SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOTAL DIVAS – EPISODE 2
OCTOBER 8, 2019
AIRED ON E!
BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
(A brief preamble: I’ve followed Corey Graves and his ex-wife Amy on Instagram for what is apparently years now. Meaning that in snippets I have politely liked hundred of pictures of their kids, pictures from that time the family moved from wherever to Connecticut, and basically watched from a distance as the spouse of a quasi-celebrity uprooted her kids and gave up her job to move across the country for her husband’s job. I missed the infamous post where Amy lost her IG – presumably for legal reasons connected to WWE. And yet, I still follow her on IG and politely like her posts.
While I do understand that all relationships don’t last forever, and sometimes issues can’t be fixed, I’m a woman, and if my boyfriend pulled this shit (in another world where we mysteriously have children), his face would be on a god damned milk carton. So, let’s watch this hour of reality television entertainment and see how WWE and E! Network spin a guy with three kids leaves his wife for some chick that’s on this show!)
The show opens with Nattie reminding us that a year ago her dad died. In case you forgot: Sonya Deville is gay! And Nia Jax and Carmella are feuding. Ronda and Travis are in a car talking personal hygiene and being lovey-dovey. Yeah, that was weird, but at least it wasn’t one of those brunches where everyone is there.
Moving along, Sonya is trying to win back Ariana. It’s Valentine’s Day, so, Sonya brought flowers, chocolates, and a bear. Somewhere in a restaurant Sonya explains why she wants to be with Ariana in the most unnatural way humanly possible. To the query, “Ariana, will you be my girlfriend again” she says. “Yes, I guess.” That was noncommittal.
Moving on, Nattie is having a party for her parents’ birthdays. Titus O’Neill cameo. Trinity, Charly Caruso, Nia Jax, and Carmella are also in attendance. Carmella and Nia are giving each other the eye. They hug awkwardly. Sonya shows up with Ariana. For some reason, Sonya has to explain to Carmella that she and Ariana are back together. Oh, and Carmella tells Sonya she’s dating someone, but she’s coy about it. Sonya vows to find out who this man is.
There’s a cake, Titus announces the cake. The cake has a picture of Jim Neidart on it. Nattie and Naomi go off to a bedroom so that Nattie can cry about her late dad… which, a year after the fact, is a little weird to me. Commercial.
Back to Lafayette, La., Carmella and Sonya meet in a hotel room. Sonya gets to guess who it is. Vic Joseph? Nope. “I’m trying to think of single one,” says Sonya. After one guess and that statement – yes, that looks exactly as bad as it is – Carmella blurts out that it’s Corey Graves. Now let’s watch them spin this as some sort of “positive” “girl power” bullshit. Carmella describes Corey as “silly” and “funny” and “such a romantic,” not as a guy with three kids and a wife who moved across the country and left her job to accommodate his. Ha ha ha, girl power, guys, right?!?!? Yes, he’s getting a divorce.
Carmella: “Him and his wife or whatever you want to call her, they’ve been separated for a while.” Carmella then explains what an awesome person she is, which apparently makes it cool for her to do that. All women (particularly mothers) who’ve been dumped / divorced are watching this with the same expression of “people’s eyebrow” that I am, face palming, and muttering things like “Oh really?” Sonya Deville just poo-pooed this dating decision with “just do you, boo,” so, if she had any credibility – she just shot that directly in the face.
Moving along, Sonya is going to have her own float in some Florida Pride Parade. Yes, the whole gang is there to look at this: Nattie, Carmella, Charly Caruso, and Trinity. Sonya wants to make her float look like a wrestling ring and express her style. Yes, I looked at my TV quizzically and thought: So, the float wears all black and plays second fiddle to Mandy Rose like once every six weeks on Smackdown? Because, you know, Sonya Deville is on Smackdown like once every six episodes for maybe five minutes, and every third time she gets to say, like, four words. Yeah, she’s getting her own float in a parade instead of, like, I dunno, someone who actually won a contest, runs a charity, or does actual community outreach. Okay. Sure. Commercial.
Alexa Bliss, who is no longer a cast member on this show, is doing “A Moment of Bliss” to announce the match for the inaugural women’s tag team champs (taking place on the Elimination Chamber PPV in said Chamber) on Raw in Grand Rapids. They show women and girls oohing and ahhing in the audience as this is apparently a huge step for women or something. You know, because of all the women’s teams in WWE, some of us may have forgotten how long the Iconics held those titles. All the female cast members (except Ronda) talk about how important these tag titles are. Nattie wants to be partners with Ronda, except Ronda has a singles title and isn’t going to be in this program. Ronda points out, in a cutaway, that Nattie needs a grief counselor. Nattie hits up Nia to be a partner. She points out that not everyone has to be a part of the first everything. That did not go over huge with Nattie. Nia Jax is a guilty pleasure on this show.
Nia and Tamina are in the ring having a match against the Riott Squad while Nattie is backstage talking about making her pitch to the office to get into this tag team thing. Whoever she talked to didn’t like her idea. Nattie cries. Of the one or two times Nattie has pitched ideas in the history of this show, I’m not sure that anyone has ever liked or used one.
We return from commercials to Browsey Acres with shots of goats. Ronda puts on music for one of the kids and she and Travis canoodle. This is interrupted by a call from Nattie complaining about not being booked for WrestleMania. Ronda talks Nattie down from her ledge. Ronda feels bad for Nattie. When she was eight years old, her father committed suicide. That’s when Ronda started doing Judo. Ronda and Travis talk about losing their dads. It’s a touching moment.
Moving along, Sonya is backstage talking about her float… and this is interrupted by a teary-eyed Carmella. Turns out that Corey Graves’s soon-to-be ex-wife Amy made that famous and since deleted Instagram post and Carmella is traumatized that all women of earth haven’t been brainwashed with some sort of feel-good made-up girl power bullshit and she’s getting dragged for being the woman who is dating a grown man who just left his wife and three children.
No, Carmella does not have my deepest sympathies here. Yes, for real, on this show we’re supposed to believe Carmella’s side of the story totally and completely… and I’m also pretty sure it’s been conveniently omitted that this relationship Corey Graves just ended involved the three kids he had with Amy… you know, because that would make Carmella look bad and we’re supposed to pity her because she’s such a great person that she’s the rebound girlfriend for a guy who just left his wife and kids! I’ve blinked a lot during this episode.
Back from commercial, Nia Jax is in a makeup chair chatting with the makeup ladies about Carmella dating Corey Graves. It takes a moment, but Nia points out that Carmella looks like a homewrecker. Maybe I will enjoy this Nia-Carmella feud? Maybe. Unless they hug it out and everyone tells Carmella that it’s super-cool to date a divorced dude with small children. Really? F—ing really? The spin of this episode is that Carmella got shit for dating Corey, but it’s cool that Corey got a divorce? Uh, not in my social circle.
Corey and Carmella go outside to talk. Carmella is literally telling Corey that it’s not cool that the woman who gave birth to three of his kids is dragging him and thus her on IG. Yes, this is so pathetic that I’m literally laughing as I watch this and type this. Is it really possible to convince yourself that you’re such a saint that obvious conventions like people disapproving of the rebound girlfriend/other woman really aren’t gonna happen to you? “I’ve worked so hard to be a good person my entire life!” “I didn’t do anything wrong!” OMFG, this is tragically hilarious. Carmella then cries in the cutaway. “I love him and he loves me. And we’re happy. And I didn’t do anything wrong. I know in my heart I didn’t break up a family. I would never do something like that.”
Carmella tearfully talks to her sister. Oh, poor poor Carmella. You know, because when a married couple divorce and they had children, the real sympathy should be reserved for the feelings of the new girlfriend! Girl power, you guys! Women’s empowerment! They move on to a shot of the commentary table at the Elimination Chamber, because the show must go on. Everyone is going to the ring. Nattie is watching the PPV at home. Oh, god, Renee Young was still on commentary for this. Yeah, I’m not gonna miss that. There’s a big spot in the match. Sonya has hurt her shoulder. Shortly thereafter, Sasha eliminates Sonya and she and Bayley win the titles. Sonya goes to the trainer. Dr. Chris Robinson cameo?!? I know, it’s not Titus O’Neill. Sonya is worried about how long she’ll be out… oh, and the Pride Parade is this week. Commercial.
Sonya, on again girlfriend Ariana, and select members of her family are en route to the Pride Parade. She gets a text saying she’s not medically cleared – which she reads while driving. Yes, Sonya Deville (who is gay!) texts while driving. And no, we don’t get a PSA about why that’s a bad idea. So, teenage girls, ladies, and horny men watching this show: DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE!
Moving on, we’re at Sonya’s float. There’s still work to be done. Sonya’s family, girlfriend, Mandy Rose, and Carmella are there to work on the float. Carmella has just found out that Nia told Nikki Bella what she’d said about getting potatoed by Nikki in a match. Remember last episode when Carmella told like 40 people that she and Nia were feuding? She seems real surprised that Nia did something similar with way fewer people. Yes, really. Yes, also I’m watching this show and wishing someone on here was interesting or sympathetic. Sonya’s shoulder is hurt, so, I guess it’s supposed to be a dramatic moment that other people are going to finish decorating a float for her? Yes, that’s what they left us on: Sonya Deville is going to go rest.
They show a PSA for a suicide help line… not really long enough for anyone to jot down the number. Wait, let me rewind that. 1-800-273-8255. I literally had to reread my entire recap to remember why they would flash this PSA – because Ronda informed us that her father committed suicide.
On next week’s show: Carmella plans a party to announce to the world that she is dating Corey Graves. Nattie visits Browsey Acres. Sonya tries to book herself into a match with Ronda, Ronda does not appear to be impressed.