Total Divas TV report

Episode 5: “Feuding Funkadactyls”

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

JoJo and Eva Marie put on bronzer before heading to the gym. They do some planks, then lose interest in actually working out and goof around instead, with JoJo putting Eva Marie in headlocks. Their tom-foolery is interrupted by Joe Anoa'i (Roman Reigns), who introduces himself. Eva Marie and JoJo retreat to the cardio equipment and discuss how hot Joe was.

The opening titles to the show have expanded and evolved, as now each Diva is introduced and we get a clip of them from the show.

In Tampa, TJ and Nattie hang out in the pool. TJ's mom calls. Nattie mentions that this is her birthday week, and she's happy to be going to Calgary but isn't excited to see TJ's mom. TJ's mom is apparently insisting that they stay with her in Calgary, which is a problem because until they get married, TJ's mom insists that they sleep in separate beds – for Nattie this involves splitting a king with her future mother-in-law. TJ promises to tell his mom that they're staying in a hotel. Meanwhile, Ariane goes to Trinity's hotel room and discovers that Trinity isn't ready, as she wants to chill out. Ariane suggests going out and going shopping. Trinity is resistant to this idea. Elsewhere, in Calgary, fans file into the Saddledome and we go backstage. The Bellas are preparing to film a segment for the WWE App and they and the Funkadactyls are going over their script. After the segment is over, the girls all hang out. It's mentioned that the Bellas are going to visit some relatives, with Brie mentioning she's going to visit their dad – Nikki doesn't want to go, as she has a strained relationship with their father.

Nattie arrives at the Saddledome, excited for her birthday and RAW. We see clips from her tag team match on RAW, where she and Kaitlyn lose to the Bellas, on her birthday. We're treated to a series of shots of the Calgary skyline before going to a hotel downtown, where Nattie and TJ arrive at their hotel room. They begin to make plans when TJ's mom calls. Nattie wants to enjoy herself during her birthday week, while TJ tells his mom they're fine with staying with her, as he's apparently incapable of saying no to his mother. TJ packs up and heads to his mom's while Nattie snuggles into her hotel bed and watches TV.

In LA, Jon and Trinity are out with Vincent and Ariane for the night for a boutique opening or some such thing. Trinity describes the event with the enthusiasm of someone going to a funeral, while Ariane insists that the two of them pose for the many photographers outside (and over and over again inside the event). Trinity explains in a talking head that she's more focused on the moves and the matches in wrestling rather than the glitz and the glamour, as Ariane is. Over in Tampa, we visit John Cena's house, where John lights candles and Nikki looks at photos in his house. For some reason Cena has a photo of Churchill, Stalin and FDR at the Yalta Conference in 1945 on his dining room wall. He begins to teach Nikki some Chinese. This transitions to John asking about visiting her father. He suggests hashing things out, because he's not only a student of world history and world languages, but he's also a very understanding human being.

Back in Calgary, TJ, Nattie and TJ's mom go out for lunch, and TJ's sister meets them for lunch, too. It's hard to recap one of the more awkward meals I've ever seen on TV, but suffice it to say that Nattie does not have fun at lunch. Back in Tampa, the Bellas are going to the gym. Nikki suggests that she's ready to make up with their dad, and asks Brie to come with her. Elsewhere, Ariane and Trinity head to the ring to spruce up their ring entrance routine. They aren't in synch, with Trinity suggesting focusing on designing a routine and Ariane suggesting that they try to “work the camera.”

Nikki and Brie visit their Nana and their brother. Nikki puts over her Nana as being a great person, while Brie discusses their grandfather's death a few years prior. Back in Calgary, Nattie uses the phrase “birthday week” for the eighth time this episode as she heads to a tanning salon that a friend of hers owns. The friend looks awfully like former WWE superstar Luther Reigns (but isn't), but it's obvious that he's sweet on her. They flirt a bit and he complements her bikini before he puts on the spray tan. Her suggests they go out for dinner. Back in California, the Bellas visit their grandfather's grave. They wonder what he would think about them wrestling – their brother says he would've loved it. The girls discuss how awesome their grandfather was and how much they miss him. Back in Calgary, Nattie meets TJ in the lobby of their hotel, only to discover that instead of going out for dinner, they're going to his sister's. Man, TJ's coming off really poorly on this show. Nattie goes back to her room to watch TV. She's disappointed. Back in Tampa, the Funkadactyls meet JoJo and Eva Marie to go go-karting. Ariane says that she wins at everything, and if she doesn't win she'll “definitely have a boo-boo face.” The girls race: Trinity finishes last, JoJo third, Eva is second and Ariane wins. Trinity congratulates Ariane on winning and Ariane calls her bitter, leading to an argument (Trinity says she's the one who wins the matches, Ariane says she's the better talker) and a shoving match.

After the commercial break, the girls continue to argue. Back in Calgary, Nattie meets with her friend Jaret (from the tanning place) for a fancy dinner. He's dressed up and apparently made all the arrangements, so Nattie's quite impressed. After some small talk and catching up, he jumps into it – he's romantically interested in her. They laugh awkwardly and we cut away to the Bellas meeting up with their dad. Before we see Nikki talk to her dad, we go to commercials. When we come back, Papa Bella asks Nikki what's wrong and what he did wrong. Nikki gets into how much of an inconsistent presence he was in her life and she cries a bit, noting that her grandfather was more of a father figure to her. Papa Bella says he doesn't have an excuse and he fell, saying he hates himself for letting her down. Nikki says it'll take time to repair their relationship. Everyone hugs and parts ways, and Nikki notes that she feels better after talking to her dad (just like John Cena suggested would happen).

We cut to a different city for this week's RAW. Backstage, Ariane and Trinity still aren't getting along. Jane (from talent relations) says we'll have a tag match this week with AJ and the Bellas against the Funkadactyls and Kaitlyn. Trinity doesn't really want to work tonight, leading to an argument with Ariane in front of Mark and Jane (from talent relations). They get pulled into a room with talent relations and continue to argue, so Jane decides to set up a meeting with Stephanie (McMahon, head of creative) to discuss their problems. Trinity and Ariane came across horribly here, just shouting at each other and calling each other “the problem” and “unprofessional.” Ariane confers with the other girls and notes their pending meeting with Stephanie, which Nattie bluntly says is “not good.” After a break, we go to that meeting. Ariane recounts Trinity shoving her after their go-kart argument. Stephanie says she won't accept unprofessional behaviour from Divas in public. The girls are relegated to singles competition this week to see how they do on their own before creative makes any decisions.

WWE producer Brian says that Trinity will be working with Alicia Fox while Ariane will work with Aksana. Seamstress Sandra wonders if Ariane will be okay, while Trinity's confident in herself. Elsewhere backstage, the Bellas sit and watch their boyfriends team with Kane in a six-man against The Shield. Nikki says she gets turned on watching John wrestle, also comparing Bryan to a wildebeest and a lumberjack before saying she wants to bite John Cena's butt. Needless to say that the Bellas are happy to be with the men that they are with. The Funkadactyls have their singles matches: Nattie criticizes Trinity's conditioning in her match before Trinity botches a dive, while Ariane's match is a bit rushed and uncoordinated. After their matches, the girls make up, noting they missed working with each other and the support they get from having each other. They hug it out and vow to work through the bumps in their relationship.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was an uneven episode. We get even more “partners arguing,” although this week the Bellas got along and it was Ariane and Trinity that yelled at each other and then made up. There was no Bryan Danielson and very little John Cena, and JoJo and Eva Marie were relegated to the role of Greek chorus.

Anyhoo, the best stuff continues to be the “on the road/behind the scenes of the WWE” aspect of the show, although the stuff with the Bellas family this week was actually quite sweet and enjoyable. We never did get a resolution to the declaration of romantic interest from Nattie's friend, although the clip from next week's episode suggests that it'll come up again at Nattie's Vegas bachelor party – when everyone on this show will get liquored up for our amusement.

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