The season two finale of “Total Divas” aired Sunday night, giving the WWE Universe a unique behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings and petty dramas of the biggest, most important monumental event of the year.
Oh, and WrestleMania, too.
While WWE’s centerpiece production is the setting — and plot — of the first half of the “Divas” season closer, the climax of the whole thing — of the whole season, really — is the wedding of Brianna “Brie Mode” Bella to Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson.
But first: The big dance! The night of nights! The moment when careers are made or broken! WrestleMania XXX! When, as luck would have it, all of our “Total Divas” stars are on the card, called up to compete in the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Catfight Spitefest Invitational For Kids Who Can’t Read Good (or whatever it was called).
Going into Wrestlemania, all our Divas are facing personal challenges:
- Eva Marie is terrified of her first Wrestlemania, which is understandable to anyone who’s ever seen her do what she calls “wrestling.” (In one uncomfortable scene, she’s jeered at a signing, after which a fan says — to her face — “I’m pretty shocked that they even let you wrestle.” Hashtag awkward.)
- Natalya is dealing with Eva Marie’s constant need for reassurance, which Nattie is addressing by saying things like, “I’m freaking out and I’m not even in your boat” and “You should be nervous.”
- Summer Rae is still stinging from being either disinvited or uninvited (the edit of the previous episode leaves this kind of unclear) to the Braniel wedding, feelings she discusses in a walk-and-talk with Emma, who has not previously made a significant appearance on “Divas.” Emma makes her brief appearance worth every second by taking the opportunity to poke the dancing fingers of truth through the smoke-filled bubble of Summer’s ego, telling her, bluntly: “Maybe you should stop being a bitch.”
- Ariane (Cameron of the Funkadactyls) is maybe a little bit insane? She’s comfortable with sneak-attacking her very patient boyfriend Vinnie in a hotel room and screeching bizarre “pilgrim” sounds at him for funsies (no, really, she shouted crazy noises and then asked if she sounded like a pilgrim), but she can’t say “I love you.” Because issues.
- All the Divas are facing the possibility that their match won’t make the PPV after all when it’s moved to the semi-main slot (a last-minute decision that one could reasonably suppose was tied to the reportedly also-last-minute decision about the Undertaker-Lesnar match).
- And Nikki Bella is still a little nervous about the fact that she hasn’t managed to find a moment to confess to boyfriend John Cena that little thing about her having been married before. This stress is compounded by the fact that she told her family that she’d kept her promise to Brie to tell John before the wedding and oh, yeah, he took it totally fine.
What Nikki doesn’t know is that earlier, in a moment that seemed TOTALLY ORGANIC AND NOT AT ALL PRODUCERED, her brother pulled John aside on the pre-WrestleMania red carpet and casually mentioned that it was great how he didn’t care that Nikki had been married before. Cena plays it off with exactly the world-class poker face you’d expect from a man who is essentially a professional G.I. Joe doll (action figure, whatever), although it does leave things a little weird between him and Nikki; they share the world’s most uncomfortably passive-aggressive dinner in a later scene.
It’s worth nothing that the exchange between the Bella Brother and the Doctor of Thuganomics is only the second most awkward thing that happens on the red carpet. The most awkward moment is saved for red carpet hostess Nattie, who conducts a bizarrely formal interview with Tyson Kidd. Who is her husband.
More fascinating than the personal drama is the glimpse behind the scenes at WrestleMania on the night the streak was broken. When people backstage realize what’s happened in the Undertaker’s bout with Brock Lesnar, the same Divas who have been freaking out all night about whether they’ll make it on TV have to gear up for the ring while processing their own shock.
“I don’t think there is a spot harder to follow in the history of WWE,” Nattie says, characteristically subdued and restrained.
The edit on the Vickie Guerrero Lady Wrestler Free-For-All Brawl And Social Hour Invitational is mercifully brief, although it leaves in most of the Bellas’ action, which was the highlight of the match anyway. We also get a lot of great footage of the Divas who have menfolk on the roster watching backstage as their significant others get smashed up in the ring, as well as a number of gratuitous shots of the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy being driven around backstage.
Wrestlemania wrapped, we can move on to the real big show: The Braniel nuptials, which, as it turns out, are being held at a resort instead of the emu farm that was the other finalist for a venue.
There is family drama when the Bella Brother mentions his conversation with John, which makes Nikki have to reveal that she might have maybe not been entirely honest about that whole thing, either:
Brother: “You said you told him.”
Nikki: “Yeah, but I lied.”
“Nikki is the worst maid of honor in the history of maid of honors,” Brie tells the camera.
Also, Ariane has food poisoning. Which is for some reason important to the plot. Probably because it leads to her ultimately being able to tell Vinnie she loves him.
The wedding, in brief:
- Bryan Daniel Bryan Danielson and John Cena cry.
- Summer Rae does not show up uninvited, a possibility that was weighed heavily in the episode prior.
- John Cena is exactly as adorable with grandmothers as you would expect.
- Brie definitely ordered the cake topper from Etsy. I recognize it.
- The officiant asks Bryan (Daniel) to make sure he’s marrying the right Bella twin.
- Cesaro brings a date.
And, shocker, Nikki and John make up.
“What you did before you met me is what you did before you met me,” John says, because he is actually a real-life character from a rom-com.
Although he does ask that he be “on the totem pole” when it comes to prioritizing who she’s going to tell about important things like having been married for three years in her early 20s.
And then he makes a ridiculous totem pole face, which is also awesome although possibly a little bit culturally insensitive. But if anyone can get away with that, it’s probably John Cena. (Insert your own “Total Diva” joke here.)
“Total Divas” is back Sept. 7 with Rosa Mendes joining the cast. Will I be watching?
Yes. Yes. Yes.