It’s time to celebrate with a double-dose of Divas this week. Lana and Rusev are celebrating their marriage, while Nikki celebrates a return to the ring. Maryse and Eva are celebrating belated honeymoons, while Nattie and Renee are celebrating their pets. So, to paraphrase Kool & the Gang, let’s all read the recaps and have a good time.
Two Weeks Ago
John Cena and Nikki hit the red carpet for the Teen Choice Awards, which he’s hosting and where she’s presenting an award. Nikki’s asked about not being part of the recent draft, and she expresses her disappointment.
In Bulgaria, Rusev’s mom picks him and Lana up at the airport. On the way home, Rusev tells Lana that Bulgarian wedding traditions aren’t the same as in the U.S., and that she doesn’t get a maid of honour in the traditional Bulgarian ceremony. Rather, the best man’s wife does the job. Lana isn’t too happy about this, but Rusev tells her to know her role.
Back in California, Eva Marie visits her loud and annoying father, who’s recovering from knee surgery. They start arguing because he wants fast food, but she tells him he’s got to start eating healthy. She also tells him that he needs to think about retirement, but he’s not hearing it.
In the hotel, Lana tries again to persuade Rusev to allow her sister to be the maid of honour, but he won’t hear of it, citing centuries of Bulgarian tradition. The tension between the two escalates.
After a photo shoot, Nikki gets an email from the producers of Dancing with the Stars. She’s excited about the possibility of joining that show, figuring that kind of mainstream exposure could help kickstart her return to the ring. Yeah, like Maria’s appearance on Celebrity Apprentice or Ashley Massaro’s stint on Survivor worked out. At least it would keep Nikki out of the ring, so I guess that’s good.
At dinner, Eva Marie harps on her dad’s eating habits again, saying that his primarily meat diet can’t be good for his cancerous colon. He argues back in his typically annoying fashion, so she responds by throwing out all of the leftovers. Meanwhile, some poor starving kid in Africa is crying.
Lana has to get christened at a Bulgarian church before the wedding. Rusev and the appointed matron of honour walk her through the ceremony – or, rather, bark out instructions, and it’s clear she’s not a fan of the ordeal. Especially when the guy starts rubbing her with water and then they tell her that the minister has to cut her hair. Everyone finally coerces her into letting the guy cut off about half a centimetre, but only begrudgingly.
Over lunch, Nikki talks over the DwtS opportunity with her family. Brie suggests that the fact that WWE hasn’t called her back yet suggests they don’t have anything for her, so why not explore the opportunity.
In Bulgaria, Lana scolds Rusev for not explaining the entire ceremony to her in advance, and leaves the church. Her mom is able to calm her down, but not enough that she totally forgives Rusev. She tells him that she won’t tolerate any more surprises, and it’s up to him to know, and tell her in advance everything that is going to happen to her.
At home, Eva and her husband Jonathan bring in some groceries. Her father wants bacon and eggs, but instead she’s going to make him a veggie smoothie or some such grossness. She makes him a green drink, and he’s disgusted. Her brother Neal shows up, and he gags on the drink as well. The family argues as to whether she should be imposing her healthy lifestyle on her annoying dad.
In Bulgaria, Naomi, Jimmy Uso, and Nattie arrive to attend the wedding, but they’re not sure what roles they will have in the ceremony if any. The fact that their driver barely speaks any English doesn’t help.
Eva’s been snooping around her parents’ house to find out if he’s still smoking cigarettes, and finds a butt, but not in a good, Eva Marie’s butt, kind of way. She’s angry.
Lana goes to Nattie’s hotel room and unloads her frustration with the Bulgarian wedding nonsense. Nattie sympathizes, but also tells her to just go with the flow and get through it.
Eva is trying to find new ways to ruin her dad’s life, but Jonathan tells her to calm down and let her dad live his own life.
At home, Nikki tells Cena about the DwtS offer, and he asks her if she’s okay with putting her wrestling career on hold to pursue that opportunity. She think she can do both, but he tells her that even he can’t do everything that comes his way, and he’s Superman. He says that it will be pretty taxing on her body to do both, so she needs to figure out what’s more important to her. I vote DwtS, since I don’t watch that show.
Back in Bulgaria, the crew is out for dinner, and Rusev pranks them into drinking some really strong Bulgarian brew. Rusev tells them all that the women will need to wear traditional outfits and everyone will need to learn the cultural dance that they will be doing in the streets before the wedding, news which goes over about as well as a fart in church. But they all gamely give it a try, and seem to have fun with it.
Eva talks to her dad, and tells him that she worries about his health and welfare. She gets all emotional, but he says that he will let her know when he’s ready to retire, and it’s not quite yet. She says she’ll lay off the retirement talk for now.
Rusev and Lana talk outside the restaurant to settle the argument about the wedding and his slavishness to the old country ways. But things only get worse, when he tells her that the best man has a lot of power in the marriage. She gets angry, and storms off without anything being resolved.
The next morning, Nattie visits Lana in her room. Lana tells her that she and Rusev haven’t spoken since their fight the night before. Nattie suggests that she let it go, and suffer through the ceremony, because it’s not worth losing her man over. Lana agrees to surrender to the process, accept his traditions, and just enjoy her day.
At lunch, Nikki tells Brie that she’s still on the fence about what she’s going to do. She calls her agent, who says that she needs to give DwtS an answer right away. She decides to pass on the show, as she wants to focus on making her in-ring comeback. Her agent tries to talk her out of it – he must be a wrestling fan – but her mind is made up.
Lana learns more about some of the Bulgarian wedding traditions, including the ceremonial hiding of the shoe. Rusev pulls up in a limo, but as tradition dictates, the women won’t let her go without negotiating a price and then making him find the shoe. She pulls him aside, and apologizes for freaking out over the christening ceremony, and he forgives her. The party then moves to the street for dancing before they head to the church for the wedding. The ceremony goes smoothly, other than a slipped crown, and everyone’s thrilled, especially Lana.
The next episode starts with Miz and Maryse talking about going on a honeymoon, which they never got to have after getting married three years ago. Miz says that he’ll let work know he needs some time off, so they can finally do it.
The Bellas are heading to a meeting with a dog talent agent. And I’m questioning all of my life decisions that led me to a point where I actually had to type that. Brie lets Nikki know that Nattie will be joining them – in flashback, it’s revealed that Nattie invited herself to the meeting, because the agent recently expanded to manage cats, of which Nattie has several, and Brie has a problem with saying no. Really? Hey, Brie, can you please tell your sister to never wrestle again and then have her, as she’s now apparently a credit Executive Producer of this show, stop making it? They get to the meeting, and apparently this restaurant needs to be health-inspected because there’s apparently no “no dogs on the table” policy. Nattie shows up, and hijacks the discussion in order to pimp her cat. The Bellas get quickly irritated by Nattie’s presence.
Maryse and Miz got some time off, so they’ve been able to book a vacation. And Eva Marie and her husband Jonathan are going to be joining them, since they’ve never had a honeymoon either, and undoubtedly so they can crowbar in some fake fight between the two women to fill time in this episode.
Backstage, Nikki is doing an interview for WWE.com in hopes to launch her comeback. She’s going to be finding out later whether she’s been cleared for an in-ring return.
The honeymooners are en route to their island resort, and Maryse tells them that she’s heard they have an excursion where you can swim with pigs. The resort is really sweet, right on the beach and comes complete with an in-house private chef. Maryse is hog wild about swimming with pigs (see what I did there?), but the others aren’t that keen on the idea, with Miz prioritizing his fantasy football league commitments over his wife’s idea of romance.
Backstage, Nattie excitedly tells Renee about her cat’s potential career, and Renee thinks that her dog should be a star. Honestly, the fact that I’m writing about something as idiotic as wrestlers’ pets’ social media aspirations has me heading straight to the liquor cabinet.
In the Bahamas, Maryse questions Miz on why he has to be on the fantasy football call for an hour that night, while she’s planning a romantic dinner for them.
Backstage, Nikki is ready for her evaluation, and she heads into the room with the trainers. She then announces that, off-camera, they gave her the news that she’s been cleared for a return, and she and Brie celebrate, while wrestling fans everywhere lament and ask for a recount. They haven’t told her yet which brand she’ll be on, and she’ll be told that later on.
Nattie goes to visit Rosa – remember her? – in order to get a picture of Rosa with her cat. Apparently, it’s Rosa’s husband who designed a t-shirt for Nattie’s cat, and now he’s thinking about other merch ideas. For a cat. F my life.
On the island, the couples go for dinner, but Miz is focused on his phone. He suggests that they all go spear-fishing and have a big BBQ, and Jonathan is down with that. But Eva and Maryse are hoping for more couples stuff, as opposed to macho guy stuff.
Nikki meets with the trainer, and she tells him that her doctor has forbidden her from performing the Rack Attack, because of the pressure it puts on her neck. So she’s going to have to figure out a new finishing move.
In the Bahamas, Miz is on the computer, working on his fantasy draft. Maryse wants to get frisky, but he’s more interested in football players than his sexy wife. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Nikki is at the Performance Centre, working in the ring with Bayley to get rid of some of the ring rust. She’s also planning on working out with some MMA fighters, thinking that she may try to incorporate a submission move finisher into her repertoire.
Nattie joins Renee and Dean Ambrose for drinks, of which they’ve likely had too many. She shows them some more cat photos, but Renee tries to one-up her with photos of her dog. Renee says she’s contacted the pet agent and is working on a deal for her dog, and she’s also contacted Rosa’s husband to try to get some merch for her dog. Nattie’s ticked, because she thinks Renee is trying to cut into her pet merch market. Nattie angrily leaves.
Back on the island, Maryse is wearing a thong and Eva is in a bikini, making writing about this show worthwhile again, notwithstanding the pet merch stupidity. They go to a place where you can swim with sharks, and Jonathan and Miz love it, but Maryse and Eva are totally frightened by the experience.
Nikki and Nattie hit an MMA gym to work out with a submission expert. Nikki is on the fence about a submission finisher, because she thinks it’s too far a departure from her hold power move.
Later, Brie and Nattie are out, and Nattie tells her about Renee infringing on her pet merch ideas. Brie tells Nattie that it’s a case of pot and kettle, since Nattie barged in on her meeting with the pet agent to begin with. Nattie sees her point, though they do plan a prank on Renee, by trying to get a picture of Dean in a shirt with Nattie’s cat on it.
Back to the important stuff, though, which is Maryse and Eva in bikinis. Unfortunately, this time, it’s Miz and Jonathan who’ve doffed their shirts and are oiling themselves down, and I’d rather see more dog and cat stuff. The women refuse to participate in the spear-fishing, and are mad that it’s going to take a full day to do it. Maryse is particularly upset because she’s an animal lover. To relieve the tension, Miz tries some comedy pratfalls into the water, which works for a bit, but not really. The guys try their hand at spear-fishing, but fail miz-erably. Finally, the girls have waited enough, and they decide to give it a try – to great success. This brightens up their mood, and they’re not angry with the guys anymore.
Backstage, Nattie jokes around, trash-talking dogs around Renee. Renee takes the bait, and it’s not clear if she gets that Nattie is really trying to apologize.
In the gym, Nikki calls Brie to tell her about her frustration with trying to find a finisher. Brie says that she should find a move that keeps her safe but still preserves her identity.
The next day, the girls are back in bikinis for a promised romantic day, which includes swimming with pigs, and then later hanging out on a beach with gila monsters. I don’t get it, but there are enough shots of the girls in skimpy bathing suits that who cares.
At the Performance Centre, Nikki botches several moves, but that seems to be her thing. She picks a new finisher move, but doesn’t reveal it at this point, promising that we’ll see it soon enough. Oh, joy.
Bob Kapur has never swam with pigs, but he has dated a couple. E-mail him your romantic horror stories at email@example.com.