This week’s Total Divas opens with Nattie being told by Mark Carrano, the least ominous person at the WWE, that they need to have a talk. This sends Nattie into a tailspin of possibilities: will she be killed off, will she kill someone, will she be arrested? Any three of those options is a WWE creative that I dream of… Nattie has genuine concern that this will kill the TV time she’s been getting, which she qualifies as “a lot”, which I must deduce is a Canadian term for “booked at all”.
We are given our weekly TD time with John Cena, and as always, it is all too brief. He is cute, Nikki is cute, he is still not marrying her, I am still offering to marry her in his stead. The point of this interaction, if there is one beyond “awwww”, is to establish that John Cena will be busy. Because after six seasons of Total Divas we need to establish that John Cena is flaky and overbooked on camera, because when Nikki says that in the next scene we would have no way to know she was telling the truth. I guess that we needed to keep John saying he was busy AND Nikki telling Brie he was busy so we could see Brie tell Nikki it’s her fault she isn’t already pregnant. Also… yet another Bella Napa trip, a blessed omen for reality television in 2017.
Now on to Money in the Bank, which provides us with one of those chunks of Total Divas that is almost about wrestling. Alberto Del Rio is there, clearly having not agreed to be on Total Divas, so we just see Paige ogle him oiled up (and later him accompanying her to get her neck and shoulder checked). We find out that Nattie has to be a bad guy, which is totally shocking, even though we did an episode a season ago about Nattie wanting to be a bad guy and a dominatrix. Nattie attempts to murder Becky Lynch, or at least that is what the show and Renee’s reaction would have us believe.
And she gets cheered.
Because she’s a Hart and she has 37 cats and we know that… because Total Divas…
We now move on to Paige, who in the recap/interview says that she’s so excited to be back and to be working more, but with a tone so dead inside that I have to wonder if someone on the other side of the camera was being held hostage. Total Divas explains to us that there are exact precise moments when a wrestler’s neck goes “nope, I’m officially done” by showing us Charlotte and Dana suplexing her to hell.
For some reason Paige and Eva Marie are hanging out. Something something San Antonio but really I would’ve respected the show more for just pretending they were friends instead of trying to justify it with coordinate points. I guess all the other ladies were busy touring and wrestling and you know, Eva Marie was doing… whatever it is Eva Marie does…
And so now we have the super awesome friendship AllRedNeck. You’re welcome, everyone (maybe they can team up with AJ Styles later?).
They bond by staring at snakes, which Eva hates snakes… a clear indicator to me that the executive produces and/or the E! Network are so desperate to avoid depth on this show that they will take any means of filler available to them at all. I can imagine someone violently googling “ways to waste time in San Antonio”. Paige carries a snake for a while, revealing that she’s lowkey a Britney Spears fan, and then they eat dinner. The most notable thing about this is that Eva Marie has that posture that many women are familiar with, you know, the These-Shorts-Looked-Good-But-I-Shouldn’t-Sit-Eat-Or-Breath-In-Them, and she just has to deal with it for a long time. The best acting I’ve ever seen in reality television. Perhaps more important than that is Paige revealing that Del Rio’s kids have sent her a video or a facetime or whatever it is kids do these days.
Things Total Divas is talking about: Del Rio’s children
Things Total Divas STILL isn’t talking about: Del Rio’s WIFE
Finally Paige’s oh so subtle constant neck clutching ends and she just admits that her neck hurts and Eva Marie very preciously buys Paige some sort of squishy poor man’s neck brace at a local CVS.
The Brie and Nikki storyline comes back into play with our favorite pro wrestling twins hanging out in Napa. I won’t do too much recapping on this… you’ve seen the Bellas argue. A highlight of the episode for me was watching them try to spell handkerchief and watching Brie somehow make Global Warming Nikki’s fault. At one point Brie may have been eating brie. So meta. Solid Bella shenanigans in the proven formula sisters arguing plotline of almost every episode.
We’re back at TV, where the episode continues to undermine any ability to believe Nattie as a heel as she brings horrible black wigs to prove she’s a bad girl. Rusev, my favorite total diva, is enthusiastic about this in the background. Dolph Ziggler is desperate enough in front of the cameras that they give him a little screen time in the wig, looking as trashy on the outside as he probably is on the inside. Nattie decides she should be paired with Eva Marie so that this show has more reasons to talk about Eva Marie and Carrano tells her no because this is something they just now made up for Total Divas.
Cut to Paige, our emo daughter. Carrano asks Paige how she’s doing, mostly about her neck but I know he’s a good stepdad so he’s def also asking about her life. Paige responds that she is fine and looks very tiny and is having very strange muscle and facial responses to things. It’s an interesting layer to the show… one that I don’t know if we’re all going to like being complicit in… See for yourself, but I do wonder if her behavior and appearance here is related to that statement that the WWE gave us about her wellness violation after Paige’s petulant tweets backed them into a corner. Instead of dealing with the strange behavior and very real danger here (her description of her neck pain to Eva and in interviews was very like Daniel Bryan’s symptoms) the cameras follow Paige so she can scream at Eva and Nattie, pulling the original Paige storyline from this season back into full view:
This Is Everyone Else’s Fault and No One Is My Friend
The Bellas wrap up their arguing, after Brie calls Bryan to gloat, and even Bryan “The Worst” Danielson tells her she’s being mean and unfair. We trip over relevance with Nikki talking about how all of her success is hers, and because of her, not in any way because of John Cena.
And then I dramatically slid down a shower wall crying because she regrew a neck and that’s all her current story in the WWE is… John Cena’s Girlfriend.
Quote of the episode: “It’s a geese.” -Brie Bella
Needed more: Renee solo storyline, realness about Paige’s dangerous life right now
Stepdad Carrano: Great Daddin’
Next Week: a wedding & even more Paige meltdown
image credit – WWE.com
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