Previously on Total Divas, Nia Jax tried to trick her friends into setting up her new house, while Paige and the Bella Twins smashed cars with sledgehammers.
But enough living in the past, let’s look at the one biggest match that was Season 8 Episode 6 of Total Divas:
The Miami Double Birthday Battle Royal
Only one match this week, but it features everybody except Naomi (who probably spent a nice relaxing weekend with her husband, so good for her). Nia Jax and Natalya have birthdays the same week, so they girls all decide to go down to Miami and have a blowout. Nia’s less than thrilled about this, because she just bought a house and thinks it might be fun to sleep there one day, but she’s persuaded that it will be an awesome time with all of their friends (except for the friends who aren’t cast members, but that’s how this show works).
Nikki, Lana, and Paige have also made plans to surprise the birthday girls with cool and unexpected stuff while they’re there, but apparently nobody told Brie that, so she’s scrambling to come up with a good surprise at the last minute, while also being annoyed that Nikki keeps leaving her out of group texts.
One thing Paige has done, which isn’t even her main surprise, is hired a handsome 21-year-old bartender to serve them drinks in their suite. I’m not even sure he is a bartender, actually, because Paige says she hired him from a modeling website, and all he actually seems to do throughout the episode is pour shots. We never seem him shake a shaker, let alone muddle anything. To be fair, though, there’s plenty of need for shots poured, especially with Lana around. The young model/bartender also tries to flirt with Nikki a bit, but she calls him a baby even as he tries to boast that he hooks up with older women at the club. “I don’t even go to the club anymore,” says Nikki, a statement that’s technically disproven by the end of this episode.
Lana’s surprise for Nattie and Nia comes first. She’s acquired (presumably by rental, but they never say) a Lamborghini for the birthday girls to take to the restaurant. This is kind of a weird gift for two women in their 30s, but they go along and have a good time. Nattie’s not nearly as nervous driving an absurdly expensive car as you might expect, and Nia is pretty excited when it’s explained to her how fancy and expensive this car actually is. It’s a very Lana gift — she loves displays of wealth and taste that are so over-the-top they circle around to trashy.
The other thing this episode makes clear, as did Nattie’s barbecue a few weeks back, is that Lana really loves drinking. I’m not sure how much of this is her taking on a specific role within the context of the show and how much of it is just Lana, but she’s definitely the show’s top party girl now. There’s even a scene in this episode where the Bellas specifically say that drunk Lana is wilder than “Brie Mode.” It’s definitely too wild for Paige, who moans “Nooooo” when Lana tries to get her to do shots early in the day. If nothing else, that’s a good sign for how Paige is doing these days.
On the other hand, Paige’s surprise happens at a sushi restaurant, where there’s a naked man on the table covered in sushi. She claims she didn’t know that this was what naked sushi meant, but I don’t think anyone’s buying that. Assuming the sushi restaurant employs people to be naked sushi tables, they’d at least have to ask if you want a man or a woman. And for that matter, the guy says this is his first time naked covered in sushi, so I’m not convinced Paige didn’t hire him from the male modeling web site where she got the bartender.
And look, I’m generally against prescribed gender roles and in favor of equal-opportunity objectification, but there’s definitely a deeply ingrained cultural preconception about the cleanliness of male bodies versus female bodies, and until that changes nobody’s going to want to eat sushi off of a dude. The sushi, as someone points out, was touching his pubic hair. Needless to say, they do not eat that sushi.
Nikki’s surprise is two choreographers she met through Dancing With The Stars showing up to split the Divas into two teams of three and then have a dance-off at a club. Nia’s reluctant, but it ends up seeming like a fun time for everybody. Even Nattie doesn’t really embarrass herself, and without Naomi there Lana is able to pass herself off as a good dancer.
While they’re in Miami, Nikki is also dealing with being followed by paparazzi in the wake of her breakup with John Cena. In the end, she has a little fun with them by flirting with the young bartender on the edge of the balcony with the photographers below. The amazing thing about this scene is that it’s where all the trailers for this entire season of got the footage that made it seem like Nikki was going to be dating someone new. Now that we’ve arrived at that scene, it turns out she was just play-acting to mess with people who are overly invested in her personal life. That’s some strong meta-storytelling (or if you prefer, trolling) from Total Divas.
As for Brie, she flies Nia and Nattie’s moms to Miami to hang out. This is the perfect gift for Nia, who had been sad earlier about how rarely she seems her mother. It’s probably less ideal for Nattie, who sees her mom all the time, but she obviously still appreciated the surprise.
That’s all for now, Total Divas fans, but join me next week when Brie is surprised by a birthday party for her baby, and Rusev wants him and Lana to have a baby of their own.