Reality Bites: Total Divas
It often seems like I'm the only male of my generation who didn't pay attention to professional wrestling as a lad. Most of my knowledge of of those guys came from their involvement in movies of that era. Hulk Hogan, for instance, was the guy who fought the Italian Stallion for charity in Rocky 3. Rowdy Roddy Piper was the hero (of sorts) of They Live. Andre the Giant (RIP) was The Princess Bride's lovable Fezzik.
I say "guys" because prior to the 1990s, women's involvement in the WWF (later WWE) was mostly limited to the Fabulous Moolah and the occasional "romantic counterpart" storyline. For example, I've watched some clips of the old Miss Stephanie/Randy Savage/George "The Animal" Steele triangle and it's ... disturbing. Not, like, vomit porn disturbing, but unsettling nonetheless. The widespread use of female wrestlers, christened "Divas" in the WWE, didn't begin until the late 1990s.
Now, I'm not saying a parade of scantily clad women fake fighting in a ring would've grabbed my attention as a teenager, but I will allow I might have watched a lot fewer shitty kung fu movies on Saturdays had they been around..
There are several Divas we follow on the show, but the main characters are clearly the Bella Twins: Nikki and Brie. So we open with Nikki breaking the Shocking News to her family that she was married at 20 (divorced at 23). Hilariously, her brother J.J. is more upset than mom or dad. Nikki's dry run for telling boyfriend, jorts enthusiast John Cena, about the marriage isn't going so well.
Plus, J.J. is a bit of a toolbag. And may have the hots for Cena himself, considering how concerned he is throughout the episode about how the beefy wrestler has taken the news he hasn't heard yet.
Brie is engaged to current WWE World Champion Daniel Bryan, and the two are busy planning their own wedding. leading to a series of quote-unquote crises, To start with, she wants him to trim his beard, which has become something of his WWE trademark. I say he should compromise: offer to shave if she lets him wear his championship belt during the ceremony. And instead of exchanging vows, they could cobra clutch each other. Really, the possibilities are endless.
And if all this wasn't enough, WrestleMania XXX is coming up. They're dealing with a lot of shit.
Now, as anyone familiar with standard sitcom tropes (or your average episode of The Smurfs), deception never pays off. All we're really holding out for is Cena's reaction and whether or not cops will be involved (anything less would probably be met with disappointment).
Instead, we get fits and starts and the usual reality TV angst as Brie and Nikki discuss the lack of disclosure. Brie, as it turns out, is pissed because Nikki was supposed to spill the beans before her wedding (would *you* want a pissed off John Cena at your reception? Actually, it would make for some great wedding video). Nikki also drags Brie away from planning her ceremony in Sedona to participate in a Wrestlemania photo shoot in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, Naomi (AKA "Trinity," I think) is returning after getting her orbital bone (eye socket) broken in a match. Luckily, she's back in time for more injuries at WrestleMania.
[Important Diva Tip #1: bench pressing too much weight can mess up your breast implants.]
Rookie Diva Summer Rae gets the "honor" of being the first Diva cast in a WWE film: The Marine 4, starring something called "The Miz" (maybe Javert is the bad guy again). Everybody's also happy to hear there's also going to be a Diva battle royale at WrestleMania XXX.
Well, it's not like you want to see the Undertaker in a swimsuit, do you?
And of course there's more wedding crap: Brie can't decide whether or not to invite Summer, who is apparently something of a ... diva? In fairness, she seems as grounded as possible, but whatever. Brie and Daniel check out an Arizona ranch, and he continues to balk at the price (fulfilling all of Brie's wishes would run about $120,000). They decide on someplace called L'Auberge, which I hope to hell isn't part of the cheesy casino brand from Louisiana.
Among the only surprises in The Episode I Watched, Cena and Bryan are actually smart, funny dudes. I think I remember that about Cena from Howard Stern. Which brings up an interesting point: would Nikki fret as much about her Shocking News if she'd heard her boyfriend talking about laying pipe from coast to coast on Stern?
And, of course, he's been married before too.
There's another rookie on the show named "Eva Marie." She's doing her first WrestleMania, and veteran "Nattie" doesn't help by reminding they'll be performing front of millions of people. Since being a Diva mostly involves lots of bared midriffs, tight pants, and fake boobs, I suspect she'll be fine.
The show ended with the Bella family in New Orleans, bitching about the water (to be fair, the Mississippi does get pretty brown, well, everywhere) and giving Nikki a hard time about not telling John about her marriage. Unfortunately, all of this -- including Brie's wedding -- will have to wait until the season finale. Somehow I think we'll survive..
[Important Diva Tip #2: Brie pronounces "beignet" as "Ben Gay."]