I tuned in to WWE Total Divas expecting to see a scripted reality show in the vein of Hogan Knows Best. Instead I got an interesting look behind the scenes of the WWE and its superstars more in the same vein as Beyond the Mat.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]I will be the first to admit that I had zero interest in watching Total Divas when it was announced. I expected a show filled with fabricated fights, visits to the salon, and manipulated situations. I read a couple of reviews of the first show and I was definitely intrigued. I’ll admit it now, the show is pretty damned good.
If you are any kind of wrestling fan whether it is hardcore or casual you will find something fun about the show. What really surprised me was seeing Daniel Bryan and John Cena (boyfriends of Brie and Niki Bella) on the show completely out of character, more Bryan. I am really surprised that the WWE would allow this but it’s a different time and we all know what the deal is. Yet the timing is very curious as you have Bryan right in the middle of his biggest push and at the same time he is shown completely different on the show. I am not saying it’s wrong, just surprising that’s all.
Cena is another issue altogether. This is John Cena somewhat unscripted as his relationship with Nikki Bella is spotlighted quite a bit. What is interesting about this is you have your top babyface dating a girl on the show who comes off as something of a heel. You are also telling all of the women you have marketed Cena to so heavily that he is off of the market. I don’t know if it’ll impact Cena at all but it is a dicey line to walk.
The show probably takes a deeper look backstage and behind the scenes than anything I have seen since Beyond the Mat. The high spot of the show for a lack of a better term is during the dress rehearsal for WrestleMania 29. Ariane comes back from the walkthrough in tears saying that Brodus Clay yelled at her in front of everyone. Ariane’s boyfriend Vincent who is not a wrestler gets hot and starts making a scene about wanting to fight Brodus. Naomi and her fiancé Jimmy Uso get uncomfortable and it takes Natalya of all people to calm Vincent down.
This leads to tension between Ariane and Naomi. Naomi is upset because she thinks that an incident like this would put her spot on jeopardy. She tries to talk to Ariane who defends Vincent and says he just didn’t want to be “punked.” I don’t know if this was a work or not but my gut says it wasn’t. That said, if that was Ariane’s attitude she really is in for a rude awakening. I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets backlash in the locker room now that the show has aired…if it was a shoot of course.
Another high spot is Natalya getting told she is not on WrestleMania. Natalya was told shortly before the show by Jane (talent relations) that she wouldn’t be booked. Natalya cried and got even more upset when Jane asked her to chaperone new divas.
Now this had work all over it. The WrestleMania card was out for months. I can’t imagine that Natalya thought that she was booked on the show when she was never mentioned in any of the matches on television. This seemed a bit contrived to me. Natalya also shot a bit on the company for giving her chaperoning duties. I have to think that this was all scripted as well.
Two new divas are called up and brought to WrestleMania. Eva Marie and Jo Jo. Eva Marie is really hot and the Bellas see her as a threat right away. Eva was told to die her hair blonde but instead colored it red. This was another segment that seemed a bit fabricated to me. I can’t imagine a new diva pulling something like that and the WWE rep telling her it was okay. At the same time she was right and she would have looked ridiculous as a blonde.
The Bellas tested the new girls a bit at the Sandy benefit the night before WrestleMania. The new girls were taking pictures and one of the Bellas photo bombed her and asked her to refill their champagne glasses. Wow, the business has certainly changed hasn’t it! That probably has to be the tamest “pay your dues” story I have ever seen or heard in the pro wrestling business.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]Overall it really wasn’t a bad show and it went incredibly fast. The previews show a lot of tension between the girls as well as a lot of focus on Nikki and John’s relationship. It’s definitely a mixed bag but it’s a lot easier to stomach than it sounds. I’d highly recommend checking it out, especially the first episode if you missed it. It was not nearly as bad as you would have thought.
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