Total Divas TV report

Episode 3: “Planet Funk is Funked Up”

Recap by Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) for the Wrestling Observer

Brie and Nikki drive around San Diego and debate what the people that trim down palm trees are called. Meanwhile, three episodes in, there's finally a title sequence rather than just the title card. Back in a hotel, Brie and Bryan Danielson pack up and prepare to video-chat with Josie, Brie's pet bulldog who's staying with Brie's mom. Brie mentions that they're moving to Phoenix because she needs to see her dog more. Bryan asks if Brie's mentioned their move to Nikki. Uh-oh. Bryan's proposed wording is “Bitch, we're moving to Phoenix.”

In Tampa, Trinity and Jon hang out in their apartment and goof around. She's not wearing her engagement ring and they get into a small argument about it, but everything seems fine and they goof around some more. Bill DeMott makes an appearance at the NXT gym, as Eva Marie and JoJo show up for training. They go through some in-ring manuevers and JoJo is so much better than Eva Marie it's not even funny. By sheer coincidence, while DeMott is warning Eva Marie about how uncoordinated she is, JoJo gets dumped on her head and is hurt – she's got a concussion. She worries she may be done with wrestling after one concussion, but this isn't mentioned again for the rest of the episode.

Elsewhere, Trinity and Jon go out for dinner. He brings up the ring again, and she mentions that “work-wise, they want the Divas to be single,” so she's okay with not wearing the engagement ring at work. Jon's not convinced, asking what happens when they get married, which Trinity deflects by saying then it'll be official (and presumably she'll wear the ring). Meanwhile, Brie frets about telling Nikki about moving to Phoenix. After some chatter, she leaps into it. Nikki thinks moving to Phoenix is a little extreme, cementing her status as the biggest heel on the show by blaming the move on Bryan Danielson. Brie defends her man and Nikki leaves in a semi-huff, saying “Enjoy Phoenix.”

Later, Brie and Nikki are scheduled to meet with the producers and directors of a movie they're gonna be in. Brie's running late, as she was packing and forgot. We meet the Bellas' manager, producer R. Scott Reid (whose IMDB page has no credits since 2011), and director Paul Bunch (none since 2012), while Nikki spins that Brie's parking the car. In a confessional, Nikki blames Bryan for not being home. The guys ask about stunts and physicality, and Brie wanders in and apologizes for being late. IMDB has no listed projects where these people are working together, and the only movie the Bellas have listed as coming up is something called Confessions of a Womanizer.

And we meet yet another never-mentioned-before boyfriend of a cast member, as Sebastien visits JoJo. They go to the beach. Over in San Diego, Brie and Nikki go to their trainer's and work out. As Nikki's working the punching pads with Brie, Brie mentions – in a totally not scripted way – that she and Bryan found a townhouse in Phoenix. Despite being injured, JoJo says she needs to go to practice, while Sebastien whines about her being away from him. It looks like they're gonna break up, since he wants her to choose between him and her job.

Back at training, Trinity and Jon go through some spots. She's nervous about trying a spring-shot legdrop from the apron. DeMott criticizes Trinity for being indecisive, which Jon chimes in by whining about their engagement. DeMott notes that “indecisive people get their segments cut.” He's not wrong. In the car, Jon keeps on Trinity about planning their wedding. Meanwhile, Eva Marie and JoJo discuss Sebastien's ultimatum for JoJo. Eva Marie calls Sebastien selfish, while JoJo hems and haws. In San Diego, Brie and Bryan pack. Nikki shows up to help with one box, followed by Nikki sitting on the bed while Brie and Bryan pack. An argument ensues, including Nikki whining about them moving for a dog, then Nikki leaves in a huff for the second time this week.

We get more Bill DeMott, as JoJo sits and watches training from the sideline. Nattie shows up to help out with training, leading to a heart-to-heart with JoJo about her whole situation this week – with more discussion about her boyfriend than her swollen brain. Nattie says she needs to get it together and that JoJo and Sebastien might not make it in this company. Nattie says no matter what happens, she'll be there for JoJo. Once more in San Diego, John Cena makes his weekly appearance as he and Nikki drive around. Nikki mentions her argument with Brie, leading to John asking what happened “this time?” Nikki explains the situation, while John Cena seems like the most rational, level-headed human being on the show. Channelling Dr. Phil, Cena asks if Nikki's lashing out at Bryan because Brie won't be around all the time anymore. Great insight, Dr. Cena.

Back in Tampa, Trinity and Jon are bummed about their two-year engagement. This leads to an argument, which leads to Jon grabbing his stuff and leaving in a huff. Nikki Bella may be mad about him stealing her spot. Thankfully, someone moved a glass on the counter between shots so Jon could slap it into a kitchen wall. Trinity sweeps up the mess and frets about the situation. Brie's place is all packed. Nikki shows up and apologizes for acting the way she did about the move. She credits John Cena for helping open her eyes to things, while Brie says Bryan helped her see things from Nikki's perspective. They hug it out.

We go to Kansas City for RAW. Trinity meets up with the Bellas and Nattie, and explains her wacky week with Jon and all the fighting. Ariane appears in the Divas locker room. Where was she all week? She was sick with tonsillitis, and ended up getting some infections due to the anti-biotics she was on. Everyone makes faces as Ariane goes into detail. Why is she even there when she was that sick? Jane from talent relations told her she had to be there, as they had a match. Mark (from talent relations) says the plan is for an eight-person tag: the Bellas and the Usos against Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls (taped for Superstars, but that's not mentioned).. What a wonderful coincidence. Trinity whines about her situation, and Mark says to check the personal stuff at the door.

After the break, Trinity and Ariane go into more detail about their weeks, with Mark preaching professionalism - “at the end of the day, business is business.” The girls declare that “Planet Funk is funked up right now.” Eva Marie and JoJo watch the show from beside the stage as it's time for the eight-person tag. Nikki drapes herself over Jon in their corner, leading to bemused reactions from JoJo and Eva Marie, and Trinity getting angry. Nikki tags in Jon. Jon and Trinity stare down, Trinity gives him a hurricanrana to the corner, then tags in Tensai. The match goes on and Tons of Funk gets the win. Everyone happy except for Trinity, who feels she and Jon should talk things out.

JoJo has decided to break up with Sebastien. The girls think she made the right decision. Trinity explains how she feels to Ariane, who asks why she doesn't want to take the next step with Jon when she cares about him so much. Turns out she had an ex who cheated on her and is scared about another relationship failing and may be punishing Jon for somebody else's mistakes. Ariane encourages her to try with Jon. Trinity finds Jon and they talk things through and make up.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The third instalment was appreciably worse than the first two. Maybe it's because the storylines were all very repetitive – relationship troubles, plus Nikki Bella being awful to her twin sister. On the other hand, we got a break from the Wacky Adventures of Eva Marie, and Nattie Neidhart, Bryan Danielson and John Cena continue to be cemented as extremely sympathetic and level-headed characters.

On the whole, this week dragged a bit, but was a completely passable sixty minutes of reality television.

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