It’s time for another double shot of Total Divas, which, coincidentally, is exactly what it takes to get through this show! *rimshot* *hold for laughter that never comes* If you missed the last two-episode recap, you can find it here. There are a lot of screencaps of people eating because, look, we all deal with sh*t in different ways.
First up on Total Divas: John Cena dives into the driving emotional force behind the behavior of “new money,” and Paige wears a funny hat.
This week starts off with Nattie showing everyone a video of Two-Paws (like Tupac, but a cat that belongs to white people) aggressively humping her head and neck because her life is an unfathomable mess. Naomi and Alicia Fox interrupt this magical moment to tell the girls that the teams for their UK tour have been chosen. The roster splits into two groups to cover the most ground when they’re on a house show circuit, so you could get, say, Cesaro and Paige on one, or Alicia Fox and King Barrett on the other. Oh no, that’s exactly what’s happened! Foxy admits that she’s “a lovesick fool” for Wade, even though he has a new girlfriend. Listen, Alicia — Ms. Foxy if you’re nasty — you’re my favorite, so let me tell you this: Never get hung up on dudes with gimmicks. Seriously. Whether it’s novelty wrestling gear, or a hilariously crushing fear of commitment, it just does not go well.
Paige and the Bella Twins are on the same tour team, and Nikki is very excited to be a broad abroad, living the high life in a foreign country. Paige is excited to get back to England to do traditionally “Bri-ish” things, like going to the chippy, saying ‘lift’ and ‘lorry,’ and getting discovered by Malcolm McLaren. She doesn’t understand Nikki’s champagne wishes and caviar dreams, insisting that England really isn’t like that. Later, Nattie reveals to Paige that the Bellas used to work at Hooters, and also grew up on a farm. There isn’t really anything particularly shame-y about either of these things, but it’s treated like this huge bombshell. WHOA, someone grew up in a different environment than they live in now and also used to work in food service? I, for one, am shocked. Also, honey, you let a cat hump your head, maybe take off the Judge Judy wig for a sec. The tea-sipping assertion is that Nikki is a total fake, because people never grow or change when their circumstances and surroundings change, as well, or something. Nattie bops Paige on the boob and then plays with her hair a bit because there really isn’t anyone on the planet more awkward and terrible than she is.
Meanwhile, Eva Marie is back in California to continue training with Brian Kendrick and his wife (pictured above). Coincidentally, that is the exact same look I have on my face when I watch Eva Marie do anything. I feel you, girl. Eva is really proud of the work she’s been putting in, and I’m just glad she’s remembering to keep her f*cking legs closed on her headscissors. AT LEAST HALF OF THE WWE ROSTER COUGH COUGH
Later, she goes to a photoshoot for her website, and decides that the only way to cover her bruises from training is with head to toe body paint. I can only assume all of her photos are totally un-retouched so removing them after the fact is out of the question. The photographer convinces her to take a few without the paint, and she admits that she’s kind of proud of them because it shows all of the hard work she’s been putting in. Jonathan thinks everything looks dope, because I don’t think he’s had any other adjectives uploaded into his internal programming system. I assume they had to cut that part of the budget to re-funnel money into the ongoing Giuliana Rancic mummification project. But was this just an excuse to show a bunch of different shots of Eva Marie in a bikini, or is it foreshadowing something much darker?? Dum-dum-duuummmmmmm!
1. This jumpsuit is — yes, you guessed it — totally dope.
2. This guy only wants to take a picture with Nikki, because that’s not creepy or suspect at all.
3. How many times do you think he’s cranked it to that selfie since this was filmed?
4. Yeah, probably a lot, huh.
Over on the other tour, the girls stop at a tart shop called “The Queen of Tarts.” You know this because Nattie keeps shouting it like a little kid whose just discovered a cuss they’re not allowed to say. Damn hell ass Queen of Tarts! She pulls Fox out of the shop to grill her about what’s going on. Fox admits that she’s still hung up on Barrett, but that he’s got a girlfriend and she can’t say anything. Nattie tells her that she needs to clear the air, and that even if it’s the night before his wedding she’s got to put her feelings out there. Nattie, you have been with one dude, and, also, that is SUPER NOT HOW THINGS WORK. What is wrong with Nattie? That’s terrible advice. If he’s off the board, you move on or you suffer in silence and listen to hella Taylor Swift until your window of opportunity opens up again like a normal goddamn human being. Of course Nattie thinks it’s also okay to try to ruin someone’s wedding. Oh my god, she’s that person who thinks the Keira Knightley arc in Love, Actually was totally romantic and appropriate, isn’t she?? Ugh, that would explain so much.
Rosa catches wind of what Natalya’s been telling Foxy, and, as the young kids have already stopped saying, goes AWF. She pretty fairly points out that spilling her guts over all of these feelings while he’s separated from his girlfriend on tour is totally homewrecker-ish, and she needs to chill. Listen to Rosa. As we were reminded constantly she’s bisexual, and if my sex math is correct she’s like, twice as good at stuff as everyone else.
Some totally real people left totally real comments on Eva Marie’s Instagram photo that showed off her training bruises insisting that Jonathan is abusing her. Jonathan’s response is pretty dope, shrugging it off and pointing out that idiots are gonna be idiots, and to just ignore it. Solid advice, right? Oh, but if only that’s where it was left.
Later on, Eva Marie and Jonathan are having dinner, and a totally real stranger approaches Eva in the bathroom. She points out that her bruises look just like hand prints, and if she ever needs help, she has options. And like… okay. Eva points out that she wrestles, which is a much more justifiable excuse than clumsiness or whathaveyou, but like… dang. Good for this woman in this totally not contrived situation to step up and say that, but also this all seems like a weirdly unnecessary layer to write into your show if you’re not actually trying to make any kind of social commentary on domestic violence, and also especially given WWE’s history of glorifying wrestlers who have totally beat their wives. Also, how far up did you roll up your sleeves, Eva? Man, I’m so glad this part wasn’t staged at all or I’d have some serious questions about Eva’s bathroom habits.
Regardless, we need to take a minute (or forever), to appreciate the REAL star of the show as he devours almost an entire roast chicken to himself:
Officially petitioning for every scene with Nattie to be replaced with B-roll of Dope Jon eating. His reaction to Eva Marie telling him about the bathroom incident is also pretty choice:
Nikki has bought fancy hats for everyone to wear for when they go to a fancy tea. As you can tell by Paige’s reaction, it does not go over very well. She explains that she’s from a different background, and this kind of thing makes her uncomfortable. Nikki asks everyone to just pretend like they enjoy it, which… I know we’re supposed to be on Paige’s side because she’s cool and would much rather be eating french fries (God, wouldn’t we all?), but the idea that Nikki’s being inauthentic as opposed to just wanting to have a different cultural experience seems weird and kinda shame-y. Paige ends up ditching the twins with half of a crustless sandwich and the car service. At the show, Paige confronts Nikki and says the whole thing felt fake and pretentious, to which Nikki obviously takes offense. I feel like a lot of this could be avoided with some clearer communication and just a hint of empathy, but I drink my tea out of a mug that I got at a fancy gas station in Texas. What do I know about fancy sh*t or caring about people’s feelings?
John Cena joins the twins for a fancy dinner and some hard life lessons. He explains that he didn’t grow up with much, and he was actually homeless for a time, so now that he’s older and has the means to do so, he takes care of himself; he pays attention to how he looks, and allows himself to enjoy the finer things he’s never had access to. Nikki says that even though she grew up on a farm, she always wanted something more, and would watch fashion shows and read magazines, and want to have those things she couldn’t afford. I mean, this all seems super fair, to be honest. I think anyone who grew up extremely poor can identify with that feeling of wanting, even if our idea of luxury is the ability to pay our student loans and have an apartment big enough enough not to, as Heidi Brander describes it, have to “masturbate where you eat.”
Most of Paige’s on-screen Total Divas persona is predicated on the notion that she’s different, and unique, and being herself. This whole situation is an extension of that, but in a really damaging, hurtful way. Instead of being like, “Hey, you grew up on a farm, but you’re not a farmer and you like different stuff, that’s cool, you do you,” she tries to force Nikki into this one way of being based on a time in her life when Paige didn’t know her. It seems really out of character. Brie later takes Paige out for fish & chips, and explains a little better that this is a thing Nikki’s always wanted. Even though Brie feels at home with the rural kind of upbringing they had, Nikki’s not being a phony when she enjoys the things that she likes. Kudos to whomever realised that Brie was getting dangerously close to unseating Nattie as the worst person and had her pull the f*ck up (jk Nattie is the worst 4 LYFE). Nikki and Paige end up realising all of this by the end of the episode and make nice, because this is a total non-issue unlike literally anything Nattie does ever.
This is Cameron’s face after explaining to Nattie that shade is a bad thing, and Nattie responds that she herself is the shadiest b*tch in town. Why are they talking about shade? Oh, no reason, just that Nattie went to Barrett and told him that Foxy had to talk to him about something. GODDAMNIT NATALYA. She says that she just wants to make sure Fox gets to the bottom of her feelings. Like… is there something wrong with Nattie? Does she not understand social cues or interpersonal relationships? Or is she just made of garbage and scraps from Bret Hart’s old jackets? I am so perplexed. What I’m not confused about, however, is my desire to pal around with Alicia Fox while drinking wine in places we shouldn’t:
JUST LET ME BE FRIENDS WITH YOU
*ahem* This is, of course, after Nattie aggressively and uncomfortable harasses the front desk staff to give them Barrett’s hotel room number, going so far as to physically remove his hand from the computer screen he’s covering because she’s being insane and invasive. Also, hi, you work together. Is there literally no one else you can ask? Lord this woman is gonna drive me to drink, I swear. Foxy knocks on Barrett’s door since she’s been convinced to go to him in the middle of the night and express her ~emotions, but then BAILS AT THE LAST MINUTE BECAUSE NOBODY SHOULD LISTEN TO NATTIE EVER. And it’s a good thing too, because guess who shows up??
Shoutout to Wade Barrett for dating the low-rent American version of Emma Peel. I mean, if I were gonna be cool for the summer, I’m pretty sure 1965 Diana Rigg could convince me.
After a random appearance from delightful Greek wood nymph (and Giuliana Rancic’s new E! News replacement (ehhh, see how we new media folks tie everything in?) Maria Menounos, Fox makes nice with Wade’s new girlfriend. She later heads out to a bar to look for “man candy” (Mandy!) after deciding that there’s a man out there for her, but it’s not him. I assume they edited the part where she laid on the floor and cried while alternating between listening to The Eels’ End Times and Lucero’s Tennessee wondering why he can’t just feel the same feelings she does because that’s a little too real for reality television. Plus really, I mean, who would ever do that? Hahahaha ohhhh god I’m so alone.
Next week on Total Divas, a bunch of stuff! In fact, all of the stuff below because the future is now!
This week’s episode kicks off with everyone’s favorite NPC Mark — the VP of Talent Relations — coming into make up to tell Naomi at the last minute that she’ll be turning heel that night. Naomi has reservations because she’s always been a good guy, and she doesn’t kn ow if she has it in her to be as mean as the character shift requires.
We’re going hard on a Nattie storyline this week, because sometimes we just can’t have nice things. You can tell Nattie’s a main story because everyone’s faces look like this:
Nattie is explaining to both TJ and then Renee that they’re moving, and her sister is going to stay with them for a few days to help ease the transition while they’re on the road. TJ and Manic Pixie Dream Canadian Renee Young high-five, and Nattie interrupts her story to tell them to stop flirting which is weird and awkward for everyone. She then continues explaining that TJ isn’t a fan of her sister, because she apparently took umbrage at the way he proposed to Nattie, which…let’s be real, folks. Any amount of time spent with Nattie that ends in a marriage proposal and not defenestration is probably a miracle. Because of the way the show works, we know that “three days” is probably going to be something much more chaotic, so raise your hand if you can’t wait to see what completely avoidable dramatic situation Nattie has created for herself!
Oh hey, it’s Daniel Bryan! He and Brie have been reunited after being on separate tours that caused them to miss their anniversary. It also caused Brie to miss out on Bryan not being allowed to wrestle for two nights. This brings us into the B-story, wherein we find out more about Daniel Bryan’s precious baby neck made of bird bones.
Naomi’s heel turn goes off without a hitch. If you’ll remember, it was reported that her heel turn was actually due to the departure of She In Chuck Taylors Who Shall Not Be Named But Who We Miss Every Day (or SICTWSNBNBWMED if you’re really into acronyms that don’t work), which is, of course, not even hinted at on this fake TV show about real people who make a series of fake TV shows. After the show wraps up, Naomi tells Nikki and Brie that she’s happy for the opportunity so she “can grow, and learn, and evolve.” She’s still trying to get comfortable with it, as her natural state is pretty mellow. The Bellas give her some tips, and again, you’d think that would be the end of it. Nope! Many more segments about this to go!
Speaking of the Bellas, Nikki is aghast that Brie is so calm through the news that Daniel Bryan has a 50/50 chance of never wrestling again. Brie explains that he’s accomplished his dreams, they’re financially comfortable and have saved their money, so it’s not like that would be stressful. She doesn’t want Bryan’s in-ring career to end, but she does want whatever is best for his health. Again, Nikki can’t believe this totally logical, calm response, and continues to needle her sister about not feeling her feelings right. This is all very much a non-story, so I’m just gonna skip to the resolution which is Daniel Bryan being beardy and great and explaining to Nikki that he doesn’t want to be stressed during his recovery, and she worries too much, and everyone just needs to be chill about sh*t. That’s it. That is the entire Bella Twin story this week. Not even just the Coles notes version. I’m fine with this being super low-key, a) because Brie is not a terrible human being for the second week in a row, and b) we have SO MANY TERRIBLE NATTIE THINGS TO TALK ABOUT.
Before we get to that, let’s check in on all of the ways people tried to help Naomi get into her new heel character:
1) An aggressive game of ping-pong
2) Trying and failing to be mean to Paige, who is pretending to be a waitress
3) Foxy throwing a drink in her face
This one… this one does not go over as well. Naomi is furious, smashes a glass, and then is escorted from the property by security. Jimmy takes her outside and explains that none of this is worth it, and she’s gotta focus and whatever, blah blah blah, Naomi is great as a heel and I forgive Alicia Fox for doing something mean and awkward to help her friend and create television ~drama. Naomi looks good in her title match at Extreme Rules, and Renee makes this face at Nattie:
The thing is, we haven’t even gotten to the part where Nattie says she wants to f*ck a dog. No… really. And it’s not even the worst thing. Let’s take a tour through how unrepentantly awful Natalya is when allowed to have a central storyline.
1. The Lion’s Head Incident
To the left you’ll see a lion head statue that Nattie’s mom bought for her. To the right you’ll see what happened to the statue after her dad “accidentally” dropped it in the driveway. This was also after Nattie pointed out in a talking head that the statue would definitely not be coming to the new house with them. HM SEEMS SUSPICIOUS DON’T YOU THINK
2. The Home Repair Incident
Loads of repairs have to be done to their old house before it can be sold. Natalya is given some very specific quotes, which she then undershoots by about $12k when relaying this to TJ. He is obviously none too pleased that she would outright lie to him. He’s also upset that she keeps acting sketchy about her sister.
3. The Sister Incident
Nattie tells TJ that her sister is coming to stay with them for three days to help unpack everything, and look after their cats and stuff while they’re on the road. She also has her own room and four gigantic suitcases. HM SEEMS SUSPICIOUS DON’T YOU THINK
4. Natalya Wants To F*ck A Dog
Okay, not really, but of all the weird, off the cuff remarks she’s made, this made me do a cartoon double-take. In the video above where she says that TJ has been ignoring her, and she’s flirting with every man, woman, and animal that walks by, the exact quote she follows that up with is, “I saw the golden retriever across the street and was like YOU WANNA GO?” It’s cut from the video above, but oh my god could you be any more awkward and terrible, Nattie?
5. She’s Mean And Lies To Her Family But Everyone Is Okay With It
Natalya finally admits that she’s been lying to every single person about basically everything. Her sister is going to live with them, the home repairs are astronomical, she asked her dad to smash the lion’s head, she hated presents from her sister and her dad, she hates the wedding ring TJ picked out for her, and she lied about Cat Fancy being interested in their little fluffers. My favorite part of this is how utterly disgusted TJ is about the Cat Fancy thing. My second favorite part of it is never having to watch that again because OH MY GOD BE WORSE, NATTIE.
The thing is, most people were like ugh, I’m so disgusted with Nattie this week, but like… she’s awful every week. This was a lot of it packed together, but is anyone surprised? Is anyone shocked that someone who creates these situations so she can be the martyr would suddenly have an ulterior motive, and do the thing that feels right for her but is destructive and inconsiderate towards everyone else? Really???
Guys, remember how great it was when Jonathan was eating? SO GOOD, right?? Seriously. Just send him to Golden Corral and you’ll have more than enough footage to replace anything Nattie does ever. Do you want to see Nattie insist that lying about everything is sparing someone’s feelings when really she’s just disgustingly selfish, or do you wanna see Jonathan test the limits of what you can and cannot dip into a chocolate fountain?
I’m doing away with the power rankings from now on, because really, nobody is going to unseat Nattie as the worst one. Not after lying about Cat Fancy. So instead, let’s take a look at the best part of the show that didn’t make it into a storyline. Last week was obviously Jonathan doing anything. This episode’s DOPE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK?
Second official petition to give Josie and Jonathan their own spin-off where they tour the buffets of America and also fight over a rubber steak chew toy, probably.
Ugh. So dope.