I learned a lot of things about former Funkadactyl Cameron (Ariane) after watching this week’s episode of “Total Divas.” For example, I learned that when she appeared on “Tough Enough,” she was the first contestant eliminated. I learned that she spent only six months in developmental before moving up to the main roster, initially as a valet. (I also learned that she has two bachelor’s degrees and used to work as a behavioral therapist, so good on her for that, at least.)
Why the quick Wikipedia study? I was trying to imagine circumstances under which a male Superstar like Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose might find himself put in the position in which we find Paige this week. Tasked with helping Ariane get in some training (since, you know, she didn’t get much during her five minutes in FCW; kind of a theme this season), Paige loses her cool in front of a group of developmental wrestlers after Ariane jerks her head around a few times, and the roll-around turns into a dustup that NXT coach Sara Amato has to step in and break up. Paige ends up in the hot seat because she’s supposed to be the grownup, and between that and crashing a motorcycle on her time off, she lands in corporate hatchet man Mark Carrano’s crosshairs no fewer than three times in a single episode (which is, I believe, a “Total Divas” record).
Note to WWE: This wasn’t what we meant by #GiveDivasAChance.
“I’m taking it as a compliment that Carrano even put me in this position in the first place, but the way I was trained was very, very tough, and I don’t think Ariane understands how tough I’m gonna be on her,” Paige initially explains. Later, after the altercation, she hardens her tone a bit:
“This is my career that she could possibly be ending right now because she sucks at wrestling.”
But first: There’s drama in the Bella-Bryan household as noted Uptight Guy Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson registers multiple complaints about the revealing outfits favored by his smoking hot wife, Brie Bella. After Brie deliberately provokes Bryan by borrowing a cleavage-squeezing Balmain bandage dress from sister Nikki, Bryan retaliates by buying a composting toilet, installing it in the couple’s shed — excuse me, barn — in Phoenix, by the way, so just imagine what that’s going to be like in 100+ degrees — and turning off the water to their regular toilets, a detail that is discovered after Brie’s family stops by to visit and her brother JJ avails himself of the facilities. (We are mercifully spared the particulars of the extent of his predicament.)
In short: There is a lot of talk about pooping, and then a lot of judgy talk about Brie’s wardrobe, and ultimately the couple compromises on Bryan weeding his least favorite outfits out of Brie’s closet and leaving her with some lace dresses and a chambray shirt that he deems suitably demure.
“My husband did get rid of a lot of clothes, so I guess now I just have to go on a shopping spree to get more conservative clothes,” Brie says.
LOOK HOW FAR WE’VE COME, FELLOW WOMEN.
Meanwhile, Natalya (who recently revealed herself to be maybe a little bit unhinged, admitting to having forged a letter from Cat Fancy to WWE about photographing her pets), after having tried to pull a fast one on husband Tyson “TJ” Kidd by secretly inviting her sister to live with them, is now dying to get her sister out of the house. Her solution is to try to set her sister up with various coworkers, including Mark Carrano, which yields, incredibly, the most awkward Carrano-versation in the history of the show. And that’s really saying something.
Nattie eventually settles on Big E as the perfect way to get her sister out of the house, and she plans a double date that gets sort of uncomfortable for everyone, especially after the plan backfires and Big E and sister Jenni end up in Nattie and TJ’s hot tub, which they have promised to “break in.”
The eventual blowup (prompted in part by an argument over whether or not Nattie and TJ should use John Cena’s interior designer, I kid you not) leads to Jenni tearfully declaring she’s going to move in with her parents instead.
Back to Paige, who is well aware she’s getting the short end of the stick and says so at a dinner with Nattie and Nikki.
“You don’t want that to go back to Vince, because then Vince will think you’ve got an attitude problem and he won’t want to invest in you,” Nattie scolds.
“And he could think you’re difficult to work with,” Nikki finishes. “It’s a compliment that they asked you to be Cameron’s coach.”
Paige blows up at them for taking WWE’s side, then declares she’s going back to England and storms out of the restaurant. The other two go outside and talk her down (“You’re the future of the Divas division,” etc., followed by some cracks about self tanner), after which they all go back to the table and toast Nikki’s bosoms.
The upside of Paige’s workplace drama? A rare Road Dogg appearance on “Total Divas.” The downside? He’s there to deliver a lecture about how Paige should have been a better sport about getting her spine yanked on by Ariane.
“Twenty-two years old and you’ve been the Divas champion twice,” he lectures. “At 22 years old I was in Iraq in a sand hole and you’ve been the Divas champion two times … Get your head out of your ass.”
“Thanks for the talk, Road Dogg,” Paige replies. “I’m gonna go get my head out my ass real quick.”
“At least you’re following direction.”
Divas Revolution, y’all.