The two-part, two-hour season three finale of “Total Divas” aired Sunday night, and if you don’t watch the show* but are at all interested in WWE, here are the two things you need to know about what happened:
- Either WWE and the E! Network know that “Total Divas” viewers don’t watch wrestling or they don’t care that we do, because the season ends with a Big Shocking Cliffhanger as the Bella Twins tell WWE VP of Bad News Mark Carrano that they don’t want to renew their contracts. But seriously, we all watched them wrestle just, like, last week.
- For everyone who is wondering whether AJ Lee is being punished for her myriad of crimes against the company (speaking out about the Divas division, Twitter feuds with the boss, being married to CM Punk, what have you), the answer appears to be yes. AJ, who has been pretty forthright about her feelings about the show and why she has opted not to be on it, is prominently featured losing to various Bellas in in-ring scenes during both episodes, and one of those scenes leads into a montage of Rosa Mendes driving around Key West, during which AJ’s entrance music is used as the soundtrack. Considering AJ is rarely if ever seen on “Total Divas,” it stands out as deliberate.
OK, maybe there’s a third important thing: We learn that the first time Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson and Brie Bella hooked up, two of their co-workers (at least one of whom was Sheamus) conned the front desk at their hotel into giving them a key to Bryan’s room so they could barge in and see what was going on.
“Click click, here comes in two guys with cowboy hats, no shirts,” Brie says.
“Were they shirtless?” Bryan asks.
“Yeah, they were shirtless,” Brie says. “It made everything very uncomfortable for me. You legit threw a ninja kick, buck naked, to a guy, and I had to see the whole thing…”
“Sheamus was petting your head while you were naked,” Bryan recalls.
“That’s true too.”
Other than that, the season finale of “Total Divas” is basically the most “Total Divas” episode of “Total Divas” to date, hitting all the expected buttons:
The Bellas have family drama
The Bellas’ brother, JJ, accidentally sends his sisters a naked selfie that was intended for his wife. Brie gets embarrassed for him, but Nikki does Nikki and shows off the photo to all the cousins they’re hanging out with.
“It’s gross, nasty, kinda amazing,” Nikki says. “I can’t believe I just saw what my eyes saw.”
When Brie tells JJ what Nikki did, the modest Bella brother gets so angry that he skips one of the family’s patented wine-fueled brunches. An attempt at an apology goes off the rails when Nikki is less than empathetic since she doesn’t really understand why anyone wouldn’t want to show off their body. Then she goes to work, where she finds all the other Divas tittering over a photo posted to her Instagram account — a picture of a love poem she wrote for John Cena.
“She’s like a modern-day Shakespeare,” Paige says, tongue firmly in cheek.
After Paige gives a dramatic reading of the poem (in which Nikki has made some unusual creative choices, including at one point rhyming “away” with “away”), Nikki seeks out her sister. Who, as it turns out, is the one who posted the photo.
“You deserve it,” Brie says. “Siblings are supposed to have each other’s back.”
Nattie is a cat lady
Natalya and Tyson “TJ” Kidd are crazy excited to meet Grumpy Cat backstage at work (remember when she guest hosted “Raw”?).
“I have to tell you, we haven’t been this excited since the Muppets were here,” Nattie tells Grumpy Cat’s owner. “This is the most important part of my day.”
Nattie tries to chat up Grumpy Cat’s agent in the hope of getting some work for her own cats. Her Hollywood dreams are dashed, however, when her mom takes the cats to the groomer and they come back with awful haircuts.
“I was nervously negotiating with Grumpy Cat’s manager, talking about how we could possibly collaborate,” Nattie says. “A bad haircut can ruin you.”
Paige is volatile
Paige, Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes go on a girls’ trip to Key West, and Paige brings her friend-with-benefits, Bradley. Paige proceeds to act like a total psycho toward Bradley, culminating in a big fight during which she tells him he’s “just a f–k and that’s it,” after which he decides to leave.
Paige seeks solace with Rosa and Foxy, who are totally horrified about what she’s said (Rosa, in fact, tells Paige she “would die” if someone said to her the things Paige said to Bradley). She then tearfully confesses that she was deeply damaged by a past relationship and that makes it hard for her to get close to people. And then she runs out and makes up with Bradley.
Makes up with him so much, in fact, that in the next episode she invites him to move in with her. Before he’ll say yes, he insists she has to meet his mom, so he takes her to Indiana to see the family. Paige greets Bradley’s mother and sister by leaping into each of their arms in turn. They appear to be good sports.
Things sort of go south, though, when they mention to Paige that Bradley used to be married. She’s kind of mad that he neglected to mention this, he’s kind of mad she keeps pushing him to tell his mom about moving in together, there’s a huge fight, we see a nervous producer asking Paige if they should keep filming, and then they break up. On camera. And Paige pulls away in a production minivan.
All red everything
Since it’s the season finale, there’s an Eva Marie storyline, too, because someone has to be having marital difficulties on the show at all times. Something about her getting a hair extensions contract and her husband Jonathan being her “husbandger” and making her life difficult by yelling at her and yelling at her hair and makeup people and bossing her around in meetings. And then she gets in trouble with Mark Carrano, Angel of Death, because she Instagrammed a non-WWE-approved photo shoot and she needs to run all her photo approvals through WWE, not her husband.
Then there’s a big fight because apparently Eva Marie and Jonathan are both so sick of one another’s nonsense. And as much as Eva sort of makes me roll my eyes, I’m on Team Eva here, because Jonathan at one point yells at Eileen, who does makeup for all the Divas and seems like a legitimately very sweet person.
Also, there’s a plotline about Nikki and Brie thinking about life after WWE. Brie wants babies and Nikki wants to make movies (and Daniel Bryan and John Cena support each of these goals), and their three-year contract is up for renewal. I know the whole Internet is saying something about how John Cena thinks Nikki should quit the WWE, but what really happened is that Nikki sought career advice and Cena gave one of his patented John Cena Motivational Speeches, which always feel like they should come with a salute and a twirling Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. schvitz towel.
“Try and fail, please,” Cena tells Nikki. “Because at least you know you tried.”
Cut to backstage at Survivor Series, where Nattie and TJ are spending a lot of time trying to Instagram a photo in which Nattie doesn’t feel like she looks like she’s “on crack.” Enter Nikki, looking pleased with herself.
“You’re looking at the new champ,” Nikki says. Then, as if she remembered there are cameras around: “Fingers crossed.”
She is, of course, about to be the new champ, thanks to her sister’s kiss with AJ Lee.
“Do you know how many boners happened when you guys kissed?” Nikki asks Brie backstage after the match.
“Actually, Bryan’s going to be so annoyed, I know,” Brie says. “He’s gonna be like, ‘You kissed a girl?'”
“It was so weird — you guys’s kiss was so long that I stood there and I’m like, I can’t be like ‘Yeah,’ like, that’s incest. That’s f–king weird.”
“Ew. First off, it’s not incest if you’re watching,” Brie says.
“Technically, that’s basically incest,” Nikki says.
Sitting backstage with the Divas title, the Bellas re-evaluate their lives. And then they go to see Mark Carrano —and then BOOM! In an “Inception”-style twist no one saw coming, for once Carrano himself on the receiving end of bad news: Both Bellas say they don’t plan to renew their contracts.
Which, OK, cool — but considering Nikki is the current champion and the entire cast of “Total Divas” is signed on for season four, I CAN’T POSSIBLY IMAGINE THAT MIGHT CHANGE.
“Total Divas” returns with season four on July 7. Presumably, with the same number of Bellas as ever.
* Yes, I know. None of you watch it. You’re all big tough men who hate “unscripted” fantasy shows about scantily clad people in really great shape who have made-up arguments on camera and pretend it’s not all staged. See you next season. xoxo