Somewhere in the universe there is a person in charge of scheduling television shows who thought it was a good idea to have the season finale of “Total Divas” air directly opposite the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.
Either that or just no one really thought it through. So it’s possible the person responsible for scheduling was the same person responsible for the deus ex Wyatt finale of the PPV. ZING.
That’s right. I added my own zing. You’ll forgive me for being a little punchy; you see, I’ve just witnessed The Red Wedding and lived to tell the tale.
What does the shocking bloodbath from “Game of Thrones” have to do with the female members of the WWE roster? Nothing, except that that’s what Eva Marie decided to hashtag her pretend wedding to her already-husband Jonathan, an event that was the centerpiece of this week’s episode of “Divas” (which is referred to as the season finale despite the fact that the new season, which begins in January, is being called Season Three, Part Two. Another decision we can assume fell to the scheduler).
In fact, this episode is all about marriages: Eva Marie’s do-over approach to, John Cena’s phobia of, and Natalya and Tyson “TJ” Kidd’s crumbling mess of. As the episode opens, Fandango checks in with Nattie to see if she’s OK, and she starts crying because people at work are all up in her business (despite the fact that Fandango comes across as a decent guy who’s genuinely concerned, unlike, say, Sheamus, who is running around work gleefully telling people about how the valet lost Summer’s car keys).
Nattie then dries her tears and goes to the canvas with then-still-champ Paige because she is a Neidhart and a Professional.
Later, Nattie asks Eva to seat her far away from TJ at the wedding. Eva says to Nattie’s face that she’ll see what she can do, but seriously, she adds in a talking head, it’s a week before the wedding: “Grow up, sit next to your husband, and get it together.”
Meanwhile, seeing Nattie and TJ fall apart makes Nikki suuuuuuper glad she’s with commitment-phobic John Cena, who has been very clear from their first date that he is the Taylor Swift of marriage: he is never ever ever getting back together with it. Like, ever.
But as we see in some domestic scenes from the Cena-Colace-Garcia home (or one of their homes, anyway), John and Nikki have a lovely relationship. They laugh. They play games. John Cena wins at tic tac toe and sells his celebration more convincingly than I’ve ever seen him sell a win in the ring. And he folds Nikki’s laundry — or tries to.
“How the f–k can somebody fold this?” he asks, holding up a tiny thong in his Ben Grimm-esque comic book fingers. “No, seriously, like — I tried.”
Nikki goes out to lunch with her sister Brie and brother-in-law Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson, an event during which we learn that Nikki once had to send her brother digging through a drawer full of vibrators to find her birth certificate.
“Who puts their birth certificate underneath their sex toys?” Brie asks.
“Exactly. Who does that?” Nikki answers. “No one would ever guess.”
“Do you think someone’s gonna come steal your birth certificate?”
“You never know.”
The Braniels then start to pressure Nikki about her relationship with John Cena and how she’s sacrificing her desire to be married and have children.
“I’m technically basically married,” Nikki says.
“I don’t think so,” B. Daniel Bryan replies.
To be perfectly honest, B.D.B. Danielson seems far less concerned about his sister-in-law than Brie does.
“You don’t just wake up one morning and say ‘You know what? Kids and marriage? Fuck it.’” Brie says in a talking head.
Daniel B. Danielson, meanwhile, tells Nikki: “If you want to give up, I’ll support you in giving up.”
The Divas then all head off to Sonoma County for The Red “Wedding.” Nikki and Brie go wine tasting (an adventure they Instagrammed extensively at the time, head-asploding their fans who don’t understand kayfabe and thought they had exposed some great hidden truth behind the then-just-blossoming Bella feud). The more Brie drinks, the meaner she gets about John Cena. Remember Season One, when Brie used to be a fun drunk? If this is Brie Mode 2.0, it ain’t pretty.
Drunk talk about marriage, though, fortunately turns to Nattie and TJ’s sad situation, and the Bellas buy Nattie a bottle of wine called Devotion, then drunk dial her from the (chauffeured) car.
“Nattie!” Brie Mode shouts into the phone. “The wine we have for you! If you don’t feel it! Nicole and I are gonna German suplex you right on the f–kin’ Bourbon Street floor!”
Then they get in a drunken slapfight in the back seat and make fun of one another’s clothes.
“You know, you look like a maid from ‘Downton Abbey,’ but, like, trying to look trendy,” Nikki tells Brie.
That night, it’s Brie Mode: engage. The Bellas have plans to go out with Nattie, and Brie thinks it’s an excellent idea to invite TJ. Then she stages a drunken intervention at the table.
“This is my worst nightmare,” Nattie says in a talking head.
Brie drunkenly lectures them about devotion, Nikki presents them with a cat book intended to remind them of their shared interests, and then Cameron/Ariane and Vinnie show up and pile on.
“Everybody get drunk. Let’s have wine and toast to Nattie and TJ having a really s–tty relationship,” Nattie says later. “I can’t wait. Can I have another?”
She changes the subject to how good Brie’s driver’s license photo is. Outside, Nattie first refuses to get in the car with the group, then threatens to “kick (TJ’s) f–king ass” back at the hotel. They are staying in separate rooms.
The following day, en route to the wedding, the Bellas and Summer start out in the bar (great!), where they encounter TJ (perfect!) and rehash the night before (excellent!) until Nattie shows up (amazing!). They make a pact on the bus to the ceremony that they will all get into Brie Mode together, after which Summer Rae immediately begins to make things awkward by siding with TJ because she is the villain, at least until “part two” of this season, when Alicia Fox will join the cast.
Despite the fact that it’s The Red Wedding, Eva has temporarily popped on a wig for the ceremony, going back to the black hair of her childhood because she wants to “walk down the aisle as daddy’s little girl.” Which is not at all weird, especially considering she’s wearing a dress that covers less than some swimsuits.
“We’re kind of going for sleek and sexy,” Eva says of her wedding dress. “Sleek and sexy” to Eva translates to “skimpy and skanky” in normal-people talk, but her dad thinks she looks lovely, which — as we have been reminded repeatedly — is all that matters because making Eva’s dad happy is really the entire purpose of this charade anyway.
Then Eva Marie and Jonathan exchange vows as though they haven’t already been married for two seasons of this show and we skip ahead to the party, which is also what this is really all about.
After the ceremony, Eva’s red hair comes back, and she trades out the barely-there white dress for a side boob extravaganza of a black gown, then apparently basically gives Jonathan a lap dance in front of their families. Guess it’s not about her dad once the white dress comes off.
Nattie loses her mind when she finds out she and TJ have been seated at the same table, and Ariane (after telling her to chill out and have a cocktail), has to take away a pen to keep Nattie from changing the seating charts, and then Nattie spills canape on her bosoms, so clearly this is not her day. She then takes things to the next level by trading seats to sit next to Summer.
“Being at this wedding just reminds me of how much of a failure I am,” Nattie says, and she jets.
After the wedding, Mama Bella, Brie and JJ get together with John Cena, who immediately cottons on to the seriousness of the convo and starts making “last supper” jokes. S–t gets real pretty much immediately, though, as Brie and JJ start to lay into him about how Nikki always dreamed of being a bride and having Tinkerbell attendants.
There seems to be a lot of confusion among the cast members about the difference between “getting married” and “being married” and “having a wedding” and what all those things really mean, but that’s probably a discussion for another website.
John holds his own, making it clear he didn’t mislead Nikki, and JJ doesn’t hold back either, making it clear he thinks it’s time to exercise the escape clause on the Cena-Colace-Garcia domestic partnership agreement.
It takes Mama Bella to lay it down for real.
“You can’t make Nichole want what you two want for Nichole,” she says to her uptight other children. “Make sure that you’re supporting Nichole, not deciding for Nichole.”
To his credit, John Cena comes across as a legitimately for real guy in this conversation, probably for the first time in “Total Divas” history. Then he goes home and opens up a Serious Conversation with Nikki.
“There is something I wanted to talk to you about,” he says, and starts a come-to-Jesus conversation about how he thinks Nikki has changed who she is for him (she calls it sacrificing, a description with which he agrees).
“It’s obvious because of me that you’re settling, and I don’t think that’s right … I’m not good for you.” And then he seriously makes an “if you love something, let it go” reference.
And then the lights go out and when they come back up, OMG BRAY WYATT is IN THE KITCHEN and he gives SISTER ABIGAIL’S KISS to John and Nikki’s WHOLE ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP WHY GOD WHY.
No, for real, though, we get the reality TV version of the ending of the Ambrose-Rollins Hell in a Cell match: a “this season on ‘Total Divas’” tease of Alicia Fox getting in fights and backstage trash talking between Nattie and Paige and the Bellas shouting at one another in a driveway.
None of which we get to see until January, when Season Three of “Total Divas” returns.
Cue Dancing R-Truth: