Editors Note: Yes, we sold out and are reviewing Total Divas now. Our reviewer, Maia Nolan-Partnow (she participated in our Extreme Rules review as well) graciously offered to review the show and how could we possibly turn that down?! Maia comes to Voices of Wrestling with tons of experience, she is currently assistant managing editor of Alaska Dispatch/Anchorage Daily News. You can follow her on Twitter at @myster.
The meta-kayfabe mascarafest that is “Total Divas” is stretching out its season-two closer over two weeks, with the action centering around Wrestlemania XXX and the wedding the following week of Daniel Bryan (or, as he’s known on “Divas,” Bryan Danielson) and Brie Bella. It’s the kind of drama that makes for great reality television even when producers don’t have the opportunity to sprinkle scenes of full-contact hand-to-hand combat among the heartfelt conversations, staged situations and on-camera confessionals. So when you cut in wrestling footage, the E! factor on “Divas” basically goes to eleven.
Poor Brie is busy trying to plan her wedding (for which she apparently has not selected a venue despite the fact that it’s apparently only a few weeks away) while balancing the many demands of her career; her crunchy, famously ill-groomed fiance, who complains about the chemicals in the products she uses to try to tame his beard (“Don’t you wanna get married to all of this?” he asks. “Well, then, let all of this walk down the aisle.”); her sister, who can’t hop off the drama train long enough to get her ticket punched; and her own internal conflict over whether to disinvite Summer Rae to her wedding.
If you don’t watch “Divas,” here’s something you probably figured out anyway: Nobody likes Summer Rae.
There’s also pressure from Daniel/Bryan to not spend $700 on a hotel room or $120,000 on a wedding or ship in antique church pews to set up at the honest-to-god emu ranch where she wants to hold the ceremony.
The nice thing about being a Diva, of course, is that when the wedding planning pressure gets to be too much, you can just go to work and punch people because it’s your job. This is a lot better than being a regular woman planning a wedding who has to refrain from punching people because it’s illegal.
Nikki Bella, meanwhile, has revealed in a moment of drunken honesty that she got married on a lark to her high school boyfriend when she was 20 and they didn’t bother to get divorced until three years later. Now she’s terrified one of the other Divas will spread the news around the office before she can come clean to her boyfriend, John Cena.
And she has to deal with Brie, who wants to do things like pass on the opportunity to be featured prominently in the Wrestlemania opening when she’s supposed to be going to Sedona to look at wedding venues. For her wedding that’s in, like, 15 minutes. The Bella Twins get into a fight at Brie’s dress fitting when Nikki pushes Brie to go to New Orleans to film the Wrestlemania opening and Brie tells Nikki she doesn’t understand how important a wedding is and then calls her sister a selfish bitch.
“Brie Mode turned into Bridezilla Mode real quick,” Nikki says.
Brie punishes Nikki for making her go to New Orleans by being grumpy in the car, which leads to this epically passive-aggressive exchange:
Nikki: “I never said it was about me. It’s about us. It’s about the Bella Twins. It’s the career we chose. It’s the life we’ve always wanted to live. I don’t feel bad.” (Pointing out the car window) “Oh my god, a clown.”
Brie: “That’s the life he chose. That’s what he has to do. That’s his thing.”
Nikki: “Yeah, and he probably understands it, that the clown has to wake up tomorrow, put the red nose back on, and just has to do those things.”
Brie: “Well, it looks like he’s leaving. ’Cause I’m sure he has something very important going on. I guarantee you it’s his kid’s birthday and –”
Nikki: “I don’t think the clown has to plan a wedding or has a kid.”
Brie: “I guarantee you the clown would tell me, ‘You should be in Sedona planning your wedding.’”
Nikki: “And then the clown will say, ‘Have fun getting a job nowadays,’ is exactly what the clown will say.”
MOVE OVER, SARTRE. Meet the Bella Twins: existential philosophers for today’s working woman.
The Bella action is broken up with some updates Naomi from the Funkadactyls (who goes by Trinity on “Divas”; try to keep up), who has just come back from getting her face broken and who has been talking for weeks about how she’s ready for her shot at the Divas championship. She goes so far as to suck up to Stephanie McMahon at a rehearsal for Steph’s workout video (Note to self: Must. Buy., although if it comes with style tips, just tune that part out. Seriously, did she ever meet an ill-fitting blazer she didn’t immediately need to own?), which is extra sad since we all know how the Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational Free-For-All Girl Fight turns out.
Other fun things we learn in this episode:
- Natalya (we call her “Nattie” over here on E!) squats 250 pounds, recently lightened her hair, and regrets trying to make everyone else happy at her wedding.
- Summer Rae only wants to come to Brie’s wedding to dress in a slutty dress and get everyone’s attention, according to Nikki.
- Cat Fancy is doing a spread on Nattie’s cat.
- Nikki Bella is afraid of frogs.
- Eva Marie has major Wrestlemania jitters (probably because she’s afraid people will start to cotton to the fact that she’s a profoundly mediocre wrestler), and Nattie reassures her that it’s no big deal; just millions and millions of people watching as any mistakes are recorded for all time.
- No one is happy for Summer Rae when they learn she’s been cast in “The Marine 4.”
- John Cena might own a lawn jockey? There’s a very suspicious-looking piece of statuary behind his shoulder during one of several scenes in which Nikki manages to not tell him the truth about her childhood wedding.
- And oh yeah: Nikki lied and told her whole family she came clean to Cena. Hm. Wonder if that will have any repurcussions?
Next week, “Divas” deals with Wrestlemania XXX and the wedding of the century. Will the Braniels work out their wedding disagreements? Will Nikki tell John the truth before someone else gets to him? Will Summer find a slutty enough dress and show up despite being disinvited? Just what does Nattie’s cat fancy?
Counting the days.