Total Divas Episode 9: SummerSlam
Recap by Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike)
And we're back!
Trinity meets everyone for brunch and everyone raves about her new shoes. Eva Marie tells everyone that she's doing a Maxim signing today. She shows off her Maxim photos and notes her spread got bumped from one page to four. (Nattie notes that it's a bit early in the day to see Eva Marie “half-naked and coming out of a pool.”) Later on, Ariane, Trinity and Jon Uso head to RAW. Ariane rages about a slow driver in front of her and gets on her horn like a crazy person. Then she gets out of the car to bitch at the driver, who calls her a bitch and drives away. Everyone arrives at the arena and Jon and Trinity have the exchange of the episode – Jon: “Girl bye.” Trinity: “Girl bipolar.” Nikki arrives at the arena and discusses her injury recovery. Eva Marie shows off her Maxim issue backstage and brags to the Bellas that she's becoming a “fan favorite.” She admits she likes rubbing her success in the Bellas faces. Eva Marie brings up the possibility of her teaming up with John Cena, noting that people on Twitter are mentioning it. Nikki teases her about taking Twitter seriously. Nikki admits she needs to come back soon, as she's concerned about another girl taking her spot.
Back inside, Nattie and Trinity are preparing for a singles match (on Superstars), which Nattie's excited for. We get clips of the match, with Nattie complementing how athletic and competitive Trinity is. Trinity hits Nattie in her stomach, which Nattie explains caused her to pee a bit. Huh. She books it backstage, clearly embarrassed about what happened. Backstage, Nattie rushes to her locker room, where she bitches at Trinity about hitting her in her bladder. Backstage, Nikki meets up with John Cena and jokes about Nattie peeing herself. John mentions that he pooped himself once in a match (when he had food poisoning). John shows off his gross swollen elbow. Nikki advises him to get his elbow checked out, alluding to him giving her the same advice prior to the Total Divas hiatus. John notes that there's an important event coming up (SummerSlam), which Nikki explains has the Bellas boyfriends facing each other (Cena versus Bryan Danielson).
We skip ahead to SummerSlam weekend in LA. The Divas go to meet with Mark and Jane from Talent Relations, who go over the schedule. The creative team has decided that at SummerSlam, it's Brie Bella against Nattie – with Eva Marie and Nikki in Brie's corner and the Funkadactyls in Nattie's corner. Nattie is assigned WWE.com host duties for the SummerSlam opening party, so she won't get to walk the red carpet. We get a lot of shots of people getting their pictures taken. Alicia Fox attempts to console Nattie about peeing her pants, which doesn't go over well at all. Nattie buries Trinity's ability to work, comparing her to a wild stallion. Elsewhere on the red carpet, Cena is collected by a WWE staffer after a text. Nikki's a bit mad about being left alone. Ariane's boyfriend Vincent makes an appearance, generally being a goofball in the background of the red carpet, along with Ariane's mom. He also dances around like a crazy person, annoying Ariane. Trinity admits being uncomfortable when Ariane and Vincent argue. Trinity grabs Ariane and explains to Ariane that Vincent probably doesn't appreciate being embarrassed in public. There's also a bit of amateur psychoanalysis by Trinity here that I'm going to skip over involving Ariane being an angry person.
The next day, the Bellas are walking Brie's dog. Brie asks what happened with John the night before, but Nikki doesn't know and says she wants to give John his space. Brie finds a planter by the sidewalk for the dog to pee in. We cut to WWE Fan Axxess, including some adorable little girls who say they do their hair like the Bellas. Eva Marie signs for fans and thinks that people want more of her and less of the Bellas. Nattie continues to be crabby whenever people mention pee. Elsewhere, the Bellas record audio for the animated WWE Flintstones movie. Afterwards, the Bellas and Bryan Danielson hang out on a couch. Brie mentions she saw Eva Marie (“Big Red”) in the gym, and she tried to convince Brie to make Eva her tag team partner. (We get a flashback clip for this.) Nikki is mad about this and thinks Eva is a bad person, then suggests she'll fight her for real when she gets healthy.
Ariane goes to visit her mom and have a chat. They discuss Ariane's temper, with her mom advising her to pick her battles. Dramatic piano music begins to play as Ariane gets into her childhood, her mean step-dad and how she held her anger in growing up. Both of them cry during this exchange. Her mom wants her to have the happiness that she didn't have. They promise to help each other and hug. We then visit with TJ and Nattie. Nattie is amping up for her SummerSlam match and admits feeling overwhelming, as she peed herself in her last match. TJ tells her how big the opportunity is to wrestle at SummerSlam, and Nattie says it's the biggest match of her career and she's not sure if she wants to go through with it. TJ tells her to stop worrying about it and go out there and wrestle. Elsewhere, Ariane, Trinity and their boyfriends go up to the hotel's roof for some champagne, where Ariane apologizes for freaking out at Vincent at the party. Everyone toasts and hugs. We cut to Brie and Bryan hanging out in bed with their dog. Bryan feels there's high expectations for SummerSlam, including his own. Brie admits she's nervous about her match, too.
SummerSlam Sunday and not surprisingly, we hang around Staples Center. Everyone's preparing backstage. Nikki finds John and asks to talk with him. She asks what's up and John explains that he got the results back from getting his arm checked out. He explains his tricep is torn and he'll be out for six months (spoiler: two months). He admits that he's trying to come to grips with how his life is about to change. This will be his last match for quite a while (spoiler: two months). The event starts! JoJo signs the national anthem! The Divas come out to ringside for Brie versus Nattie. Eva Marie sees an Eva Marie sign in the crowd and marks out (I'm pretty sure the girl holding the sign was also featured prominently at her signing earlier this episode, so there might actually be just one Eva Marie fan). Nattie and Brie have a match, in the sense that they wrestle and things seem to be flow pretty well. Nattie wins via the sharpshooter and calls it one of the best matches of her career. The Bellas' mom is backstage and says she's proud of her girls. Eva Marie appears and asks Nikki what she thought of the match. Eva Marie asks about the Eva Marie signs in the crowd and Nikki no-sells her, then adds “Is she still talking?” when Eva comments about how popular she (Eva) is getting before leaving. In a nice touch, Brie's wearing a Daniel Bryan shirt and Nikki is wearing a John Cena shirt. Brie tells Nikki to ignore Eva Marie, as she and Nikki worked hard in the ring to get to where they are (and she alludes to Eva being not-great as a wrestler).
The main event begins and the Bellas try to get their mom take sides. We get clips of the match and the Bellas reacting, particularly Nikki freaking out anytime something happens to Cena's injured arm. Bryan hits the running knee and pins Cena to win the WWE Title. Brie is excited, as Bryan's worked hard to get to where he is. Nikki frets about John's elbow as Cena comes through the curtain and greets people after his match. Nikki ponders if Cena's career is over. (Spoiler: nope.)
And later this season on Total Divas: people yelling at each other out of context.
The Verdict: Bolstered by SummerSlam giving all the storylines something to rotate around, this was a really focused edition of this program. Eva Marie is definitely being painted as the villain of this show, though, which depending on your opinion of her could be good or bad. I'm also a bit aghast at how little JoJo factored into this episode, as she sang the national anthem and appeared in the background of Eva's SummerSlam Axxess signing. That's it. I'm also curious how many times this show can recycle the “Ariane is upset at Vincent” trope.
And it's hilarious watching Nikki freaking out about John Cena's career being in jeopardy given how quickly he came back from injury, but I figure that will factor in heavily to the rest of this season's episodes.