Two very important questions are posed in this week’s episode of Total Divas: Do birds have penises? And if you run in a zigzag to try to escape an alligator, aren’t you really just tiring yourself out while allowing the gator to chase you down in what is effectively just a much shorter straight line?
It appears zoologic knowledge has not advanced since Season 4, when Nikki and Brie Bella famously debated whether a seal is a fish. But that’s good news, honestly, since we could use the levity as Total Divas begins to navigate toward some stormy waters.
Spoiler alert for anyone reading this who doesn’t pay attention to the in-ring antics or out-of-the-ring real-life adventures of your Total Divas cast: Things are about to get rough for some of our stars. The rest of us know what’s coming, most critically the emotional retirement of Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson (although depending on timing, we may not hit that milestone until Season 6, and at the rate viewership has been declining, who knows if Total Divas will see another season?). But in Total Divas time it all begins this week with Nikki Bella’s neck.
The episode kicks off with Hell in a Cell which, for reference, puts us at the end of October 2015 and the night Nikki dropped the title to Charlotte.
“I had my run,” Nikki says to a gaggle of Divas backstage, an unusual bit of introspection.
That self-awareness is put to the test when an MRI reveals a bulge in Nikki’s spine. Benched, Nikki goes off to physical therapy, where she is at least given a cervical collar in Team Bella colors. To speed her recovery, Nikki appeals to her own personal in-house expert in early comebacks: John Cena, a man who takes an anticipated recovery window as a personal challenge.
“He’s the king of recovering quickly,” Nikki says.
What he is not the king of, apparently, is being patient with his lady friend. On their first day at the gym together, he snuggles up to her to take away her phone and then gives her a hard time for “just kicking it” instead of working,
Highlight of the training sesh otherwise? Rob the trainer declaring that Nikki drinks too much, which Nikki blames on John: “You order the wine. I just sip what’s in front of me.” Rob says if Nikki wants to achieve her “exceptional” physical fitness goals, she’s going to have to cut back on her wine consumption.
John takes that direction — and Nikki’s legitimate accusation of his complicity in her wine consumption — seriously at dinner with Nikki and Mama Bella, trying to make Nikki stick strictly to a single glass of wine. When she lets the waitress top her off and Mama tells John to ease up a little bit, Tough Love John comes out, accusing them of being “a couple of S.O.M.s,” by which he does not mean the foodie shorthand for sommelier.
“You guys got a case of the Start On Mondays,” Cena says.
Back home, John tries to get Nikki to do her neck treatment, which prompts her to accuse him of being “overbearing”: “I don’t need to have a father right now to tell me what to do.”
Cena, for his part, apparently doesn’t need a petulant child to refuse his assistance after specifically seeking it out, and he leaves the room, after which Mama Bella scolds Nikki for acting like a toddler after she asked for John’s help. So Nikki goes to apologize and John really makes her earn it, complete with leading questions designed to draw out more apologies and a full-on guilt trip.
“You put me in a pretty tough spot,” he says. “I would much rather be your lover than your coach, if that means anything.”
It does mean one thing: that I hope to never again hear John Cena use the word “lover.”
Meanwhile on the West Coast, Rosa Mendes’ boyfriend/baby daddy Bobby goes off to Vegas for a boys’ weekend and who cares except that it gives Nattie the opportunity to put Rosa’s reality in perspective:
“I’ve known Rosa for about eight years, and I do worry about Rosa because she is fragile when it comes to her love life,” Nattie explains. “She can easily let people in and love them so much so fast, and then suddenly get hurt months later.”
None of which would be so terribly troubling if it weren’t for the fact that Rosa is expecting a baby with a man she has known for approximately fifteen minutes. Oh, also Bobby’s ex-girlfriend who just wrote on his Facebook wall just happens to live in Las Vegas. So when Bobby drops off the radar, Rosa flips out. By the time she finally gets him to answer the phone, she’s pissed, but Bobby weirdly turns it around on Rosa, complaining that she is hanging out with new girl Mandy’s attractive brothers. Bottom line, Bobby is the worst, and although everything gets worked out at the end of this episode (shocker! He was secretive about the trip because he went there to shop for engagement rings, because obviously that’s the one thing you can do in Las Vegas that’s seriously impossible to do in Los Angeles where there are legit no jewelry stores anywhere at all, apparently), we can certainly expect more Bobby drama in future.
As an added bonus, this week’s episode of Divas includes the reality TV scene you never knew you needed: Natalya teaching Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart how to take a good selfie. It’s all part of a quirky side story about the Neidharts getting family photos taken with special outfits and feather boas and cat clothes and broken wine glasses and Nattie taking it all too seriously, bless her.
“You can pick your nose, and you can’t pick your family,” TJ tells her after she snaps and storms out of the room.
“That was a bad joke,” Nattie replies.
“It’s not a joke. It’s a real thing.”
Too true, Teej. Too true. And as it turns out, the perfect Hart family photo doesn’t require the services of a professional photographer — just a selfie stick.