventures that he could run bonus episodes on the Divas off weeks.
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.