When is reviewing Total Divas a total drag? When the show makes you relive Daniel Bryan’s emotional surrender of the Intercontinental Championship.
Yes, Divas is a bit of a downer this week, thanks to that moment and the related Bella-Branielson marital dramz.
Long story short: Brie wants to have babies and doesn’t want to have to raise them alongside a crumbling neuropatient of a husband should Bryan sustain (yet another) career-threatening injury. When Bryan gets cleared to return to work, there are some emotional married-people fights and scolding from Mama Bella about D. Bryan Danielson needing to change up his distinctive high-risk style. (His surprising defender? Bella brother JJ, who points out that Daniel B. Danielson is one of the best wrestlers he’s ever seen and isn’t going to jeopardize willy-nilly something into which he’s invested 15 years of his life.)
There is at least one moment of Bella-related levity: While autographing a massive stack of Bella Twins posters backstage, Brie discovers one that has been doodled on by John Cena, who has signed the picture from “Brie ‘Mode’ Bella and Nikki ‘Sweet Hams’ Bella.”
Fortunately, there’s plenty more to distract from the emo Braniels. First, I present the comic stylings of Jon “Jimmy Uso” Fatu, whose wife Trinity (Naomi) has decided stand-up is a good fallback career for her Uce.
Enter Dolph Ziggler, who, as it turns out, is just the instigator this show has been missing (although I do keep expecting him to pop out and tell people they’re being “Swerved”). Dolph sets Jon up with a three-minute slot at the Laugh Factory in L.A.
Back at the Fatu homestead, Trinity and her dad invite Jon to try out his set on them. They decide that to make him feel comfortable, rather than inviting him to picture the audience in their underwear, they’ll just strip down to their skivvies so the work is already done for him.
Once they get past that awkward start, Jon gets into the groove, coming out swinging with a set that deals pretty much exclusively in making fun of his wife.
“Right after you say ‘I do,’ you shoulda said ‘hell no,'” he says, running straight into a series of punchlines about Trinity’s morning breath and farting habits. Guess how well this is received.
Back at work, Trinity is reconsidering her enthusiasm for getting Jon onstage. She expresses to Dolph that she’s feeling a little resentful that Jon’s entire routine seems to revolve around making fun of her.
“To be fair, most of my stuff’s about you, too,” Dolph says, before telling her, “You write what you know. Like here (at work), your character — it’s you turned up. … The real stuff. That’s what’s funny.”
OK, Trinity says, but: “Does he really have to talk about me taking poops in the morning?”
“I don’t know,” Dolph considers. “It depends. How many of ’em are you taking every morning?”
Dolph manages to convince Trin that “if it’s funny, it’s funny,” and she should let Jon do his set about her and then “go home and slap him around a little bit or whatever the deal is — whatever you guys are into.”
After that — and hearing Jon’s truly awful backup jokes — Trin decides to sacrifice herself on the altar of comedy and let Jon do his set as planned. But surprise! When he takes the stage at the Laugh Factory, guess who’s on the receiving end of Jon’s jokes? Mr. Dolph Ziggler. Karma!
And then there’s Paige. Paige, Paige, Paige. Paige, whose boyfriend Kevin has recently moved in with her. Paige, who manages to bumble cluelessly through a trip to a jewelry store during which Kevin asks her about her gemstone preferences and ring size. Paige, who is so very 22 years old and cannot possibly be this unaware that her boyfriend of about 15 minutes is about to propose.
Enter Emma, who has been making a series of progressively-more-awesome guest appearances on Total Divas this season. She’s sort of become the female Titus O’Neil in that regard. Emma insists Kevin is about to engage and there’s a ring hidden somewhere, and with Paige’s permission, Emma begins ransacking the apartment.
“She’s like the Crocodile Hunter,” Paige says, “friggin’ searching through friggin’ leaves, attacking stuff.”
In the course of her search, Emma discovers that Paige’s man is a coin collector, something Paige didn’t know, perhaps because they’ve been dating for a hot minute.
Oh, spoiler alert: She also finds an engagement ring.
Paige spends the rest of the episode absolutely losing her entire mind over the idea of getting married and expressing the very deep extent to which she does not want to get engaged.
“I feel like my whole life is flashing before my eyes,” she says. “Even being engaged is too big of a thing for me. It scares the crap out of me.”
She goes so far as to fake an illness in a restaurant when she starts to think Kevin might be about to propose. Meanwhile, her coworkers start to plan a bachelorette party, with one exception: Nattie, ever the voice of reason (and, coincidentally, the only married person Paige has told), tries to put on the brakes.
“You barely know him. You’re not going to marry him,” Nattie says. “You have to tell him before he gives you the ring.”
But of course, it’s too late. Paige and Kevin make a field trip to a tattoo shop, where Kevin reveals the design he’s had transferred onto his arm. There, in purple temporary ink, is the question: “Will you marry me?”
At first, Paige is confused about why Kevin would get that tattooed on his arm. Then he gets down on one knee and holds out the ring, which, of course, Paige has already seen.
“Oh my god, I’m so frickin’ sweaty right now,” Paige says. Just what every man dreams of hearing from the woman he’s asking to be his bride.
And then, despite all the freaking out, SHE SAYS YES.
In a talking head at the end of the episode, Paige shares her feelings about the news.
“I’m thinking that the engagement is a good thing,” she says in a voice that seems to betray a total lack of enthusiasm. “I’m just happy that I have Kevin. I mean, I’m not a big fan of jewelry, but it’s still nice. It’s pretty. He knows me well, at least — that’s a good sign. You don’t have to get married straightaway. Engagements can be a long time, you know — like a year or a couple years or ten years, you know. Whatever — whatever takes my fancy. Whenever I’m ready.”
So romantic, guys. Can’t wait for the completely-totally-definitely-not-going-to-be-called-off Paige-Kevin nuptials in whatever distant future year takes Paige’s fancy.