Friday, December 3, 2021

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Total Divas Redux: “Total Superstars”

[media-credit name=”E!” align=”alignnone” width=”620″]maryse-vs-brie-total-divas[/media-credit]

It’s been a while since the ‘Total Divas’ have appeared on our screen. The last time we saw these ladies they were in Paris, pregnancy and injury were the hottest topics, and there weren’t three extra blondes around to stir the pot. The season six premiere has really set the tone for the upcoming episodes. And if this is what the next season will be like, then I guess we can expect a lot of drama, tears and Naomi easing the tension with her humour.

The episode starts out with a look back at Nikki Bella finding out the news on her neck injury as well as Brie Bella discussing her emotions regarding her husband and ending her career. And after a quick look at Wrestlemania 32, we’re taken back to one week ago, where the ladies of WWE are getting out of the airports and into Dallas, Texas for the big event. Brie takes to the confessional to discuss Daniel Bryan not being around, but is grateful that her sister will be there.

And then, before we know it, the Ravishing Russian Lana makes her official ‘Total Divas’ (full time) debut! The valet and soon-to-be in-ring competitor discusses her time on ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and  managing her fiancé Rusev (who is shown engaging her in a home-made clip). She also tells us that she will be the first woman to ever make her debut match at Wrestlemania.

Naomi, Lana and Eva Marie are then in a car discussing their busy schedules. Naomi shares how focused she is on getting a new hairstyle – something that she wants to be really “popping” for ‘Mania.

Nikki and John Cena are then in Florida, and a quick flashback of Nicole being given the green-light to be at ringside at Mania is shown. She then takes to the confessional to discuss how sad she is that she won’t be able to wrestle with her sister during Brie’s retirement match. And though back in the car Cena can tell that something isn’t okay with her, Nikki refuses to say anything to him.

Stephanie McMahon and Triple H then meet up with every active women’s wrestler and present them with some good news! As most of us found out by now, the women of WWE are no longer called “Divas”, and are now referred to as “Superstars” (the same thing their male counterparts are called). The couple then congratulate the group and everybody is full of smiles and happiness. Naomi goes to the confessional to state how she is just as good as the guys, and that this was a long time coming for them.

The likes of Naomi, Eva Maria, Maryse, Natalya and Renee Young then meet for some food. We’re introduced to both of the newbies (including the fact that Renee is dating Dean Ambrose and Maryse is married to The Miz), and pretty soon the conversation moves to the twins. Maryse says that Nikki and Brie blocked a contract from her and ruined their friendship. She goes on to say that the twins, her and some other women (most likely Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Barbie Blank) made a pact to not accept WWE offers until they were given a higher salary. Maryse then says that Brie texted her an hour before an episode of RAW to say that the twins accepted the offer – whilst the other three were left with nothing. She also says that she hasn’t spoken to them for three years because they haven’t called or texted her. Renee then sticks up for the twins during her confessional to say that it isn’t fair that the Bellas can’t give their side of the story. Maryse adds on that though they will have a side, hers is the one to believe. Yeah.

Brie and Kathy Colace are then in a car discussing how Bryan finally feels happy where he is – though he still doesn’t feel ready to go the Wrestlemania. She also almost tears up at the thought of Bryan losing contact with his friends, and how this is one of the reasons he doesn’t feel ready to go to WWE yet. The conversation swiftly moves to Maryse and Brie tells us how a “co-worker” has been talking “trash” about her, and how she isn’t in the mood for “middle school drama” at this point of her life.

In an apartment near the Mania stadium, Naomi is getting her hair bleached, with the help of… Paige? Lana and The Usos watch on and plead the two not to go forward with it, but it appears that Naomi isn’t listening and allows her friend to play with her hair. And then there’s the morning after…

Naomi’s hair is a MESS. She refuses to take pictures with fans and the makeup ladies of WWE are fully booked… on the week of the biggest night of the WWE calendar! So it’s pretty much confirmed that Naomi is screwed.

Lana then shows Natalya her gear for Wrestlemania, and though it may have a “bit much boobage”, Lana seems fine with it – though the risk of a 30 day suspension from a wardrobe malfunction is still very relevant. Natalya drives in the fact that this is her first match and how the risks need to be reduced even more.

And then, we have the fight. Brie explains to us how there is no possibility that the twins could have blocked Maryse’s contract as they couldn’t even get a Divas title reign back then, but Maryse doesn’t seem to be budging. She brings up how the Bellas didn’t look at, call or text her for three and a half years, which is something that Brie believes is “not true”. Brie reminds Maryse that she said that she would never let business come between their friendship. She also says that her husband never liked Maryse as she was always rude to Brie. Bella continues by saying that when Maryse was getting what she wanted, career wise, Brie was rooting for her, but once Brie got something that Maryse didn’t, she ended a friendship and was spiteful. Maryse responds by saying that she has successful movies and a beautiful husband, something that Brie states that she does not care for. Somehow Maryse finds it in herself to discuss how wanting goals is not bad (because 1 + 1 = 10?).

Brie says that she was very hurt by the incident, and that she also fought to get Maryse back in WWE, but nothing seemed to work. Maryse then walks out on the group, but thanks Renee for the invite. Awkward.

Brie then tells Paige and Renee that whenever one gets successful, people pop up to take them down. She then brushes Maryse off and aims to focus on her retirement instead.

After the girls meet some fans, the Bellas are in Brie’s apartment discussing her issues. Brie says how emotional the weekend is whilst mentioning her husband and Maryse. And though she listens, Nikki tells Brie that she’s selfish for venting to Nikki when her problems are much worse. Nikki believes that Brie shouldn’t try to overshadow her issues, like her and Bryan have been doing recently. She wants Brie to just accept that life is unfair, as she didn’t get to decide when her last match was… And let’s just leave it at that.

Brie and Nattie are then discussing how after Brie’s retirement, Natalya will be “kind of a lone ranger” as she’ll be losing her best friend. And though she loves the current crop of girls, Natalya can’t help but agree.

Natalya and Lana discuss the upcoming Mania match, and Natalya hits her friend with some home truths. She says that they may never get another match at the show again and to make the most of it. One of the makeup ladies tells Lana that this is a very important event, and if she makes a mistake, she could really hurt someone. Way to boost her confidence!

We then see Naomi and her hair situation is finally sorted! She tells us that she had to call in her personal hairstylist and fly her in just to have her hair done. But it seems worth it!

The next scene shows all of the ladies sat down for a photo. Mark Carrano reminds them of the cancelled match from three years ago and gives a similar speech to the one Stephanie McMahon made. The girls then take turns embracing Brie and then… it’s time for Mania!

We see the ladies kill it as we’re given highlights of the match and it gives me a few goosebumps as I watch. A big emphasis is put on Lana’s in-ring debut moment, but a larger highlight is placed on the moment that Brie wins and when Nikki shows up to congratulate her.

Nikki says that regardless of what they’re both going through, she’ll always stand by her side. Brie reminisces on her career and then, she leaves the ring for the last time. Though, she does remind us that she’ll be around as she’s an ambassador.

Lana takes to the confessionals to say how much she loves performing and entertaining, and how she was “born to do this.”

Natalya groups the girls together and congratulates all of them on having such a good match. And though emotions are high, WWE Hall of Famer Lita walks to the ring to take ’em up a notch.

We’re then shown the footage of Lita praising the 10 women and announcing not only the name change, but we see her reveal the Women’s championship. Nikki, in awe, says that as the longest reigning Divas champion, she aims to become the longest reigning Women’s champion as well.

Thoughts: Well, this is definitely an interesting episode…

Between Maryse’s issues, Lana’s debut and Brie’s retirement, I’m not sure which part of the episode I liked best. But in short, it was a great episode all around. So let’s just get into discussing what we saw.

Maryse and Brie are very intriguing characters. On one hand, we have “the Sexiest of Sexy” who personifies all things extravagant and intimidating. And then we have the tree loving beauty who appears as so kind and gentle. They both exude interest in different ways, so seeing them face off like this is a pretty unique angle.

Pushing aside my love for the Bellas, I still can’t manage to empathise with Maryse here. She enters a dinner that was initially not made for her, and is immediately rude to Brie. It’s understandable that she’s mad, but if she really wants to say she can “forgive” her, storming into a dinner like that is not the way to do it.

On top of that, she refused to let Brie speak. Whenever Brie said anything, Maryse would be on her phone or cut her off. And even if you understand Maryse’s frustration, what’s the point in having a conversation if you want it to be one sided? And when she did speak, she somehow thought it was a good reason to bring up her husband’s beauty and her career – something that wasn’t relevant.

However, I do like where this is going. I’m glad that the feud isn’t over in the episode as this is probably the most exciting one to date. Maryse shows great charisma, and if she could just become better at fighting (verbally, that is!) she could really become an iconic reality TV star.

Moving on to the other newbies.

Renee Young is a great friend. During the scene in which Maryse is talking about the Bellas, she’s the only one that offers some insight regarding their feelings. She’s like the triplet of the Bellas, and seeing how protective and caring she is of them is adorable. I’m really excited to see how this all plays out and to witness the role she has to offer.

I really, really like Lana. Though she isn’t the most important member of the episode, Lana does have time to shine. She’s very likeable, funny and comes across as really sweet. Her relationship with Naomi looks really adorable and I’m excited to see more from her. Also, the Rusev scenes are pretty cute, and if social media is anything to go by, they’ll be a great addition to the cast.

Brie’s retirement is probably the best part about the show. It’s great to see that ‘Total Divas’ is paying tribute to her career in this way, as the actual wrestling company tends to ignore her great work. She has been a part of the company for a long time and does deserve some credit for her work.

The Wrestlemania episodes tend to be my favourites as it has the perfect combination of drama and wrestling-related stories. There’s almost never huge relationship issues as the stories are very much focused on the wrestling – something I can really appreciate.

This season seems to be starting off strong. And though the ratings may not be the best, the preview seems to be proving that we’re in for a wild ride.

What do you think of the episode? Team Bella or Maryse? Any opinions on the newbies? What are you most excited to see? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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