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 411mania » Wrestling » TV Reports

411's Total Divas Report 05.25.14
Posted by Ryan Byers on 05.26.2014

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.

Things pick up where they left off last week, with Nikki Bella telling her family about the fact that she was married to her high school sweetheart ten years ago. There's no real progression of that storyline, just a brief reminder that it exists.

After the micro-theme song, we are at BrieBry's apartment, where Danielson is eating hummus and Brie is trying to prevent the dog from barking. They have a lot of wedding planning to do this week, and Bryan is quickly frustrated with all of the things that need to be done. Then, Brie drops the bombshell . . . she wants the Danielson beard to be trimmed for the wedding. Why don't you just neuter him while you're at it? Brie has bought her beaux some sort of beard pomade, which he is leery about using due to all of the artificial ingredients. This is the expected reaction from a hummus connoisseur. Bryan lets the couple's dog lick the insides of his nostrils, and Brie is disgusted. The beard thing is not brought up again for the rest of the episode.

There's a cut to Nikki Bella, who uses a cell phone conversation with Nattie to give some exposition about what Wrestlemania is and the fact that it's coming up shortly. She also asks Nattie if she's said anything to anybody about her prior marriage, and Nattie reports that she has not. Okay then.

Arriving at Raw is Trinity, and this is her first show back after her eye injury. Good thing Total Divas got all of the mileage that they could out of that storyline . . . a whopping one-fifth of one episode.

Also backstage, Nikki Bella and John Cena meet up, and she interrupts his meeting with WWE's merchandising department. He drops the bombshell that the next wave of Cena merchandise will include a t-shirt and, believe it or not, a baseball cap. Nikki was going to drop the bombshell about her prior marriage, but ultimately she thinks better of doing it at work and walks away. If it's being filmed for a reality show by the company you work for, aren't you doing it at work regardless of whether you do it backstage or at your home?

The Bella Twins and their mother, who I suspect bathes in the blood of virgins to maintain her youthful appearance, go to the final fitting of Brie's wedding dress. There is tension because Nikki did not tell John Cena about the prior marriage, which she had promised to do prior to Brie's wedding to eliminate any "drama." John Cena on this show has shown all of the emotional range of a sea cucumber, so I can't imagine any situation he's involved in being described as dramatic.

Brian "Sideshow Bob's Forgotten Brother" Terwilliger from the WWE office calls during the fitting and tries to schedule the twins for a shoot to appear in the opening video package of Wrestlemania. Brie says that she's not going to go because it conflicts with some wedding plans, and this leads to an argument between the twins about whether the wedding or Wrestlemania should be their priority. In perhaps the greatest "Well, that escalated quickly" moment in the history of the show, Brie is calling her sister a "selfish bitch" not fifteen seconds after the conclusion of the Terwilliger phone call.

In Orlando, Trinity is working with Stephanie McMahon on Steph's new workout DVD. Yes, believe it or not, this is a real thing that I really have heard of before. Stephanie and Trinity share a tender moment in which Trin tells her boss that she's back and she's ready to go, while Steph says she's glad to have her back. They hug. Aww.

The Bella Twins are in New Orleans for the Wrestlemania shoot, so apparently Nikki's side of the argument won, and Brie has sent out Mama Bella to do the wedding planning. They see a clown walking down the side of the street, which leads to an extremely surreal conversation in which they use a discussion of the life they imagine the clown having as an allegory for their own wedding vs. career argument.

While the twins are having their makeup done for the shoot, their mother calls in with a big complaint about the venue that has been selected for the wedding. It's exactly the complaint that you would expect: "There's emu shit everywhere." Oh, and there are no bathrooms, but she definitely lead with the emu shit. This causes Brie to become even more frustrated.

They move on to the actual shoot, and Nikki asks the producer, "Do you want us to do this?" while performing the little dancey spin thing from their entrance. OF COURSE he wants you to do that. It's one of the five things in your life that you can do competently, and I don't think they could air the other four unless you wanted to bump Wrestlemania's rating to TV-MA.

Flashing forward, Nikki and Nattie are at the gym, and they have a conversation about whether Summer Rae will be invited to the wedding. Brie has been on the fence, while Nikki is adamantly against it. Nattie tries to compare the situation with her own wedding, saying that she was less than happy because she was trying to please everybody, specifically naming our old friend "Single J" Jaret. Wow, remember how he was the biggest heel in WWE coming out of last season but then dropped off the face of the earth and hasn't been heard from since? I guess that's how reality television works.

In some really spastic editing, now we're backstage again at a talent relations meeting with all of the women. Creepy Underboss Mark drops the bombshell that Summer has landed a coveted role as the first female WWE performer to be featured in a WWE Films release, namely, The Marine IV. Well, at least we can say she'll make a more credible Marine than the Miz. Nattie immediately jumps into jealous harpy mode, bellowing in a confessional about Summer not deserving the spot. You do realize that somebody can be deserving of something for reasons other than tenure, right?

Up next, we get the big reveal of who will be participating in the Women's Title match at Wrestlemania, and it's . . . everybody. Yes, everybody. Trinity is really quite happy with this, even though she was gearing up for a singles title shot before her injury, came back from her injury early with no real ill effects, and had an apparently sincere moment in which her boss Stephanie told her how great it was to have her back at 100%. If a rational person were in Trinity's position, wouldn't they feel a bit cheated and perhaps even lied to? It's as though all of these characters are programmed to have the opposite of a natural reaction to developments in their careers, as Nattie flips out over Summer's movie role for no logical reason while Trinity has every reason to be pissed but keeps bee-bopping along in her footie PJs, happy as a clam.

Now BrieBry is off to check out the wedding venue themselves. Bryan is clearly a defeated man, now openly acknowledging that Brie can do whatever the hell she wants for this wedding, regardless of his opinions. He also extends this philosophy towards the issue of Summer Rae's invitation. Danielson blames Brie's frustration about the wedding on "the unreasonable expectations Disney has put into [her] head." Brie follows up with, "Damn you, Walt Disney." This came off like Vince McMahon scripting a scene to take a shot at somebody who is historically considered to be a better showman and promoter than he is. I'm probably reading too much into things, but if a cast member knocks PT Barnum is next week's episode, I might be on to something.

At the venue, Bryan is gobsmacked when Brie books them for a $700.00 per night cottage. If I'm spending that much money on a cottage, I'm expecting some "favors" from at least three of the seven dwarves who live there, if you get my drift.

At John Cena's Floridian fortress of solitude, Nikki has decided to meet with him about the marriage issue. However, before that can happen, Nikki freaks out because she sees a small frog. Cena says that she should let the frog be, because its kind is "the indigenous population" in Florida. If people had this sort of progressive attitude in WWE a decade ago, Tatanka never would have turned heel. Anyway, we get a commercial before the marriage issue is addressed.

For the second time this episode, Nikki chickens out and instead claims that the big issue she's dealing with his Brie putting her wedding ahead of her career. Because he is the most helpful and understanding man on the planet, John Cena offers to talk to Brie about the issue if Nikki wants her to. Again, I don't think Cena's character has ever once raised his voice on this show (and he may not ever have blinked), so I have no idea why anybody would expect him to get upset about anything, ever.

BrieBry is back to their location scouting. Upon learning that Brie is planning to have both a band and a three-piece ensemble at the ceremony, Bryan asks, "Do we need both?" Brie's response is "He's so cute," said in a tone which makes it sound like she thinks her husband-to-be is a complete drooling moron. It sounded like a reasonable question to me. Location number two is the aforementioned emu farm, which Brie says is "perfect" in part because of the emus. I must have missed that Disney movie. Bryan voices some concerns about the mounting costs of the wedding.

As the couple drives away from the ranch, the money talk continues. Brie tries to explain that this is a once in a lifetime event, but Bryan questions whether these types of expenses truly will be once in a lifetime . . . possibly because he heard that line before when it came to the Rock versus John Cena. The couple ultimately agrees that neither one of them needs a big, fancy wedding to impress people and would be perfectly happy getting married right this minute on the side of the road in their blue jeans. Bryan challenges Brie to put her money where her mouth is and do just that as we go into the next commercial break.

Brie won't do it because it would make her family sad, but she does get Bryan's point and decides to back off some of the more unreasonable demands. Mayflies have a longer lifespan than the conflicts on this show.

Now we're in New Orleans for some Wrestlemania week activities. Eva Marie reflects on her year in the company, which began immediately prior to last year's Mania. They show some clips from last season of Eva arriving in WWE, which are hilarious because of the great lengths that they've gone to in editing out poor JoJo Offerman.

The Bellas walk around the French Quarter, which Nikki compares to Mexico. I don't understand how anybody in professional wrestling could confuse Mexican culture and French culture.

Oh, right.

Mama Bella and the Bella Brother Dot join the twins, and the brother is wearing a beanie and some sunglasses, clearly indicating that he's going to be a heel in the episode. They look at the muddy, muddy Mississippi River and everybody makes up with one another for the awkwardness that surrounded their last meeting. The plot thickens, however, when the family asks how John Cena took the news and Nikki lies, saying he took it just fine.

Brie breaks the tension in the scene by saying everybody should go get a "Ben-Gay." Ben-Gay . . . I hear that's on the short list of substances that Nattie Neidhart will accidentally put in her ass during season three of the show.

Backstage at an unidentified show, Brie Bella is looking for Summer Rae and asks some unseen person, "Where is she?" The response that she gets is, "Female talent," and, lo and behold, Brie finds a sign that says "Female Talent," which Summer is sitting behind. That would have been the first place that I looked for her. It also would have been the last place that I looked for Aksana.

Brie explains that she liked Summer a bit at first but slowly grew to a point where she couldn't trust her. Summer takes things remarkably well upfront and acknowledges that it's Brie's choice. She says that if she has said anything negative about the other girls, it's probably because she's insecure and is just trying to catch up with the rest of the roster, who are more experienced than she is but at the same age. In a confessional, Summer says that she needs to be more humble and endear herself to the rest of the women's roster. Yet again, the other girls talk about Summer as though she's some sort of child molesting bunny torturer, but when she's shown on screen she is the most likeable human being in the company.

Nattie and Eva Marie are heading to a Fan Access signing, and Eva is nervous about attending her first "real" Wrestlemania. Nattie makes things worse by talking about how many people watch WM and the fact that any mistakes made on the show are etched into history forever. Just ask Ultimo Dragon, who has spent the last decade wishing he'd worn boots with a little bit more tread. Eva continues to fret as the show closes. Well, that was a flat ending.

Overall: This show was a mess. I've complained about there being too many storylines in one episode before, but this set a new record. Let's take a moment and count them, shall we? This week we had:

1. Nikki continues to worry about how John will react to her prior marriage;
2. Brie and Bryan clash over wedding expenses, then make up;
3. Brie and Nikki clash over wedding vs. career issues and kinda make up;
4. Eva Marie is reminisces about her entry into the company, gets nervous for the future;
5. The women's title match at Wrestlemania is revealed;
6. Trinity is glad to be back from her injury; and
7. Brie frets about whether to invite Summer Rae to her wedding.

That's seven separate plots, any of which could be made into an hour long television program itself, getting shoved into a 42 minute package, translating to six minutes of air time for each plot. This show is an insult to anybody who even pretends to have an attention span.

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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