Total Divas Episode 11: Seeing Red
Recap by Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike)
When we last left the cast of Total Divas, John Cena was giving his super-hot girlfriend paperwork to sign, and everyone else was not doing that.
Nikki Bella calls Brie and discusses the co-habitation agreement for living at John Cena's house. Remember, she's a guest in his home, not his live-in girlfriend. Brie thinks it's weird and says Bryan Danielson would never do that to her. Nikki says she doesn't know what to think and she's beginning to second-guess her relationship. At no point during their discussion does Cena's recent divorce and presumably losing many of his belongings and assets come into this conversation. Over in LA, Ariane and Vincent, the show's MVP, are hanging out. Ariane wants to go to sleep, and Vincent wants to be intimate. Ariane explains that she has a medical condition that makes sex painful, and it's not helped by Vincent's large, uh, endowment. Vincent jokingly asks God to make his package smaller so that he and his girlfriend can be intimate. Over in Tampa, Nikki's staying in a hotel and thinking about things. She calls her mom and discusses the paperwork. Nikki's mom mentions that the paperwork is based on John's past experiences, because she is a regular person. Nikki says that John needs to let go of his past and not let it affect Nikki.
We head to RAW, where Brie waits while Bryan signs a bunch of autographs for his adoring fans. She gets bored waiting and heads into the arena. Backstage, Ariane and Eva Marie try to get Nattie to twerk. She refuses. The show begins and we see fans chant “Yes” for Bryan Danielson. Trinity and Ariane stretch out backstage, as they have a match tonight. Ariane's sex life is brought up and Trinity proclaims “TMI.” Ariane indicates that she and her man haven't been intimate in awhile, which leads Trinity to deduce “No wonder she's so angry all the time” in a talking head. The Funkadactyls head out for their match (which apparently involves AJ), and we cut away to the WWE Performance Center. Eva Marie is training to be a wrestler, and she's just awful. She asks TJ how to become like her and Nattie (in the ring), to which he says it takes time. He also had an entire childhood of training and had his first match when he was a teenager, so immersion probably helps, too. Eva schemes to get TJ to make her a not-terrible wrestler. He walks her through some submissions as Nattie arrives at the Performance Center, sees him helping Eva, and gets jealous. (She calls Eva's hair colour “cheap and fake.”) The great Norman Smiley is greeted but barely shown on-screen, which is just a shame. Nattie mentions that she's the only woman that TJ's ever trained, which is why she's jealous. TJ is awkward as heck as he explains the logic behind teaching Eva some awkward, awkward submissions.
We hop to LA, where Ariane goes to the gynaecologist. That may be the strangest thing I've ever written in a Total Divas recap, which is an accomplishment in itself. And we hang out as Ariane has an exam, and then provides commentary after-the-fact. (She uses the term “awkward.com” for some reason.) She has an ultrasound, too. Long story short, there's nothing medically wrong with her. She's frustrated that she has no answers for her whole sex problem with Vincent. We visit back with TJ and Nattie. TJ mentions that Eva wants him to show her stuff again, and Nattie gets mad because she wanted to work out with TJ. Elsewhere, Brie takes her dog for a walk. Bryan calls from the road and says he has seven interviews to do at live events over the weekend, promising to make it up to her (and her dog). Brie's disappointed, as is the dog. Back to Orlando and the WWE Performance Center! Nattie decides to see Eva training with TJ. She's awkwardly practicing headlocks, which amounts to her basically rubbing TJ's head in her boobs. Nattie reacts poorly to this, as you would expect, so she finds Fandango and concocts a plan to make TJ jealous (saying she wants to work on her “conditioning.”) So she and a shirtless Fandango are in an adjacent ring, rolling around. Fandango sees the look that TJ is giving Nattie and immediately seems to realize that he's being used in an elaborate scheme. (His facial reaction upon realizing this is fantastic.) TJ gets upset at Nattie and leaves. Eva asks what's going on, leading to a heated argument, with Eva saying she wasn't trying anything and Nattie saying she doesn't trust her.
We head back to LA, where Vincent discusses a burrito he had last night while he and Ariane drive to see a sex therapist. Apparently it was a good burrito. Ariane tells the therapist that sex is painful, so she doesn't want to have it. They discuss how Ariane isn't all that sexual generally. The therapist has some suggestions, which Ariane shoots down. The therapist says that Ariane seems to shut down ideas that are out of her comfort zone and needs to expand her mind about stuff. Vincent has a smile in the background of this discussion. Once again, Vincent is the show's MVP. Elsewhere, Brie and Nikki are walking and talking about things. They have the same discussion about her issues and John's issues that we've already had twice this episode, along with some rather distracting sweeping camera pans and zooms. Long story short: Nikki hasn't spoken to John about things yet, but she decides she's going to.
Nattie arrives home to TJ. She explains how she felt insecure and jealous about Eva Marie training with TJ. They make up and Nattie admits that she overreacted. TJ teases Nattie about Fandango's sequined pants. In Phoenix, Bryan and Brie go to lunch and Brie's excited for alone time with her man. But he keeps getting texts from WWE's PR staff, who then call. He comes back and apologies. And then takes another phone call for an interview. Brie reacts as you would expect her to react. They have an argument in the car about how much attention he's paying to her (she's mad he couldn't give her an uninterrupted hour). Brie wishes she was dating the Bryan she was dating at the beginning, to which Bryan mentions he was less successful then. To be fair, this is the most civilized argument I've ever seen on E! Back in LA, Vincent arrives home to Ariane with some wine and some stuff from the sex store. He's very eager to help Ariane. He literally covers their kitchen table in wacky sex toys. The highlight of the scene is her chasing after him with a riding crop, followed by them invoking Bryan Danielson and chanting “Yes” repeatedly. In their kitchen, fully-clothed. The final shot of the sequence is Ariane's tiny dog peeking into their bedroom tentatively. Elsewhere, Nikki and Brie go to hot yoga. They briefly discuss their relationship issues, with Nikki mentioning that Bryan is already stressed out with all the extra work he has to do because John's injured and that she may unintentionally be adding to that stress. Yes, Nikki Bella was the voice of reason.
John Cena calls Nikki. They arrange to meet to discuss things. Elsewhere, Brie waits for Bryan to come home. The dog greets Bryan at the door and he crashes on their bed. Brie and Bryan discuss things, with Brie recounting that Nikki made her think about how she's making Bryan feel. She apologizes, and then he apologizes for not making time for her, and it's very cute. Brie asks if she should go get the dog, and Bryan jokingly replies that she should go make him a sandwich. She says she will make him a sandwich, but she was already going to do that. Back with John and Nikki, they meet for dinner and to discuss all the paperwork she has to sign. “There's no nice way to do this,” says John. Basically, if she turns into some sort of crazy woman (which he hasn't seen yet), he would be stuck. Yes, this is almost entirely about his divorce, I'd reckon. “It's something that's necessary,” says John. He admits that his reasons are selfish and that he should've told her before she moved in. Basically, he's providing for his whole extended family (who we've met in previous episodes) and he doesn't want his ability to take care of his family to ever be put in jeopardy. Even when Cena's being selfish, he's still the best human being alive. She gets it. Cena briefly dangles the possibility of marriage, and Nikki outlines her rather lewd prenup. Long story short: we don't see her sign the paperwork, but she did or is going to.
The Verdict: Arguably the first true clunker of the season. No JoJo whatsoever, in what's been a very JoJo-light half of the season. And the Divas we did see this week were in very well-worn stories. Nattie's insecure about her marriage! Brie's insecure about Bryan's success! Nikki's insecure her relationship! Ariane's insecure about sex! We get the predictable resolutions, which are suitably nice moments, but going back and forth between such predictable and repetitive stories before we get to those nice moments was a bit of a chore.