Well, it’s a new year, and we’re back with our belated coverage of Total Divas. With all that’s been going on in 2017, we’ve fallen behind, but we are committed to catching up. In honour of all of the womens’ marches that went on this weekend, we’ll refrain from saying how much we think that this show constantly takes two steps backwards in that regard and presents women in the worst possible way. Instead, we’ll head straight into the recap and let you be the judge.

Episode 7

The show starts off backstage where Paige is playing with Big E’s chest, and he probably wishes things were the other way around. Meanwhile, Renee and Nattie are worried about the upcoming brand extension. Renee’s concerned that she may end up on a different brand than her boyfriend Dean Ambrose. They try to get some inside information from Johnny Ace, but he kayfabes them.

The Bellas are working out, and Nikki tells Brie that since John Cena is away, she’s free to do a wine trip to Napa. Brie agrees, provided that they make this a pure vacation and business talk is off the agenda. Nikki agrees.

WWE suit Mark Carrano teases Nattie for being late to the building and then tells her that he needs to talk to her later on. Naturally, she’s scared, because every time he talks with someone, that means potential changes to their career trajectory, and she’s been getting a lot of TV time recently.

Nikki and John are out for dinner, a rarity since they both have busy professional lives. They agree to a standing date night every Saturday night – and possibly some mackin’ time every Wednesday night.

Backstage, Nattie tells everyone about her upcoming heel turn that Carrano told her about off-camera. The turn happens against Becky Lynch after a PPV match, and it goes over well, but unfortunately the crowd starts cheering for it – the opposite of the intended reaction.

On their way to Napa, Nikki raises the idea of starting a Bella wine company, but doesn’t mention it to Brie, who thinks they’re only there for some fun. Nikki mentions her vibrator because of course she does.

Backstage, Renee shows Nattie the social media feedback to her heel turn, and Nattie is worried that with the brand split coming up, she may get fired if it doesn’t go well. Summer Rae fans those flames as well, suggesting Nattie may end up a homeless cat lady. Not sure if the editing was weird here for Nattie to jump to that conclusion, or if it’s just crowbarred in to get this week’s plot moving, but why bother thinking that hard about this show.

Paige makes her return to TV, but during her match, her shoulder pops, and she’s in major pain. Afterwards, she goes to the doctor in the back to get checked out.

Meanwhile, the fans still don’t know how to react to Nattie – during the follow-up to her heel turn, the crowd was silent. Like Cruiserweights on RAW reactions. Again she talks about getting fired, and Renee tries to convince her that won’t happen. Hey, if they’re getting rid of people who get no reaction, don’t worry, Nattie – there’s a long line ahead of you, right Curtis Axel, Darren Young, R-Truth, and Titus O’Neil?

Eva Marie and Paige have made up after their past bad blood, and are spending the day hanging out. Eva notices that Paige’s neck and shoulder are bothering her, but Paige no-sells it. They go to a reptile zoo, but Eva is terrified of snakes.

Backstage, Nattie wants to try out wearing a black wig to try to really reinforce her newfound villainy, but balks at the idea when it turns out she looks ridiculous as a brunette. So it’s back to the drawing board.

In Napa – or Nipa, judging by Nikki’s dress – Nikki tells Brie about her plans to form a wine brand, telling her that she’s even been in contact with some of their friends in the industry. Brie tries to shut that noise down, saying that drinking wine doesn’t make you an expert. She says Nikki is only looking at this business to try to keep up pace with Cena, who has so many things on the go, that he doesn’t even have time for Nikki. Nikki denies that, and says she wants to do the business for her own reasons.

Eva and Paige are hanging out in San Antonio, and Eva is surprised by how close Paige is already to Alberto Del Rio’s kids. She’s even more surprised by her new Alberto tattoo, thinking that things are moving pretty fast for having only dated him for a really short time.

Back in Napa, the twins meet up with their winery buddies at a restaurant. Nikki suggests they they want to create a brand, but Brie clarifies that there’s “no we”. Which is a pretty low bar for wine, but the Bellas are a pretty low bar for wrestlers, so I guess that makes sense. The winery guy tells them that wining is a lifestyle and it takes a lot of dedication, but they offer to give them a crash course in wining so they know what a business would involve.

Paige admits to Eva that she’s in a lot of pain, but asks Eva to keep it quiet, because she doesn’t want it to interfere with her career, particularly with the brand split about to happen. Eva promises not to say anything.

Backstage, Nattie finds Carrano and pitches the idea of being an on-screen mentor to Eva, hoping to glom off some of the mega-heat that Eva has with the fans, in order to strengthen her heel reactions. Carrano says no because he sees that as counterproductive to Eva’s character. He dresses her down, saying she needs to act like a locker room leader and own her own heel turn.

It must be unseasonably cold on Napa, because Nikki looks like she’s smuggling grapes in the front of her shirt. The winery guys try to teach them about vine chemistry and how to work the fields, and while Nikki is making an effort, there’s no way she’s picking up most of what they’re saying.

Nattie is still worried that the WWE Universe isn’t reacting to her turn, but they finally start coming around, booing her despicable actions. Everyone celebrates that her turn worked.

The twins wear bikinis and talk about wining, and I like the first part but am bored with the second part. Brie again says Nikki is trying to compete against John, and Nikki’s delusions of grandeur come to light when she says she’ll be more successful than Cena will. Brie calls Bryan and tells him this, but instead of laughing out loud, Bryan tells Brie that she shouldn’t dump all over her sister’s dreams. He says she should apologize and tell Nikki she supports her dreams.

Backstage, Carrano corrals Paige, and asks her to be honest about her neck. It seems that a certain red-headed bird stooged her out. He lectures her about being truthful and not trying to hide her injury, and then benches her from action until they get the problem looked at and fixed as necessary.

She immediately finds Eva Marie and blasts her, calling her every name in the book for ratting her out. But Eva has no idea what Paige is talking about. Nattie reveals that all the girls knew about her neck and Carrano found out about it because Nattie asked him about it, assuming that it wasn’t a secret. Paige then blows up at Nattie, saying that she can’t trust her or anybody else, before storming off. Eva basically says that she and Paige are personally done after that exchange.

Brie apologizes to Nikki, and tells her that she admires how much passion Nikki has in following her dreams. Even if they’re stupid and unrealistic (okay she didn’t say that, but let’s be honest).

Bob Kapur isn’t much of a wine aficionado, but will indulge in a nip or two every once in a while. E-mail him some bad puns at bobkapur@hotmail.com.