The season finale of Total Divas opens with Mike “The Miz” Mizanin using a leaf blower to provide artificial wind for his wife Maryse while she takes a selfie.
“This is my life,” The Miz remarks.
It’s also good preparation for a second career, should he want one, as part of the production team for Total Divas, which closes out the season using the same dramatic montages of pre-pay-per-view backstage shots it relied on during the season premiere. This time the WWE Superstars are preparing for SummerSlam instead of WrestleMania… although the pre-show footage of John Cena in the season finale looks suspiciously identical to the shot used in the Mania episode.
That’s right, it’s SummerSlam time in the WWE Universe, and naturally drama abounds. No one has more serious drama, though, than Eva Marie, whose Wellness Policy suspension came down just days before the PPV. Early on, a rumor circulates that Eva has failed a drug test, but she contends (in a talking head; she asks not to be filmed while she’s being escorted out of the hotel on her way home) that the issue is delayed paperwork verifying a prescription she’s been taking since high school.
“WWE’s very strict,” Brie shrugs. “We all know that.”
Ordinarily Eva getting cut from a PPV would be a big who cares, but it happens that she was supposed to appear in a six-woman tag match wrestling alongside Natalya and Alexa Bliss, and Nattie is obviously freaking the f–k out, along with Trinity/Naomi, who is wrestling on the other team.
“At this point, put anybody in the match,” Trinity says. “I just want to know.”
Lana, spotting an opportunity, begins angling for a shot at the empty spot, an ambition to which her sister Hadassah poses the questions on everyone’s mind: “Are you prepared? Can you, actually?”
Lana and Trinity decide to channel their nervous energy into a dance battle. The venue: Miz and Maryse’s Chateau MarMiz prom-themed party the night before the PPV.
“Do I have to take my cousin again like in high school?” Dolph Ziggler asks.
Turns out his prom story isn’t the saddest one on the roster, though: Maryse was dumped by her date two hours before and never made it to the big dance. When The Miz hears this, he decides to go over-the-top prom romantic, from bringing Maryse a gown and evening gloves to Pretty Woman-ing her with a jewelry box to setting up a prom party complete with ice sculpture, awkward photo backdrop and HONEST TO GOD MR. BELDING from “Saved By the Bell.” (Nattie casts the WWE version of “Saved By the Bell,” starring Big Show as Screech.)
Lana and Trinity’s dance-off (for which Lana has worn a tuxedo; after attempting to breakdance in a ball gown while shopping with her sister, she opted for pants, declaring “I need to be able to break it down on the dance floor”) is a tag match, naturally; Trinity’s warmup act is husband Jon Fatu, who conducts himself respectably.
Lana is not so lucky. While cutting a pre-prom promo on Trinity at a fan event, Lana boldly declared herself so certain she had the dance-off in the bag that she would handicap herself with Nattie as a partner. Not that she didn’t live to regret the decision; after taking Nattie to prep at a dance studio, Lana offers an honest assessment of her skills:
“I mean, Nattie is really bad. Really, really, really, really bad. Like really bad.”
But when the rubber hits the road in the actual dance-off? … Nattie is really bad. Like really bad.
Lana and Trinity, however, are both really good, and Mr. Belding calls it a draw before crowning Miz and Maryse the king and queen of the prom (despite some obvious ballot box stuffing by Jon Fatu).
Meanwhile, Nikki Bella (remember Nikki Bella?) is feeling forgotten as she languishes on the injured list despite being cleared by her surgeon to begin working again. After putting in some time at the Performance Center rolling around with Bayley and studying submission maneuvers with MMA fighter Shayna Baszler, Nikki is champing at the bit to get back in the ring. Well-meaning Brie asks Bryan “General Manager Daniel Bryan” Danielson to put in a good word for her sister with the writers, and when she mentions it to Nikki, there’s a blowup.
“I don’t need people’s help to get on the show,” Nikki says.
“Ew,” Brie replies. “You’re being really ungrateful.”
“I’m like really, really disappointed in you,” Nikki later mic-drops.
As usual, after talking it through with Bryan, Brie decides she should apologize to her sister, and Nikki points out how important it is to her to earn things on her own merits: “Anything that I accomplish, everyone assumes it’s because ‘she’s John Cena’s girlfriend.'”
And guess what? (Or probably don’t guess, because this happened like almost nine months ago, but whatever.) When the six-woman tag match hits the ring at SummerSlam, what self-made woman is there to take Eva Marie’s suspended place?
That’s right. Welcome back, Fearless Nikki.
One last thing in case you’ve ever wondered what the production timeline looks like on one of these seasons of Total Divas: The final scene in this season’s finale is Brie excitedly bringing Bryan a positive pregnancy test.
Birdie Joe Danielson was born this week on Tuesday.