This week we send off season four of Total Divas. SO DRAMA. SUCH CLIFFHANGER.
Not really. Unless you’re confused as to whether Nikki Bella has broken up with John Cena for Dolph Ziggler in real life. (Hint: She has not.)
When we left our heroines last week, young Paige had just confessed to Alicia Fox that she only said yes to her boyfriend’s proposal because she didn’t want to lose him. She is (totally, completely, obviously) not ready to get married.
Paige then extends her confession to the rest of the Divas, who quite reasonably tell her she probably should worry more about telling Kevin (I think his name’s still Kevin; or was that the last one?) than about telling her friends.
Kevin, by the way, is 30 to Paige’s 22, which the older Divas say explains why he wants to get married.
“Something happens to you when you turn 30,” Brie explains. “I don’t know what it is, but you want to get married. You want to have a baby. You’re ready.” (Except if you’re John Cena. See below.)
Back at work, everyone from Rosa Mendes to Bad News Barrett to the Big Show is asking Paige about the status of her relationship. Show is alone in openly encouraging Paige to take the plunge; in general, the feeling is that she should probably be honest with the man who thinks he’s going to marry her.
“Do you think he’ll leave me?” Paige asks Rosa.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Rosa replies. “I know he’s a really good guy, but I don’t know him well enough…” Funny, neither does Paige. Which seems to be the big problem here. (Although Rosa helpfully adds that Paige would probably regret it for the rest of her life if she lost Kevin, which literally sends Paige climbing under the ring.) Later, Kevin shows up at work to surprise Paige, and Big Show complicates things by grilling Kevin about how excited he is to be engaged.
Rosa and Foxy try to help Paige do some role play to prepare for the difficult conversation she needs to have. After experiencing Foxy’s faux freak-out and Rosa’s very convincing devastation, Paige is less ready than ever. So she decides to put it off until after she gets back from Japan, saying goodbye to Kevin at her hotel as though nothing were wrong.
“I don’t wanna have to deal with real-life situations. I don’t want to be a grown-up right now,” she says. “I’m just trying to justify what I just did. In some way.”
Meanwhile, in dramatic health news, Natalya goes to the doctor and learns she’s suffering from retinal detachment in one eye. Her mom suggests this is probably Summer Rae’s fault. I feel like we can all agree to accept this premise.
Her stretched retina, left uncorrected, could result in a lazy eye, which somehow seems like it would be worse for Nattie’s career than actual blindness. Oh, and if she gets the surgery, she can’t wrestle ever again.
Nattie’s doctor tells her that for patients who have had the surgery he’s recommending for her, he suggests they never even get on a roller coaster again. But of course, Nattie’s life is an actual roller coaster, and just as she’s weighing her eye decisions, her husband Tyson “TJ” Kidd suffers the in-ring injury that almost kills him. (One thing Total Divas does that your usual WWE programming doesn’t? Instead of footage of the injury itself, we see backstage reactions. They are grim. At the same time, though, as a commenter on last week’s column pointed out, in real life, TJ’s injury occurred before Dusty Rhodes’ death, which was a plot point in last week’s episode, so possibly the person responsible for continuity on Total Divas is the same person who thought what we wanted with the Divas Revolution was a bunch of mean girl promos and tag matches.)
Because Nattie is apparently a total head case (who notably this season revealed that she faked a letter from Cat Fancy to the WWE requesting a photo shoot with her pets), she lies to TJ and her mom and says her eyes are totally fine. She goes so far as to claim she has “perfect vision” in both eyes. She rationalizes it as a way to protect TJ, who needs to heal from his own career-threatening injury.
“I’ve been dealing with this issue for a while now,” Nattie explains in a talking head. “What’s another month or two going to hurt?”
Also, in case you forgot Eva Marie exists, there’s a tiny little subplot about her return to NXT in a robe that would make Ric Flair green with envy. You can basically duplicate the experience by watching the match and looking at some photos on Eva’s website.
On to the real drama: For those who don’t know, Nikki Bella and Dolph Ziggler were together for like five years, and he actually moved to Arizona to be closer to Nikki, so it was only a matter of time before La Familia Bella ran into him at a restaurant. Nikki invites Dolph (oh, I’m sorry — we’re calling him “Nick” in this episode) to join them. Later, Bryan Daniel Bryan Danielson gives Nikki a hard time for “flirting” with NickDolph.
“Were you NOT flirting with Dolph? You weren’t?” Bryan asks. “Questionable. From a guy’s perspective.”
Some time later, DolphNick invites the Bella family to hang out at a swimming pool, where he weirdly licks salt off the rim of a margarita glass while pressing Nikki to talk about why she has decided she doesn’t need marriage and kids when her desire for those things was part of why they broke up. (Spoiler alert: His own perspective on marriage and kids has evolved and now he wants them!)
“I don’t really compromise my morals and stuff for whoever I meet, so,” he says. Not at all passive-aggressively.
Back at work, DockNilph escalates his flirting with Nikki, and Brie calls him out on it. Literally as John Cena walks through the background.
“Be honest with me,” Brie says. “You still have feelings for my sister.”
DolphNick insists he’s just having fun because he cares about both Bellas as good friends, which Brie accepts, although she tells him she’s keeping an eye on him.
This plan backfires the next time Brie calls him out on flirting with Nikki at work. Instead of playing it off, he confirms her suspicions.
“I still have some feelings for you,” DickNolph tells Nikki, before pulling her aside to talk privately JUST AS JOHN CENA’S ENTRANCE MUSIC ECHOES THROUGH THE ARENA (except let’s be honest; considering the producers moved Dusty Rhodes’ death and TJ’s injury around in the timeline, I think we can assume this scene was cut together and maybe Cena was off granting his 5,000th Make-A-Wish at the time and wasn’t even inside the venue).
Hidden between parked buses in the bowels of the arena, NickDolph confesses his rekindled feelings for the then-Divas champ and declares that they belong together (even if they had some rocky times and Cena treats Nikki, as she says, “like a queen”).
“I can give you kids. I can give you a husband!” Dolph tells Nikki, before leaning in for a kiss, and as she pulls away…
…cut to black and “To Be Continued.”
Perhaps this cliffhanger is a real nail-biter for people who don’t have any other exposure to WWE (or an Internet connection). The rest of us know that (a) John Cena and Nikki Bella still appear to be very much together, four to five months later; and (b) in real life, it seems highly unlikely that D. Nick Ziggler would make trouble for himself at work by aggressively pursuing John Cena’s lady friend. Even if he knows that talking about babies and marriage “gives (Cena) the sweats,” as Cena himself states at one point in the episode while talking about how happy he is being unmarried and childless with Nikki.
So unless there are some surprise weddings IRL between now and next season’s premiere (date not yet announced), or Natalya suddenly starts strutting into the ring with an eye patch, or Eva Marie shows up to undermine the Divas Revolution, don’t expect “To Be Continued” to come with any surprises… just plenty more drama.