2/10 TOTAL BELLAS REVIEW (Ep. 4): Bryan turns down sponsoring beard oil product, dance lessons, botched moves, celebrities complaining about public judging them

By Sarah K, PWTorch contributor

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FEBRUARY 10, 2019

The show opens with Nikki having a lunch date with Artem – to generate some headlines. Yes, apparently it’s important for her to be in a pretend relationship, which, again, since the show has wrapped she has already admitted wasn’t a relationship. The point of this is for Artem to teach the Mom how to dance… because apparently she can’t find a generic dance class for adults, and, yes, kids, those exist, they most definitely exist. Nikki’s ulterior motive is to train for the Women’s WWE PPV, which was in October. So, I guess the timeline skips around on this show, because Brie’s series of in-ring botches happened before that and we haven’t covered them yet. Yes, reality TV – highly edited and not very real.

Five minutes in – Brie has said “comeback,” so, take a drink. Yes, the twins are training with Bryan for their umpteenth return to the ring. They’re backstage at an event and Brie is haranguing Bryan about remembering to post on Instagram, because social media is important or something. Mind you, I type that as someone who posts on Instagram daily, but, I’m the person who markets my own artwork since I don’t work for a major corporation. WWE does do the most effective marketing for their show and performers. Now, back to the ring where Brie and Bryan are facing Miz and Maryse. Yeah, that was like 15 seconds of footage. Nikki is going to train with Ronda Rousey. Ronda has dogs and goats. Female goats have udders. I guess that’s what we learned. Nikki and Ronda train… on a crash pad. Commercial.

Nikki and Brie sit at a table at a restaurant and talk about getting in shape in order to return to the ring. I have no idea why I am supposed to care about Kathy learning a dance and doing a dance recital. Seriously, I saw the episode where she did the weather at a college TV station; I will never get that hour of my life back. Anyway, the narrative of this lunch is that people will think she’s in a relationship with Artem, which they supposedly don’t want, which is bullsh–. Because Nikki being linked with Artem raises her profile, not lowers it. How stupid is the audience of this show supposed to be? Oh f—, we have to redo this Artem conversation with the Mom. I am so not drawn into this fake storyline. Nikki is sick of being judged. There’s an antidote for that: it’s to stop being famous and live like a generic person who doesn’t post every aspect of their life on social media or be on a TV show. “I’m so sick of people telling me how to live?” I’m so not into this storyline. Also, Nikki just said “women empowerment” instead of women’s empowerment – which is the correct version. But seriously, as I type this in real time, I’m not drawn in to “Nikki is so judged for every little thing,” OMG!

Now for a segment that you can find on YouTube. Some guy named Freddie, who is a brand manager, comes to show Bryan a bunch of products that he could have his name slapped on in order to MAKE MORE MONEY. Blind capitalism, people, blind capitalism. So, the guy brought mountain man clothes and beard care stuff. “I don’t wanna sell people stuff,” says Bryan. “I’m not interested in making beard oil to sell to other beardsmen so that they can put it in their beards.” Moving along, Nikki and the Mom train with some random guys named Paul and James. Honestly, having taken nine years of dance lessons as a child, I have no idea why they are dancing on what appears to be carpeting and not in front of mirrors – which is contrary to every dance studio ever; also the dude was wearing tennis shoes. Even kids wear dance shoes… but, hey, this is a TV show, not reality, and we’re supposed to be interested in this storyline, I guess.

About 33 minutes into the show and Creepy Brother finally makes an appearance at some restaurant. Nikki is training with Ronda, so I guess Bryan will be offended? Yeah, we’re reaching to try to make anything on this show interesting. They’re backstage at Smackdown. Brief appearances by Jimmy Uso and Paige. Bryan is taking pics in his questionable Seattle Seahawks colors gear. Brie is still annoyed about Nikki training with Ronda and this pretend storyline about an affair with Artem. Bryan doesn’t think there’s an affair. Bryan’s music plays and Bryan has a match with Andrade, who still had a full name at the time. They show footage of cars. Brie and Bryan are in the car. Evidently she has a surprise. It is neither gelato or goat yoga. Fred, the brand manager, is about to make another appearance standing beside a table filled with potted cacti. Commercial.

There’s a sign for “Bryan’s Hoes,” which would be made from reclaimed wood and recycled metal. Bryan thinks it’s funny. I have no idea who would buy these. Is gardening a big hobby for WWE fans? Apparently Brie is Bryan’s hummingbird, and Bryan is a tree. I dunno what the f— that’s supposed to mean since pretty much all hummingbirds are into flower nectar – which is generally not from flowering trees (which are seasonal) but rather plants and flowering vines. Yeah, I am a bird nerd. Anyway, on to this the Mom does a dance thing. Both Nikki and Kathy have sparkly dresses. Nikki’s is red, Kathy’s is fuchsia (which is a flower that hummingbirds are attracted to). So, on to the dance recital, which takes place on a stage somewhere in front of bleacher seats, so I’m guessing a theatre. The bit starts out with Nikki, then Kathy comes out at the end. Artem was not part of it; I assume it was Paul and what’s-his-face from earlier.  “People crave authenticity, and you don’t get that that much anymore,” says Nikki of this weirdly fake storyline about how people will think that she is dating Artem – which, by the way, was the god damned teaser for the episode – because on their own, The Bella Twins aren’t exactly that interesting.

Last segment starts with Raw. The Bella Twins are having their first official tag match back as a team – and not in mixed tags. Amazingly no one has said comeback yet. They chit-chat with Ronda backstage. Dramatic music plays and then the Bellas make their way to the ring where they will take on the Riott Squad. Brie does some “Yes Kicks” and then the botched dive out of the ring to Sarah Logan, and then five minutes (one minute as it’s edited on this show) later Brie dives out the ring and misses again. I remember this night because I was home and watched it and wondered why the heels in the match sold for the botched dives instead of improvising… you know, what the men would have done in the olden days. They downplay how much the audience was aghast at these botches. According to this show, the moral of the story is that Nikki and Brie should have trained together for this return. Yes, that’s how it was glossed over.

Next week: there will be a Birdee Bee fashion show, Brie will botch in the ring again.

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