This week on “Total Divas,” the action revolves around the top three things you’re never supposed to discuss in polite company: Money, religion, and that time you broke a co-worker’s nose in a confrontation outside her front door.
When we left off last week, Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Daniel Bryan Danielson-Bella were coming to terms with the dual real-world/in-ring state of affairs in re: Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson’s neck injury, which (as you may have heard) was pretty bad. We watch the Divas celebrate backstage as Brie lays the Slap Heard Round the WWE Universe on Stephanie McMahon.
“You got to slap Steph,” Nikki says backstage. “I loved it.”
Brie explains that the great thing about working where she works is that sometimes when you need to take time off to care for your neck-injured husband, you can explain that time off by publicly pretending to quit your job. Even if the Internet thinks you’re actually pregnant.
The problem that balances that privilege, of course, is that as contract players, the Braniels don’t get paid when they don’t work. So with Bryan D. Bryan’s future in the WWE up in the air, they start to contemplate life after wrestling. A visit to Mama Bella’s employment agency quickly reveals that the skills they’ve developed on the job may not have that many real-world applications.
“I am not so much a people person,” B. Daniel Bryan says. Asked to list his skills, he adds: “I have 1.4 million Twitter followers. I’ve taken something that I invented myself, which was a ‘yes’ chant, and now it translates not only into the wrestling industry, but also into multiple sports worlds.”
“Are you going to be able to support a family on the ‘yes’ chant?” a recruiter asks.
Quickly, the Braniels decide that self-employment is probably their best bet. Their crunchy lifestyle, love of the outdoors and lack of employability but general air of lovableness makes an eco-tourist bed and breakfast seem like a perfect fit.
They go to look at a property that’s up for sale. It’s perfect, but it’s $800,000, and they just bought a house, so they’re fresh out of cash. As you may recall, however, the other Bella is shacking up with WWE royalty in bicoastal luxury homes. So Brie takes Nikki out for Moscow mules and gradually floats the concept of John Cena and Nikki loaning the Braniels, say, a hundred grand toward their down payment. And Nikki says she’s absolutely sure John will be down with this plan — because why wouldn’t a guy who wanted her to sign a rental agreement to live with him be totally down with giving her sister an unsecured six-figure loan?
Nikki and John go out to lunch, and Nikki casually mentions the plan to John. Who, unsurprisingly, is completely not OK with being the Braniels’ personal banker. Turns out, every single spindly branch of the Cena family tree has already hit the Face of the Company up for seed money, and he usually ends up being the last guy to get his money back when things go south, which they always do. Which is how we arrive at the next stop on the John Cena Lecture Circuit, as he scolds Nikki for overpromising, uses some poker analogies, and then soothes her by acknowledging that her heart was in the right place.
Then he goes home and calls Daniel Bryan Danielson, who confronts Brie as she’s preparing their lunch (they are splitting a cucumber. That is their lunch. I kid you not). There is a fight, obviously, although later they will make up and agree not to hit up their rich co-workers for business loans without consulting one another first.
Also, Brie calls John Cena a “stooge.” And later she and Nikki have a passive-aggressive fight while walking with a security guard and signing photos at Wizard World.
Lesson: When you get married, what was yours now is ours.
Back at work, Summer Rae has rematerialized after wrapping work on “The Marine IV,” which everyone is pretending is an actual real-life Hollywood movie.
“It’s one of the biggest franchises in WWE,” Summer says.
Nattie, less impressed, gushes to Summer about how great her replacement is.
“She’s actually killing it,” Nattie says. “Like, the one thing I have to say about Layla is that she’s a real dancer, so she actually complements Fandango. She doesn’t try to take his spotlight.”
Rosa is thrilled to see Summer Rae and can’t understand why Nattie is so catty toward her. Apparently Rosa’s rehab facility did not have cable, so she missed the confrontation outside Nattie’s house last season when Summer brought things to blows.
Clueless, Rosa later invites Summer to travel with her in the car she and Nattie are sharing. Things go off the rails quickly, with Nattie’s complaint of a runny nose quickly escalating to Summer accusing Nattie of causing her own marital problems (there is a natural progression; you had to be there), at which point Nattie whips the car over, tosses Summer’s bags on the side of the road, and pulls Summer herself out of the backseat by her hair.
This is reality TV at its finest. There’s a full-scale catfight in the road, during which Nattie accuses Summer of having synthetic hair, Summer calls Nattie’s hair a “fake mullet,” and Rosa comes to realize that Nattie and Summer are “legit enemies.” After some slapping and hair-pulling and various threats of walking places and calling one another fat, Rosa throws herself in between her friends, weeping, and insists they all get back in the car and not talk.
“I just came out of rehab. You guys are making me stressed out,” Rosa says. “We’re not gonna talk to each other. I’m driving. I don’t want anyone talking.”
The next day, Nattie describes the night as “unnecessary” to Rosa, who admits that after what unfolded along the side of the road, she’s not that into Summer, either.
Lesson: Just because you’ve been in rehab getting your s–t sorted doesn’t mean your friends haven’t been out mixing it up while you’ve been gone. Get caught up before you fall down.
Finally, there’s Eva Marie, who — despite already having married her husband — is planning a big wedding. Her Catholic dad has cancer, and Eva wants to give him the big Catholic wedding he wishes she would have, so the whole Marie family begins pressuring Jonathan (a committed nondenominational Christian) to convert.
“We’re talking about it ad nauseum, I would probably say,” Jonathan says.
“Stop trying to use your big words,” Eva returns.
It all leads one to wonder just how devoutly Catholic Eva Marie and her family really are; even the greenest parish priest would have been able to counsel them that a Catholic wedding is possible for mixed-faith couples. Actually, a 15-second Google search would have told them the same thing, but I suppose that wouldn’t have been nearly as dramatic.
Anyway, Jonathan — rightly — flips out about the family’s attempts at forcible evangelization and points out to Eva Marie that it kind of sucks that she’s way more concerned about making her dad happy than she is about respecting her (ALREADY MARRIED TO HER SO WHY ARE WE ARGUING ABOUT THIS) husband’s religious beliefs. And then Eva (wearing one of those ridiculous chain headband things with a chain running down the middle of her head) talks to her dad, who is totally cool with not pressuring his (already) son-in-law to convert to a faith he doesn’t profess, maybe because he’s just more laid-back than we were led to believe, or maybe because he’s gotten hold of a priest or an Internet connection and discovered that Catholics are allowed to marry non-Catholics.
Lesson: Google is your friend. Also, you should respect your spouse’s deeply-held beliefs. Also, if you’re going to wear a chain headpiece with a chain down the middle of it, wear a center part. Otherwise it looks like your hair’s on crooked.
Next week promises Uso drama, Bella tensions, name-calling, and some awkward pseudo-lesbian action between Nattie and Eva. Here’s to the possibility of more Summer Rae hair-pulling.