SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOTAL DIVAS – EPISODE 1
SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
AIRED ON E!
BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The show opens with a brief truncated history of the WWE Women’s Division, at least as it pertains to the Total Divas participants. It’s not like they went back to Fabulous Moolah or something. There’s a shameless plug for Birdee Bee. Okay, evidently in September we’re talking about this past year’s WrestleMania. There’s a lot of chit chat about Ronda Rousey. I’m not under the impression that Ronda is on the show, but Paige is back. Not sure I missed her.
They reintroduce Paige as if we have no idea who she is. No real mention of A.J. Lee, because they show the footage in sort of black and white. Yeah. Paige and Nia are five days out from Mania. Less than a minute later and it’s four days til Mania, and Nattie, Lana, and Naomi appear. Evidently they’re going on a swamp tour… which is infinitely more interesting than changing scenes to Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan in their sterile white kitchen talking about shopping at Whole Foods. Anyway, more shameless Birdee Bee plugs: Brie thinks she should be the president of her company. Now, no segue, back to the swamp tour. So, there are three gators. Since they’re in New Orleans for Mania, Paige goes to see a lady who does “voodoo” to make a talisman to heal her neck. Naomi, being Christian, has reservations about this… Commercial.
There’s a WWE Super Store at Mania, Birdie Bee has a section. So, another shameless plug… which is mostly Nattie shamelessly shilling for Birdie Bee. Yeah, it’s a tad nauseating. I hope there’s something on this episode besides shameless plugs. I know, it’s futile. Anyway, 20 minutes into the episode and there’s a T.J. sighting. He’s doing a signing with Nattie.
There’s an entertaining couples moment where Nattie would just like T.J. to shamelessly suggest that she’s going to win (in other words, to be the tiniest bit supportive). “Sometimes giving me a compliment isn’t the hardest thing in the world,” says Nattie, to which T.J. responds, “I just think it’s cheesy if I say Nattie’s going to win.” “Be cheesy, I like cheesy.” Paige is being interviewed by some guy in Italy. Everyone wants to know if and when Paige is going to come back; she’s not, and since her in-ring retirement announcement is penciled in for the Raw after Mania, she has to say things like “never say never.” Commercial.
For whatever reason, Nattie, Nia Jax, and Paige are walking down Bourbon Street handing out fliers and doing more annoying plugs for Birdee Bee. Yes, f—ing seriously. Also, seriously, the lady wrestlers are f—ing handing out fliers?!? Paige gets a tarot reading, Naomi the uber Christian is not into it. Paige tries to get the tarot lady to mess with Naomi. Naomi is having none of it. She agrees to say hi to the lady; the lady refuses to shake her hand. Okay. Moving on, the show focuses on Nia Jax and her feud with Alexa Bliss, which is apparently on TV and also in real life. They don’t go into specifics. Oh, also, Paige is sad because unlike all the other ladies, she doesn’t have a match or a future in-ring career.
Back from break, we cannot escape the Bellas. Ugh. One of them says, “Welcome to NOLO.” Yes, NOLO, instead of NOLA. Insert eyeroll. Also, teenage girls: Find better role models, like smart ones who read books. I now realize that this was the women’s battle royal match on Mania – where the Bella Twins were late entrants and all actual wrestling fans were aghast that one of these two twits might be booked to win that historic match over someone actually currently featured on the main roster who can actually wrestle… The Bellas do a signing, and some people ask about whatever Nattie promised on Bourbon Street. This is not an interesting storyline. OMFG, as a person watching this show, I am actually expected to care about this. Ugh. Brie and Nattie are going to have a “conversation” about Nattie doing shameless plugs for them. Watching this conversation – man, this show would be awesome without the Bella Twins, and, holy f—, Nattie deserves better storylines.
Paige and Nia are now having girl troubles because Paige wants to be a tourist and Nia has sh– to do. Commercial. So, after commercial, Paige and Nia make up after their argument. Paige is having a small meltdown because, based on her neck injury, she can no longer wrestle. Perhaps having a career where most of her matches were 98 percent of her flopping around like a ragdoll and, like, 2 percent offense wasn’t conducive to longevity? Backstage in the makeup area before the Hall of Fame, Nia, Nattie, and Naomi gossip about Paige and her voodoo. Miz sighting. Renee Young sighting. Nia worries about her singles match. Carmella, Jimmy Uso, and Alexa Bliss also have brief cameos. Then Paige and Naomi have to have a moment about the voodoo thing. Basically, they make up. Yes, they hug.
Back from the break, ominous music plays and Naomi, Lana, and Paige drive to a voodoo shop of some sort. Naomi stays in the car as Paige and Lana go in to get Paige’s talisman, which is some sort of doll. The lady does a spell. Footage of Naomi sitting in the car saying “nah-ah, no ma’am,” is intercut. Moving along, all the ladies talk up the idea of the era of the female athlete as WrestleMania fireworks are shown.
Evidently WrestleMania will be dragged out across several episodes, Nikki and Cena breaking up will be a passing thought, gratuitous bikini wearing on a boat will transpire, Lana and Rusev will be too sexual on a beach, oh, and Lana will fight incessantly with someone again.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS SEASON FINALE: 1/31 TOTAL DIVAS REVIEW: Miz tells his dad he’s about tell him something private; his dad says “but there are cameras here”