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411's Total Divas Report 04.27.2014
Posted by Ryan Byers on 04.27.2014





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.

Ariane, Trinity, and Alicia Fox are all having their gear worked on by Seamstress Sondra, and they claim that Sandra's super-power is making women feel bad about the size and shape of their boobs. Look for Sandra in X-Men: Days of Future Past this coming May. This leads to discussion of twerking, at which point Cameron does a little dance and Sandra throws dollar bills at her. I have several female friends, and I have never seen a single one of them act like this. Pretty sure that this is the kind of scene that exists for the sole purpose of upping the straight male viewership.

Elsewhere backstage, Nattie announces to the girls that she's landed a photoshoot in Flex magazine, to which Summer Rae says, "Wait a minute, isn't that a men's bodybuilding magazine?" See, if you had featured Summer making that kind of comment BEFORE you did the big Nattie/Summer faceoff episode, she might possibly have come off as the heel as opposed to what we really saw, which was Natalya tormenting her new coworker for no apparent reason.

The next day, everybody is at brunch, because there is not a day on the calendar where these women do not have brunch together. Nattie talks about the fact that she and TJ will be going to New York for an autograph signing, which they're also going to use as a romantic getaway. However, she doesn't have anybody to look after her cats and alludes to maybe having to cancel the trip because of it. So, wait a minute, you're going to tell your employer that you cannot make the signing that they told you that you had to attend because of your cats? Sure. The obligatory joke about "Nattie's pussy" is made. Well, if they didn't do it, I would've.

The Bella Twins go to the grocery store, and Brie claims that Nikki is underdressed. She says this, without a hint of irony in her voice, while she is walking around IN HER UNDERPANTS WITH A SMALL JACKET OVER THEM. The twins get into a fight over whether Nikki is allowed to eat factory-raised chicken, because Brie wants to go with something free range. Okay.

In Tampa, TJ Wilson and Natalya are packing, or, more accurately, Nattie is packing while TJ dicks around on the couch. Nattie gets offended when she learns that Wilson has invited his sister to meet up with them in New York and hang out, and we get a flashback to last season when said sister suggested that TJ and Nattie should get pre-marital counseling. Of course, last week we saw them having to attend a form of counseling . . . so who wound up being right in the end on that one? Nattie simultaneously calls TJ an asshole and says goodbye to her cat. Impressive multitasking.

Nattie and TJ arrive at their hotel in New York, and Mr. Wilson has another bombshell, as apparently sister Valerie will have a room adjoining theirs. "Ta-da," he says, which is about the worst possible way that you could have pointed out the door.

Ariane is flying into Tampa to meet up with VINNIE~!, her awesome boyfriend who we have not seen nearly enough of this season. Vinnie is still rocking the coal black Hollywood Hogan beard we saw him in during his brief appearances a few episodes ago. Ariane says that it'll be nice to see some old friends from back when she was living in Florida for developmental. You mean like the cop who busted you for DUI, who you then attempted to bribe? (Allegedly, of course.) The couple drives around for a while, and Ariane makes what I swear is "the most annoying noise in the world" from Dumb and Dumber.



The Funkadactyl continues yelling and yelling and yelling for no apparent reason and dear god I do not condone domestic violence but I would not blame Vinnie if he reached over and choked her right now. This guy must be in love with the prospect of being on television, because there is literally no other explanation for why this relationship is continuing. No, I don't care how physically attractive or good in bed she may be.

Back in New York, TJ just keeps digging his grave deeper when he tells Nattie that he has bought his sister a spa treatment. I know that relationships are supposed to be built on trust, but, Jesus Christ man, it wouldn't kill you to have lied just this once. As if on cue (probably because it was on cue), sister Valerie shows up in her robe from the spa and says that TJ is also springing for a makeover for her later.

We shoot back to Tampa, where Vinnie is terrified by a) Nattie's black cat and b) the dark, in that order. Don't show this guy an eclipse, or he'll think that the moon is eating the sun. Ariane wastes no time in digging through all of Nattie's stuff. The so-called word "chingle" is said. Ariane eventually winds up dressing in some of Nattie's clothing and makes fun of her nasal injury before stripping for Vinnie, who is far more interested in TJ's massage chair. I don't blame him there . . . the chair doesn't squeal at insanely high frequencies for no reason. It's very impressive, even if you think that the massage is generated by dozens of tiny elves who live under the upholstery, which Vinnie probably does.

The Bella Twins are shooting a music video with some hip hop performer whose name I didn't catch and who I do not recognize, and I'm not going to be bothered to go back and look him up. I'll wait for him to provide the theme song to an upcoming WWE pay per view special event. Nikki is eating some chicken again, and Brie gets on her, ultimately showing YouTube videos of farm animals being treated poorly, which are also shown to those of us at home. The videos are relatively tame as far as animal abuse videos go, but I'm still pretty shocked to see them being aired on a mainstream national television program. Nikki is understandably disturbed. So am I, really.

After a commercial, Nattie is now being interviewed for OK magazine's website. The interviewer puts over her body, and, of course, it is an impressive body. What they should REALLY highlight, though, is that she looks as good as she does despite the fact that she came from this . . .



Backstage at another WWE event, Nikki Bella is refusing to eat in catering, again because Brie has been hounding her. They also impart their wisdom to Heath Slater, who is depressed by it. I guess that explains why he vanished for three months last year. Jessica, WWE's catering lady, explains that their chicken backstage is free range.

TJ, Nattie, and Valerie go out to lunch at a restaurant called Serafina, where Valerie thanks TJ for "the money." TJ says that he's glad to have done it and that he thinks that it is a very good investment. Nattie, hearing about this great investment opportunity, asks what it is. TJ, realizing that he is fucked, mutters two words under his breath, and they were perhaps the last two words I would've expected him to say: "Bouncy castle." Okay, THAT was an awesome moment.

This leads to arguing about Wilson spending the couple's money without running it by Nattie first, and she storms out in a huff.

The Bella chicken saga continues, as Brie is making Nikki drive to a mystery location. They recount the story of when Nikki was kicked by a horse. Was she kicked in the head? That would explain why she didn't know what a "bon bon" was last week. Ultimately, the big surprise is that the Bellas are going to a free range chicken farm. You know, like sisters do. After the birds' living conditions are described and shown to her for a little while, Nikki puts over how much she would prefer to eat chickens from this farm as opposed to a big corporate farm. Wow. Given what you normally hear about the political leanings of the people who run WWE, I'm amazed that this particular storyline made air, because it is very anti-corporate and anti-big farm, to the point that I could see a Fox News or similar conservative media outlet getting ahold of it and raking Total Divas over the coals, similar to what they did a few years ago based on the supposed "liberal bias" of the Muppet reboot movie.

And, for anybody who thinks I was making that last sentence up . . .



I really hope that this builds up to some sort of epic showdown between Vince McMahon and Monsanto, because that could lead to some highly entertaining train wreck television.

The Bella Twins start chasing chickens around in an effort to catch them, reminding me of Shane McMahon training his father Vince for the Royal Rumble all those years ago.



Back in Tampa, Vinnie is mopping by tying one of Nattie's cats to a rope and dragging him across the floor. So much for that animal rights message.

In any event, as you would expect, Vinnie and Ariane wind up having a big party at Casa de Neidhart. We don't get too far into it, though, before we head to New York . . .

Nattie arrives at a Barnes & Noble to sign copies of her Flex magazine. Four hundred pound male fans laugh way too hard at her lame jokes in desperate attempts to win her favor and get her into bed. With all of the points that TJ has been scoring this week, their odds are greatly increased over what they might otherwise have been.

The party is still going in Tampa, when newlyweds Trinity and Jon Uso show up. An unknown man walks in off the street with Ariane not batting an eyelash, and Trinity does what she's best at, i.e. engaging in some real talk and telling Ariane that this probably isn't kosher. Drinks get spilled, and Ariane notices that the door is open, which is a big issue because apparently one of the cats is a bit of an escape artist. Ariane looks under one table and in one closet before freaking out and assuming the cat has run away. You're in a multi-level, multi-million dollar home, so of course those are the only two places he possibly could've been indoors.

They make the "Nattie's pussy" joke again. There's such a thing about going to the well one too many times, guys. If you're going to do it, at least balance things out by making a "Bellas' cocks" joke during the chicken storyline.

Vinnie is drunk and making cat noises outside, when Nattie's elderly neighbor Michelle wonders up and asks about what is going on, in a manner reminiscent of every stereotypical sitcom nosy next door neighbor ever. She also notes that somebody's car has knocked over the mailbox. Mrs. Kravitz isn't content to just talk to Ariane and Vinnie, though; she also calls Nattie and snitches about the situation, causing Nattie to call Ariane. Ariane attempts to lie about the situation for all of thirty seconds before coming clean, causing Nattie to lose it and report that she's going to be on the next flight to Tampa. She calls TJ, who essentially blames Nattie for the whole situation because he didn't want Ariane in his home in the first place. Okay, the bouncy castle thing was dumb, but that was some pretty clear, rational thinking on TJ's part.

The cat hunt is still on in Tampa, and the cat is found . . . under one of the cars in Nattie's driveway. Much. Ado. About. Nothing. They put the kitty on one of the beds, and Trinity says something about needing to check the cat's vitals, which from her actions apparently involves rubbing its crotch.

Ariane calls in a report to Nattie, but that's not good enough for TJ, who is still on Nattie about her choice of house sitters. Just because there hasn't been enough tension between the two of them, he also starts in again on the money situation, making it clear that he does not appreciate not being allowed to give his sister cash, particularly after they blow plenty of it on Nattie's wardrobe and her parents' car. Given that we are now seeing the inside of her home on a semi-regular basis, I can confirm that he's got a point about the clothes. This woman has so many shoes that you'd think she was a millipede.

In a confessional, Nattie says she's hurt that TJ did not include her "in such a big decision" now that they're married. Granted, what they're really fighting about is the money, but on a certain level it still seems ludicrous that they are fighting this much about a BOUCY CASTLE of all things. TJ says that he was also not appreciative of not being included in the decision to buy a car for Nattie's parents. Despite the fact that he has mentioned this car at least three times throughout the course of this episode, for some reason this time it FINALLY resonates with her and she gets his point. Maybe it was the dramatic music sting that played in the background this time that finally swayed her. In any event, they decide that they're a team and are going to consult with one another more in the future.

Trinity, Jon, and Ariane have a sitdown at Nattie's house, where Ariane in a very roundabout way admits that she potentially, possibly, kinda, sorta might have done something improperly. Between this and her difficulty apologizing to Sandra last season, I'm beginning to think that Ariane has a more difficult time saying that she's wrong than the Fonz did.



Seconds after she comes to the conclusion that she may have been wrong, Ariane immediately runs back into the party and starts doing shots with Vinnie. I have to admit it, if they're actually trying to turn this show into a situation comedy, that wasn't too bad of a capper to the episode.

Overall: Lately, Total Divas has seemed like a show with an identity crisis. I can't figure out exactly what it wants to be. In its initial run, it was a Kardashians style reality show that also included some behind-the-scenes peaks into WWE's locker room in an attempt to attract actual wrestling fans. Then, with storylines including women's health issues, weddings/proposals, and the Summer/Nattie feud, it almost came off like a soap opera, obviously staged but based around high drama. In yet other episodes, the storylines are almost literally recycled from stock sitcom plots that we've all watched for decades. Sometimes, all of these genres have been mashed together into the same episode and, when they do that, the episodes come off as emotionally unbalanced, almost schizophrenic.

For better or for worse, this episode focused almost exclusively on the sitcom aspect of Total Divas, though with a bit of a Blossom very special episode twist when it came to the Bella Twins advocating for animal rights. All told, keeping the tone the same throughout all storylines in the episode produced a less-hateable hour of television. It made the storylines all together easier to follow and, though I was not actively entertained by anything more than a few seconds here and a few seconds there on the show, I certainly did not hate it with a passion. Baby steps, I guess.

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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