BY DANIELLE STOLMAN (w/ Matt Perri)
In our last episode of Total Divas (“The Fat Twin”), all the Divas set women back at least 70 years by focusing way too much on their boobs at the expense of thinking of themselves and other women as whole individuals.
- Cameron, jealous of Nikki’s implants, visited a surgeon to discuss getting her own augmentation, wore model implants in her outfits for a week to test drive the idea and, after all that hard work, decided to keep what she had (to be a role model to others, especially young girls), though she’ll still accept her outfits being stuffed when she’s in the ring.
- Nikki enjoyed picking on Cameron for being jealous and hid her model implants right before The Funkadactyls went out onstage. Obsessed with the twins matching body types as well as faces, Brie went on a juice cleanse and forced Nikki to join. However, Nikki cheated on the diet and the twins decided they don’t have to be 100% identical (not to mention with the huge cup size difference, they can’t be without Brie stuffing her top or a retoucher photoshopping her a larger pair.
- Natalya doesn’t like dressing sexy, despite her in ring attire, yet she’s desperate to have her fiance, Tyson, get his mind off both his knee injury and WWE, and fuck her brains out anyway. When that didn’t work, she pressured him into marriage, a great way to turn your man on, lemme tell ya’. His heart in the right place, Tyson responded by trying to force their wedding, on the spot, at a courthouse — which Natalya threatened to leave him for. Tyson finally got the message, planned a surprise romantic evening at home complete with candles, flowers and strawberries and asked Natalya to get into her lingerie for him.
- JoJo looked concerned for Nikki for seven seconds in a scene.
Will we focus on body parts again this episode? We’ll find out as we watch. As usual, Matt Perri will watch with me and give his color commentary.
Eva Marie and JoJo’s Hotel Room
The Divas are getting ready for the gym by putting on Bronzer. Eva Marie, obviously not fearing self-described lioness Nikki, says, “I have to make my chest shine a little for going to the gym because John Cena might be there.”
Eva Marie and JoJo are doing Planks, which, naturally, evolves into them putting each other into headlocks for the sole purpose of reminding us that they’re actual wrestlers.
The girls briefly meet Joe Anoa’i (AKA WWE’s “Roman Reigns”) who is wearing a sweat suit and headphones. JoJo introduces them as the new Divas. The girls go back to working out by themselves and Eva Marie, showing good taste in guys (and noticing my wrestling crush, sorry Matt!), tells JoJo. “He’s the reason we wear Bronzer.” (MATT: Christ, Eva, why don’t you just wear an “Engaged, But Single” sign around your neck from now on?)
Natalya and Tyson’s House
Natalya and Tyson are in the pool, she appears to be hugging him and says, “This is my wrestling hold for you, try to get out,” (MATT: Oh, so hot.) and he claims he can’t, then easily breaks it. She whines that he ripped her hair and that she will no longer swim with him. I’m beginning to think the reason he doesn’t jump her bones all the time is that he thinks of her as a mother figure.
Speaking of mothers, the phone rings and it’s Cheryl, Tyson’s mom, on the phone.
Natalya tells the camera that it’s her birthday week and as an added bonus she will be in her hometown of Calgary for a match on RAW that week. However, she realizes she will have to spend time with “the mother-in-law from Hell”. Cheryl insists they stay with her for that week instead of a hotel room. Even though she has a small, one-bedroom apartment and until they “seal the deal and get married”, she insists Natalya sleeps with her in her bed, while Tyson sleeps on the sofa. Natalya makes Tyson promise he will tell his mom they will stay at a hotel. I’d do the same. (MATT: Yeah, but we’ve been in this boat before and it didn’t go as planned.) Of course this being a reality show, I bet we can all guess what happens later with these two. They hug and she playfully pushes him into the pool. (MATT: Natalya has a line that’s even more creepy: “I’m not there yet, with Cheryl, that I wanna share a bed with her.” I know nobody who gets to “that level”. Ever.)
New York, NY
Cameron and Naomi’s Hotel Room
Cameron is dismayed the Naomi isn’t dressed, accessorized and ready to go. Naomi tells the camera that, despite being opposites, they are like very close sisters. Naomi argues that as it their day off that they stay in. Cameron, having not heard a word Naomi said, suggests they go shopping for a new purse and jacket for Naomi. Naomi tells the camera, “When Cameron and I were in development together, we just connected, had a good bond, and just feed off each other and I knew we’d make an awesome team.” Famous last words, Naomi, you apparently didn’t read this episode’s title.
Cameron insists that she have new fashions as she’s a Diva, Naomi points out that as a Diva she might have to look sharp, but as the real life, day to day woman, Trinity, she’s fine with being more casual. Cameron insists she’s getting a new purse and jacket. Naomi grunts in frustration and Cameron gets pissy, telling her not to grunt at her. So, to sex things up a little, Naomi grunts over and over and over (MATT: Which sounds somewhere between a Ford Crown Victoria’s engine revving up and a cow being electrocuted.) Prophetic Cameron cringes in horror and says, “I see where this friendship is going: right down the dang hole.”
Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for Monday Night RAW
The Bellas are filming a backstage bit for the WWE App. Apparently, their story calls for them to be catty with the Funkadactyls. Nikki, who doesn’t realize she’s catty to everyone anyway, is thrilled. In this ridiculous segment, Brie tells the Funkadactlys to stop “being like them” and Cameron gives them the comeback of the year, “Girl, bye!” with them both snapping their fingers and turning and leaving like they’re synchronized swimmers.
After the shoot is over, the girls (MATT: Who are suddenly friends…) compare weekend plans. The Bellas are going to their great grandmother’s for the weekend. Introducing the tension into their segment, Brie mentions she’s going to see their dad — the first Nikki has heard of this. Brie tells her to come along with her. Nikki declines as he has been battling addiction, and after her parents divorced, he was in and out of her life. Cameron tells her that life is short and that she should go (MATT: You know, because arguing a point with Nikki totally works.) but Nikki declines agan.
Natalya tells the camera “I’m so excited to be back in my hometown. This is a once in a lifetime event as this is where I started wrestling in front of 10 people, I was nobody back then, and now it’s kind of full circle.”
(MATT: Natalya. In her hometown. On her birthday. This is gonna end well.)
Michael Cole announces that Natalya is there tonight in her hometown AND on her birthday. A fan even has a Happy Birthday Natalya sign. Natalya is in a tag team match partnered with Kaitlyn vs The Bellas. Natalya said they Bellas taught her to be a Diva, and she taught them how to wrestle. The Bellas win and the ever-so-classy Michael Cole, rubs it in by reminding us that she got beat in her hometown, adding that “Natalya is gonna remember this birthday for a long time.” Natalya is shown faking tears in the ring. (MATT: THERE’S NO CRYING IN WRESTLING!) I’m hoping Natalya will go all Alicia Fox and kick the announcer’s ass after breaking their table, but that doesn’t happen. (MATT: Cole had an entire heel turn where he got beat up, but you have a point.)
Natalya and Tyson’s Hotel Room
Natalya tells him “I wish you’d throw me down on the bed right now,” and he complies — with a side headlock takedown that nearly breaks her neck. His phone rings and, rather than enjoy a romantic moment with his fiancee, he answers it and, of course, it’s his mom. Natalya: “His mom is a nice mild mannered woman until it comes to him, and then she wants to have him all to herself,” As it’s obvious Tyson is being talked into things by his mom, Natalya, who wants to celebrate her birthday week, throws her phone down and starts following Tyson who is nervously walking away with his phone. Tyson tries to shoo Natalya with his hands, tells his mom they will “see her soon”, then walks into another room and closes the door. Way to support your fiancee on your birthday! Natalya complains on camera he can never turn his mom down…so he leaves the hotel AND Natalya to go stay with his Mom.
Los Angeles, CA
Random Boutique Opening
The Funkadactyls are there with their men, all dressed up, Cameron grabs Naomi and has them pose for the cameras on the way in. Naomi says Cameron is focused on the glamor, whereas she is focused on wrestling techniques. Inside, Cameron is posing like it’s the Oscars and Naomi gives up and sits down while their boyfriends vanish into thin air like JoJo. (MATT: Boutiques. So important, they have red carpet openings.)
John Cena’s House
Nikki is in Dining Room #17 looking at a historical photo in Cena’s house and wrongly guesses who Churchill and Stalin are, completely mixing them up. Cena tells her that one of the men she guessed is FDR. Nikki, attempting to show that she has a brain inside her skull, says, “FDR doesn’t look like himself in that photo,” (MATT: HOW CAN SHE SAY THAT WHEN SHE COULDN’T IDENTIFY ANY OF THEM?!) Cutting through that bullshit, because WWE is touring through China, Cena starts giving her arbitrary Chinese lessons – which will work so well since she has such a command of the English language. Nikki goes full Ditz and says, “It’s difficult learning a different language, I know some Spanish but Chinese is literally, like…CHINESE.” He is teaching her how to order red wine, she’d prefer to learn dirty words instead. (MATT: You know, the important stuff.) She doesn’t elaborate, so we don’t learn if she wants to curse Cena out or tell him to ride her like a Shetland pony in Chinese.(MATT: Cena’s kitchen is huge and has like seven electric wine cellars. Every single time I see his house, I can’t believe he uses any of what he’s got.)
Pot Stirrer John asks how her dad is, knowing full well she hasn’t talked to him in a long while. (MATT: It’s either that or we watch Nikki struggle through Chinese words like “Wo” and then complain because it’s “literally, like Chinese”.) He questions her motives and she says if she talks to him, she will forgive him and then history will repeat itself so there’s no point. She listens to him even when he suggests she should apologize to him for not returning his texts. Though she exasperatedly tells him that he is “such a man”, she has her arms around his neck and its obvious she will talk to her dad sometime soon.
Calgary, AB – Canada
China Rose Restaurant
Since this is our Chinese themed episode, Cheryl, Tyson and Natalya have to go get Chinese food for lunch. Natalya says it’s a horrible day as it’s raining. As an extra suprise Tyson’s sister, Valerie, is there to make it “the birthday from Hell” for Natalya. (MATT: Not yet. WWE hasn’t had her job to Valerie. We’re close, though.) Natalya should take a cue from what I did for my last birthday: I had three birthday dinners on separate nights, and was able to shape my own guests lists, so that I got to see people I wanted to at them. (MATT: Our credit card companies adored us this year.)
Valerie and Cheryl grill them about why Natalya is staying a hotel. Natalya is already furious and tries to say she has a limited amount of time to see people, and Valerie and Cheryl insist that family comes first. That may be, but if Natalya’s real hometown (as opposed to kayfabe) is Calgary, shouldn’t she in theory have her own family to visit also? Nattie and Tyson tell her Mom they’ve been together 12 years. Valerie, who looks like the bastion of responsibility, suggests they have kids. Cheryl steps in and tells her daughter that’s not happening. Natalya shushes Tyson as he’s saying something to his mom. She complains on camera that she, and not his mom should be the special woman in Tyson’s life. Valerie asks if they’ve considered premarital counseling and both deny they have any issues to work through.
(MATT: The entire scene is so fucking uncomfortable, I can’t even bring myself to describe Tyson’s Mom, stroking the back of her son’s neck. *SHUDDER*)
Random Hotel – Gym
The twins grab free weights and start lifting. Nikki has been thinking about what Brie said about their dad, Nikki is ready to reach out to her dad. Nikki wants Brie to come with her if she goes to see her dad, and Brie readily agrees. Brie is excited that Nikki is willing to try. But she wants to do it in baby steps. This is totally gonna work with cameras all over the place.
WWE Training Facility
The Funkadactyls are in the ring to practice a new dance routine. Naomi wants to get some new steps in, Cameron, who criticizes Naomi for “knowing dance stuff”, attempts to teach Carmon how to dance. Cameron wants the moves to be refined with sexy poses thrown in to “work the face, work the camera.” Naomi disagrees and says, “We need to do more than just prance around the ring for a minute.” Cameron tells the camera that they’ve been catty and fighting a lot lately. (MATT: Over what? Naomi’s reluctance to go shopping? What is this even about?)
Bella Twin’s Nana’s House
The twins were raised in large part by their grandparents, Nikki says they were the biggest influences in her life. The twins, their nana and their brother, JJ, are holding hands and saying grace. Nikki delights in telling Nana that even Brie and Daniel have a composting toilet and they can even use the water recycled from that to grow their own vegetables. Nana is horrified by this and tells Bryan to call her for some reason. (MATT: Brie and Nikki pig out and have wine so I guess they’re over their weight issues.)
Calgary, AB – Canada
Hawaiian Heat Tanning
Natalya’s friend, Jaret, owns the store. Jaret has an amateur wrestling background and trained her. That explains the quality of her ring work. (MATT: HEY!) Jaret asked if she brought a bikini, he tells her she doesn’t have to wear one, hitting on her so hard, she must notice. She wears a pink bikini that he just can’t stop complimenting. It’s obvious he wants to compliment her figure, but he doesn’t and he sprays the tan on her. It comes out looking good (I’m impressed this show had a safe way of getting a tan on instead of showing a tanning booth) and he says they should get dinner sometime (read get drunk and have a night of sloppy sex) instead.
Cemetery – Papa Bella’s Grave
JJ and the Bellas take flowers to their grandfather’s grave. Brie, dressed casually, sits with Nikki, dressed like she’s going to a club. Nikki says this is the first time they’ve come to the grave site since his funeral 6 years ago. The twins wonder what he would have thought about their careers. With their dad deserting the twins their grandfather stepped into the dad role, Nikki says he helped shape the woman she is today. Nikki (MATT: Who just can’t stop herself from bringing up her relationship.) says, “It makes me sad that he will never get to meet John. John is the first amazing guy that I have ever been with and I just think they would have been best friends.” The gravestone’s epitaph contains a phrase their grandfather would use to describe the moon and stars.
Calgary, AB – Canada
Natalya and Tyson’s Hotel Room
Natalya gets a call from Tyson in the lobby, she goes to meet him in a beautiful formal-length purple and black dress. She’s happy she can spend a day to celebrate her birthday just with him. At the lobby, she’s surprised he’s not wearing the black suit she bought him. He responds, asking why he would wear it to his sister’s place. Brainwashed Tyson is spouting how good it is to see family. I don’t think they’ve seen one member of her family the whole week. She wants to go out for a nice dinner, he says Valerie is making a nice dinner, his whole family is there and they can go out for a nice couple’s dinner whenever. Natalya says if they aren’t having a private dinner, one that she specifically bought the dress for, that she’s going back up to her room. Showing he knows nothing about women, he asks what he will tell his family. She tells him, “Tell them I’m spending the night here, watching Nancy Grace.” At this point, she should be ordering Lobster Thermidor with a side of caviar and the most expensive bottle of champagne she can find from room service, hopefully with a credit card that she is an authorized user on, but only Tyson is liable for paying. (MATT: Uh…*AHEM*)
Pole Position Raceway
The Funkadactyls, JoJo and Eva Marie are going go-karting on their day off, because apparently all WWE Diva’s contracts say you must spend a day off with at least one other Diva doing “stuff”. Eva Marie points to the winner’s stand and declares she’ll be standing on the top box when this is over/ Cameron and Naomi jokingly say they will win instead. “I know that I don’t look like a go-kart driver,” Cameron says on camera, “but I win everything and if I don’t win, I’m definitely going to have a boo-boo face.” They race and an employee comes over to tell them their scores. JoJo is third, Eva Marie is second (to her great shock) and Cameron wins. (MATT: Even though she forgot to “work the camera, work the face.”)
Naomi congratulates Cameron, who’s pissed that Naomi doesn’t sound sincere. Naomi tells the camera that this “isn’t the Daytona 500”. Cameron continues to push and Naomi goes for the jugular and says, “I’m the one who wins the matches.” Cameron agrees, but then presses that she’s the good one on the mic. Naomi foolishly says she is great on the mic also. They keep arguing and Naomi pushes Cameron, Cameron pushes back. They trade off pushes, and I’m kinda bummed they didn’t wreck the store. (JBL: FUNK IS ON A ROLL, DANIELLE!!!)
Calgary, AB – Canada
Still wearing the purple dress, Natalya meets Jaret for dinner. (MATT: What happened to Nancy Grace, champagne and caviar?) She says as Tyson blew her off, she was going to have a nice dinner with Jaret to catch up. She mentions that he insisted on making all the arrangements which is nice. Turns out that Jaret had a plan: they have a table in a private room with no other diners (MATT: Smoothie…definitely a smoothie…) which is amazing, considering how fancy Trib is. He asks about her day, she says it’s terrible and that she’s about to have “a knock-down, drag-out with” with Tyson and that “if he doesn’t watch it, he’s gonna get punched in the nose.” Jaret is smiling from ear to ear hearing this. She also says he’s a mama’s boy who takes her for granted.
“You have to ask yourself if this is what you want, because you’re a beautiful girl, you have lots of choices,” he tells her. He tells her she “needs someone who treats you like a princess, takes you out for nights on the town and maybe reserves an entire restaurant for you”. OK, if he reserved the entire place, he’s either rolling in dough or maybe this place just got approved to reopen by the Board of Health after some violation. Jaret tells her that they’ve always had a connection, that he has feelings for her and he doesn’t want her to marry Tyson. Nattie says she’s overwhelmed but the poor bastard continues pouring his heart out, telling her that he has nothing to lose by telling her how he feels and that “We only regret the things we don’t do, not what you end up doing.” (MATT: This was one of the most human moments I’ve ever seen on this show.) Tilt at that windmill, brother!
Nikki is dreading seeing her dad, Jon. “It’s too late now, unless I jump in the pond and swim away, right,” she asks nervously. Her dad abandoned her, and her boyfriend who she thinks is the perfect guy has a name that’s phonetically the same to her dad’s. Can’t wait to see if they seem alike personality wise. Brie and JJ hug him but Nikki won’t.
Jon cuts to the chase and asks Nikki why she feels the way she does. Nikki says he can be selfish, and has been in and out of their lives since the divorce. She’s in tears, Brie’s in tears and Jon is crying a bit, too. Jon, who does sound a bit like Cena in how he reasons says, “I don’t have an excuse for you, there is no excuse for the pain I put you through.” (MATT: Cena says that?!) Jon taps into more self-awareness than Cena has showed thus far, says, “I fell and I hate myself for that and I will never stop telling you how sorry I am for how that happened.” He thanks her for opening up and says he will try harder on his end. (MATT: Cena is more heartfelt than this guy.)
Monday Night RAW / WWE Main Event
Backstage at Main Event
Jane Geddes, SVP WWE Talent Relations & Development and Mark Carrano, Senior Director, WWE Talent Relations are laying out the matches for the night. The Bellas will team with AJ against the Funkadactyls and Kaitlyn in a tag match. Naomi says she doesn’t want to work tonight and, when Cameron asks her why, she specifically says she doesn’t want to work with her. Jane and Mark decide to talk to the Funkadactyls separately. “At this point, I’d rather go to work and start from the bottom by myself and be happy then come to work and be successful and work with her and be pissed off every week,” Naomi states. Cameron says that is unprofessional, Naomi says Cameron is unprofessional all the time, and they keep arguing despite Jane and Mark being uncomfortable for it. Jane says it’s not up to them. Stephanie McMahon is the Head of Creative, so she will set up a meeting with them and her if they like. Cameron storms out.
Out in the hallway, Cameron describes the meeting and Natalya seems concerned that Stephanie will be getting involved but Cameron doesn’t seem to care. Jane tells The Funkadactyls that Steph wants to meet with both of them. Cameron outlines the beef, Stephanie yells at Naomi for pushing Cameron. Naomi sits there and takes it and doesn’t rightfully argue that they were both pushing each other. Naomi could have and should have asked if the cameramen who were filming for the show could show the roll. “When you are in public you are WWE Divas, I will not accept unprofessionalism,” Steph says. Furthermore, says she will have them work in singles matches before making “any drastic decisions about what the future holds.” Naomi thinks she will excel and is happy about it.
Mark outlines their new matches, Naomi will work with Alicia Fox and Cameron is with Aksana. Seamstress Sandra tries to ask what is wrong and Naomi is rude, “you need to work on that gear!” “Your gear is going to be affected by your attitude,” says Sandra. (MATT: I really hope Sandra’s getting paid a shit-ton of money for the abuse she takes.)
Backstage at Monday Night RAW
The Bellas are watching their guys’ tag match (John Cena and Team Hell No vs. The Shield) in a private room. Nikki says, “I get so turned on watching Jon wrestle half-naked, muscles bulging, sweat dripping down his chest,” while Brie notices Daniel’s hair and lumberjack outfit look good.
Alicia Fox and Naomi’s match is up. Backstage, all the Divas (minus The Bellas) and Jane watch the match. Seamstress Sandra appears to have wussed out as the costume Naomi wears is blue, sparkly and something that looks great on her. Jane asks Natalya what she thinks, she says Naomi, “is doing good, but looks a little winded. Not like in her other matches, her conditioning is not where it needs to be.” Naomi leaps off the top ropes and instead of hitting Alicia, she blows the spot and nearly lands on her own face. Cameron is, of course, all smiles. “She totally miscalculated, this is not what you want the boss to see,” Natalya tells the cameras.
Jane asks a visibly nervous Cameron if she is ready, and Cameron says she is, “I was born ready.” “This is my first singles match tonight, I may not have the wrestling skills yet, but I have my charisma to make things happen,” she tells the camera. Naomi watches Cameron backstage, saying Cameron should slow down because she’s blowing her moves. At the end of the match, she looks like she’s visibly in pain. “As horrible as she’s been to me this week,” Naomi says, “it’s really hard to watch her struggle.”
Naomi sees Cameron in the hall and asks if they can talk. Naomi apologizes and says she didn’t like working without her. Cameron agrees and they both start crying and hugging. Naomi says they have to fix the tension. They agree they both bring something to the partnership and that they should tell Mark and Jane they want to stay together.
This week’s hugs goes to – Natalya and Nikki. Natalya can’t even stand up for herself to have the plans she wants for her own birthday week. Her fiancee was uber-nonsupportive and she deserved better. Meanwhile, while the show is scripted, I’m convinced of Nikki’s pain, maybe even the fact that she hadn’t said any of this to her dad before is real. I don’t know how much she wants to have her father in her life, but I feel for her and hope this situation resolves in a way that’s healthy for her.
This week’s punches go to – The Funkadactyls – Cameron and Naomi Cameron, it’s just a game, one moment in time, winning or for that matter losing at go-karts isn’t that big a deal, especially when bragging hurts your real life friend and coworker. Naomi – not only could she have been the bigger person, but starting the shoving then ignoring Cameron right until RAW was just silly.
(MATT: I hated the Funkadactyl crap. It was so pointless and forced. The rest of this wasn’t bad.)