9/6 TOTAL DIVAS REVIEW: Sarah K.’s full rundown and analysis of all the drama with Nikki & Cena, Brie & Bryan, J.J. & Lauren


TOTAL BELLAS, SEASON TWO PREMIERE
SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
AIRED ON E!
REPORT BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

The show opens with a montage of WrestleMania 33 footage and Brie giving birth. So, for anyone who wants to save the next 59 minutes: spoiler alert the baby was born alive, and Nikki & John were booked to win the match and he subsequently proposed.

So, in the alternate reality that is Total Bellas: Nikki reminds us that she broke her neck and had it surgically repaired, and the had THE GREATEST COMEBACK EVER!!! If you actually watched Smackdown, then you might be scratching your head about that last part. I remember being happy that Nattie finally won their feud… but I digress.

Anyway, Nikki and John are having drinks. He makes a weird comment about his eyes popping staring at her boobs. Pretty sure most ladies’ fantasies about John Cena as a fantasy boyfriend died thoroughly on last season of Total Bellas, or somewhere in Total Divas, but don’t worry, John Cena has more nails for that coffin and a jig to dance on top of the pending grave site. Anyway, Nikki invites John to stay in Phoenix while Brie gives birth. John reluctantly agrees-ish. Yes, I added an ish. He’s an ishy kind of guy.

So, Brie is getting a plaster mould made of her belly and boobs. If you’re a fan of Bryan, then watch this segment. He’s not necessarily on board with all aspects of his married life being posted on social media or broadcast for an audience of 1.2 million people.

We transition to Tom Phillips welcoming us to Smackdown. Titus O’Neill makes it into the montage (you know, if you had a drinking game based on random wrestler cameos). Also appearing in this segment: Jimmy Uso, Becky Lynch, and Renee Young. Remember when Randy Orton was with Bray Wyatt? Okay, I know some of you worked hard to repress the memory of that angle. Anyway, look it’s Cena tagging with Luke Harper against Orton and Bray, while Brie screws around with her brother backstage.

Anyway, the brother and his wife just had a baby, and, judging by the shifty behavior, he and the Missus are not on the greatest terms. I pretend to be surprised. I’m not. The brother strikes me as just a little bit of an ass.

I don’t think we’ve had a commercial yet. Next up Cena and Nikki look at a place she’s considering leasing in Phoenix. John thinks it’s unnecessarily large. JJ comes over for a tour. Highlight of the segment: Nikki asks if they love it, John Cena replies “it is nice” in a fantastically wooden tone. We know why the Miz took over that “Marine” franchise now, because someone isn’t a terribly good actor.

Next up (still no commercial) at JJ & Lauren’s house, Brie wants to see Lauren’s big maternity photo shoot. The issue every husband seems to have with these things is that they end up on social media, as opposed to just between the couple. JJ & Lauren obviously have some issues (which, let’s face it, kinda stem from JJ being an ass). Apparently all sexy-things regarding his wife should be for his eyes only. Take a drink if you just thought about the patriarchy; I’ll wait for all two of you.  Anyway, JJ doesn’t feel Lauren respects his hurt feelings over the fact that she’s sexy in public without his express approval. OMG! Finally: commercials!

Back from commercial, John Cena is at his Florida gym with his lone man friend (the one who explained that he was a dick when Nikki made him dinner and he was concerned about dirty dishes and failed to compliment the food — that friend — the normal one). John admits to his lone man friend that Nikki wants to spend time in Phoenix with Brie and Bryan — and he clearly doesn’t, as he explains the scenario as “where I kind of f—ed myself.” Yes, really, that was just broadcast on this show. Anyway, to the women folk watching this show, Rob loses a bit of his shiny normal luster by playing devil’s advocate a little too hard. He really seems to be trying to help Cena get out of Phoenix duty, basically crushing all weird comedy potential for this show.

Meanwhile, Brie has decided doing a maternity photo shoot is “empowering.” I encourage all you kids to go to college instead of getting your friends to take pictures of you… or like read a book. Anyway, Bryan shows up for the shoot. He has mixed feelings. By the end of the scene his feelings haven’t really changed.

Change of scene: Nikki & JJ have lunch. JJ wants Nikki to keep a secret. Yeah, this rocket scientist apparently forgot this was being filmed. JJ is so entrenched in being an ass that he and Lauren are having relationship troubles and, in his own words, “I had to move out for a little bit.” Hey ladies, this is a teachable moment. There’s this thing involved in relationships – it’s called compromise. Successful couples know all about it. Yes, really. And guys, if you move out on your wife and your newborn infant, you can’t come across as anything but a colossal ass.

Back from break: JJ talks to the camera. I shake my head. I assure you that he doesn’t say anything smart. What he is doing right now is making my own father look like a saint (if only I could distill that into a Father’s Day card… but I digress). Nikki asks if he still loves Lauren; he says yes. Meanwhile, back in Phoenix, Brie has gotten her maternity shoot pictures. In contrast to the moment we had with JJ & Lauren previously, Bryan comes to the conclusion that if Brie wants to, then she can share the pics with whoever she likes.

Next up: the teaser clip from YouTube where John Cena plays the piano and Nikki asks him to perform a rap about her while they have wine. Because what normal couple doesn’t do that? You know, me and my boyfriend drink Vernor’s after he plays the ukulele (I’m totally lying). Anyway, Nikki does actually say, “I want to feel like that girl that’s rapped about.” Because I’m old, I think “Roxanne, Roxanne.” Google it. Anyway, John admits he doesn’t really wanna go to Phoenix. Cut to commercial.

So, John let’s Nikki down. Then Nikki plays the piano, by which I mean she presses keys in semi random order. Then we’re outside with Nikki and John. They google the Chinese word for uncle. John is supposed to meet JJ & Lauren’s kid. He does not want to hold the baby. Probably because babies can sense psycho robots. Meanwhile, Brie, Lauren and baby, and Mom are at the airport. JJ forgot the stroller; he was sent to retrieve it. Lauren says what every other responsible adult has already figured out: “He has no idea what is needed for a newborn.” JJ finally shows up where everyone is eating. He refuses to talk to Lauren. What an asshole. Sorry about the language, I guess. Cut to commercial.

So, elsewhere in San Diego, JJ & Lauren show up with the baby to meet John and Nikki. John is not excited about the baby. Nikki makes the excuse that he’s afraid he’s going to crush the baby. I shake my head. John has limited skills, thus his status as Worst Boyfriend Ever, anyone really think he’s going to be better with babies? What? No. Of course not. Seguing from awkward to more awkward: JJ and Lauren have a moment together in a bedroom. JJ is not impressive here. I’m thinking maybe we need to gift Lauren a frying pan so that she can just whack him upside the head and perhaps knock some sense into him, or at least act out the plot of an episode of the Addam’s Family. Google it, it’s all about Gomez.

Next up is the dinner (also from the YouTube clip) where everyone will learn that John is ducking out of Phoenix duty. John says he has a confession to make: that the moon is going to make him turn into a werewolf, then robo-Cena ruins the joke by explaining that he trying to “soften the blow” with a joke because he knows that backing out of Phoenix duty isn’t going over huge with Brie. Indeed, Brie is pissed. Cut to commercial.

Given Cena’s house rules from last season of Total Bellas, if I was Brie, I’d be pissed too. It ought to be John’s turn to jump through some hoops. I’d put mandatory baby holding in there somewhere. Like the weird alpha psycho that he is, when Brie asks Nikki to go to the bathroom with her in order to discuss this turn of the event, Cena invites them to talk about him. Fifty minutes into the episode I’m going to say that Bryan gets all the husband / boyfriend points for the win.

Yes, John Cena makes Daniel Bryan look like the best choice for a mate. Anyway, roll the rest of the footage from the YouTube clip where Brie admits she’s pissed. John tries to deflect from the situation by pointing out that Bryan is absent from this dinner. It’s a real asshole move. Brie demures that Bryan had a WWE media engagement — and will be home for the next 40 days. John then tells everyone his plans for the next 40 days. I sigh. Was there anyone left with a John Cena fantasy boyfriend scenario? Anyone at all?

We close out the episode with Brie and Nikki talking to the camera. Of course, Brie apologizes for daring to have feelings. I sigh. She always apologizes for things that deserve no apology. I have no idea why. Anyway, Nikki has baby shower party favors. There is apparently such a thing as “pin the sperm on a diagram of women’s organs.”

We segue to a restaurant. Everyone is there: Brie, Bryan, Mom, JJ, Lauren, and low and behold, Nikki shows up with John Cena. Imagine if there was another wrestler cameo there. Lol, Nikki brings Titus O’Neill. Work with me, people. Anyway, John makes sure to point out that he’s using his precious time to show up for this dinner, so, really, I’d rather see Titus O’Neill; at the very least I bet he could feign interest in this dinner or Brie’s pregnancy. So, trying to seem diplomatic, John asks people what they look forward to and fear about parenthood. I perform the Picard face palm. This is both corny and terrible, and doesn’t erase any of the previous asshole moments. Anyway, Brie apologizes for giving John shit, and they all toast to “uncle shushu.” So, we’re all pretend happy to close out this episode.

Cut to the montage of Bella twins moments: pregnancy, birth, WrestleMania, Nikki’s neck, jackets that don’t zip up, etc.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST SEASON’S TOTAL DIVA’S FINALE REPORT: 5/3 TOTAL DIVAS REVIEW: Miz obsessed with Fantasy Football while Maryse wants sexy time, Cats & Dogs, Nikki’s new finisher

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