When Place to Be Nation sought out a correspondent to watch and write about the new WWE/E! reality show Total Divas each week, they initially wanted a “female voice.” Unfortunately for them, lifelong wrestling fan Ben Morse also happens to count Melrose Place among his all-time favorite shows and already has every other E! show on in the background via his lovely wife Megan, so he whined until they let him do it.
Jen Engle doesn’t watch wrestling or E!, but the Powers that PTB roped her into this anyway.
Find out what happens when one overly enthusiastic dude and a lady who has no idea what’s going on talk about a weekly “reality” show focusing on the female side of WWE.
Ben: The band is back together! Thank you Brad for filling in over the last couple weeks, but Ben and Jen have returned to the world of Total Divas as the dream team that we are! Welcome back, partner.
Jen: It’s good to be back, Ben! And thank you Brad for filling in!
Ben: The cold open has Nattie and Trinity playing pool, talking about their relationships. Trin and Jon have been engaged for two years but have not made it to the altar yet; enter Mr. Uso, who gets told by his fiancée that if he can make a shot they will wed in the near future. Jon misses, but then swats the balls into the corner with his hands and we’re off to the races. Interesting to see the general dynamic of anxious bride and reluctant groom reversed here, but Jon definitely seems like the softer, more sensitive side of this particular relationship.
Jen: You’d think that Jon would need the convincing here, but then again I assume that he was the one to propose to Trinity in the first place.
Ben: After the open, Eva Marie is having severe stomach pains, and her husband, Jonathan rushes her to the emergency room. My labor and delivery nurse wife immediately goes into overdrive hoping to diagnose her before the show does.We’re in a hotel lobby with most of the cast, where Ariane lets loose to Nikki that Nattie does not know what “doggie style” is. Poor Nattie just can’t catch a break on this show when it comes to ridicule from her buddies. Nat uses an elaborate metaphor using coffee and other beverages that loses me about a quarter in to explain why this should not be a big deal. Brie arrives, gets clued in, and tries to demonstrate doggie style using a chair as the other hotel patrons look on in a mix of horror and intrigue. Nikki explains that she learned about canine copulation via the family dogs at a young age before Bryan—sadly in his only appearance of the night—gets the last and best word in by openly questioning if his future sister-in-law thinks dog semen functions in the same way as super glue. Bryan and Brie are adorable, but he and Nikki may have an even more fun dynamic as sibs.
Jen: Nattie had to know that she was setting herself up for ridicule here…especially from this group! I guess if you have some questions about sex, Nikki Bella is probably a pretty good resource.
Ben: Trinity and Jon start making a small guest list for their wedding in Hawaii, which they’ll be putting together ASAP because WWE does not give them many days off. For the most part, it’s pretty cut and dried, including Trin’s pops and child uncles, but Jon’s reluctant to invite his father, WWE legend Rikishi, due to unspecified issues between the two. Trinity questions if said issues have more to do with her not being Samoan, but Rikishi will be on the upcoming “Old School” edition of Raw, so they’ll have an opportunity to chat.
Jen: It seems as though the wedding has been delayed mostly because of whatever issues that Jon has going on with his father. I’m glad to see them finally walking down the aisle, even if it isn’t with Rikishi’s blessing.
Ben: At the doctor, Eva gets diagnosed as having a ruptured ovarian cyst, which Megan informs me isn’t great, but she should pull through if she just rests for a bit. Indeed, that’s exactly the recommendation, and WWE gives her the time off, so she’s set; the humanizing of Eva Marie continues this season, Jen, as they seem determined to not let you hate her.
Jen: I know, Ben! They really are trying to win me over. This has never happened to me, but I can only imagine how painful it is.
Ben: At Old School Raw, Rikishi comes backstage following a match, wearing a Usos t-shirt and sweating like, well, an older 400+ pound guy who doesn’t wrestle a lot anymore. Jon and Trinity meet him at the curtain, and young Mr. Uso seems hesitant to bring anything up, so the Funkadactyl puts it all out there. It’s very weird and tense between father and son, and since we never get a reason, it’s hard to really talk about, but Trin still thinks it has something to do with her. Rikishi hems and haws about being overwhelmed by the situation and speaks a little about the difficulties of being married in the wrestling business, but ultimately gives his blessing and says somewhat half-heartedly he’ll be at the wedding. I noted that he never showed any real physical affection toward his son or soon-to-be daughter-in-law, which you could write off as he’s gross with perspiration, but it spoke more to me as he really doesn’t know how to handle a genuine emotional situation involving his kid.
Jen: I have to say, the whole interaction was pretty weird. Jon seems to have no problem showing affection or talking about how he feels to Trinity, so clearly he didn’t inherit these behaviors from his father. I’m sure it’s difficult being married and being in the wrestling business, but is that really what you should tell your son and future daughter in law? They’ve been together so long that they already understand some of the difficulties the business presents. It was nice to see him eventually give his blessing, although from that discussion I would have never banked on him showing up at the wedding.
Ben: We return to the hospital, where Eva has been diagnosed with having an irregularly shaped uterus, and at this point, Megan has me pause the show to get a better look at the images and says this is indeed not good and “while she could get pregnant, it would be hard for the baby to grow because there’s less room in the uterus because it’s heart-shaped.”
Jen: I did actually feel pretty terrible for Eva Marie here. A ruptured cyst is bad enough, but to find out your uterus is heart shaped is pretty awful. Then again, I would never go through this on camera, so there’s that.
Ben: The Bellas are still giving Nattie a hard time at the gym when Ariane recommends bringing in the insane sex therapist that she and Vinnie used last season. Reluctantly, Nattie agrees to give this a shot, perhaps more because Ariane calls the doctor and puts her on speaker phone before anybody has a chance to say anything otherwise.
Jen: I don’t think that Ariane would have convinced Nattie to call this doctor if she hadn’t taken charge and called the therapist on her behalf. Hilarious for us to watch though, so good job Ariane! She’s definitely a little crazy, but I do like her a little more this season than I did the last (with the exception of her parading Eva Marie’s photos around the workplace, of course).
Ben: Heading into the break, Eva gets some more bad news over the phone that she does not want to share with Jonathan. Back from the commercial, she breaks the news about kids being unlikely that Megan suspected a couple segments back. She was particularly concerned because she knows he really wants children, but despite the weird sleeveless hoodie fashion choice he has made for this serious scene, Jonathan steps up like a champ, saying he’s only concerned about his wife right now and that if and when the time for kids comes, they’ll figure it out. While Jonathan’s wardrobe never fails to appall me, he does seem to come through as a good dude when it counts…if we put aside that his full-time job seems to be appearing on this show. He also plants the seed that this might be a good time to try and repair the gulf Eva has with her family over their whole hidden marriage thing as she’ll need their support during this ordeal.
Jen: I feel awful for Eva Marie, I know that I would be devastated. Jonathan definitely stepped up here, weird outfit and all. It is nice to see that even though her family was so against him, he is proving that he is a decent guy. And he is completely right here, it’s time for Eva to call her mom. And it has to be a lot of work, finding hoodies without arms and getting your sleeve tattoos colored in, Ben. It’s a lot of work being the stereotypical Ed Hardy wearer.
Ben: Brief cut to Hawaii where both Uso boys and Trinity scope out the scene for the wedding, but the angst over whether or not Rikishi will show continues to build.
Jen: I noticed the angst, but I also noticed that they were packed in that rental car like it was a clown car. Those Uso boys are not tiny, and it looked like it was a matchbox car! And it was even better that Trinity got the front, because they wanted her on camera.
Ben: Jonathan calls Eva’s mom—another classy move—and explains that she has hit some serious health issues that she needs her mother for, which Mrs. Marie (not her real name) appreciates him calling about, but once her daughter gets on the phone, she gives her a pretty hard time about “crawling back” to her family the minute things got rough, which seemed a little harsh, but I struggle to understand that whole dynamic. Once Eva breaks down a bit and explains what’s happening, her mom softens and promises her that her parents will be there for her. It’s sometimes hard to take Eva seriously with her weird Barbie voice, but I did genuinely feel for her during all this and was rooting for her and her folks to work things out.
Jen: Props to Jonathan for picking up the phone and calling the woman that clearly hates him. Pretty rough of Eva’s mother for chastising her when she is clearly in pain and needs her. I don’t understand this family, and again it’s making me feel pretty bad for Eva Marie.
Ben: And now for something completely different, Dr. No-Filter, sex therapist, makes a house call for Nattie and TJ. From jump street, it’s pretty clear that TJ would rather be undergoing another year of physical rehabilitation than dealing with any of this, but he hangs in there like a pro. In one of the most ridiculous segments in Total Divas history—and that’s really saying something—the doc goes about “sex-proofing” the house, basically suggesting a different kinky theme for each room, from eating bananas out of each other’s…“special places” in the kitchen to getting it on in full view of the neighbors while TJ pretends to be a mailman. Nattie seems about ready to put the doctor in the Sharpshooter when TJ, going completely against the mild-mannered dude we’ve come to know, busts out a sweet story about the first night they hooked up and melts her (Neid)hart. I’m not sure if the sex therapist actually accomplished anything—other than entertaining me a great deal—but Nattie and TJ are back on track (if indeed they were ever off it; they seems totally drama free but this show feels the need to portray them as not so).
Jen: I think TJ would have rather had Ariane come over and explain to him what doggie-style was than sit through this session with this crazy therapist. I don’t think that these two even needed a therapist, but it wouldn’t have been as entertaining as them grabbing a copy of the latest Cosmo.
Ben: In Hawaii, Jon breaks the news to Trinity that Rikishi won’t be coming due to a “last minute appearance” which could not sound more like BS, but twin brother Jey steps up big time, giving an amazing pep talk to both about how it doesn’t matter if their father is there, because everybody else they love is, including him, and he loves them both. He’s nearly in tears talking about how he and his brother have been together since the moment they were born—give him the Emmy! Really nice stuff.
Jen: I thought that was really sweet of Jey, and he was right. Everyone else that has been there with them and loves them, was there. Rikishi doesn’t seem to be around either of the Uso twins very often, and apparently one of them getting married isn’t going to change that. They are better off without them. It’s their day, don’t let him ruin it.
Ben: Nattie has this weekend’s token match against Aksana, bookended by her telling the Bellas and Ariane about how she and TJ tried to awkwardly role-play the night before, with him pretending to be a burglar attempting a B&E. Moving on…
Jen: That was pretty awkward…even more awkward is that E! clearly got footage of the whole thing evidenced by the shots that they threw in while she was telling the story…
Ben: The wedding in Hawaii goes down beautifully, though Trinity looked like she was about to punch her pops if he had his five minute cry session on her shoulder last a second longer before walking her down the aisle. Sadly, Seamstress Sandra does not make a cameo, but it’s a lovely ceremony and everybody seems genuinely happy; I like this pairing, so good for them and congratulations.
Jen: I was a little sad to see that none of the other Divas were there, but they did throw this together pretty quickly. They had enough drama leading up to it, they really didn’t need to throw any more into the mix by having the Divas there I guess.
Ben: Eva Marie’s parents return to Florida where the dad gets the full 411 on what’s been going down. Eva makes sure to heavily emphasize that she could not have gotten through this without Jonathan’s help, obviously looking to turn a silver lining out of this and get her parents to hopefully accept her husband; eh, I would have done the same most likely. Eva’s plan seems to work, as not only do her parents give her the support she needs, but embrace Jonathan to some degree as well; she’s got a long road ahead of her, but at least the people she loves will be there for her.
Jen: I would like to hope that I never have to redeem my future husband to my parents, but if I did I would have done the same thing as Eva here. Good to see she’s finally got their support. Hopefully her brothers come around too.
Ben: We wrap at the wedding reception, where Jon’s mom gives a nice speech and we see that there are at least two more brothers who look exactly like him and Jey! Whoa! Dancing and we’re out.
Jen: And they aren’t wrestlers? I think the entire Uso family was built to be wrestlers. If Trinity and Jon ever have kids, I fully expect them to wrestle as well…
Ben: About a good an episode as you can expect with no Bellas storyline. The Eva stuff was heavy, but the Nattie stuff was goofy and balanced it out, plus you had a wedding. Has Summer Rae fallen victim to JoJo’s cursed spot of only being seen every three weeks? We shall see!
Jen: I CAN ONLY HOPE! Summer Rae has easily slid into Eva Marie’s most hated Divas spot in my book.