With WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump no longer being in the reality show game thanks to his anti-Mexico statements, might I suggest a replacement for his cancelled show? Take the cast of Total Divas and put them on an island somewhere. No cameras, no audio or video, no webcams, no updates, nothing. Just leave them there and forget about them. That would be much more tolerable than having to sit through another season of the insipidness that began with last night’s premiere. Want to know more? Check out the recap below.
The new season (God, help us) kicked off with a few of the Divas having brunch and talking about the Bellas potentially leaving WWE — Brie to become a mother, and Nikki to pursue other opportunities. But in hearing their plans to take their spots when they leave, Nikki gets angry, proving that you don’t have to be a good wrestler to be a narcissist. Then she says that she knows about moves, and timing, and psychology, which would be the funniest thing ever said if she didn’t actually believe it.
Nattie decides to seize the opportunity that a Nikki departure would create and pitches a dominatrix gimmick — which involves Eva Marie for some reason — to WWE suit Mark Carrano. He nixes it, citing their PG rating. He also mentions that Eva Marie will not be going on the road, but rather will be going through a private training camp to be groomed as the replacement for the Bellas. And that Nattie is pretty much a washed-up nobody.
Cut to Eva Marie training with The Brian Kendrick. She says she’s in the best shape of her life, actually doesn’t stink up the ring during the session, and even her marriage is better now, as she and her husband/manager Jonathan have patched things up after their fight over her career. Everything’s coming up Eva Marie.
Backstage, Nattie tells the others about Eva Marie’s special treatment with a private coach. Predictably, all of them are upset and jealous. They all talk about how hard they had it while making their names, and to hear them talk, it’s like a round-table convention of territorial ’70s stars. In what may be the second-most unintentionally funny line of the night, Brie says that Eva Marie “should thank God she has a pretty face because other than that, she’d have nothing.” Pot, meet kettle.
Now, all fired up, the Bellas confront Carrano about Eva’s preferential treatment. He says they shouldn’t complain since they’re the ones thinking of leaving anyway.
At home, Eva is in great pain from her training, and Jonathan gives her a pep talk. In the third most unintentionally funny moment of the night, Jonathan, in talking about Kendrick, says the word “dope” a few times. Which is not to suggest that Kendrick is a pothead, but come on.
Nattie takes Trinity and Jimmy Uso to a sex shop in order to find some dominatrix outfits and props. Fail.
At dinner, Mama Bella tries to give Nikki some career advice, telling her to not forget how good she has it in WWE. Nikki thinks she can achieve Rock-like success outside of WWE, and at this point, I have to pause the show since I can’t hear it for my laughing out loud.
At home, Nattie and TJ get a visit from a professional dominatrix who’s there to tutor Nattie on the art of dominatrixation [Editor’s note: This my new favourite made-up word]. They use TJ for whipping practice until he leaves because he’s rightfully embarrassed by the new level of stupidity that this awful show has reached. After getting whipped a few times and even tying up her own mother, Nattie comes to the conclusion that maybe Carrano was right and that the gimmick isn’t going to work.
Over dinner, the girls get all catty about Eva and then start squabbling among themselves when Trinity calls them on their cattiness.
Speaking of Eva, she goes into another training session, but isn’t quite feeling it, repeatedly struggling to execute a routine move sequence. Eva takes a walk to clear her head, and Jonathan gives her another pep talk. It comes out that Trinity has stooged on the other girls, and told Eva that the other girls are chirping about her special privileges, and Eva thinks that’s getting into her head. She shrugs them off, gets back in the ring, and nails the sequence (well, kind of … Worst. Leapfrog. Ever.).
Backstage, Nikki tells Brie that she’s not ready to leave, and suggests Brie stick around as well, extending their contract for another three years. Brie says that Nikki can do what she wants, but Brie’s not sure she’s down with that.
Later, Lilian Garcia pulls Brie aside and says that Eva told her that she knows what all the other Divas are saying about her. Brie couldn’t care less that Eva knows, saying that Eva’s just trying to play the victim. Not sure I get the logic, but then again, the Bellas also think they know how to wrestle, so perhaps agreeing with them isn’t the right strategy in any case. Brie says that Eva shouldn’t view WWE as a stepping stone to Hollywood. But, wait, isn’t that what Nikki has been talking about? Man, I can’t stand the Bellas.
It’s the RAW before WrestleMania so everyone’s there — including Eva Marie. Nikki has what she thinks is a great match against Paige, and it revitalizes her love of being in the ring and, dammit, it looks like she’s staying for three more years. Brie still hasn’t changed her mind, though.
Eva heads to the Divas locker room to confront the others. They ask her what’s going on, and she blasts them for being haters. She argues about Girl Power, they accuse her of treating WWE as a non-priority, and being a bad wrestler, and basically they can’t stand anything about her. Kind of like me and this show.
– The dominatrix is hearing-impaired, which seems to me to be risky, because how can she hear you if you use the “safe word”? If you’re wondering, TJ’s was “cat.” Or maybe “Kat” in honour of the former WWE Diva by that name who used to have kind of a dominatrix thing going?
– Is it Dominatrixing? Dominatrixation? Dominitration? “Look at the adjective,” right Scott Hall?
– With the departure of seamstress Sandra from WWE earlier this year, John Cena remains the sole voice of reason on this show now. Unfortunately, there were no scenes with him in it. The other most interesting person on this show is Titus O’Neal, and sadly he was only reduced to an on-screen shot of him flexing, so we didn’t get to hear him say anything funny.
– During the closing credits, they showed clips from future episodes this season. It looks like Paige will get engaged, Brie will get drunk, and somewhere in there, an elephant mascot gets beaten up.
– The move from Sundays to Tuesdays is kind of smart, as it stops this show from competing with PPVs.
– In a clever bit of editing, Eva’s walk to the Divas locker room at the end was spliced in with shots of Bray Wyatt’s entrance. Not sure of the significance, but who cares — it’s such a great theme, all shows would be better off using it somewhere. Can you imagine how cool it would be to have someone walk down slowly to Contestants’ Row on The Price is Right to that music?
Bob Kapur watches Total Divas so you don’t have to. E-mail him your thanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.