TOTAL DIVAS – EPISODE ONE
NOVEMBER 1, 2017
AIRED ON E!
BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
It’s a new season of Total Divas. Joining the cast are Alexa Bliss, Carmela, and Nia Jax. The show opens with scenes from Smackdown. On that show the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match will be announced. Footage is shown of some five-way match involving almost the entire Smackdown Women’s Division.
This was the match where they never made it to the bell because it was a melee, and Shane McMahon came out to announce the MITB ladder match. For whatever reason, we got a cutaway of Nikki Bella talking about this match… I’ll Google it, but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t in the match. Nope, Nikki Bella wasn’t in the match, it was Carmella, Natalia, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Tamina. Maybe in the alternate reality of E!, Nikki Bella really matters… Honestly, I was hoping for a reprieve from the Bellas on this show. If every third segment is them, well, let’s just hope it’s not.
Onto Naomi at home. She was the Smackdown Women’s Champion at the time this was filmed. Naomi and Jon both have titles, so neither one of them wants to cook, thus they leave for food in the rain. They end up at a drive thru. Naomi is not impressed.
Moving along, oh hey, Birdie was born. Nikki comes over. So, they show the John Cena proposal footage again. I’m over it; maybe 12 year old girls aren’t? Anyway, since Bryan is on paternity leave, Nikki pitches the idea of replacing him. It somehow involves her being the focus of the Women’s MITB ladder match even though she can’t wrestle. Yes, really, Nikki Bella thinks she’s that important. You know that meme of the blonde haired guy just shaking his head – that everyone uses on Twitter — that’s me right now watching this. Yes, Nikki would love to be the GM. As someone who watched Smackdown, I have utterly no desire to see that.
Anyhoo, onto Maryse. She and Miz are now on Raw. Her dogs are doing well. Yeah, that’s what they gave us before we move on to introducing Alexa Bliss. She has like 30 seconds to go through her life story. We also see Nia Jax for the first time. We get Nia’s story in about the span of a minute. Nia, Alexa, and Maryse make some small talk backstage. This is apparently where Nia makes her faux pas, supposedly deeply insulting Maryse. Uh, I like Maryse and all, but honestly I’ve watched wrestling since the 1980s (yeah, I’m old, kids) and Maryse’s in-ring career highlights are something I remember as a blur taking place in the period where there were Diva Searches which begot a lot of lingerie pillow fights and for some reason we in the audience were expected to pretend that Candice Michelle was a powerhouse… Upon Googling it, because when people work for other companies – facts are inconvenient – Maryse’s in-ring career involved Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Jillian Hall, Eve Torres, and Alicia Fox. And she did hold the title for a significant period of time, which I do recall, but that was also seven years ago. Anyway, back to someone being grievously offended over an off-hand comment. Oh, wait, it’s time for commercial.
In order to put some spice back in their relationship, Trin and Jon visit a lighthouse. It’s windy. There is no successful romantic moment, but well, they tried. Moving along, Lana and Rusev are in a car talking about Lana transitioning from being a valet to being a wrestler. So, she’s going to train with Nattie and Nikki. Rusev is there to provide commentary, which is mostly criticism. Evidently, here we learn that Nattie is afraid of heights. Nikki says, “This is make of break, if you guys don’t do well, they’re never going to do this again.” Tragically, I’m guessing she’s so self-absorbed that she’s unaware of a Punjabi Prison Match… Yeah, just because something fails doesn’t mean they give up on it (I’ll wait for dudes to insert comments about Roman Reign’s singles career here). In Nattie’s kitchen she talks to her dad about ladder matches. So, Nattie and Jim go to a hardware store and buy a ladder. Yes, this really happened. Anyway, hijinks with driving back to Nattie’s house, the ladder falls off the car. This is why people order things online…
So, the ladder is set up in Nattie’s kitchen… as if they don’t have a Performance Center? Back to Jon and Trin. Jon has prepared a romantic dinner of Spaghetti with meatballs and salad (shout out to Hidden Valley Ranch). Yes, for those of us permanently scarred by John Cena’s inept handling of the time Nikki cooked him dinner, here Jon and Trin exchange “I love you” and “I love you too.” Sadly, there will probably never be a season of Total Usos. Anyway, Jon and Trin do the Lady and the Tramp spaghetti bit. And then we discover the meal was take-out, because it’s the thought that counts. I get it, lasagna at my house comes from a box that says “Stouffer’s” and “party size.” Life is short.
Onto Brie and Bryan. We’re expected to find babies fascinating. Bryan’s gotten a call to go back to work. Brie is apparently nervous about being left alone with the baby. And sad that Nikki’s idea to be the centerpiece of Smackdown got shot down. Yes, sometimes we get good news!
Back from commercial, the Smackdown women (on this show) conglomerate at Cena’s house. Nikki, Rusev, Nattie, and Alexa discuss Lana’s training. Anyhow, Nikki thinks Rusev should just support Lana. Oh Christ, Nikki blathers on more about her being the General Manager storyline. Anyway, the segment ends with everyone in the pool. Meanwhile, backstage at Raw we’re going to get our Nia and Maryse confrontation. In all sincerity, Nia asks Maryse if she’s ever done a gauntlet match. Let me remind you, I just had to Google Maryse’s career to remember whether she was specifically part of the Diva-pillow-fight era. Evidently, Nia was expected to take notes and study for a quiz… Nia is stunned that this simple question has gone so sideways so quickly (me too! But I already admitted to the Googling). Nia (like anyone with rewind functionality) is sure she just asked a question that involved a yes or no answer. Maryse insists she’s been disrespected. SMH. Alexa Bliss is standing there looking mortified. Anyway, Maryse declares Nia Jax the most disrespectful person in wrestling, which to those of us who’ve watched it for longer than the length of her career – it’s not a statement that strengthens her veteran status. Also, pretty sure that mantle belonged to the Ultimate Warrior, among others, but this is Total Divas. So, it’s time for commercial.
Back from commercial, they show Nia standing backstage watching a Miz TV segment with Maryse. Nia and Alexa talk about what happened and how no one had no ill intent. Nia admits to miscommunicating. Nia basically says she needs to google Maryse’s career. So, cut to Miz and Maryse at home where they will also discuss this little moment. In a cut-out segment Maryse says “women used to not get opportunities in WWE, but they do now. Generations of women worked to get to that point.” Okay, so Moolah was champion with a title that wasn’t really defended, the title existed briefly with Alundra Blayze, when she left – that title disappeared. There was an era with Sable, Jackie Moore, and Ivory… There was the Trish-Lita period, then the Diva Search era began, and five years later Maryse had a long title reign with the newly created Divas championship, Beth Phoenix had a cup of coffee with the title, then it was held by Michelle McCool, Layla, Eve Torres, and Kaitlyn, which was before the Paige – A.J. Lee years, then they put the belt on Nikki Bella to erase AJ Lee’s record as longest-reigning champ, Charlotte finally got the belt, and it was retired at Wrestlemania 32 before the brand split where Raw and Smackdown got their own versions. Did you guys remember all that? Because Maryse was champion after the Lita-Trish era, so apparently that was the start of the Women’s Revolution. Uh-huh. I like Maryse, but the alternate reality of this show is a little bat-shit insane. Anyway, commercial.
Now, on to MITB. It’s in St. Louis. This is where Randy Orton will do a job in his hometown to Jinder Mahal. Anyway, Dolph Ziggler backstage moment, in the event that you had a drinking game. Lana is going to have her title match at the ppv, and the women’s MITB ladder match will go down. Nattie is giving Lana advice backstage, and commercial. Anyway, back from commercial, Tom Phillips and JBL are adding commentary welcoming the viewers to MITB. And that’s it, I guess we have to wait until next week to know how the match that happened several months ago turned out.
Next week: Alexa Bliss gets wardrobe tips, Naomi & Nattie babysit Birdie, and Lana will have a match.
NOW CHECK OUT THE REPORT ON LAST SEASON’S FINALE: 5/3 TOTAL DIVAS REVIEW: Miz obsessed with Fantasy Football while Maryse wants sexy time, Cats & Dogs, Nikki’s new finisher