Previously on Total Divas, Nattie dealt with the sudden death of her father, Jim “the Anvil” Niedhart.
But enough living in the past, let’s look at the biggest matches in the hard-hitting Season 9 premiere of Total Divas:
Ronda Rousey Versus The Format Of This Show
I’m not here to make fun of Ronda Rousey. She may not be my favorite WWE Superstar of the past few years, but I’m just here to recap Total Divas, a show that always has some semi-shoot heels around to bring villainy to the Reality TV format. That said, I want you to look at the image above. That’s the most comfortable that Ronda ever looks talking to a Total Divas camera. That’s pretty much as at-ease as she ever gets, at least in this first episode of her first (and if I were guessing, only) season. Here, in fact, is the first image of her that appears at the top of the episode:
The caption should just say “Ronda Rousey: Distrusts the Makeup Girl.” And it’s not just the interview segments. It seems really clear that Ronda doesn’t have much interest in interacting with the rest of the cast. She gives off the cuff takes on the other Divas as the show opens, including a comment about Carmella seeming like a fragile beanie baby that got a real-time reaction from the current WWE 24/7 Champion as the episode aired, but then the rest of the girls have a group storyline for rest of the episode, while Ronda just hangs out on her farm with Travis Brown, goats, donkeys, and various MMA Horsewomen.
I’m curious to see if they eventually manage to get her into a beach house with the rest of the cast before the season is over, but I’m not holding my breath. Nikki and Brie Bella were often pretty isolated during their last couple of Total Divas seasons, but they at least would show up for a girls’ party weekend, something Ronda seems much less up for. I hope I’m wrong, though. I want to see Ronda in the hot tub having drama with Trin and Nattie, otherwise what’s the point in being on Total Divas at all?
Interestingly, this episode sets up on ongoing arc about whether Ronda Rousey wants to stay in WWE or leave to have Travis Brown’s babies. It’s one of those big “Do I stay or do I go?” choices that nobody ever seems to struggle with quite as much as reality TV stars. In fact, it kind of has me wondering if the eventual announcement about whether or not we’ll see Ronda in a WWE ring again will come as part of this season. Considering her presence on the WWE Alumni page, this weird fit of a Total Divas season might well be Rousey’s WWE swan song.
Winner: Ronda Rousey. Say what you want about her, she clearly has the freedom to do whatever she wants, whether it fits the format of this series she’s been heavily promoted as one of the stars of or not.