• Total Divas: The First (Last) Review

    Total Divas is the hot new reality show from WWE. The trailers made it look completely terrible, but being investigative journalists, we decided to find out for ourselves. We deeply regret our decision.

    Your crack review team consists of Wrestling On Earth’s own @typicalROHfan and @TomBlackett, as well as wrestling superfan and the man who said the WWE was his religion, Brad Ward (who you can follow on Twitter @BradWardFGN).

    What were we expecting?

    Brad Ward: 

    Heading into Total Divas I was expecting this to be an E! view of how the WWE Divas live their life, with a touch of the signature WWE production you normally expect. Remember, this is how WWE wants you to view the life of a WWE Diva, versus what actually happens. I know there might be some similarities, but I don’t expect it to be 100% real.

    However, I do believe the fun that the guys and gals have on the road together will be pretty clear.

    typicalROHfan:

    I think it’s gonna be bad. Really bad.

    Tom:

    I’m kind of not completely dreading it? I don’t really watch reality shows so there’s sort of a novelty factor for me going into this.

    BEST CASE SCENARIO: It ends up being as amazing as WWE’s last diva-focussed show, NXT Season 3.

    WORST CASE SCENARIO: Every other possible scenario, short of the one where it’s a solid hour of Daniel Bryan playing with puppies.

    Part 1: AN HOUR LONG?!?

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    Brad Ward: 

    First off, this is clearly an E! produced production, with no WWE intro video with rock music and the WWE signature open. They set the stage for the show both in the ring and outside of the ring and I liked the description one of The Bellas used to describe wrestling, “Broadway with bodyslams”.

    As far as how they introduced the characters, I liked how they introduced them as their real names, bringing some reality to it.  They also introduced John Cena and Daniel Bryan as supporting cast members.

    typicalROHfan: 

    THIS SHOW IS AN HOUR LONG!?!?!?! I honestly went in expecting a thirty minute show. We start with the Bellas playfully making fun of each other. Wanting to eat food and PMS’ing were the jokes of choice. You know, the worst things in life.

    One of The Usos is getting face time on this show. No wonder the Usos are being randomly pushed and had a win over The Shield. If Dean Ambrose doesn’t become a world champion, BLAME TOTAL DIVAS.

    We pan to John Cena’s mansion. Is his backyard a lake?! I guess this is what happens when GOONS pad your bank account with hate t-shirts.

    Speaking of shirts, Bryan is wearing the cute shirt featured in a “How To Be The Best In The World”. I started to tune out after a high of seeing Bryan’s cuteness.

    Poor Nattie.

    Tom:

    I was also shocked and appalled to see that this show is an hour long. Come on, WWE, give us a break here.

    Also, there’s a lot of kaye-fabb (as Joseph Park would put it) weirdness going on. So Cameron and Naomi are Ariane and Trinity? Okay, fine. PURORESU FANS ACROSS THE WORLD REJOICE THOUGH, as Daniel Bryan is acknowledged as being Bryan Danielson. You can almost hear ROH rushing to put together a new compilation DVD to capitalise on it.

    There’s a lot of nonsense about the hierachy of the Diva decision. Ariane first explains it as being:

    “People at the top who are like the face of the company (The Bellas), then you’ve got the mid-card, and they’re not quite there yet (the Funkadactyls), and then you’ve got the veterans (Nattie).”

    And COOL, okay,  that makes sense. But then later on, the Bellas make out that “you’ve got the veterans (the Bellas) on top and the ‘newbies’ are on the bottom.” Basically, the message being sent out is that the Bellas are the best and everyone else (especially Nattie) is the worst.

    Speaking of Nattie, seeing Jim Neidhart credited on-screen only as ‘Nattie’s dad’ is a little sad. However, he also makes super weird faces while watching his daughter wrestle so yeah.

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    The presence of Bryan and his adorable dog make the show almost enjoyable for a brief minute or so, and then Nikki shows up in a Range Rover looking smug. FORGET IT.

    Part 2: Bald Dude vs. Brodus (CANCELLED)

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    Brad Ward: 

    I like how they have Jane and Marc there handling some of the communication with talent. I thought them having Eva Marie dye her hair from the brunette, set the stage for with WWE and how you don’t just go out there with a character, you have all your ducks in a row.

    Nattie sounded kind of jealous, which sets the stage for the role she is in. The stuff with Ariane’s boyfriend felt a bit staged, but at the same time could be very real.

    typcialROHfan:

    Someone who I thought was Eve Marie Torres isn’t that Eve but instead someone entirely different named Eva Marie. WWE is one step closer to killing divas, burying the bodies and replacing them with same name reboots. That being said, has anyone seen Eve lately? Dun dun dun.

    Some bald dude dating the less talented Funkadactyl (aka Melina vs. Alicia Fox girl) wants to fight Brodus Clay because Brodus apparently yelled at her for being a bad wrestler. Where was he when Stone Cold humiliated her on national tv?

    Poor Nattie.

    Tom:

    I was SO excited when the one dude (Vincent? Marcus? Shaun? Dennis?) wanted to fight Brodus, because I’m fairly sure Brodus would have killed him and it would have been great. However, Total Divas isn’t the kind of show where things happen, so they just talk about it a bunch and then move on without anybody’s momma being called.

    The new girls show up. We’re told that one of them looks exactly like Brie Bella (but not Nikki Bella?) She seems pretty awful. You can’t describe yourself as a ‘firecracker’ and then be this bland.

    The other girl is maybe the only likeable girl on this show, though by ‘likeable’ I mean ‘boring’. Her declaration that she’s ‘learning different moves to set me apart from everyone else’ is pretty great though.

    Part 3: The Hair Dye Saga Begins

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    Brad Ward: 

    This was more of the previous segment, end of drama Ariane. I liked the scene with Ariane and Trinity where they talked to each other, and Trinity talked to Ariane like a friend. Cutting in clips of Wrestlemania and how big of a scale everything is, really added to the importance of the event.

    Nattie being stuck doing stuff a Josh Matthews should be doing is kind of sad.

    typicalROHfan:

    Drama about which diva gets which hair color. Nice of WWE to determine individuality and identity by the color of one’s hair.

    Poor Nattie.

    Tom:

    Gross, Stephanie McMahon shows up. Nattie pretending to be surprised / devastated that she’s not going to be in a match on Wrestlemania is excellent How can you have the biggest show of the year without the farting girlfriend of the Great Khali?!

    I don’t care about this. Who is Jane? I wasn’t paying attention when she first showed up. My wife didn’t know either and just assumed ‘she’s the real Stephanie McMahon’. Works for me.

    Part 4: The Hair Dye Saga Concludes

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    Brad Ward: 

    The choice that Eva Marie made isn’t too far from what happens in the WWE, talent make choices and WWE respects their balls to make choices. I liked how Jane put her foot down scolded her but at the same time supported her.

    typicalROHfan:

    Eva Marie dyes her hair red despite being told to dye it blonde. Her boss is fine with it and enjoys that she did it. If only Kaval rocked a hot red wig, he may have gotten further in WWE

    OH MY GOD. BILL HADER WEARING A STRIPED T-SHIRT IN A COMMERCIAL. THIS SHOW HAS PEAKED.

    Poor Nattie.

    Tom:

    Who is this show for? The behind-the-scenes wrestling stuff is really hokey and lame and the dramatic situations are super boring. Also, Natalya’s line that ‘there is always rhyme and reason for every decision the WWE makes” is clearly a lie.

    My wife’s mid-show review: “So far: not enough Steve Blackman. Like, it would be great if we go back to Daniel Bryan and Brie’s apartment and maybe Steve Blackman is the dog sitter?”

    Part 5: THIS SHOW SUCKS

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    Brad Ward: 

    The Bellas’ costume with top hats were interesting, reminded me of a certain zombie hot knockout. Having The Funkadactyls gear not made till right before showtime is a little odd.

    typicalROHfan:

    Why am I watching this?

    “I hate myself and I want to die.” – Kurt Cobain (1994)

    Poor Nattie.

    Tom:

    I’ve mostly tuned out by this point. There’s a party or something? Eva Marie has the flattest delivery of ‘bitch please’ I’ve ever heard.

    Part 6: John Cena chooses not to put a ring on it

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    Brad Ward: 

    How candid Cena was with Nikki was a little surprising, but I thought it was much better then it could have been. I did feel that Nikki jumping into marriage, just right after Cena had a divorce was a little odd, but who am I to judge her wanting to be attached to the person that she loves.

    I think that The Bellas really hammed up their stuck-up (for lack of a better term) witch personas.

    typicalROHfan:

    SERIOUSLY WHY AM I WATCHING THIS?

    “I know there’s nobody to blame. Kurt Cobain, I did it to myself.” – Jay-Z (2013)

    Poor Nattie.

    Tom:

    My wife: “John Cena looks like he pooped his pants when she asked about getting married. Is he wrestling’s George Clooney?”

    Part 7: Wrestlemania dramz

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    Brad Ward: 

    Funkadactyls get their gear complete and they are up. They put in a clip of Undertaker vs CM Punk which I thought was kind of odd, since it was Brock vs Triple H. Anyways Cena’s music starts playing and we see that the match was cut from Wrestlemania.

    The Bellas were surprisingly kept together after the disappointment. I liked how Ariane came around and was a friend for Naomi as well. One of the most amazing things I have seen in person in my life is the end of Wrestlemania pyrotechnics display, smart idea to show it at the end.

    typicalROHfan:

    The divas get bumped off Wrestlemania. They all cry and we see (literal) fireworks as the show ends. Shades of Vince McMahon’s bedroom.

    Maria Kanellis’ tweets helped get me through it but such a long hour.

    Poor Nattie.

    Tom:

    Nattie asking the girls “What happened, so are you on next?” while The Rock and John Cena are already out there was amazing. Yeah Nattie, they’re going on next. Everybody’s acting like somebody died.

    I was at Wrestlemania and was also very upset by their match being bumped, as it ruined my bathroom break timing and I missed the first part of Cena’s entrance (BRUSH YA MOUTH WITH COLGATE).

    Final thoughts?

    Brad Ward: 

    The coming later in Total Divas video package was a lot of real drama you would expect with WWE being a very competitive environment. I think there is a lot of reality to it, but I just feel like it comes off stage to a lot of people. Even though I don’t think much of it is.

    The show for the most part was what I expected it to be. It was focused on the glamorous life of a WWE Diva and everything that goes with it, good or bad.

    Favorite scene was Cena and Nikki just having fun together reenacting the scene from The Notebook.

    typicalROHfan:

    It was bad. Really, really bad.

    Tom:

    That felt like it lasted forever. Even with the promise (or threat?) of Justin Gabriel and Fandango showing up in future episodes, I’m not watching that again.