This was not an easy episode. Every so often, “Total Divas” likes to take a break from all the revelry and weddings and arguments about the pronunciation of “barbed wire” to just completely punch its viewers in the gut and, well, this was one of those weeks. About two-thirds of the episode centered around some kind of lingering emotional trauma for our Divas, so let’s tear off the proverbial Band-Aid so we can get to the healing warmth of a Brie Mode-fueled caper through Europe.
Dealing with matters of the heart this week is Alicia Fox. Up till now, the cast newbie has been a kind of merry tornado whipping her way through the show, but the wind gets taken out of her sails when her ex-boyfriend, WWE Superstar Bad News Barrett, returns to the road from injury. Unable to reconcile Barrett having moved on with the mysterious non-reason for their split in the first place, Alicia spends the episode having unpleasant physical reactions to his presence and lashing out at her friends until she bucks up and asks him why he called it quits. He’s firm, but honest in his answer — he didn’t think she was the one — and despite the sting, everyone feels OK moving on when all is said and done.
Natalya, meanwhile, is at the end of her rope with attempting to convince her father, Jim Neidhart, to deal with his health problems. He’s about as stubborn as you’d expect a guy nicknamed “The Anvil” to be about confronting his demons, and she’s so stressed she can’t get through a meal without literally bursting into tears. Therefore, she enlists Tyson Kidd to bury the hatchet and help out with a last-ditch intervention. Not only does it work, but it seems like it maybe, juuuuust maybe opens the door a tad for a Natalya-Tyson reconciliation down the road.
Whew. Now that we’ve gotten through that, let’s get to Brie Mode. It’s a simple little story, really: WWE is touring Europe and The Bellas have a particularly full docket. Nikki — having changed her tune drastically from the last time this issue came up — has put the kibosh on Brie Mode for the duration of the trip. Paige, devilish scamp that she is, is having none of this, so she enables Brie to unleash her wild side to such a degree that Nikki almost isn’t speaking to her. Go figure, Brie wrestles a perfect match despite the aftereffects of her romp. No excuses, play like a champion.
Category: Total Divas
Cameron has been relatively quiet this season of “Total Divas” so far. Let’s fix that, shall we? The feisty, former Funkadactyl is invited to take part in a girls’ weekend with Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes when Paige is called away to Malaysia for a tour. Lingering bad blood between Cameron and Foxy bubbles to the surface almost instantly, and poor Rosa is grasping at straws as the middleman (middle-Diva?) until she convinces Cameron to hash it out with Alicia after a particularly intense poolside sniping bout. Predictably, once the ladies lay their cards on the table, it’s smooth sailing from then on out.
Elsewhere, Tyson Kidd resurfaces and is as salty as ever toward wife Natalya, despite the fact that they’re an on-screen couple. Nattie’s marital blues don’t improve much when she couch-crashes with Naomi and Jimmy Uso, and in the process gets a glimpse of just how happy they are as a couple. Naomi, still the voice of reason even after she left the show, takes Natalya to task for her “pity-party” and gives her enough of a pick-me-up to keep her chugging along for the time being.
The Bella Twins, meanwhile, have begun an on-screen rivalry with a strange behind-the-scenes counterpart to go with it. While the friction from a few episodes ago has largely flamed out, Nikki’s in a mild panic over the fact that Brie is seriously considering having a child with Daniel Bryan in the near future, as such a development would split up The Bellas and dilute their burgeoning brand. Even John Cena balks at Nikki’s aversion to her sister’s potential happiness, though that doesn’t stop her from confronting Brie and Bryan over an otherwise pleasant family dinner. Unable to sway her sister’s opinion, Nikki instead probes into the idea of being able to carry a brand on her own and gets a vote of confidence from WWE execs, ensuring the Bella empire will continue for eons untold, baby or not. Long live The Bellas.
It has been a while since things got really, really awkward on E!’s “Total Divas.” Happily for everyone, that calm comes to a screeching halt this week when Rosa Mendes, who’s still on the market, misinterprets Paige’s general flirtatiousness as a romantic overture. One ill-advised advance later, and Paige and Rosa are no longer speaking. This is more because of Rosa’s general embarrassment than a lack of empathy on Paige’s part, though it takes Alicia Fox to bridge the gap between the Divas and bring them to an understanding (Paige in particular is advised to bear in mind how flirty she can be), thus restoring their merry band to full strength.
In our slightly scarier second storyline, Brie Bella is increasingly concerned with home security after a botched burglary of her and Daniel Bryan’s home. Bryan is content with some subtle-yet-effective security measures, but Brie prefers to go all-out, installing a full-on razor wire fence that turns the “Braniel” home into a compound. Bryan, of course, is not consulted on this, and once again, an 11th-hour compromise is needed to bring the couple to common ground.
Eva Marie is physically on the mend from her recent surgery, but an upcoming photo shoot for “Muscle & Fitness Hers” sends her into a crazy workout regiment and brings some deep-seeded body image issues to life. Despite Cameron and Jonathan’s best efforts to curb Eva’s increasingly negative view of herself, it takes a unique experiment with a local artist to get Eva to see the alarming divide between perception and reality. With self-confidence back under her belt, Eva hits the photo shoot for “M&F Hers” and absolutely slays it.
There is some silliness, some seriousness and some sultriness on this week’s episode of E!’s “Total Divas.” We’ll begin, as ever, with the fun stuff: Nikki Bella and John Cena’s competitive genes come to the forefront when a playful argument leads to a truly absurd competition between the two consisting of go-kart racing, mini golf and the like. Not only does Cena wipe the floor with his overwhelmed S.O., but the fratty finale that completes his clean sweep frustrates Nikki so much that she straight-up douses him with a beverage, and then has to be sweet-talked down to earth.
The seriousness next, and it is, in fact, very serious for Eva Marie when she discovers one of her silicone implants is leaking into her bloodstream. With her career picking up steam, Eva decides to ignore doctor’s orders and tough it out in the ring to keep her momentum running. As a result, Jonathan takes matters into his hands and alerts WWE officials to her condition. It’s only a heart-to-heart from The Bellas that convinces Eva to bite the proverbial bullet and have the procedure that will shelve her for months but ensure her continued health and eventual return to form.
As for the last bit? Natalya and Paige are in the midst of a series of matches and Paige, in an effort to rile up both the crowd and her opponent, has been resorting to an unusually sultry form of mind games. Natalya isn’t exactly comfortable with the tactic, which borders on pure PDA, but Paige defies her request to dial back and instead takes it one step further in their rematch by licking the entire side of Nattie’s face. All of this seems destined for a backstage brawl between the two Divas until Paige explains that the match — and Natalya herself — are that much more interesting to watch when The Queen of Harts is really riled up. Nattie, moved to compromise, agrees to a happy medium of harassment in all future contests. Everybody wins.
One week after Paige’s introduction to the “Total Divas” coterie, the WWE Universe meets the next new addition to E!’s PopSugar-dominating wrecking crew, the wild and crazy Alicia Fox. Initially positioned as a free-spirited partner in crime to Rosa Mendes’ cautious envelope-pushing, Foxy soon ends up an unwitting accomplice in a particularly harebrained scheme by Rosa to manufacture an on-air “wardrobe malfunction.” (She’s motivated by an earlier, entirely accidental incident during a match that earns her a ton of new Twitter followers.) The duo abandons the plan pretty much immediately, though some innocent gossiping by Foxy among the Divas locker room makes its way to WWE brass, who come down hard on Rosa in reply. It seems as though “Total Divas’” newest wo-mance will be over before it even begins once Rosa sniffs out the source of the leak, but Alicia manages to talk her off the ledge and the quirky twosome continues its march into Episode 13.
Less likely to last the next five minutes is the relationship between The Bella Twins, which is fraying by the second and isn’t helped by Brie’s nonstop attempts to extend the olive branch to Nikki. John Cena advises Brie to simply give her sister the space and time necessary to cool off, but a big extended family gathering forces the two into conversation. Nikki’s reluctant at first to even acknowledge her sister’s presence, though some goofiness softens her up and reconciliation, though not immediate, seems likely on the horizon. Exhale.
In the wake of her health scare from a couple of seasons ago, meanwhile, Eva Marie decides to check up and see if she will still be able to have children if she so desires. The good news is that everything seems to be in working order … except for her desire to have kids in the first place, which it turns out she exaggerated so as not to drive off family-oriented Jonathan during their whirlwind romance. The timid truth-bomb she drops on her husband leads to a big blowup on his part. However, after several hours cooling off steam at his local CrossFit, he’s much more amenable to the new terms of his relationship, and resolves to treat Eva’s decisions with a softer hand – provided she’s up front and honest with him.
Oh, and Paige is fascinated and intimidated by Big E’s chest. Aren’t we all?
So, about that talk …
Nikki Bella and John Cena’s cliffhanger encounter from the midseason finale of E!’s “Total Divas” ends with something of a tentative breakup between the two in the opening minutes of the midseason premiere. Interesting to note that Cena doesn’t acknowledge it was a sit-down with Brie Bella that prompted him to cut Nikki loose. The Champ’s willingness to fall on his sword leaves Brie wracked with guilt, and while she initially refuses to cop to provoking the breakup, Mama Bella demands that Brie lay her cards on the table and give her sister the whole truth. Predictably, this plan fails horribly: Nikki chews out her entire family, which leads to a spectacular shouting match and bad blood between the sisters … which actually turns out to be exactly when Nikki turns on Brie at SummerSlam and feeds her to Stephanie McMahon in the ring.
In other news, the midseason premiere also introduces one half of the cast’s new dynamic duo, the troublemaking British Diva Paige. Already a divisive presence in the Divas locker room thanks to her hyperspeed rise to the Divas Championship, Paige goes about causing a ruckus almost instantly by playing a prank on Natalya. It goes so fantastically awry that it leads Natalya to fake a car accident to avoid its repercussions. The fallout is so instantaneous and absolute that even the ultimate peace offering — a gift for Natalya’s cats — can’t smooth things over, and by the end of the episode, Natalya has found herself a brand-new enemy to carry her through the remainder of the season. Welcome back, everybody.
“Total Divas” returns to its regular scheduled time – 9/8 CT – next Sunday on E!.